Wednesday, April 14, 2010

If we were sitting outside today

...we would squint at the sun. I would ask, why don't you read Billy Collins? You would have no excuse.

And really, I could read him more. I have no excuse.

Every time I read something lovely, it makes me feel more comfortable to go somewhere and sit by myself. I care less if I am alone in the store or if I have nothing to contribute to friends' conversations. I think that hints at contentedness.

Don't give up on this one at least until you hit the second stanza. And, after you get through the whole thing, revisit each image. Because even through flippancy, my pal Billy has respect for image.


You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine...
-Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.


  1. thank you for making my day a little better.

  2. I should read Billy Collins more too. thanks for sharing big sis!

  3. Very good. Makes one wonder about how you perceive yourself as apposed to how others may see you.
    I definitely think you are the wine and not the goblet