Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Lethality of Loneliness

The Lethality of Loneliness

Mindful by Mary Oliver

Mindful by Mary Oliver

Every day
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

"Every night is secretly christmas night."

I ripped this off someone else on G+ . .. but I could not resist.

football: ritualized war game

I think I understand the phenomenon of being a sport fan, even a fan of commercial, for-profit teams that, unbeknownst to most members of the public, tend to extract quite a lot of public wealth from the commons under the guise of being an economic boost for a city. That's bullshit. Team owners threaten to take their teams out of town to extract money from cities. And cities balk because they are run by craven kiss ups who will serve anyone willing to make campaign donations and keep them

No more fake "I love yous" please. Love plays through

Recently, two people I have loved very much dumped me. I had behaved unkindly towards each of them, yes, indeed. Each of them have behaved unkindly towards me in the years we've each known the other. But these two fucking hypocrites never acknowledge their unkindness and they are horrified by mine.  Yes, I am an imperfect human.

Love abides. Love plays through. Love is like the old days before many football teams had domed stadiums and football games kept going even in frigging blizzards.

Love plays through.

tamales -- perfect Xmas food

I'm going to head to SF tomorrow to find some chicken tamales. It isn't Christmas for most Mexicans and some other latino cultures without some kind of masa food like tamales, pupusas, huaraches, etc. For me, it's tamales. Weirdly, my Irish dad loved tamales. When I was growing up in Chicago, in the fifties and sixties, there weren't a lot of Latinos. There are now!  My childhood neighborhood has all the signs on stores in Spanish.  My dad would have scoped out every tamale joint.

My challenge, tomorrow, is to find some because so many will be out buying tamales tomorrow. And which places sell the best ones?

When I lived in Mountain View, I bought tamales from a woman who sold them outside the Walmart. There was a bus transfer statin at the front of that Walmart. I didn't actually shop there. On Xmas Eve, or the day before, I'd go looking for the tamale lady. That gal make awesome tamales but she'd sell out fast.

All the good ones sell out fast. So do I arise early and just go to the Mission and wander?

Or do I skip tamales? They are gluten free, can easily be had dairy-free, so they fit my nutritional goals. And I want some.

The Mexi joint around the corner took orders until Dec 20th and I missed the ordering. I swung by today -- they aren't open tomorrow - and asked if they were selling to any who had not pre-ordered. Nope.

But in SF's Mission, there will be tamales available if I know where to look. Where to look?

Monday, December 23, 2013

"Remember that I am an ass."

"Remember that I am an ass."
The character, Dogberry,  said the above , in "Much Ado About Nothing"
Aint that the truth. I call upon anyone who ever loved me to remember that I am an ass. An imperfect human. A perpetually wounded Grail King.

Forgive me for being an ass and love me still.

Broken Hearts by Jeremy Reed

Broken Hearts
 There should be heart-shaped rooms in which we sit
 as a collective to repair
 the damage done by love, and half the night
 we'd exchange stories, share a common pain
 that's always different, but never less
 in how the ruin's total, like a house
 slipped off a cliff edge to the sea
 or like a turtle that has lost its shell
 but keeps on going, making tracks on sand
 to find a refuge up beyond the surf.
 We're all suddenly disinherited
 from little ways, familiar dialogue,
 security of someone there to share
 bad news, rejection, a red letter day,
 a downmood's tumble of blue dice,
 or someone there to celebrate a quiet
 in which the meaning is in being two
 without a need to speak. But out of love
 we seem to be falling down stairs
 that never terminate. He left or she
 took off with someone else, it's like the blow
 will never stop arriving in the heart
 as an impacted fist. We'd call the place
 Heartbreak Hotel, and hope to patch the scars
 of unrequited love and leave
 a little less in tatters, disrepair.
 I'll find the place one day, and book a room
 and talk amongst the losers of a face
 I can't forget, and of a special hurt
 bleeding like footprints scattered over snow.
-- Jeremy Reed

Seamus Heaney . . . poet laureate of Ireland


I'm not Irish. Born in South Dakota.  I was raised to believe I am Irish, in a world where everyone's grandparents and great grandparents had been born in Ireland.

