Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Little Bill Holm

I find myself reading Bill Holm lately, working my way through a few books I had not read before, despite their availability in the house.

I had heard him read several times when he visited Duluth and am thankful for those opportunities to have his "voice" in my ear as I read his work now. Bill passed away on February 25, 2009.

A few poems as we welcome Fall and the colder months:

A Last Word with the Fog

After ten years of whining I'm finally
making friends with the fog.
How courteous of the world out the window
to disappear for a little while.
You, too, can disappear, even in
broad - though murky - daylight.
Only in children's fantasy stories
does the invisibility cloak exist,
and, of course, in Skagafjordur...
Use your disappearance prudently,
as the mountain and the fjord
intend to use their own.
Maybe, with luck, no one will ever
find you again except
yourself, when the fog gives up,
as it always does, and goes away
to give some other lucky fjord
a day or two to disappear.

Alberta Clipper

At twenty below, this wind
has teeth, not a figure
of speech but a fact.
It hungers, not just for cheeks
or fingers or feet.
This zombie zephyr wants
the engine of life itself.
Seized up, stopped dead
as your car is.
Listen to its jaws
clack together on the porch.
Don't open the door.

The Chain Letter of the Soul: New and Selected Poems
Milkweed Editions 2009


Julie said...

Thanks for sharing those poems! It's very foggy here in Seattle this morning, so it really fit to be reading "A Last Word with the Fog." Thanks also for reminding me about the two unread Bill Holm books that I have on my bookshelf; I'll have to pick them up sometime soon.

SteveQ said...

There's no such thing as a "little" Bill Holm, as you know - he was twice my size at least!

wildknits said...

Julie - we have quite the collection of Bill Holm - I am working my way through all of the books we own, reacquainting myself with old "friends" and meeting new ones. We tend to loan them out, so have had to re-purchase a few.

Steve - knew you would notice that....

Imagine having him lean over you at a reading and ask a question when you are my size!!!

wildknits said...

I stumbled on a few more poems that dealt more directly with wind.... something we have been quite familiar with of late.

wildknits said...

For Julie:
Storm Coming to Seattle

White noise of the wind-
rat-a-tatting of rain.
After dark, snow climbs down
lower and lower from the peaks
to the passes, the foothills, the suburbs-
5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 100,
finally over the sea,
where it disappears into itself.

~ Bill Holm
pg 97 The Chain Letter of the Soul.

Julie said...

Thank you so much for "Storm Coming to Seattle." That is exactly the way it comes, first rain, then snow coming after dark.

wildknits said...

Similar in Duluth - just less elevation!