Saturday, April 18, 2009

Will Christman


William Weaver Christman Tribute

on Monday June 1st at 6:00 PM

Poetry by the Bozen Kill in honor of our own farmer, tree planter, nature lover, poet

Held at the Christman Preserve

Contact: Alan Casline at ACASLINE@AOL.Com if you plan on attending

Bring your own poems and/or your Will Christman favorites. If you are traveling in from out of the area let Alan Casline know and he'll coordinate a place to stay if you need one.

This the third year Rootdrinker is holding a get together along the Bozen Kill at the Christman Preserve. I always worry that too many people will attend the event held at a realtively small preserve that is in a beautiful spot. The first year of our series we had five people and the second it was two so I guess I shouldn't really worry about the crowds. This year it is a Monday but as we are following a tradition started by Will Christman's family and friends in the years after his death, I feel it most appropiate we follow the calendar and days of the week and keep the event as always on June 1st.

HERE IS ONE OF WILL'S EARLY POEMS

Robin Rhymes

I

Steep my rhymes, May, in your bloom:
Drench them in your rich perfume.


Dandelions wink at night;
Orchard trees stand pink and white;
Sweet as sandalwood or myrrh,
Lilacs white and lavender;
And springlong in shine or rain
Boyhood’s song, the robin’s strain.

Let the jocund bobolink
Tinkle on the meadow brink,
And the veery breathe and blow
On his silver piccolo,
Robin with his boxwood flute
Makes the greatest artists mute.

II

Oh, I’ll make a song sometime
Out of bits of robin rhyme
Sung in tip-top elms, the sun
Loves at eve to dwell upon:
“Skylight pales
And twilight veils
All the fragrant dells and dales;
Night is near,
But have no fear,
Perfect love abideth here.
Sleep, my dear,
Love bides here”

III

Now I hear the lyrist sing
Where the lilac censers fling
Incense to the dewy dawn—
Oh the spray he sings upon—
Joy in callow babes and mate
Makes the ruddy breast elate.
Robin of my liacs—who,
Having such a home as you,
Would not be a poet too?
Thus at dawn I hear him sing
Where the lilac censers swing:
“Here’s the hour
Of love again;
Here’s the bower
We wedded in:
Daybreak’s near,
Awake, my dear;
Here, clear, cheer!”


His later work also included blank verse and evolved philosophical to include more of the social critic and preservationist only too aware of human folly. This one examines a natural world that the mystic could see but never join.


SLOW, SHUTTLE-WISE


Slow, shuttle-wise, the green-gold caterpillar
Weaves out and in and so prepares for cleaving
The airy ways, a butterfly or miller,
But he shall not win heaven for all his weaving;
Only a night of fireflies, stars and shadows,
A moon-bright night in June-time’s golden weather,
Or one brief day over the daisy meadows
On wings as buoyant as a flicker’s feather.

No miracle these lives of twofold birth:
The maggot born in dung, awaiting wings,
The locus springing winged from chambered earth,
The dappled dragon fly from sedgy springs;
But man, under a stone and trod in clay,
Relies on God to roll the stone away.


And here is one of my contributions from last year.


Sacred place - - - invited by Christman to dream beside his brook


Open the portal to elsewhere

enchanted substance

birdsongs calling...
red squirrel
runs up tree
disappears wait silently
as if by magic for living home
to accept
your presence
poetry magic words
requiring a singer

chant the oak
shadows color pools
setting sun lights waterfalls
walk in a grove of elder pine

field mouse left piles of broken cones a scattered feast

Will Christman planted these trees

understory clear
slate wall standing

He and his father before him
made the wall
hauling stone out of harrowed ground



Alan Casline June 1, 2008
Bozen Kill Watershed
Christman Preserve

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