LOCAL VIEW —The teeth of the calm—

It’s cold and very dry, 10° at 4:00 AM on December 31. If we had any snowcover it would be ten degrees colder, but we don’t. The wind was nasty two days ago but it has faded away to a sort of calm that leans on you from the northwest. That side of your face stings a little, and the brown leaves still clinging to the branches of beeches rustle slightly every now and again.

I can’t recall seeing such a huge arctic high pressure come down from Canada in quite a while. It has been years.

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The dry weather has made it possible to get some wood split and onto the porch, but at age sixty-one I sure don’t swing the eight-pound maul the way I used to. I’m a bit delicate, and swing in a gingerly fashion, as if I expect something to tear. Actually the exercise keeps bones from loosing mass, in theory, but it seems I stiffen up the same day, where I used to stiffen up worst two mornings after heavy exercise.

For some odd reason we had a brownout for an hour on Sunday afternoon. I’ve never experienced one before. We had power, but some things simply didn’t work, including the computer. The microwave would rotate a dish but not heat it. No explanation was given, that I ever heard.

All the good food over Thanksgiving and Christmas taxed my teeth, and a toothache has been souring my attitude. Two hours at the dentist yesterday ought be all the psychiatry I need, however before I was cured I wrote the following hard-to-understand sonnet, just to prove I could make a sonnet from a toothache.

When young I idealized that poetry
Was in all things, for too often youth take
For granted teeth are forever, and see
No sweat in making sonnets from a toothache.
 
It’s not so easy when you get older
And walk wincing, with one eyebrow asking
And your head tilted. I’ve not grown bolder
Or braver, when all of my multitasking
Involves avoiding a series of ouches.
 
But perhaps I did the same when I was young.
I was suppose to deliver couches
Up long staircases, and not live among
They who lounge, but then I got fired
For acting like I was already retired.

I think that sprang from some work I’m doing that involves remembering what I was up to back in 1971.  The past can be a nice place to visit, if you can’t catch a flight to Florida.

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