Last night I lit a fire and sitting by it, opened two new books I recommend.

One is Together in a Sudden Strangeness: American’s Poets Respond to the Pandemic, edited by Alice Quinn.  It’s filled with juicy, comforting and provocative offerings.

In the fourth stanza of George Bilgere’s poem “Facetime”, I learn this.

While in the closed down Tokyo Aquarium

these tiny eels – garden eels, they’re called –

are forgetting what we look like.

The aquarium keepers are worried

that the eels are getting lonely,

so they’ve hung iPads on the tanks.

They ask on their website, “Could you please

show your face to the eels from your home?”

And of course everyone is phoning the eels

which makes sense and is reassuring.

Part of me didn’t want to check if this was true, but then, I did and, yes, it’s true.

Then, such a treasure,  I open Barack Obama’s book, A Promised Land, and settle in with his humor, openness, and intellect.  The book begins with two epigraphs.

The first is from an African American spiritual.

O, fly and never tire,

Fly and never tire,

Fly and never tire,

There’s a great camp meeting in the Promised Land.

The second is from the Robert Frost poem “Kitty Hawk”.

Don’t discount our powers;

We have made a pass

At the infinite.  

Golden Slippers by the bay yesterday
A smooth way to ride in Richardson Bay

And then I travel back a few years in time and place. Steve sends me a photo from a tram soaring about the Rhine in Rudesheim.

From the days of travel

And the rain pours down on a Sunday of King tides and no need to be outside.

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