Thursday, July 7, 2016

Adolph Case Shares Weston Bucolica From Latest Edition of Water and Life!

There are two ancient themes that merge: the first was from Greece—Arcadia. It was a partially make-believe world of perfect nature, undisturbed, for man to emulate. Theocritus was the main poet.

It was picked up by Vergil, the Roman poet. He wrote the Eclogues—a series of poems that deal with ideal nature—bucolics--except that that kind of idealism was never really achieved, except for modern times. 

When I sit in my backyard, I am reminded that, whether we call it Arcadia or Bucolica, I am actually living in real time that which the ancients thought about and never really achieved.

Weston Bucolica

From Water and Life
By Adolph Caso

A summer’s downpour over,
I sit outside, on my deck,
My legs extended beyond the overhead,
My eyes mesmerized
By the transition of the fog—
From darkness to light,
So ordered or pre-ordained
I do not know.
It moves and churns without direction.

I see leafy branches refract onto
The glass table’s puddles of water;
They lose their outlines to tiny droplets
Visible only on splashing themselves down,
In numbers as infinite as cascades of falling stars
In an evening of clear summer light.

My awareness becomes abundant
When the same invisible drops
Register on the skin of my legs—
Their impact spreading and diving
Onto a network of falling stars;
I feel their presence tinkling into my bones.

The real Arcadia before my eyes
Would have been un-
Imaginable to Theocritus and Vergil:
A shimmering lawn
Sloping upward into the horizon,
Scattered blades of grass
Retaining numberless drops of rainwater
Falling onto the ground,
Breaking up and disappearing.
They fall
Like continuous cascades of stars
Into the night light
Of this earth.

Suddenly and without notice,
From among the tree branches,
A persistent chirp draws my attention;
It is a full-red cardinal followed by another,
Less colorful and with a different purpose:
Having replicated her off springs--
Since the time of Creation,
She scoots onto the lawn,
Her eyes and beak aiming down
To the ground
With extreme concentration
Into the plush lawn:
A little worm appears at the end of her beak.
Male/female, father/mother, 
Both male/female take off in a swoop,
And disappear into the foliage.

Two Robins appear.
As the cardinals before them,
They duplicate a behavior
As though both were from the same specie
With exact similar attributes.
Stranger still,
The cardinals, on returning,
Kris-cross the lawn;
They bypass each other
Without one chirp,
Without one glance to the others,
As if they were complete strangers.
Neither the females covets the males,
Nor the males, induce the females--
Their plumage splendorous,
In my eyes only,
In this,
True arcadia,
As seen by Theocritus and Vergil,
Now me!

Soon thereafter,
With the den abandoned by the six foxes,
Two white cotton tails
Cautiously join the Cardinals and Robins,
All eating as though each
Were in a world of its own
And I,
The only witness
To the presence
Of a real bucolica
In Weston.

Note: I didn't do as well as usual on the complementary
pictures...Please use your imagination...for instance, the rabbits
really are...white...

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