By Scott Cairns
This morning the world’s white face reminds us
that life intends to become serious again.
And the same loud birds that all summer long
annoyed us with their high attitudes and chatter
silently line the gibbet of the fence a little stunned,
They look as if they’re waiting for things
to grow worse, but are watching the house,
as if somewhere in their dim memories
they recall something about this abandoned garden
that could save them.
The neighbor’s dog has also learned to wake
without exaggeration. And the neighbor himself
has made it to his car with less noise, starting
the small engine with a kind of reverence. At the window
his wife witnesses this bleak tableau, blinking
her eyes, silent.
I fill the feeders to the top and cart them
to the tree, hurrying back inside
to leave the morning to these ridiculous
birds, who, reminded, find the rough shelters,
bow, and then feed.
Scott Cairns, “Early Frost” from The Translation of Babel (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1990). Copyright © 1990 by Scott Cairns.
17 thoughts on “Scott Cairns: Early Frost”
glad to hear you are home again and that your daughter is with you
Wonderful news, Susan.
That’s great, Susan.
Hi Fellow Imonkers.
I am home from hospital and doing OK.
My daughter has been a tower of strength.
Thank God for her.
It has been frosty here in northern California since before Thanksgiving. We had one good shower in November, but otherwise it’s been dry and the forecast is for more dry. Please pray for rain for us, without flood or other calamity, and that our drought would be relieved.
I somehow missed yesterday’s post, but got to it today and left a couple of comments and a link, if anyone’s interested.
How about an email index for after the blog retires? We give permission to Chaplain Mike to send a list with the email addresses of the regulars who are amenable to communicating with one another, and he sends to the regulars who ask for it. Think about it.
Virginia Woolf, Orlando
–> “pot of hot soup on the stove– homemade – no recipe exactly, but the pot is ‘filled with good’”
The best kind of soup!!! Enjoy!
Glory be to God for homely things.
pot of hot soup on the stove– homemade – no recipe exactly, but the pot is ‘filled with good’
pie in the oven – sweet potato pie – homemade
out to the garden (winter garden) to pick some greens for tomorrow: collard greens, always best to wait until ‘after the first frost’ to eat them according to the wisdom of the old ones
bread machine on
fire in the fire place
Reading that poem is like reading The Road… beautifully written, but as bleak as all hell.
Great poem. I live his choice of words. Season after season we step into the dark, step into the cold. Here we are again. For Imonk it is the last step into that season. We will all continue as usual with our lives with no drama but will remember this little abandoned garden that brought some salvation. Maybe there will be no more garden or maybe we will fly into a neighbor’s garden. Maybe even run into the odd Monk there.
I would love a compilation of your Haiku.
a few flakes