Monday, February 27, 2017

Covered Bridges

Covered Bridges

“What is an influence?” I was asked.
            “Guillaume Apollinaire.” I replied. “He wrote in circles you know”.
            “Was he poetic society?”
            “Of course.”
            “So you feel you are that too?”
            “No.  I cannot find society.  That reads”.
            “Well what do you do about that”.
            “Covered bridges.”
            “Covered bridges?”
            “I visit my covered bridges.”
            “Visit them?  I’ve done that too.”
            “No you haven’t.  You’ve just driven through them
            On occasion.
            I visit them; their society.
            No one is ever there.
            Except on rare occasion; a ‘someone there’.
            That’s the society of it; them there.  Or not there.
            I don’t care.”

            Mostly, it is very empty; their visits.
            But every now and then there is a poet
            Visiting the same bridge that I visit
            Just right there then.
            Sometimes we exchange pleasantries
            But I’d rather not
            And if they do... it is a signal that
            Society is better lost
            At a covered bridge.
            I am very protective of my covered bridges
            I don’t let on
            Even when I am standing in one.
            Just better to not say anything
            You know what I mean.
            And I can’t take the old bridge home with me.

            So much of what I did or did do
            Was a covered bridge.
            They get wash down stream you know
            On occasion.
            Washed away
            They say.

            With my cover bridges;
            I have had a lot of that; the washed away.
            I do not really stand back and view that.
            Just tried to do a good job of it.
            Then let chance comeback on a visit
            To that bridge and
            Discover its cover is still intact;
            It is still a ‘my covered bridge’
            “There:  That one”.

            Your not suppose to talk about this
            I know.
            I have a few books on them; covered bridges.
            Open to a page and ‘There’s one’.
            “I’ve been to that one” (visited it)
            “Stood right over there.  Had a postcard of it.  Once.

            My covered bridge stood next to me right then.
            Everything was just fine and it was middle fall and
            Colored leaves blew along the sand of the road just like
            They are suppose to.  I remember watching them
            Do that:
            The leaves blow in the dry fall sand.  I didn’t even know
            I could see that:  Dry fall sand blowing.
            When I am visiting my cover bridges.
            Leave the book open to a page to remind yourself
            I say.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Enjoying Your Lilacs In Maine In February

Enjoying Your Lilacs

In Maine

In February

            I didn’t really feel that this needs to be explained
            But evidently it does.
            It is Maine.
            It is February.
            It is a season of joy.
            If you do not know this, you have left (the region) or
            Should leave
            “Right along please”.
            I am quite sure I can do without you
            And your obsessive tyranny regarding you and
            Winter weather.

            I do not care about what boots you wear
            And how your feet are “still cold”.
            You lost a mitten;
            So what.
            The snow sticks to your snow shovel;
            So what.
            You have been inside for “WEEKS” and “CANNOT GET OUT”
            You say
            To me as if I am supposed to drop by with a two month old Christmas
            Fruit cake and a full gallon of rum.
            I find that you are in a PINCH... don’t I.

            The squirrels have eaten all of the seed at your birdfeeder yet
            A woodpecker still hangs upside down on it.
            You are not running out of firewood; you never do.
            Your car always starts... no matter how “COLD” you say it is.
            The student council still has its monthly meeting.
            You still go
            And still complain about the “cookies”
            You never bake anything.
            I just had to buy more propane because my wife has been
            Baking so much
            It’s really ‘in’ you know; baking in Maine in February.
            ALL the girls are doing it.
            We even bought more walnuts... for the banana bread.

            Yesterday I slid the side door to the barn open to
            Catch the (radiant energy of the) sun so I may sit in a chair there;
            In the sun, and READ
            An I841 history of the settlement of the Coos country (New Hampshire).
            That’s the area west-northwest of the White Mountains;
            Piermont, Haverhill and northward.
            I read the part about traveling thereabout in the February cold and having to
            NOT fall asleep when resting because one would
            FREEZE TO DEATH.
            I know; you’ve never been there in February.
            I have.  Plenty of times.
            I know exactly where that is.  In the Colonial era one could
            STARVE TO DEATH there to.