Seamus Heaney's poetry resonates powerfully in me. The NYTimes has a sweet little documentary posted about Seamus.

What does Santa Claus say?

When my daughter was 18 months old, experiencing her first 'real'  Xmas, she was talking and even in full sentences but brief sentences. I would encourage her, or at least I imagined I was encouraging her to talk, by asking questions repetitively that she knew the answer to. AT age 18 months at Xmas, I kept asking "Santa Claus says 'ho ho ho', honey." then a long pause and then I'd ask "What does Santa Claus say?" And every time, and I think I asked a few hundred times, she would say "Ho ho". Then I would say, "Santa Claus says 'ho ho ho', ho ho ho, honey, not ho ho, but ho ho ho."  I would have sworn she was being funny, playing a trick on me. She was always very smart. She knew the difference, I was sure, between ho ho and ho ho ho but she never once said the word three times. And believe me, I tried and tried.

So ho ho HO, Merry Christmas.'

The year before, at age six months, she mostly slept through Xmas although the Christmas tree lights seemed to please her. She was oblivious to Santa Claus but aware that some fuss was in the air at six months.

At eighteen months, she knew who Santa Claus was and, I am positive, she knew he said "Ho, ho, HO!". To tell the truth, I loved it that she would not say that third 'ho', loved her stubbornness.

Now her stubbornness is not quite so charming.

But ho ho ho, anyway. Merry Christmas.

She could sing most of the words to Jingle Bells. I just didn't believe she did not get the distinction between 'ho ho' and 'ho ho ho' but gol-dang, she never once said 'ho ho ho'. And she laughed a lot after she said 'ho ho'. 

I would give anything to hear her say 'ho ho' in the soft, whispery tones of my long ago baby.

Ho ho.

Help someone's soul heal.

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd." - Rumi

Hat tip to the friend who shared this Rumi quote on her FB wall.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

snow in San Francisco

©A week or two ago, I rented a citycarshare car that just happened to be across the street from San Francisco City Hall.  The ground all around SF City Hall just happened to be covered in snow. Some kind of celebrating ritual civic cvent was going on. Lots of people were dressed as old fashioned carolers and elves. Or something. I didn't look closely.

Lots of adults were there to show kids snow.  I find that depressing. A couple hours drive east into the Sierras and those kids could see real snow.

It didn't look or seem like real snow because as soon as it was blown, it began to melt into icy lumps. It wasn't cold enough to not melt, either.

Weirder than the snow was all the people in costumes, which didn't had a discernible theme.

So that was it? Snow on the ground in front of city hall?

When I returned my car, someone had parked in my private parking spot. Citycarshare cars live at specific spots. The signs saying it was not a parking spot for any other car were quite large.

I was all bah humbug, called the emergency line who told me where I could leave the car. I asked him to call SF traffic enforcement and get the car towed and given a big fat fine. Scrooge herself, eh?

I once saw snow in downtown San Jose, too, when I lived in Silicon Valley. The snow there was pathetic, inferior to the SF city hall mounds I saw recently.  It's much warmer in San Jose. Still, mountains with real snow are an hour or two away. If parents want their kids to see snow, why don't they go see snow in nature?

My Christmas spirit is flagging.  I wanted to offer to extend my rental and drive some of those kids to see real snow.

Friday, December 20, 2013

had I not been awake by Seamus Heaney

Had I not been awake

©I tend to repost beloved poems. Poems are not meant to be loved only once, just like lovers do not make love only once.

I love this one and it feels at least tangentially related to winter solstice, holy nights and even Santa Claus. If I am not awake, I miss so much.

I never considered becoming a poet and now I think that's who I am supposed to be. George Eliot has a famous quote that says 'it is never too late to be who you were supposed to be". Could it possibly be true that it is ot too late for me?

