Archive for the ‘My Life’s Rich Pageant’ Category

Time this time. I was looking through Instagram photos of soccer teammates, the joy and camaraderie they find in each other, then thinking how ephemeral sports teammate-dom often is, in a world of trades, injuries, and retirements. A thing of a season or a few seasons. Many things appear this brief to me now, having nailed down a few decades of life, but when you’re young and doing something among well-liked peers, the impacts and memories are deep and long-lasting; time seems to slow to allow you to really take hold of a moment, or at least it takes hold of you in retrospect. Schopenhauer pointed this out.

These thoughts, and some listening to Arcade Fire (whose best topic will always be nostalgia), particularly “We Used To Wait” (a song I will always identify with in our cellphone-changed world), got me wondering, how can we slow down time? In younger days, the novelty of what life set before me and the lack of self-conscience and relative lack of busyness and worry all added up to a slowed-down time. But could I, as an adult, get time to slow down?

I think of my multifarious life: the places I’ve lived, people I’ve known, pastimes I’ve pursued for pay or other (mostly other), the multitude of subjects I’ve read about and explored. I think of my time on a soccer team or at my junior high school or with a certain group of friends or minoring in Classical Studies in college or studying dragonflies and damselflies. With all of these, and the countless other things I have spent time on, it feels like I have just scratched the surface of what they could be.

Time and change go hand in hand, but I wonder what if I had stayed with my group of 7th grade schoolmates through my whole life, would I still feel I really had plumbed the depths of the relationships? There were so many people I barely knew, not to mention my friends and all the things we left unexplored. Or if I’d stuck it out in my DC job at age 30, where some people I used to work with remain colleagues. Would moving through time with this same set have made time seem richer and slower?

Put another way, imagine living in a year, say 1992, for a whole lifetime, meeting the same people, maybe traveling a little, but essentially exploring everything that was 1992 for a lifetime, the people, the places, the topics, the issues, etc. Not exactly a “Groundhog Day” recurring over, but time stood still allowing for all the world’s texture to be experienced.

But, of course, time doesn’t stand still, ever.

This is not the way of humans, the world, but if you look at a lifelong poet or a professor specialized in a narrow topic, you get a hint of the possibility of just how long time can seem. Imagine poring over the literature on a couple of specialized topics for the entirety of life, tweaking courses you are teaching, creating studies, honing pieces of writing that you are proud of, that benefit from a life’s focused gathering of expertise. Getting to know your colleagues in these endeavors, how their views differ or harmonize with yours, how change and evolution or stubborn resolution not to change points of view manifest themselves.

Maybe these minor adjustments and permutations really do slow down time in our minds, more than changing places and ideas and people incessantly as the months roll by. I’ll have to think more about this, and apply it to my life if it sounds like a better way.

Just a ragged peer into an inexhaustible realm.


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Just over a year ago, he was sick and just lying around; finding food he’d want to eat was not easy. He kept going, though, and we even thought he might recover and keep living in his senior state for a good while longer. It didn’t happen, though, and I came home a year and a day ago for his final moments.

This is one of the songs I was listening to yesterday, one that I was listening to a year ago. It’s all out of context from their original intention, but the lyrics here still make me think of him lying there, and thinking he might turn around. I hadn’t said goodbye, but the pain and doubt and wondering if this was the end or if he’d recover made me feel these words:

Don’t even say you’re turning around again
Don’t try to walk back into my life
I fall for it every time, I fall for it every time

I lose my will
I turn toward you still
It’s a bad dream where I
Can’t raise my hand to wave goodbye

Don’t even say you’re turning around again
Don’t try to walk back into my life
I fall for it every time, I fall for it every time

Springtime Carnivore, “Bad Dream Baby”

Yes, it makes little sense, but what really does?


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Applying my movie list idea to TV shows before the movie list is even released! One show for each year of my life. Unlike movies, there have only been a few years of my life sans much television. Those busy times were great, and so were the dinners mixed with TV and bits of family conversation from the 70s to present. Here, a nod to different program genres so as not to overwhelm or monotonize the brain. Roughly, the first twenty-five were viewed in my younger years, the second group viewed in my older, more adult years.

I’ll add a new one every year and maybe tinker by adding links and other stuff as the weeks pass.

Newhart: My favorite show as a kid, especially the first few seasons before the characters descended into parody as happens to all shows when ideas don’t fly as thick as before. Besides Bob Newhart, one of many highlights was two seasons of Steven Kampmann as Kirk Devane.