            But you don’t have to worry about that.
            You “cannot get the dog to go out” (go out to go).
            That’s getting nasty in there?
            Maybe purchasing a leash and driving into town and taking
            A brisk walk around the Common.  Notice how all your feathered friends are hanging around there too?
            “They must have flown there.” you say.
            Well... it IS south of your home... and its empty feeder.
            I know:  You have a bird society sticker ON your car.
            But the sticker is only good for the warmer nine months of the year
            You say.
            You are quite a chunk of suet aren’t you.

            When I travel around my farmyard; the five buildings and their outer farmyard spaces,
            On my snow management designations... I gasp at the beauty before me.
            “Where about?  How about?” may all this be so wonderfully
            Full of winter wonder. 
            I do not shovel past things.  No.  I stop and embrace my lilacs in February;
            Their ‘snowy still there dried dead buds and blossoms’.  LAST SPRING’S; they stayed on from then; dead dry and hanging in their very own clump of new fallen snow.
            They are putting on an art fair; a local showing of their local farmyard art
            In my yard in February
            In Maine.
            Do you know what this looks like; what I am speaking of?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Why is "The Old Dark Blue" the "Old Dark Blue" in Old New England - Part Six - "Your Landscape"

Why is "The Old Dark Blue"

the "Old Dark Blue"

in Old New England

Part Six

"Your Landscape"

            Twenty-five years ago I made a routine stop at a Greenwich, CT. thrift shop.  It was a first-thing-in-the-morning ‘on my way to’ (Old Greenwich) so I made a get-in / get-out typical “STOP”.  A few were in the store but not of an antiquarian seek.  Women’s fashions and their accessories “ahhhh”... so I was all alone.
            Behind the counter and over the counter manager’s left shoulder I spotted an antique The Old Dark Blue teapot right away.
            “How much is the old teapot?”
            After ‘reaching it down’:  “Sixty-five dollars”
            “I would like to buy that please”
            "I want to look around a little more”.
            “Thank you”.

            What I bought then I do not have now for I “sold it right along”.  But... today... I do “have one”; an ‘identical’ teapot ‘in stock’.  I am partial to the (decoration pattern) ‘series’.  I always notice that particular ‘scene’ and “watch for it right along”.  No real surprise to find “it” “donated” in the upscale of the Greenwich area:  Someone once ‘knew’.  I still
            What I know is that the fragile blossom of The Old Dark Blue has always held high this particular pattern for me.  I showed that off way back with my first estate sugar bowl carrying the “Gilead House” transfer scene (Part Two).  That sugar’s scene is from the same series as the scene on the teapot.  The teapot’s scene is titled on the pot’s bottom “Denton Park Yorkshire”.  The formula of the transfer; the makeup of the transfer’s design, “matches” that of the Gilead sugar bowl.  They are from the same tea service ‘set’ (‘tea ware’).  For the record, and evidently, ‘no one knows where (or what) “Gilead House” was (is)’.  That does not diminish the positive decorative quality of the transfer scene or the ‘series’.  For this series’ patterns... most all viewers succumb to “I LIKE IT”.  It is an easy ‘to go with it’; this simple ‘it’s nice’.

            What I also knew then and still know now is that my favored taste for this teapot is not an epistle from me.  No... no one cares what I ‘like’.  Or think.  A few may tolerate an ‘I feel” but they usually prefer to ‘feel’ that way ‘too’ “to start with”.  This good feelings toward this teapot is because the in-the-know KNOW THAT this pattern series teapot “IS ON THE COVER OF THE BOOK”
            “What book?”
            It does not matter for you to know that.  Either you know that or you
            Do not know that.  If you do not know that it does not matter for you are...
Anyway.  If you do know and have the book too then what you feel is ‘right’ and you don’t care what the ‘rest of them’ feel ...about anything anyway.  Having someone come up to me and self start to express what I just wrote ...does not happen very often... even in The Old Dark Blue circles of ‘feel’ that I travel in.  That does not change anything:  The ‘teapot’ (decorated of this series) IS on the ‘cover of the book’.  A core suggestion is that IF you have a... whatever... that is on the cover of a book about that decorative art object’s merit and heritage... (“good taste”)... one is ‘on solid ground’ “with that”.  If one wants to be on super solid grounded... one should purchase a copy of the book and have that “around” “TOO”:  Solid grounding is my intention here; in your hand WITH the... Old Dark Blue... teapot.