Happy Yalda Night: a Persian solstice celebration

©My friend, Farsi, is from Iran. I got this from something she posted:

Happy Yalda night! (December 21st)  Shab-e Yalda "Birth of Mithra", or Shab-e Chelleh (Persian:Shabe Chelleh: "Night of Forty") is the Persian winter solstice celebration which has been popular since ancient times. Yalda is celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere's longest night of the year, that is, on the eve of the Winter Solstice. Depending on the shift of the calendar, Yalda is celebrated on or around December 20 or 21 each year. Yalda has a history as long as the religion of Mithraism. The Mithraists believed that this night is the night of the birth of Mithra, Persian angel of light and truth. At the morning of the longest night of the year the Mithra was born. Following the fall of the Sassanid Empire and the subsequent rise of Islam in Persia/Iran, the religious significance of the event was lost, and like other Zoroastrian festivals, Yalda became a social occasion when family and close friends would get together. Nonetheless, the obligatory serving of fresh fruit during mid-winter is reminiscent of the ancient customs of invoking the divinities to request protection of the winter crop.

So eat some fresh fruit tomorrow.  Well, today!! and be grateful for Mithra, the Persian angel of light and truth. Mithra, I invite you into my life. I need all the light and truth possible.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas from Joni Mitchell

When I was young, Joni Mitchel spoke to me more than most singers. I was also way into Bonnie Raitt. Their styles are significantly different but both of them hit the spot for me. I wore out records by them.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

moon poem by Robert Frost

By Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)

Ive tried the new moon tilted in the air
Above a hazy tree-and-farmhouse cluster
As you might try a jewel in your hair.
Ive tried it fine with little breadth of luster,
Alone, or in one ornament combining
With one first water-star almost as shining.

I put it shining anywhere I please.
By walking slowly on some evening later
Ive pulled it from a crate of crooked trees,
And brought it over glossy water, greater,
And dropped it in, and seen the image wallow,
The color run, all sorts of wonder follow.

a moon poem by poet Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy – The Bees
The Bees is a whole book of poems that I have not yet read. /this is just one poem. Give someone you love the book sometime, even yourself.

Darlings, I write to you from the moon
where I hide behind famous light.
How could you ever think it was a man up here?
A cow jumped over. The dish ran away with the spoon.
What reached me were your joys, griefs,
here’s-the-craic, losses, longings, your lives
brief, mine long, a talented loneliness. I must have
a thousand names for the earth, my blue vocation.
Round I go, the moon a diet of light, sliver of pear,
wedge of lemon, slice of melon, half an orange,
silver onion; your human sound falling through space,
childbirth’s song, the lover’s song, the song of death.

a moon poem at the full moon

Full Moon and Little Frieda

A cool small evening shrunk to a dog bark and the clank of a bucket
And you listening.
A spiders web, tense for the dews touch.
A pail lifted, still and brimming mirror
To tempt a first star to a tremor.
Cows are going home in the lane there, looping the hedges with their warm wreaths of breath
A dark river of blood, many boulders,
Balancing unspilled milk.
Moon! you cry suddenly, Moon! Moon!
The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing amazed at a work
That points at him amazed.
–Ted Hughes, from Wodwo (1967)

Mr. Hughes was married to Silvia Plath.

The Collected Works of Anne Sexton


Sometimes I feel uncomfortable sharing Sexton's poems. She wrote a lot about sex, altho always sexy love, not just sex. Erotic, that might be the word. She was a then-rare female poet that wrote erotically.

Last winter, I had one of the best social outings of my whole life. My friend Marc came over to see me in Berkeley. I made soup that happened to turn out especially well. You know how it is with soup when you don't follow recipes. With his fist taste, his eyes widened, his beautiful blue eyes, he smiled and said 'the broth is particularly tasty'.   It was.  I have made many batches of the same soup since but never achieved the height of that broth.  Sigh.

Then we walked over to Moe's. When he secretly moved to San Francisco, hiding his move from me while regularly assuring me that he loved me unreservedly, he moved in secret. I was very hurt that he moved in secret. And he wouldn't tell me where he lived for eight months. That hurt me too.  I loved him too much, though, to refuse to see him even though he had hurt me. He had hurt me other times in the past, I had let him know I was hurt and that just pushed him away, typically for very long stretches.  He doesn't seem to see that disenaging is a form of retaliation, an unkindness.  I am supposed to be hurt, say nothing, choke down any treatment he deigns to bestow and if I assert myself and squeak out "But your behavior hurts me" he withdraws more.

