We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It is winter in California, and outside Is like the interior of a florist shop: A chilled and moisture-laden crop Of pink camellias lines the path; and what Rare roses for a banquet or a bride, So multitudinous that they seem a glut!
A line of snails crosses the golf-green lawn From the rosebushes to the ivy bed; An arsenic compound is distributed For them. The gardener will rake up the shells And leave in a corner of the patio The little mound of empty shells, like skulls.
By noon the fog is burnt off by the sun And the world's immensest sky opens a page For the exercise of a future age; Now jet planes draw straight lines, parabolas, And x's, which the wind, before they're done, Erases leisurely or pulls to fuzz.
It is winter in the valley of the vine. The vineyards crucified on stakes suggest War cemeteries, but the fruit is pressed, The redwood vats are brimming in the shed, And on the sidings stand tank cars of wine, For which bright juice a billion grapes have bled.
And skiers from the snow line driving home Descend through almond orchards, olive farms. Fig tree and palm tree - everything that warms The imagination of the wintertime. If the walls were older one would think of Rome: If the land were stonier one would think of Spain.
But this land grows the oldest living things, Trees that were young when Pharoahs ruled the world, Trees whose new leaves are only just unfurled. Beautiful they are not; they oppress the heart With gigantism and with immortal wings; And yet one feels the sumptuousness of this dirt.
It is raining in California, a straight rain Cleaning the heavy oranges on the bough, Filling the gardens till the gardens flow, Shining the olives, tiling the gleaming tile, Waxing the dark camellia leaves more green, Flooding the daylong valleys like the Nile.