Romper Room: An early memory with Do-Bee and a magic mirror and earnest regard by motherly figures of an era that was ending.

Captain Kangaroo: Another show from another era with great puppets and people.

Ray Rayner and His Friends / The Bozo Show: Chicago magic. I’ll never forget Ray and his writing (in chalk) weather reports on the wooden frame of the chalkboard and the many joys of Bozo and his friends and games.

Gigglesnort Hotel: More Chicago magic with a most memorable dragon. One of a handful of shows enjoyed on Sunday mornings when it is assumed many were in church, and the likes of The Magic Door and The New Zoo Revue took over.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Celebrated for the man himself, his home, and his Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Endlessly wonderful.

Sesame Street: One of the great highlights of childhood. Countless great characters and memories that can never be driven from the brain even if I wanted to. And, if Elmo’s fraught relationship with Rocco is any indication, still going strong at least now and then.

Wild Kingdom: Specific memories are dim, but fondness for the adventures of Marlon Perkins, Mutual of Omaha, and put-upon man in the field “Jim” will never die. Landmark, along with Jacques Cousteau’s specials.

All in the Family: Limited and even slight in some ways now, but it and what it spawned was greatness and very funny.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Wears ever so well upon re-reviewing. This along with the above were the two staples of the ’70s and I’m happy I got to see many of their episodes in original broadcast!

Alice: Among a ton of other sitcoms of the era, this one stands out for surprisingly snappy jokes.

The Brady Bunch: For me all re-runs, but each episode seemingly stamped line-for-line in my brain. Thankfully one can live with this as it was a good show for all its silliness.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Speaking of silliness. Worshiped by me and many of my peers. Gold standard TV.

Saturday Night Live: Despite a lot, lot of awfulness, it’s accumulated an amazing amount of still-standing hilarity, not to mention launching many careers good for a follow-up or two.

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle & Rocky Show: Big brother to another great show, George of the Jungle/Super Chicken/etc. This and all its featured cartoons were excellent.

Gumby: Adorable weirdness from another era and dimension all its own. Catchy theme too.

Peanuts specials: The ’60s and ’70s was full of them. Christmas rules, with Halloween a close second (“I got a rock”), but many golden moments throughout them. And don’t forget their first couple of films.

Rankin-Bass specials: Just as emblazoned on the mind as anything else listed above. Rudolph is the best, but then there’s misters Snow and Heat Miser, Nestor the Donkey, The Little Drummer Boy, and on and on.

Star Trek: Captured the imagination way back when and still a model for thoughtful, less action-heavy adventure drama.

The PBS NewsHour: JIm Lehrer, Robin MacNeil, and the great big gang of excellent journalists. A staple throughout my life, although there are periods where one just gets sick of the news!

The McLaughlin Group: My relatives enjoyed this one too, and despite all the shouting there was humor and something to be learned from watching this one.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse: Madness.

The Simpsons: Streotypes, yes, but also an unmatched investigation of American culture of the 80s and 90s. Stopped watching after that.

Fawlty Towers: Short-lived but oh so sweet.

Law & Order: Beats all the other old dramas I used to watch, hands down. A formula that worked splendidly despite cast changes, plus a “fun” way to see NYC.

Al TV: Occasionally, “Weird Al” took over MTV, much to its improvement, commenting on videos (thank you, Madonna) and other frazzled, madcap stuff he did, per usual. Just Say Julie was good too, as were 120 Minutes and Yo! MTV Raps, of course.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: In the vein of the above, but full-blown and exceptionally funny. Ridiculous old movies commented upon, with sketches galore between. A study in allusion and parody.

Seinfeld: My family could all quote this one extensively. A true landmark in entertainment history, plus that NY feel of the time.

Friends: Fewer iconic moments than Seinfeld, but a bumper crop of them, thanks especially to Ross and Rachel. Phoebe grew on me too, the second time around. Actually, I watched most of this one in reruns before the show wrapped up. An activity: keep stats on which character makes you laugh the most—could be applied to Seinfeld and other great comedies as well.

Clarissa Explains It All: Inventive escapism for someone in their 20s remembering their teens.

Are You Being Served? + Are You Being Served? Again! (aka Grace & Favour): Ridiculous in oh so many ways, but endearing and a laugh riot. Once told by a British professor that I would likely not appreciate it. He was wrong.

