Picking a World

One world
Includes airplanes and power plants,
All the machinery that surrounds us,
The metallic odor that has entered words.

The other world waits
In the cold rain
That soaks the hours one by one
All through the night
When the woods come so close
you can hear them breathing like wet dogs.

~ Tom Hennen, “Picking a World” in Darkness Sticks to Everything: Collected and New Poems 


Poem: via See More. Photo by Aleksi Tikka titled Hazy Moonlight (Harinjärvi, Lake in Finland)

Running. With Half Pass.

feet

Iron couplers connect railcars. One to the next, to the next. Synchronicity? Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon?

Terri Gross interviews Leonard Cohen‘s Son, Adam, on a NPR: Fresh Air podcast titled “Leonard Cohen The Poet, Writer, And Father where he talks about his Father: “He was preoccupied with the brokenness of things, the asymmetry of things, as he says forget your perfect offering…or as in his song Anthem…Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

I turn the page in Haruki Murakami’s new novel Killing Commendatore and the title of Chapter 4 flashes and sticks: “From a Distance, Most Things Look Beautiful.”

I’m running to Stamford Cove Park. Off in the distance, a man grips three leashes, two small, white dogs of the same breed on his left (Rat Terriers?), and a larger Mix (Rescue?) on the right.

I approach.

I’m drawn to Mix. All four legs move sideways and forward, a Half Pass dressage. A defect. I slow to follow the pack from a few yards back, the Terriers pull on the leashes, the mix struggles to keep up.

The Mind calls up a passage by Tom Hennen that I came across earlier in the week: “I am struck by the otherness of things rather than their sameness. That each thing on earth has its own soul, its own life, that each tree, each clod is filled with the mud of its own star.” [Read more…]

If the sun were a tree

leaves, vase,light

If the sun were a tree
Its leaves would be this shining color
And they would drop
Over the toes of my boots
Ankle deep.
When I step
There would be the sound
Of light breaking.

— Tom Hennen


Credits: Poem via A Poet Reflects from Hennen’s closing lines to “Wild Aspen Leaves, October,” in Darkness Sticks to Evertything: Collected and New Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2013); Image: Your Eyes Blaze Out via Elinka (Maple Leaf In Autumn Night)


Related Tom Hennen posts:


Spring Follows Winter Once More

sun,sunrise, photography

Lying here in the tall grass
Where it’s so soft
Is this what it is to go home?
Into the Earth
Of worms and black smells
With a larch tree gathering sunlight
In the spring afternoon
And the gates of paradise open just enough
To let out
A flock of geese.

~ Tom Hennen


I felt my blood pressure rising after hitting the send button a few minutes ago on the “bad manners” post.  I needed something soothing…so I flipped open Tom Hennen’s new book and voila…magic.


Poem Source: Tom Hennen – Darkness Sticks to Everything (p.72).  Image Source: Thank you TogetherGreen

Related Posts:

By the Creek Bank

black and white, photography

There is some secret that water holds that we need to know.  I edge up close to the creek and peer into it for a revelation of some kind, an explanation of the world.  Some things I think I know: that the sun rises, that the darkness heals, that animals are intelligent, that rocks are aware, that the earth has a sense of humor.  The spring wind is blowing hard.  The aspens along the bank make sounds of wood rubbing together, dry boards of an old house in a storm.  Fair-weather clouds break loose on the bottom of the western horizon and drift one by one across the blue sky.  Below me in the creek there is a clear pool full of minnows. I get down on my belly and carefully put my hand in the water among the small fishes. The minnows jerk past my numb fingers, swift as black seconds ticking.  I cannot catch even one.

~ Tom Hennen


Tom Hennen was born in Morris, Minnesota and grew up in a farming family.  His poetry was informed by a lifelong and intimate relationship with the prairie. He lives in Minnesota.


The Life of a Day

trees, woods, forest, winter, photography, black and white

“Like people or dogs, each day is unique and has its own personality quirks which can easily be seen if you look closely. But there are so few days as compared to people, not to mention dogs, that it would be surprising if a day were not a hundred times more interesting than most people. But usually they just pass, mostly unnoticed, unless they are wildly nice, like autumn ones full of red maple trees and hazy sunlight, or if they are grimly awful ones in a winter blizzard that kills the lost traveler and bunches of cattle. For some reason we like to see days pass, even though most of us claim we don’t want to reach our last one for a long time. We examine each day before us with barely a glance and say, no, this isn’t one I’ve been looking for, and wait in a bored sort of way for the next, when, we are convinced, our lives will start for real. Meanwhile, this day is going by perfectly well-adjusted, as some days are, with the right amounts of sunlight and shade, and a light breeze scented with a perfume made from the mixture of fallen apples, corn stubble, dry oak leaves, and the faint odor of last night’s meandering skunk.”

~ Tom Hennen


Tom Hennen, author of six books of poetry, was born and raised in rural Minnesota. After abandoning college, he married and began work as a letterpress and offset printer. He helped found the Minnesota Writer’s Publishing House, then worked for the Department of Natural Resources wildlife section, and later at the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge in South Dakota. Now retired, he lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Image Source: Andreas Wonisch

%d bloggers like this: