Granite and Cypress

A poem by Robinson Jeffers:

White-maned, wide-throated, the heavy-shouldered children of
the wind leap at the sea-cliff.
The invisible falcon
Brooded on water and bred them in wide waste places, in a bridechamber
wide to the stars’ eyes
In the center of the ocean,
Where no prows pass nor island is lifted … the sea beyond
Lobos is whitened with the falcon’s
Passage, he is here now,
The sky is one cloud, his wing-feathers hiss in the white grass,
my sapling cypresses writhing
In the fury of his passage
Dare not dream of their centuries of future endurance of tempest.
(I have granite and cypress,
Both long-lasting,
Planted in the earth; but the granite sea-boulders are prey to no
hawk’s wing, they have taken worse pounding,
Like me they remember
Old wars and are quiet; for we think that the future is one piece
with the past, we wonder why tree-tops
And people are so shaken.)

Here’s a good quick bio of Jeffers. He was one in a long line of writers who were struck by the terrain of the West Coast, specifically the Big Sur region. I myself have never been to Big Sur, but I remember the Muir Woods north of San Francisco quite fondly, and so I can understand the kind of impression that said part of the country can leave on somebody.

The photo below depicts not a Californian scene, but rather tree roots curling into the Colorado River near Red Bud Isle here in Austin. I went there a few times early in the morning with a friend who shoots a lot of photos there and at many other points along the river. He taught me that many good things can happen (and that many herons are just waking up) before 5:00 AM. Check out this bird and other pictures on his flickr page.


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