The Thin Blue Line: Matches Fawlty for hilarity in a short-run comedy.

As Time Goes By: A comic drama I guess, with a lot of heart and laughs. Another one that my family all enjoyed, which adds some charm to it.

Keeping Up Appearances: Formulaic to the extreme, but always generating laughs.

Prime Minister’s Questions: See above entry. Highlight: the Tony Blair vs. John Major years, with credit to Blair and William Hague for carrying forth most of that energy when Labour took over.

Joan of Arcadia: One of two shows from the time that employed “One of Us” by Joan Osborne to good effect, this one quite literally. The other was the also notable Homicide: Life on the Street.

Ballykissangel: A little hand-wringing perhaps, but a good portrait of small town life with a nice dose of British Isles atmosphere and more than a smidgeon of institutional skepticism.

Zoboomafoo: The first of a trio of PBS kids’ shows that kept me company while making dinner after work. Zoboo—both live and filmed—is hard to resist, as is the Kratt enthusiasm. You won’t believe your mind.

Arthur: Kind of a Simpsons for little kids with a lot of parody, dredging up childhood conflicts, and not unacceptable lessons.

Odd Squad: Makes me snicker more than I should admit.

Parks & Recreation: A comedy that turned into a drama, you started to care about the characters that much. Another good look at civic life with a lot of interesting cast members, both regular and guest.

The Office: Lasted much too long, but many, many moments make it one of the century’s best and Steve Carell tolerable despite his character being the opposite.

Big Brother: Shallow, sophomoric, and prone to at least a couple of -ists, but also one of the purer, cynical mind/power politics games out there.

Pureheart 19 / Soonjung 19: Whatever you call it, the finest vehicle for learning some Korean culture and language while laughing and having the heartstrings tugged a bit. Also had an interesting Roomba-type character.

Arrested Development: The first three seasons bear repeated study, unfolding layers with each newly-deciphered mumble or background action. A show where one would like to see all of the cut scenes spliced in for the grandest of comedy spectacles.

The New Adventures of Old Christine: You feel the angst (or agony?) of the main character, painfully, almost every minute of the show. Quite an achievement for something so funny and clever.

Extras: Has some of the funniest TV moments committed to film. Doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Wallander: The atmosphere was palpable, and the character’s mental plight inspired me to find and upload a replica of his ringtone, which was specially composed for the series.

Broadchurch: Just compelling, with the two leads acting up a storm.

Death in Paradise: The funnest mystery show I know, with ups and downs depending on cast changes. The “importing a white male English detective inspector” element is awful, but everything else compensates for it.

*New for 2023*
Jonathan Creek: Recently re-watched the earlier seasons and it’s just as good if not better than it once was; thank you Alan Davies and Caroline Quentin. Although everyone involved is sent up over the course of an episode, the downside is a certain amorality and sexism that very occasionally creep into the plots and jokes, most of which I attribute to the “male gaze” and Creek’s “chaotic good” nature. The specials add to the heft. And adding Season Four stamps the show’s immortality for certain, thanks to the inimitable Carla Borrego, played by the splendid Julia Sawalha.

What will be next? One of a couple shows currently running, or something else dredged from the past.

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Despite lengthy inactivity due to other commitments, this blog still crops up in my thoughts and will continue. I originally planned to focus on music here, which I considered one thing I knew something about, and that the things I knew about it were fading. This led me to think that the “younger generation” or the international set might get something out of what I was writing, that maybe my personal recollections and opinions, and a healthy dose of links and images might bring some joy of discovery.

Now, I have often strayed from the blog’s intent into the personal realm, often thanks to the thoughts music has dredged (or conjured) up. Apart from these more meditative (or cathartic) entries, though, music remains the focus. It struck me the other day, though, how instinctively resentful I can be when someone recommends music to me. Music takes less time than a book or even a movie, so a music recommendation is easier to pursue, and there’s a broader pallet of music I want to spend time on than for books or movies, but there is still that knee-jerk reaction.

This resentment is not universal and it is not historical—a lot of my early musical taste came thanks to others and people to this day, especially if I like them, can send me in wonderful directions. I recently met someone who has had just this effect. There is great joy in discovering something for one’s self, but it doesn’t need to always happen that way.