So it was a kind of miracle that he came to my home for soup.  In the past, he had flatly refused to come to my home, telling me he was afraid of me, afraid to be alone with me. He once said if I wanted to be alone with him, I should rent the party room in my building. How would he be safer alone in the party room than alone in my living room? And  what exactly did he fear I might do?  I had already known him six years at this point and had not, and still have not, made any sexual passes at him. What did he fear?

Anyway. When he made his secret move to SF, he sold 25 boxes of books to Moe's. They pay more if ou take store credit so he took a huge store credit. I suggested after my soup that we walk over to Moe's and maybe I'd find a book or two to buy, give him the money and he could convert some of that store credit into cash.  I didn't erally want to buy any books. But I did buy two books. The Collected Works of Robert Frost and The Collected Works of Anne Sexton.  He paid with his store credit. He also bought a bunch of books, including ones about mushrooms. Sigh again. I had asked him to go mushrooming with me. He disclosed that day at Moe's that it had been a great year for mushrooms and he described going up north to forage. I asked him "Did you go alone?"  "No", he said, "I took a friend."  A knife in my heart, that friend. Why not go mushrooming with me? What's wrong with me?  I bet her went with Her Holiness. the saintly psychotic who has neve spoken a harsh word to him, the perfect pragon he sometimes has sex with. But me? he is afraid to give me a hug. years went by without a hug. As he left after a miserable sixtieth birthday lunch this past August, I impulsively asked for a hug. I instantly regreted it. His hug was awful. He has hugged me happily, eagerly, in years past. He has aked for hugs in years past.  But this August, on that fateful last day that I will ever see him because he treated my sixtieth birthday like an irritating scheduling detail and not a milestone birthday, he put one hand on each of my arms for a second. Less than a second if that is possible. He did not actually give me a hug. It sure seemed like he was afraid to just give me a hug.

The Big Heart by Anne Sexton

© I copyright my words, not Ms. Sexton's poem, of course.

The Big Heart by Anne Sexton. . . When I was in law school, I had a phase when I was obsessed with Yeats and Sexton. I once found Sexton's Collected Poems, used, for seven dollars in a book store near the U. of MN and I remember that I caressed the book standing on the ladder in that bookstore, loving it even before I hopped down and paid for it. I wonder what happened to all my poetry? I was obsessed with Yeats because the boy I was then in love with was obsessed with Yeats. I never won the boy but I had a good time with Yeats. I made my mother give me Yeats Collected Works for Christmas. Yeats?!   Mom had never heard of Yeats and thought my request was silly. I had to argue for it. How I wanted that book! And how I love Yeats. 

Seven dollars was a lot for a used book in the seventies but it was Sexton, after all.

Big heart,
wide as a watermelon,
but wise as birth,
there is so much abundance
In the people I have:
Max, Lois, Joe, Louise,
Joan, Marie, Dawn,
Arlene, Father Dunne,
And all in their short lives
give to me repeatedly,
in the way the sea
places its many fingers on the shore,
again and again
and they know me,
they help me unravel,
they listen with ears made of conch shells,
they speak back with the wine of the best region.
They are my staff.
They comfort me.
They hear how
the artery of my soul has been severed
and soul is spurting out upon them,
bleeding on them,
messing up their clothes,
dirtying their shoes.
And God is filling me,
though there are times of doubt
as hollow as the Grand Canyon,
still God is filling me.
He is giving me the thoughts of dogs,
the spider in its intricate web,
the sun
in all its amazement,
and a slain ram
that is the glory,
the mystery of great cost,
and my heart,
which is very big,
I promise it is very large,
a monster of sorts,
takes it all in--
all in comes the fury of love.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Various Portents by Alice Oswald

this is my official favorite Xmas poem.  Ms. Oswald is a British poet who does a lot of gardening,sees nature more clearly than most. If you haven't heard of her, that goes with being a poet.

Various Portents

By Alice Oswald
Various stars. Various kings.
Various sunsets, signs, cursory insights.
Many minute attentions, many knowledgeable watchers,
Much cold, much overbearing darkness.

Various long midwinter Glooms.
Various Solitary and Terrible Stars.
Many Frosty Nights, many previously Unseen Sky-flowers.
Many people setting out (some of them kings) all clutching at stars.

