Today is the last day of the Surprise Marathon. I was feeling in need of a calmer experience after yesterday. I thought of Chestnut Hill College’s Logue Library. Perfect.
I parked in the lot below the main part of the college. I saw a deer along its edge. And I got a nice shot of the main building – it looks very castle-like.
I’ve done several sessions at Logue Library – you may remember the Reading Room, and I’ve also sat in the stacks.
And – you may also remember the library cat. I was thrilled to come up to the building and see him lying on the steps in the sunshine. When I went in, I told the librarian at the desk I’d been hoping to see him, and I was glad he looked so comfortable. “Yes,” she said, “he just went out”, as if I’d been mentioning a member of the staff who’d been working around the place and now just stepped away…
I decided to sit upstairs in the stacks this time, just for variety. I found a nice table and got set up. On my way, I passed this pencil sharpener fastened to the wall.
It almost made me cry, for the memories I have of using devices such as these, so long ago. I don’t know how often pencils get sharpened by college students, but I’m glad this machine is still in place.
All right. I did the usual speed poems for about an hour. And I’ll tell you, the building was beautifully quiet. Just what I needed for today.
Then I had my choice between some administrative kind of stuff – I plan to be setting up my next poetry book, collage poetry, in the near future, and I could have started on that. I also could have done some work on the “Epic” mentioned a few days ago. But – I felt like writing, so I chose the option of doing haikus.
I set myself a goal – 20. That should be doable in the time before the library closed, I thought. I let my mind drift and I wrote down sentences – five or seven syllables, not necessarily with any accompanying lines. Then, as I looked them over, more ideas came to mind. I filled in some additional lines and came up with new ones. Then, third lines started appearing; haikus were getting finished.
I kept up like this until I finished – 20! I will give you a few of them here right now.
Against the pale sky
the fan-shaped crack in the glass
a hot silver streak
Outside the leaves blow.
In silence the cracked window
breaks and repairs them.
Scuffed, faded, peeling:
the green linoleum floor
despairs of its looks
The pale drapes ripple
A river of tired fabric
puddled on the sill.
The hot afternoon
calls through the open window
for some attention.
The Surprise Poetry Marathon is now over. I will let things rest for a week or so and then start some editing. That will take time, I know from experience, but it’s a rewarding process to see what emerges from this work. Thanks, everybody, for following along.