June or the Raven or How the Sun Split the Morning Shade in Half

4 June 2018:

It feels like summer this morning. All sun, all green, all blue. Even the blurs of town buses passing by seem to shine with all the light of June.

I can hardly believe it. June. I say the word, I write the word, and immediately look out the window. The old silver light post on the corner, the winter-hardened raven—a contrast of dark and light, of light and shade. And a feeling of light and shade, Keats said, is all we need to write good poetry.

And that may be true, John. Some sort of tension delivers the wave-ride we feel in both the reading of poems and the writing.

When I think of Keats’ pronouncement, I think of that moment we first turn the light on in the morning. How sudden and alarming. How surprising. Here we are again, waking up.

Lately, my writing has been sparse. I pour the coffee and hope a poem comes.

But maybe I ‘m just not paying enough attention. Saturday, I spent all morning cleaning my car, inside and out. Parked in the shade of an enormous ash tree out front, I scrubbed and dusted, I brought back a little shine to the old thing with nearly 200,000 miles on him. The morning sun worked its way across town, down the street, over the high-reaching arms of the ash tree.

And, just as I polished the final nooks and crannies of the interior, the sun stretched out and speckled across the dark and glossy hood and split the shade I’d found in half. Voila, I thought. A poem, or at least a poem-moment. Something to keep. Something to bring inside and place beside the whole idea of summer.

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