Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Moment With Jim Harrison


His wife has asthma
so he only smokes outdoors
or late at night with head
and shoulders well into
the fireplace, the mesquite and oak
heat bright against his face.
Does it replace the heat
that has wandered from love
back into the natural world?
But then the shadow passion casts
is much longer than passion,
stretching with effort from year to year.
Outside tonight hard wind and sleet
from three bald mountains,
and on the hearth before his face
the ashes we'll all become,
soft as the back of a woman's knee.

-Jim Harrison, from The Shape of the Journey: New and Collected Poems, (Copper Canyon Press, 2000)


Blogger Dominic Rivron said...

What a good poem. I think poetry and photography are very, very different. But in this they are alike: a good poet and a good photographer will see a good poem/photograph where us lesser mortals see, in this case, a man having a cig. (Of course, Harrison's poem may have come about in a completely different way, but the point is still worth making).

12:20 PM  
Blogger The Weaver of Grass said...

I did not know this poet at all but this is a poem after my own heart. I love "soft as the bakc of a woman's knee" - the last image I would think of but so effective.

12:31 PM  

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