            If you glance at the cover of the book to affirm, then bring your eye back to actual teapot.  There should be an internal radiance with ‘it’ and ‘you’ “now”.  And that radiance... I have built in this essay to become a ‘your landscape’ with The Old Dark Blue... right here... right now.
            I have developed a heritage based appreciation of The Old Dark Blue by establishing its age, history of design, function, place of function, usage, usage heritage, presence (in the Old New England home), preservation of object, heritage based notice of the object (including ‘great grandmother’ style old notes on paper wisps inside The Old Dark Blue [Part Five]).  I have suggested that to participate in this (The Old Dark Blue is The Old Dark Blue in the Old New England home) one may do that with the very nominal (monetary cost) acquisition of a specimen (an ‘old broken sugar’ bowl for example) (or here; at teapot from behind the counter of a New England thrift shop that... YOU... “FIND”).  I am suggesting that all one needs to establish that one is of the “I know” of The Old Dark Blue... in the Old New England home... is to very unobtrusively... ‘display one’ in your (old New England) home.  It... sends a “the right message”.  It should be
            Your Landscape.

            And I am done with you?  No.  The war needs you in the army.
            “WAR?” you say.
            Yes... just go to a box store at look in the shopping carts at what ‘they’ are ‘buying’.  If you have an Old Dark Blue broken sugar bowl at your home... you will not ever find a “THAT” “HERE”.  No.  Welcome that.  And live your life that way.
            “What way?”
            The way your own great, great, great, grandmother wanted you to... and has tried to convey to you... THROUGH her ‘old china’.  One rescues oneself when one... rescues your greatest great grandmother’ “old china”.  And establishes the landscape of that ‘good taste’ for self.  After being ‘around it’ for a few years... including the ‘looking at it’ and ‘handling it’... one becomes very adapted to the ‘noticing it’.
            And, of course, the NOT noticing it (because it is, in most settings, ‘not there’).  No... you will become like I where one has ‘they don’t know’ foisting their “THAT” upon you... where ever you ‘go’.  But when one does have a radiant encounter... a ‘does know’ messaging of Old New England good taste... oh does not THAT

            Isn’t funny what an old broken china sugar bowl may turn out to be?  “Yes” and “It’s English too”.
            Yes... English too.  A Wasp barrier reef right there.  Keep that in mind... when a message from ‘her old china’ in her ‘old china cabinet’ fires as a cannon at you.  Looking more carefully at that message source one sees, again, an “English Landscape”... with a castle spire centered up above a nocturnal (moonlight) sail boat.  Clouds, moon, water surface and sailing boat... surround... an old English castle?
            This is, great grandmother assures you, a ‘well known’ American scene:  Wadsworth Tower, here a single series view of a mountain top (Avon, CT area) 1810 view tower built by Daniel Wadsworth.  It blew down in 1840 but... in 1826... researchers have discerned a local (Hartford area) newspaper advertisment for a ‘new and most beautiful pattern of tea ware call Wadsworth’s Tower”.  That is what this is; this (broken and lid lost) old sugar bowl.
            And great grandmother’s mother’s ghost holds your hand for just that second.

            Do not let this get away.  Pursue this... ‘old china’ clarity.  Admittance is nominal.  Your landscape may be English or American ‘scenes’.  Or perhaps ‘floral’.  Or... even... “ships” battling at sea, off, for example a “The Gold Coast”... whatever that is.  This doesn’t matter.  What matters is that the heritage of “The Old Dark Blue” in the Old New England home... is understood.  You do not even need feel... “I like”. That is why we have box stores in Old New England:  To “take you off”.  “Rid of you”.  As I said, your landscape is your barrier reef.  In plain sight... on YOUR shelf.  That’s what it does.
            For you
            It is your landscape.
            That is why “The Old Dark Blue” is The Old Dark Blue in the “Old New England” and its homes.
            As a final note I add that this old china has been protected in this way for very long time; from ‘day one’.  By 1875, ‘collectors’ of The Old Dark Blue were well establish including petty pattern squabbles amongst themselves and published printed catalogs of “old curiosities” dealers vending, exclusively ‘The Old Dark Blue’ “ware”.  This carries back to the “I KNOW” realization that “This” (The Old Dark Blue) was collected ‘in the (old New England home) from, too, the above noted ‘day one’.  Yes:  The great, great, great grandmother’s ‘good taste’ has been there since ‘day one’ of the ‘my old china’.  The Old Dark Blue never looks for a ‘space’ in the ‘parking lot’.