More than one North Star, more than one South Star.
Several billion elliptical galaxies, bubble nebulae, binary systems,
Various dust lanes, various routes through varying thicknesses of Dark,
Many tunnels into deep space, minds going back and forth.

Many visions, many digitally enhanced heavens,
All kinds of glistenings being gathered into telescopes:
Fireworks, gasworks, white-streaked works of Dusk,
Works of wonder and/or water, snowflakes, stars of frost . . .

Various dazed astronomers dilating their eyes,
Various astronauts setting out into laughterless earthlessness,
Various 5,000-year-old moon maps,
Various blindmen feeling across the heavens in braille.

Various gods making beautiful works in bronze,
Brooches, crowns, triangles, cups and chains,
And all sorts of drystone stars put together without mortar.
Many Wisemen remarking the irregular weather.

Many exile energies, many low-voiced followers,
Watches of wisp of various glowing spindles,
Soothsayers, hunters in the High Country of the Zodiac,
Seafarers tossing, tied to a star . . .

Various people coming home (some of them kings). Various headlights.
Two or three children standing or sitting on the low wall.
Various winds, the Sea Wind, the sound-laden Winds of Evening
Blowing the stars towards them, bringing snow.

Lyrics to hymm: 'In The Bleak Midwinter"

The lyrics, by the poet Christina Rosetti  -- way Christian but still a great song

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

give the Goddess room to work

Let go.

Monday, December 16, 2013

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss

I like this quote and it fit above. XO to me. Merry Christmas to all. For the first time since my daughter left me 12 years ago, I actually feel like Christmas. I might even listen to my friend Lana's favorite Christmas album, which is on youtube and she posted the link.

Merry Christmas. I'm smiling.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Festivus, a festival for the rest of us

According to the Seinfeld show, Festivus should be held on Dec 23rd. It is a festival to air grievances.

I'd love to participate in a Festivus gathering, love to vent any grievance, large or small. Awesome.

The most revolutionary thing one can do -- Rosa Luxemburg

“The most revolutionary thing one can do is always to proclaim loudly what is happening.”

- Rosa Luxemburg

Saturday, December 14, 2013

poem by Wendell Barry

willing to die
you give up your will
be still
moved by what moves all else
you move

I love this poem. I did a two-year training at Sunbridge College, back in the dark ages of the early nineties. We began each day when we were in session (we were in session intermittently throughout the year) with eurythymy. One three-week summer session, we worked with this poem, among other things, every day. So the poem became embedded in my whole being.

Everytime I think of the final clause, you move, my whole being 'moves' with the eurythymy gesture for move. Or, more precisely, the eurythymic movements for the sounds of 'm' 'o' 'v' and 'e'. We would m-oo--ve in a powerful forward thrust. We moved.

I sure wish I would move off the energy I am in these days.

Surrender. I surrender.  Find my will, eh? The will to move.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Never chase love

Never chase love, affection or attention. If it isn't given freely by the other person, it isn't worth having.

I need to get this hardwired into my being.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

eat only real food

Look at the ingredients of food you buy:  if there are unidentifiable chemical-sounding ingredients, don't buy it and sure as heck don't eat it. No one knows what putting chemicals into our bodies throughout our lifetimes does to our bodies but we keep doing it for the god of corporate profits.  Take back your freedom to eat real food.

It does take more work.  I actually cook every day again.

I get into ruts, but wholesome, whole food ruts. Right now, mushrooms and greens are my favorite go-to, quickie dinner. I still can hardly believe I consider a plate of mushrooms and greens braised in garlic-infused olive oil to be a truly great meal. It is a truly great meal with high satiety factor, densely nutritious and it takes less than ten minutes. The clean up is easy:  one pan, which I clean as soon as I plate my meal.

Today I am moving into new territory: I am going to make polenta with mushrooms.

Yeah, I'm on a mushroom kick.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Sisyphus on glucose & insulin

©Occasionally, I wake up feeling like I drank too much the night before, wicked sick hungover like I used to feel in college when I would drink too much. I guess I also 'drank too much' at a few parties in law school but I have not been drunk since then. In recent years, I have not drunk at all.