So, when it comes to this blog, I am not necessarily recommending music to people when I write about it: I am mentioning it in the context of my life and tastes and if people latch onto it so be it and fantastic! I discovered a lot of music incessantly listening to the radio and poring over entertaining reference books on the subject, and people now allow some music service to shower them with similars. I prefer the album format, and will continue to push that here, but otherwise I am looking forward to just continuing to recount my personal taste and experience and letting it be for whomsoever.

Here’s to 2022.

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Caroline Crawley, Beamheart

“Crawley recalls how during recording of the plaintive ‘I May Never,’ she burst into tears during one take, while during the second one the studio engineer did exactly the same.” A quote from an affectionate article in The Guardian on Shelleyan Orphan, the undertones (overtones? both?) of my musical back and forths between the city and suburbs, each of their four albums accompanying me for their assigned seasonal three-month span each year. My sister and I both played reed instruments, and the oboe and bassoon add the right touches to Shelleyan Orphan songs, especially here.

The song perfectly encapsulates the heaven-sent and now to-heaven-returned voice of Caroline Crawley.

I may never see your face again
Rabbit’s down a hole, he’s already gone
Life came between us and just for a day
You’re the one who was standing in the door
I will love you, no matter even what you say or do
I will call your name out loud
I will love you, no matter even what you say or do
I will call your name.

So, this morning is the last I might see him. Yesterday I knelt by his big bed as he half-dozed, luxuriating in a head and ear rub while I cradled his tiny, scraggled head in my palm. This morning he was cleaning his paws sputtering a little as he did so, cheeks puffing out, then walking a little, went out and made the perfect poop, even ate half a carrot stick. Every snort and snore from him reminds me of all his little ways, many so lost now.

“I May Never” followed by “Beamheart,” the perfect finish to a career, perfect tones for a finish to a life that I can keep in my head while I think over the seventeen years of wonderful memories.

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Bits of Echo & The Bunnymen’s “My Kingdom” looping in my mind while a sequence of overbearing buzzes, alarms, whirrs, and beeps, reminiscent of 1980s Atari games—the Combat cartridge springs to mind—take their turn. It ends with mighty, stabbed organ chords that are really impressive and appealing. It’s my right hip MRI, the quest for diagnosis making headway.

Afterwards, I played the rest of the Cure tape my sister had given me long ago by way of introduction to the group, over 30 years ago, driving down Ogden past vacant stores now torn down replaced by vacant lots bringing who knows what. It’s much-changed, even Ogden Avenue. Other than the familiar looping of the street, parts are becoming unrecognizable even though I traverse it often. At least I know where I am going even if there’s few places I want to stop along the way.

I head directly to the snowscape of Arrowhead Park, home to park district soccer games as a kid. I park with windows all down slightly to hear any birds. No sound, just the empty snowy field and hill and creek, with what looks like a raft of flood ice in the distance. Now I see it’s traversed by two sleek, bundled up figures. No sound, but my head pictures my sister and her best friend as those two out on the icy snowfield. The latter lived a block away from this park, and she’s the reason my sister can’t return here when I want to walk it for bird and nostalgia. How has 30 years passed? The breeze blows into the rolled-down window, I view the field through a snag of hair the color of the gray sky and think of that time, their friendship, what they might have been talking about. I drive home to “The Perfect Girl.”

A week later, back for the left hip MRI, this time spent singing the guitar lines of Will Sergeant and insistent, urgent, defiant choruses of Ian McCulloch in my head—”Over The Wall,” “Show of Strength”—thinking of just re-viewed Donnie Darko and a more than pleasant dream I had of a friend. And back to Arrowhead, with one finch sweetly singing somewhere in the trees behind where I parked, the ones you see below.

But this blog is called Music and More, so I will get back to music soon. More music, less more: A Promise.

Arrowhead: A Week Later

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This past year, for me, has been a year defined by pain: physical pain that has nothing to do with the pandemic. 

I had become used to mental pain, emotional pain, heart pain, and I had like anyone suffered bouts of malady- and injury-induced pain. The pandemic did, with my life compressed in one place, bring concern for scratches and other tiny injuries to occasional hypochondriacal levels, but this year’s claim is seven months of chronic physical pain only speculatively diagnosed, one that would heal some and then lapse, would be treated to no effect, with inconclusive tests, irresolute specialists, and still no resolution—if any resolution is to come.

