Musings from the Bunker 11/28/20
It’s Saturday and time for some poetry and music…
One of the great joys of having children is to get to know the friends they make and to have the opportunity to be audiences to their successes. One such person in Jake’s life is Jordan Bryan, one of the most talented kids I’ve had the pleasure to know (Jack and Brian, if you’re reading this, I said “one of…”). Besides his various intellectual talents, Jordan is an accomplished musician. He recently released an Extended Play (EP) album entitled Open to Vocals, consisting of five tracks and can be found at: https://m.soundcloud.com/jordan-grey-bryan/sets/open-to-vocals-ep?ref=clipboard&p=i&c=1
One of my favorites is “What are You Dreaming” (a jazz riff that includes Dream a Little Dream of Me). But I’m sure you’ll also enjoy the upbeat “Up in the Air,” “Fine By Me” and the other tracks. And do I hear a little “Straighten Up and Fly Right”?
Two lovely poems about giving thanks and the times in which we live. Diane Cairns found Blue in the Adirondack Review. Thanks, With Northern Lights, appeared in The New York Times.
By Mary Peelen
Walking up five flights in a spiral stairway
in the Marais, I recall how
water lifted me up when I was a girl
back in Michigan, a state so great with lakes
my mother assured me there’d always be fresh water,
tide-less waves, an infinite series, a liquid
eternity in Grand Haven where I floated all summer
sans curfew or fear of contagion.
It’s dark this fall in Paris, cafés closed,
Covid on the rise again. The cloud ceiling hovers,
gray and damp, the tap water is chalky with calcium.
Down in the street, rue Rambuteau, yellow vested
citizens protest confinement, capitalism. God knows
nothing is perfect, not even this gilded city where
the church stone is heavy as the news from home.
I’m blue, yes, but even I have to admit
Parisian light is a full-on cliché
in a sky low enough to suggest reachable perfection.
Heaven isn’t an actual place
when an impulse fires azure through my optic nerve
I can feel it, or when,
at the end of a long and troubled poem,
a barbed thrill catches me in the chest—
a fishhook in the jaw of a bluegill, panicked,
flapping, slick, pulled from Gull Lake for breakfast.
There are cities in Michigan with no drinkable water.
My nerves carry this thirst forward in time
the way gravitational waves
convey suns and planets through outer space.
Tonight, the great blue dome over Paris
is torn open just far enough
to let the moon and Mars shine through.
The stars are pure theory,
dispersing at light speed along with the universe.
Thanks, With Northern Lights
By Joyce Sutphen, poet laureate of Minnesota
In Minnesota, from Main Street
to Highway 61, from Paisley Park
to Park Rapids, we’re thankful for
snow that comes down from Canada
covering the leaves we didn’t rake
and how sometimes after that, we
get a heat wave and a second chance
to put things right in the world
so we can meet our friends in a park
and savor being together (safely
apart). We feel so lucky that we smile
our biggest smiles behind our masks,
making our eyes crinkle and shine
like the elusive Northern Lights.
Have a great weekend,