Around 2002, I went to my first ten-day silent retreat.  They ask you to agree to various rules for the ten days, including no alcohol. No alcohol in a silent retreat center where you have no privacy is easy. It got me thinking though:  I realized that I usually felt a little hungover if I had just one glass of wine. One glass of beer seems okay. And biodynamic wine doesn't make me sick. Any other form of alcohol, in tiny amounts, and I feel sick hung over the next day. I feel lousy. One of the many things I thought about when I was not meditating purely, i.e. I was thinking thoughts instead, was "Hey, I could stop feeling sick hungover if I just dropped drinking."

So I did. I had never gone 'out for drinks'. Never gone to bars. Rarely served alcohol in my home. But when offered alcohol socially, I drank.  By the time I gave it up, I was probably only drinking occasional glasses of wine at very occasional parties. I have it in my mind that I drank a glass of wine at a holiday party but I don't really get invited to anyone's holidays so that's a fantasy.

Happily, I immeidately realized "Hey, I don't have to wake up feeling lousy just cause I had a glass of cheap wine." There has to be something in the chemicals of many boozes that my body doesn't like, my sensitive, delicate, princess-and-the-pea self.

Do you know the story of the princess and the pea? A queen wants to be sure her son the prince marries only a genuine princess so she has beautiful young maidens spend the night in their castle sleeping on top of a dozen feather beds with one pea on the bottom. The true princess, the queen asserts and the prince evidently concurs, will have a sleepless night because she will be so delicate that she can't sleep because of the lump the size of a  pea in her mattress. It has a happy ending. They find such a delicate flower, a beautiful young woman unable to sleep well because of the lump in her bed.

Heck, if I had been subjected to that pea test, I would have just slept around the pea lump. How big could it be? How small was the bed? A set up if ever I heard one. Not that fairy tales have to be all logical but the princess and the pea lacks logic.  I'da never been chosen to be fine enough for a prince. Maybe true royalty is stoic!

I also lack logic so I am not really criticizing. I'm just saying.

I awoke just now feeling wicked sick hungover. I feel like throwing up might help me feel better. I was sure this meant I had experienced low blood sugar overnight. And I might have, a few hours ago. I think very low blood sugar feels like a sick hangover. By the time I tested my sugar at 6:30 a.m., it was 140, which is only very slightly elevated and definitely not low.

I bet anything, however, I went very low around 2 a.m. I felt to sick upon awakening. Now I know what this feeling is: dangerously low glucose. Gotta be more careful. It is a constant thing, monitoring glucose and insulin.  I keep thinking I have adapted but then I see myself ignoring it some days, then I get sick and being careful starts anew.

Sisyphus on glucose and insulin.

Alabama Shakes: why can't boy & girl be friends?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

We--tell a Hurt--to cool it, by Emily Dickinson

The Black Berry—wears a Thorn in his side—
But no Man heard Him cry—
He offers His Berry, just the same
To Partridge—and to Boy—

He sometimes holds upon the Fence—
Or struggles to a Tree—
Or clasps a Rock, with both His Hands—
But not for Sympathy—

We—tell a Hurt—to cool it—
This Mourner—to the Sky
A little further reaches—instead—
Brave Black Berry— 

©I am not a poetry scholar, altho lately I have been thinking I might be a poet. I am making some serious poetry attempts. Not necessarily serious poems, either by tone or talent, just serious in my effort.

And I am not a literary critic or analyst.

But I love this poem and I esp. love my interpretation of it. I believe Dickinson uses the blackberry as a metaphor for how fragile we humans are. The blackberry surrounds itself with thorns, is prickly in order to be able to grow. Without prickly brambles, birds and other animals would make off with all the blackberrires. It's perfectly okay for animals to eat blackberries. Food is not on earth just for humans.

I think the central line, and theme, of this poem is "We-tell a Hurt-to cool it". She beautifully descrbes how blackberries make their way but in doing so, she also describes how tender humans, surrounded by prickles of protection, make their way. And sometimes, when hurt, we have to tell our hurts to cool them.

Brave Black Berry. Brave humans for taking chances to love, to seek to be loved, brambles gnarl our path. Pricks can hurt us. And, being human, we can voice our hurt and lessen it. We tell a hurt to cool it.