The mental and emotional pain I feel have been mellowing, numbing maybe, fading, and they are always there, just usually suppressed beyond registering, infrequent in rearing of head. Lost loves, friends, places, times, ambitions. My expectations mostly dashed in that realm as layers of life situations go unchanged. But, as I declared last year at this time, this has only led me to embrace myself and original activities, not dependent on others, and there is much delight in that.

And this past year has added the layer of physical pain; I don’t heal like I used to and maybe some of this will never heal. I’ve come to realize that this physical pain is also just part of things, always somewhere. But it can be alleviated and its limiting influences embraced. As my athletic endeavors (such as they were) and ability to lift things for gardening and other household activities have been curtailed, and even walks now have become something I pay for afterwards, I am fortunate when I can push past the pain, look at it, embrace it.

Wisdom in pain.— There is as much wisdom in pain as there is in pleasure: both belong among the factors that contribute the most to the preservation of the species. If pain did not, it would have perished long ago; that it hurts is no argument against it but its essence. (Niet. p. 252)

I think of Christina Rossetti in torment, screaming through nights in cancer’s throes, the agony of intense pain and the accompanying mental unhinging caused by its treatment with opium. I am thankful mine is not so acute, more one to wear me down, force me—if I am to accomplish anything—to overlook it when I can, or look at it with toleration and a Charlie Brown, scraggle smile when it won’t go unnoticed. Not to worry that no one seems to be able to define or remedy it, not worry what’s causing it, not worry if it will ever go away. Just accept it and keep going. Sometimes I can do this.

One of my favorite groups put out a new song not long ago, “Ways,” and it happens to ring with as fitting a lyric as any for my year: “Aren’t you afraid of eternal Hell? Well, it’s not the end of the world” … “I can’t find any ways to change the pain to something else,” Frank sings. I admit that one of my primary goals for this year is to get rid of this pain. But if it can’t be diagnosed, or can be diagnosed, but simply won’t go away, I am creeping towards an acceptance of that, layered atop the other pains I’ve managed to set aside.

To Consider
Double pain is easier to bear
Than single pain: Will you so dare?
(Niet. p. 49)

Concluding ridiculous postscript.
Distraction has been one of any alleviations of this year’s pain. The sweeter pain of nostalgia. I got into an exchange with my sister and others about old favorite lost or utterly changed businesses of our hometown: Sports Bowl, Graham Crackers, Cee Bee’s, The Mole Hole, The Chocolate Key, Alton Drugs, Cock Robin, Tong Inn, Someplace Else, Old Peking, that old sports card shop run by Ernie.

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As a kid I played the standard football, baseball, and basketball with my friends on the block, and was in the local soccer league through the park district, complete with reversible shirt, allowing us to be the yellow or blue team as needed. Gym class, a tiny bit of track, tennis lessons, and then softball and misc in college and after. Most of what I played in did not attract a crowd.

My parents I am sure did a great job cheering me on, and my dad certainly ran to my rescue when I was kicked in the jaw by my own teammate, but I can only think of two occasions when I noticed being cheered for while playing.

The first was in junior high, a day when for some reason we had to run laps around the school—state fitness standards or track tryouts? A certain tall, curly-haired KJ made a point of yelling my name and encouraging me, something immensely more inspiring than the binomial equation she wrote when she signed my yearbook. It must have been our Project Idea ties and general camaraderie in sharing a bunch of classes throughout our careers. I hope I cheered her on when she was similary forced to lap the school.

The second, still more treasured, a certain blonde-haired and blue-eyed BD in college cheering me on by name from the sidelines in an intramural basketball game. (Not the greatest basketball player, but I had my strengths.) We were most likely playing the fraternity whose members she hung around with, so her mentioning me from the sidelines was especially exciting and inspiring for me. Thank you, B.

What effect it can have when someone on the sidelines is there for you, especially unexpectedly. BD also majored in English, but, not surprisingly, we didn’t see much of each other as I seldom saw much of English majors and there was no apparatus tying such majors together.

Such tiny slices of memory taking on such a relatively large shape. The mind and heart are amazing. I could catalogue moments like these.

* Musical Interlude *

Two trios of songs joined me yesterday.

The first started with me listeining to Document after ages away from it. R.E.M.’s “Central America Triptych” has some of their best music and more intriguing lyrics and concepts, all seemingly inspired by Noam Chomsky’s Turning The Tide and the general 1980s anti-Reagan vibe I remember fondly.

