Sunday, February 7, 2016

the wrung, irrational soul

(gorgeous cardinal seen on today's walk.  Yes, I do need National Geographic level photos of the beautiful stuff I see.  But for now?  My phone will suffice.)

In space
(the experiment
suggested by two fifth graders),
a Canadian astronaut
wrings water out of a towel.
It stays by the towel,
transparent isinglass,
a hyaline column.
Then begins to cover his hands,
his wrists,
stays on them
until he passes it to another towel.
On earth
some who watch this
recognize the wrung, irrational soul.
How it does not leave
but stays close,
outside the cleaning twist-fate but close—
fear       desire       anger
joy       irritation
wet stuff
that is shining, that cannot go from us,
having nowhere other to fall.

"In Space" by Jane Hirshfield from The Beauty. © Knopf, 2015.


  1. I squeaked fairly loudly the first time I saw a cardinal - in Virginia. In the middle of the summer. It looked nothing like a Christmas card, thus was anticlimactic. This bird needs SNOW to really look properly cardinal-y. Texas is not working for you, bird. Go east.

    1. Yes. So ingrained from seeing years of photos of them in snow. Weird to see them while out in shorts. In February.

  2. Gorgeous bird and poem. Never seen a cardinal, been looking since I was a kid.

    1. Have seen them several times here~really fun to see such brightness.