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Saturday, February 18, 2012

What’s in My Journal

(Toleware document box, Pennsylvania, nineteenth-century)

“Time past and time future / What might have been and what has been . . .” ~ T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), American-born English poet, playwright, and editor, from Burnt Norton


Odd things, like a button drawer. Mean
Things, fishhooks, barbs in your hand.
But marbles too. A genius for being agreeable.
Junkyard crucifixes, voluptuous
discards. Space of knickknacks, and for
Alaska. Evidence to hang me, or to beatify.
Clues that lead nowhere, that never connected
anyway. Deliberate obfuscation, the kind
that takes genius. Chasms in our character.
Loud omissions. Mornings that yawn above
a new grave. Pages you know exist
but you can’t find them. Someone’s terribly
inevitable life story, maybe mine.

~ William Stafford (1914-1992), American poet

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