Saint Francis and the Sow

this little piggy

The bud

stands for all things,

even for those things that don’t flower,

for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;

though sometimes it is necessary

to reteach a thing its loveliness,

to put a hand on its brow

of the flower

and retell it in words and in touch

it is lovely

until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;

as Saint Francis

put his hand on the creased forehead

of the sow, and told her in words and in touch

blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow

began remembering all down her thick length,

from the earthen snout all the way

through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,

from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine

down through the great broken heart

to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering

from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths

sucking and blowing beneath them:

the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

— Galway Kinnell

at sixty miles per hour

At sixty miles per hour

“…the earth was unquestionably flat, the sky unquestionably domed, and it seemed to me when I was a child in school, learning about Columbus, that in spite of what my teacher said, ancient cultures might have been onto something. No globe or map fully convinced me that Zebulon County was not the center of the universe. Certainly, Zebulon County, where the earth was flat, was one spot where a sphere (a seed, a rubber ball, a ballbearing) must come to perfect rest and once at rest must send a taproot downward into the ten-foot-thick topsoil.”

— A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley Copyright © 1992 by Jane Smiley.



When the rowdy yearlings have given up their play in favour of shade,
leaving the paddock quiet.  When it’s been a hot, dry summer and the
mosquitoes are few.  When the bergamot grows wild all along the railing, and
butterflies swarm, and the air is filled with the scent of citrus and mint
and sun-warmed saddles.  When the only sounds are the staccato laugh of the
woodpecker and the creak slap of a screen door.  You’ll know why you didn’t
wait in the car for the trail riders to return.