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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Journey into the Interior



Sometimes it's difficult to settle down and concentrate enough to write. It is like wading through mud to get to that clearing where being is possible. The longer you leave it the harder it is go back. I suppose it's like using a muscle. Sometimes I'm afraid I can't get back to that place, but then I always somehow find my way back.


In the long journey out of the self,
There are many detours, washed-out interrupted raw places
Where the shale slides dangerously
And the back wheels hang almost over the edge
At the sudden veering, the moment of turning.
Better to hug close, wary of rubble and falling stones.
The arroyo cracking the road, the wind-bitten buttes, the canyons,
Creeks swollen in midsummer from the flash-flood roaring into the narrow valley.
Reeds beaten flat by wind and rain,
Grey from the long winter, burnt at the base in late summer.
-- Or the path narrowing,
Winding upward toward the stream with its sharp stones,
The upland of alder and birchtrees,
Through the swamp alive with quicksand,
The way blocked at last by a fallen fir-tree,
The thickets darkening,
The ravines ugly.
 
Theodore Roethe

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