We will name none of our children “Irene”

This was the view from the potholes yesterday. That pink building was a quilter’s studio. I say “was” because it’s gone now. In fact, I think this picture captures it being swept away.

We are thankful for no loss of life. Our home was undamaged, though we were forced to evacuate for the night due to flooding fears — the river ran wild! I’ve never seen anything like it. Lots of hilltown roads closed and impassable. We’ll be learning new routes hither and yon for some time to come.

Hope you all made it through unscathed. Best to you, friends.

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The Beaufort Scale

I’ve always been fascinated by the Beaufort Scale. It could be because the concept of measurement itself is intrinsically interesting, but how the Beaufort Scale grapples with wind is a sort of poetry. Its language is simple and elegant, metaphorical. And it’s served as a point of inspiration for:

As I was reading Weather Eye Open last night, a way of using the Beaufort Scale for a poem of my own occurred to me, though it’s not the Beaufort Scale itself I’d be using, but its structure, as a sort of model for organizing my thoughts about grief, from the still point at the eye of the hurricane. So to speak. “Projects” don’t really work for me as such, but I’m hoping that this might help give me some extra tools for handling such fraught material.

Also in the realm of good news, two poems were accepted by a journal I’d given up on hearing from, it’d been so long. Nice to break up those rejections here and there, yes?

And the days go by

Non-writing activities have kept me busy this summer — work, Collected Poets planning for 2012, reading, afternoons at the state forest beach with the boys (that season pass was the best $35 I’ve ever spent!) — July slipped by like a field of fireflies winking out. Despite the surfeit of grief, it’s been nice.

Come September 1, Vincent will begin kindergarten (full-time!) and Aidan will begin attending pre-school (two mornings a week!). So this is a momentous sort of summer after a momentous sort of year.

This morning’s air had a touch of autumn to it, and I saw some leaves already beginning to turn.

My mother’s birthday was on Sunday, which meant last week I dreamed about her every night. A first, the first dream, and then an unimaginable gift, each one that followed. In the first, she’d come back, quite aware that she’d died. We talked about it, how well she looked now, and then she apologized for how she died: “I’ll do better next time.” The sudden sorrow of a dream that had been a comfort. “Next time? You mean you can’t stay?”

Of course not. None of us can.