Friday, November 7, 2014

sunlight has taken over the room

In November

by Lisel Mueller

Outside the house the wind is howling
and the trees are creaking horribly.
This is an old story
with its old beginning,
as I lay me down to sleep.
But when I wake up, sunlight
has taken over the room.
You have already made the coffee
and the radio brings us music
from a confident age. In the paper
bad news is set in distant places.
Whatever was bound to happen
in my story did not happen.
But I know there are rules that cannot be broken.
Perhaps a name was changed.
A small mistake. Perhaps
a woman I do not know
is facing the day with the heavy heart
that, by all rights, should have been mine.

The Mueller poem popped up in my FB feed yesterday and I thought, yes, how perfect. The way she captures the November wind and then the surprising light. And how the news could be so different, it could be us. The news is "set in distant places," she says, and it feels like that some days, impossible, unreal, like a movie. But she reminds us it could just as easily been us, if names were changed in some sort of heavenly clerical error.

Well, we've made it all the way to Friday, once again. My cold is utterly ridiculous, the dog still hasn't adjusted to the time change and wakes up at 5am. But Rob will be back from Iowa and his artist in residence gig at about midnight tonight, and our life can resume its normal rhythms. 

I've been waiting to post the next really lovely poem by U.A. Fanthorpe for a while, and it seems an appropriate enough time, when I've been missing the 'sensible side of love.' 


by U.A. Fanthorpe

There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it

Which checks the insurance, and doesn't forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.

An article on the passing of Fanthorpe

There's snow in the forecast so this might be the last we see of fall for a while. I will miss this golden light. It changes completely once there's snow.

One afternoon this past week.....the low light reaches deep into rooms for surprisingly brief moments. Quite splendid. The book Rob left on the coffee table suddenly lit up. Cy Twombly's Paradise.

And in the kitchen, this light. Which seems to echo the lines by Mueller, "the sunlight has taken over the room."


  1. I really love those golden leaves in the sunlight. And the gleaming book.

  2. such a lovely post once again. I love that poem by Lisel Mueller ... followed it from Goodreads to here. Especially those first 10 lines or so. Could be my life, easily.


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