Truth about tripods...


Aimless Love

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor's window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door--
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor--
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

~  Billy Collins ~

: : :

I worked for a long time in the garden today before the storm blew in.  It felt good to accomplish so much
in what seemed like such a short time.  Cutting back last year's growth has a way of opening up
the composition, so to speak.  Then I came inside, sat down in front of the glowing box with a 
very hot cuppa (extra milky, extra honey) and visited a few friends.  
That's how I was introduced to Billy Collins....
Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003.

Sometimes I think I live in a cave.

Thanks very much to Jane over at Ill Seen, Ill Said for posting his poem, Advice for Writers.
Oh, it's a beaut.


  1. Glad you've discovered Billy Collins. So good!

  2. My kind of love. Don't know Billy Collins but am off to research.

  3. I love your blog! I enjoyed both poems very much and think I'm a hopeless aimless lover...and the advice for writers was great...But I don't understand the title of the post "Truth about Tripods"? I'm sure it's me just being a little dense today...

    1. Susan, welcome back from your recent travels...hope you fared well!
      Hadn't meant to be so obtuse about my post title. For me, the weight of the entire poem rests on these lines:
      "But my heart is always propped up in a field on its tripod, ready for the next arrow."
      This poem was a self portrait for me. At least, in this particular stretch of my life.
      Perhaps I should have titled it, "Truth about my tripod"...

      So happy to have you stop by here today!

    2. Agree about weight of entire poem resting to those lines... and think the appeal of the poem is that it's a pretty universal truth, about you and me and pretty much everyone.

    3. All of us...most definitely.

  4. Well I HAVE been living in a cave (family visiting) and haven't been online much of late so I missed this gorgeous shot and yes, a pretty cool poem. You may get me there yet. ;)

    1. ...I have no ulterior motives whatsoever. none.

  5. Yep, know what you mean about living in a cave... thanks for the introduction to Billy. Gardening... it's amazing! How could I have detested the very thought of it for 68 years???? xxoo

    1. NEVER too late, dear Robin!
      Funny to think about: I came to be bead embroidery so late...and you to gardening. Switcharoonies, eh?!