Document offered “Welcome To The Occupation,” with “The Flowers of Guatemala” and “Green Grow The Rushes” from their previous two albums. The third has quite possibly my favorite R.E.M. guitar hook, the second a rousing solo, and the “Welcome…” just an all-around vibe and melody that easily lands it on my best of R.E.M. which should one day exist. Until yesterday I’d barely connected any of them to 1980s U.S. intervention in Central America. Oh well. Layers of meaning?

In the evening I played Dionne Warwick and pleasantly remembered she had recorded the Bacharach-David “This Empty Place.” Is it somehow only my third favorite version of this excellent song? I think so. I first heard it by The Searchers as an extremely catchy album track, backed up with their smoothly great instrumentation. Then, it came again later as a highlight album track for Swingin’ Cilla Black who has a way with the drama and nearly veering out of control, and this song is no exception. Her version’s modeled on Dionne’s and I can only say, woo-weee!

Think pink cover from Cilla’s 1965 U.S. album. (from Discogs.com)

Some old Sandie Shaw stuff is next.
We’ll see how that goes!
Long long live love.

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Who remembers the National Wildlife Federation’s Ranger Rick?

Three of my Ranger Ricks!

Although I’m not ready to start filling it with squirrel and nonprofit ideas, I do plan on reading each of the above three issues and offering my reactions to them on my in embryo Squirrel of the Week blog.

So, keep your eyes open for that, and consider subscribing to both blogs, by using the sign up on the upper right of each page. I’ll get reading, and for now leave you with some images of other important books in my upbringing that are also likely to appear here again.

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I used to read Louis MacNeice in my birthday month, tracking his published poems with my age. I gave it up several years ago, but decided this year to catch up, starting with reviewing some poems MacNeice published in his late 30s and early 40s. In a couple of years, we’ll meet in age again as I catch up.

I’m not sure why I stopped with the annual reading of him. Maybe I got bored; more likely poetryboth writing and reading itwas lost in pain to me. But now maybe I have found the strength of sane return in my late 40s while MacNeice found it in his late 20s. 

Before I turned to catch up with my reading with the poem “Plurality,” I took up Louis MacNeice’s pinnacle, “Sunlight on the Garden” and “June Thunder,” poems I remember from the old Norton anthology, my Oxford anthology, and now my worn Faber Collected Poems.

Set amid some poems with a similar theme, this is MacNeice at age 29 or 30, ushering in a new era of his life, with looks to nostalgia, loneliness, and how youth experience the world, turning to experience the world in a new phase of maturity. “Taken for Granted” and “The Brandy Glass,” are two other excellent poems in his 1938 collection, The Earth Compels, capped off with “Bagpipe Music.” (I notice I pencilled in that 1939 was his annus mirabilis, but 1937 makes a good case at quick glance.)

“Sunlight on the Garden” has the hard coziness, sunlight on pavement, that characterize this time in MacNeice’s poetry. Read it on renowned poet W. S. Merwin’s (palm tree forest) conservancy page. It’s a poem of maturity, a reconciliation to death’s more tangible reality, a relishing of beauty through a new lens: “And not expecting pardon, Hardened in heart anew, But glad to have sat under / Thunder and rain with you.”

June Thunder” too, a return to a place not in thought alone. He returns to the old fields, his old room, a “cleansing downpour / Breaking the blossoms of our overdated fantasies.” But in this poem he is alone, not sharing the garden with someone: “If only now you would come I should be happy / Now if now only.”  

It’s wonderful to experience these poems again, reaching a deeper delight in them at an age much more advanced than MacNeice’s when he wrote them. And I have not experienced a good thunderstorm in some time, either, maybe because the seed took hold that being out in thunderstorms might get me struck dead by lightning, plus the fact there is no one to run around with in the weather with anymore. (More here.

Here’s a lesser-known poem of the same time, directly following “June Thunder” in my Faber book, a fading echo of the previous poem:


The heated minutes

The heated minutes climb

The anxious hill,

The tills fill up with cash,

The tiny hammers chime

The bells of good and ill,

And the world piles with ash

From fingers killing time.


If you were only here

Among these rocks,

I should not feel the dull

The taut and ticking fear

That hides in all the clocks

And creeps inside the skull

If you were here, my dear.


I usually don’t have anyone specific in mind anymore to think of as “my dear,” but the sentiment still exists. I wrote a short story based on “June Thunder”; I wonder if I have the daring to turn to look at it.


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