Susan Carol Hauser

Posts Tagged ‘Peeping the Land’

Peeping the Land, Redux

In Peeping the Land on March 7, 2015 at 10:04 pm

The Last Bay Poem
December 22, 2014

I wish it were twenty-five below this morning,
the air on fire with the cold. On a day like that
when I was younger, I would put on my skis,
glide away from the house, follow the squared
sides of the field, south, west, north, east to home.
My breath condensed and froze on my eyebrows,
my cheeks crackled as though electric. Less than
halfway out I would have loosened the scarf
around my neck, the work of my heart warming
even my toes, sweat freezing on my brow.

Outside this morning it is warm for December,
high twenties. A pileated woodpecker works
at the suet, and chickadees scavenge the hulls
of sunflower seeds on the platform feeder, looking
for one more kernel of fuel. They do not heed
the frozen bay beyond, a white disc, a wafer of ice
and snow, nor do they apprehend in any way
the packed boxes behind me, thirty-five years of life
on this land divided into cartons, sealed with tape:
the past containered, the present unfolding,
the future gliding away even as I approach.


Peeping the Land: A Survey

In Peeping the Land on November 19, 2014 at 11:50 pm

Peeping the Land: A Survey
November 19, 2014

Gratitude: For inside, for outside, for the walls and windows that separate and unite; gratitude for winter, freedom from the mad growth of the garden; gratitude for blowing snow that rises and falls like a great beast over the frozen bay; for chickadees and redpolls galore at the feeders; for the scent of rice simmering on the kitchen stove; for the dark that falls upon the bay, the bog, the hillside, the house; gratitude for lamps and the gentle evening and the respite of sleep, and for the morning next that is already on its way to this very place.


Peeping the Land: A Survey

In Peeping the Land on November 9, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Peeping the Land: A Survey
November 8, 2014

How still the bay, serene, none of summer’s clutter, the grasses in the bog gone to amber, the trees bare, their branches parsing the sky. Let winter come now. We are ready.


Peeping the Land: A Survey

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Peeping the Land: A Survey
October 22, 2014

It seems that the swans, gone for weeks, have returned to the bay, but I am quite certain that the ones I am watching this morning are not the trumpeters that I watched all summer. Almost certainly they are migrators, tundra swans. They have stopped here to rest and to replenish themselves with mahnomen. Today or tomorrow or soon after they will wheel into the sky. Just south of here they will pick up the Mississippi River, their road, and will follow it to southern Minnesota near Winona and Alma. There they will congregate with tens of thousands of other tundras, resting and chatting, all the while feasting on the gifts of the marshes and the river’s backwaters—pond weed, arrowhead, wild celery.

When they are ready to continue, they will turn away from the Great River, will turn east, their destination the Atlantic coast where they will winter on Chesapeake Bay, tucked between Maryland and Virginia, its estuarial waters mingling with the water of the ocean, sweet and salt coming together, the line of separation blurred the way the line between fall and winter is blurred, warm mingling with cold, cold with warm, the warm ebbing until there is only ice.

How much this is like love, tentative at first, small steps into and out of water, a testing of depth, of rise and descent, the line of demarcation impossible to tell, sweet becoming salt, salt becoming sweet, a migration of the heart, a desire for nourishment and rest, for safe harbor during the inevitable final season.

Wild Rice Harvest

Wild Rice Harvest

Peeping the Land: A Survey

In Bog-watching, Peeping the Land on July 1, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Peeping the Land: A Survey, July 1, 2014
The Field

The basswood, large and round, marks the east and south corner of the south ten acres of the property. The tree is nearly perfect in its configuration—or perhaps it is perfect. Its dark green crown both separates and unites Earth and sky, the way the present unites and separates the future and the past.


Peeping the Land: A Survey

In Peeping the Land on June 18, 2014 at 5:32 pm

June 18, 2014

A graveled lane turns west off a ragged, paved county road that is hardened from a hundred years, yes, one-hundred years, of traffic. Before the county gave it a name and a street sign, it was a driveway. When it was a driveway it led up at first to a log cabin, then to a small house with the log cabin in the middle of it, a protective shell around a weary heart.