Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday Morning West Coast Re-Post

I've obviously long since forgotten about the following post, but it popped up the other day and made me laugh. It's hard to believe that I've been blogging so long -- and where the blogging has taken me. I'll thank all of ya'll for that --

Friday, December 5, 2008


I've been wondering all day what and how much to post. I just got up off of Sophie's bed where I've been lying for a half hour or more, curled around her. She had had a bunch of seizures and I was trying to somehow breathe calm into her. When I closed my eyes I started reciting the Hail Mary prayer over and over but instead of saying "pray for us sinners," at the end I said, "pray for Sophie." I also visualized us, together, flying through the air and could swear that I saw something golden behind my shut eyes. What it was kept escaping me but I knew it had something to do with the words shook foil which I think is a line from a poem. But I'm not sure. It was a beautiful image.

So I had that to post but I really wanted to title the piece "Yams" because of a conversation I overheard last night while waiting for Mark Doty to read his poetry at the downtown public library. Mark Doty is one of my favorite writers of late -- his memoir Heaven's Coast is a touchstone for me, and I was thrilled to see him and listen to his poetry and wise, warm comments about poetry and life. But before the show started (and he read with two other poets), I sat in my seat and couldn't help but eavesdrop on the conversation behind me. I knew the women were on the edge of the end of middle age or already a few years into whatever comes after middle age. I knew this by the sound of their voices and later, when I looked, I was right. But I digress because here's the conversation I heard:

Lady #1: "I'm so sorry that we didn't make dinner beforehand."
Lady #2: "Oh, don't worry."
Lady #1: "No, I feel bad. Why don't you come over afterward for a yam?"
Lady #1 (again): "I had half a yam this afternoon but have the other half leftover. You can have the rest.
Lady #3: I do love a yam.

I found the image above on a google search, and weirdly enough it led me to a site called the Yam Art Museum. What are the chances of stumbling on something so strange and wonderful if I didn't have a blog?

And when I checked google for "shook foil," I got this which I knew I knew from somewhere:

God's Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; Bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

- Gerald Manley Hopkins


  1. That was a fine poem but the yam conversation just grabbed me and made me laugh.

  2. Ok, that yam conversation was hilarious. Funny, our family members are big yam fans too.
    I'm so glad Sophie is doing so much better. What a huge relief. One I imagine hits you harder on the infrequent bad days.

  3. I'm sorry for Sophie's seizures and hoping she is doing better now. I'm mesmerized by the yam conversation and intrigued by the yam art museum. I'm very curious about Mark Doty and off I go to look him up. Thank you for the poem, it is a very good one. It's amazing to me that you remembered that phrase and then found it. My failing memory is a constant wonder to me. Thanks for the links today :)

  4. I have yams! Come over for a yam! You can have a whole one!

  5. That was the first poem I ever memorized out of pure love. thx for the reminder (I've forgotten it!)

  6. I love love love this poem (and the yam conversation, hahahahahaha!)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...