Friday, February 26, 2010

I awoke to the image of white horses standing in the rain

I awoke this morning to the image of white horses standing in the rain, while thinking of Robert Sund's The Hides of White Horses Shedding Rain, part of his Ish River poems collection (Copper Canyon Press). He was an amazing reader—could weave a spell in no time flat. A calligrapher and painter as well. We had much in common. I wish I had bought that book, when I met him at Port Townsend in 1981, but I had no money at the time.

...The great white horse 
Stands under the warm rain
Like a shining cathedral.

—Adrian Mitchel, from Understanding the Rain
...and again falls
this quiet,
persistent rain.

—Robert Creeley, from The Rain

Along the Columbia,
     three more hours and I'm home.
But first
I close the car door
and walk in a field of mountain grass.

I lie down, drink clear
water, dream of old rituals
and what it feels to be pure of heart.

When I get back home to the Ish River country,
I'll open the barn door
and see the hides of white horses shedding rain.

—Robert Sund, from Night Along the Columbia, Day in Blewitt Pass, Going Home

I had a white horse for a while—a stray from Forest Farm Camp (Linda Gregg's home) who wandered from winter pastures to our hill. Poor old Foos hated the rain—she turned dingy creamy, rain falling from her long lashes and that pale summer blue lake of her eyes, entreating me to make it stop.

I had to wait that long, seven years, just to find Sund's poem on the internet.
Major 7.0 quake, offshore Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Wonder if this was the source of my horse dream?

added & revised 2/2017

 Anacortes poet Robert Sund's 2001 obit

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