Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Reach

Just the other week trying to transfer joy

as if it were as easy as handing out free money

and the rebuff had no drama even in itself.

The street was still, foot traffic kept to its own business

and the home, when gotten back to, gave affectless

re-welcoming, having no idea what feelings churned,

only the tabby alert enough to squeak hello

circling the kibble bowl to a few cute enervated words.

It's dead winter now.  Twig tree, corpse-cold,

slow mutual motion -- laws of gravity and all that -- to draw

smooth snow, black moods, arthritis all together.

If the mouth pronounces an end to a February

not yet come, if in its present form the voice

concludes this January now, and the mind marches

March to an end, then what's to hold but what's held

anyway -- the imaginary Spring, always, for the taker.



  1. Oh I can truly relate to this write - your poetic description beautiful - the Northwest so dreary in winter, it plays on the mind and spirit - here too with the fog and cold and dripping trees..Jan the worst, Feb a little lighter on the soul...and March, March is my god after a Northern Cal winter...it is there Spring..it is there, keep imagining....bkm

  2. I'm actually very much in my element in winter, relishing the simple grayscale imagery and delicious cold.

  3. Well i see...saisonal sadness breakdown.You just need the spring of Vivaldi, watching " le sacre du printemps" de Stravinsky, orchestred by Béjart,have a look to Botticelli,somme flowers, some fruit, and then, smile is back.Am i a good doctor?

  4. Barbara,

    Lived in Bay Area for a long time -- coast to Marin/Napa/Fairfield. I remember the winters.

    Here, colder by a chunk of degrees, enough to verge too often around and just below freezing.

    And, grey.

    Thank you for 'vibrating with' the description. I wish us a quickly-arriving Spring!


  5. Tess,

    Yes. By comparison, I'm strictly 'wuss' material. I wouldn't be able to face a mid-West winter. West Coast stuff is much milder.

    But we're spoiled by the mildness. At least I am. There are snow sporters here who pray for snow and involve themselves with it.

    Enjoy your season! I don't mean to take away any pleasure!


  6. Dr. Isabelle,

    I feel better already! Oranges. Sweet apples!

    (And the Stravinsky pushed back all the cold soil in my vicinity!)


  7. I have an internet friend who lives in Finland, in darkness for hours longer than we are this time of the year;I can't imagine it, having to create an interior life to offset that--it's amazing how the spirit of winter oppresses(well, most of us)no matter how light its hand. I've never been colder or more depressed than the winter I spent in San Francisco--no insulation, no heaters to speak of, cold fog and endless waves of rain.

    Thanks for the excellent capture of a mood and time in your piece. Enjoyed it.

  8. I liked this moody piece
    melancholy song of longing
    for spring
    she'll be here soon
    and then you can dance with her
    and say what arthritis

  9. I'd try a little Prokofiev. And Grieg. And scotch.

  10. Joy,

    Half of Frisco is just that: damp and Maltese Falcon-esque. In summer, the fog is thick like cotton.

    The other half is cheerfully sunny.

    Great effects right where the two meet.


  11. Suz,

    Yes, soon. The rough edges of winter are just plain unpleasant. When I lived in California, it was simply a matter of heavier windbreaker and a light head cover.

    It's not that I have arthritis. Winter buckles me in as though.


  12. Karin,

    Likely any classical music -- something 'serious', with a taste 'strong enough to stand up to' winter.

    Shostakovich would be a good 'equalizer'.