MY THING’S PODCAST

Although my Thing’s podcast  transcription is not part of my new collection of poetry, Shawsheen Memorial Broom Society FOR PUBLISHER Selwn Rodda SHAWSHEEN cover art TEXT 01it should be, and even before  I loved him as much as I do now, the moment I heard his podcast, his Alaska Journals,

I was overcome by the poetry of it, and so impressed was I that I had to transcribe them, and one transcription I will post here.

me and my Thingdom
Me and my Thingdom

Transcription of a couple of  my Thing’s Alaska Journals:

Bob Holman:

The Alaska Journals Episode 1: Leaving

I’m Bob Holman.  This is the Alaska Journal.

 

 

Well, it’s my last night in New York

 

I had a poem I wrote a while ago, “Last Nights”

–last nights are very important to me, because I’ve had a lot of them.

I love last nights because you always have, “well, that happened last night” but when it happens on your last night, then you know that you’re ready

for whatever comes next, the molecules lining up

in preparation for departure.

 

I can’t believe all of this is not even off the beaten path; it’s 

off the highway here in Juneau.

 

That’s the sound of the waterfall coming down

–just one hole through the ice sheet

through the glacier; glaciers move back

and it turns into a waterfall

 

The green is the definition of green

which of course is a multihued “green”,

the “moss” popping, the leaves looking primordial

and the fir trees getting dark, dark, dark

and the sun filtering through with gold.

 

Everybody’s a bear.

 

 

 

 

Counting eagles from the front porch

 

1. one just flew over, and then slowly 

straight into the clouds

across the bay

 

2. two surprised me:  At a diagonal so close

I could hear the wind in the wings

 

3. three sailed so high up in a spiral, 

I didn’t know it disappeared…

 

Two versions of Episode two

Bob Holman:

The Alaska Journals episode 2:
Juneau & Kotzebue

 

I saw the bear a half hour after I landed in Juneau.

The crow has welcomed me, and three eagles;

pretty much the clans have given me the omen of omens.:

 

You really feel who owns the place

–and it sure ain’t me.

 

 

Gray.

 

Pick a gray that pours into Auke Bay 

like a glacier, and what is true 

for a cloud in Juneau is to be born rain

in a gray garment handed down from seals,

that gray, that other gray, that gray over there.

 

Mountain continues ocean

Language continues continues 

Story continues language

Mother continues child

Child continues memory

Memory continues whale

Whale continues sea

Boat continues life

Twitter continues Twitter

Waves continue ice

Milk continues poem

Laughter continues dance

Mountain continues ocean

continues contains continues

rain continues continues continues 

continues language

 

 

second version:

Bob Holman:

The Alaska Journals episode 2: Juneau & Kotzebue

 

I saw the bear a half hour after I landed in Juneau.

The crow has welcomed me, and three eagles;

pretty much the clans have given me the omen of omens.

 

You really feel who owns the place

–and it sure ain’t me.

 

 

Gray.

 

Pick a gray that pours into Auke Bay

like a glacier, and what is true

for a cloud in Juneau is to be born rain

in a gray garment handed down from seals,

that gray, that other gray, that gray over there.

 

[some of the prose interlude]:

I’m looking out over Auke Bay in Juneau; it’s not “awe”, but “auke” the “ka”

is a diminutive, so it’s little “ah” –just a little “awe” [ah] in the air

along with all the grays that are there.

 

–a lot of these clouds aren’t clouds;

they’re the moisture

off the mountains;

I know they’re there; I’ve seen them when the sun decides

to set fire to the sky.

A sea lion crossing:

In Kotzebue, you’re never too far from the tundra

In Kotzebue, you’re never too far from the sea.

The sun and moon dancing with the Northern Lights

–that’s about it here in Kotzebue.

 

Over the Arctic Circle, 60 miles from Russia

–unbelievable!– what they call the “Beringia Region”

–where the continents of Asia and North America

connected, where the Wooly Mammoth crossed,

and it still fels like wooly mammoth territory…

I read about how today was the last day of summer

in New York; it’s 70 degrees, but here,

it’s right at freezing, and you gotta bundle up!

 

 

 

 

Mountain continues ocean

Language continues continues continues

Story continues language

Mother continues child

Child continues memory

Memory continues whale

Whale continues sea

Boat continues life

Twitter continues Twitter

Waves continue ice

Milk continues poem

Laughter continues dance

Mountain continues ocean

continues contains continues

rain continues continues continues

continues language

 

-always more reasons to love him every day.  I hope that you enjoy listening him speak these words, and understand a littler better why the sound of his voice has such an effect on me.

 

–as you may know the glaciers are not that healthy anymore so when I listened to Matthew Burtner’s Glacier Music , I immediate .y though t of my Thing’s Alaska Journal podcast, podcast and wondered if he listened t o this language of melt and demise also. The glacier itself crying out; I wondered if he had  heard that too, the dying moments of the Language of Glacier, for he is known for Language Matters 

 

And never forget this:

 

Oh, you, my Thing  also talk about the molecules; I know you said you didn’t think as highly of your Alaska journals as I do, but you achieve something so very special  when you wonder about who “owns” the place and you say “it sure ain’t me” —can’t you hear the poetry in there? The timing and rhythm in your voice?  I always could and that is why I transcribed them.   Listening to them again, right now, Juneau and Kotebue —I am thinking how wonderful it might be if some of those glacier sounds were heard? I, of course think this language of glaciers is an endangered language also.  Also, your talking about the “Woolly Mammoth” and I think about my Mammoth, (a gift from son, when I nearly died  in 2011)

 

ANSTED WITH BRUSSEL SPROUTS

my son above, my mammoth below

Laytialnow you’re talking about how the health benefits of mother tongues, well,  isn’t the glacier speaking its mother tongue? Who is the glacier calling to? What is the purpose of what the glacier speaks? Who listens? When the glacier is gone, won’t the language it speaks die with it? Do those who live in the land, listen to and speak to the glaciers? 

Listening to your Alaska journals and they are full of visuals, I can really see the places as you talk about them, but The Glacier music I sent you are the death calls of these glaciers., the actual sounds the glacier makes, and Burtner recorded those sounds, that “Glacier Language”.  I wonder if you heard it and simply did not make mention of it?  in your collection of  languages, do you collect only languages of people when everything talks? Is not the glacier music a language of the glacier? An endangered language in  that the glacier is retreating, its tongue retracting, melting away, making the ocean seem pebbled with debris, tastebuds of the mother tongue fighting for a last chance to speak?

Is not the glacier music a language of the glacier? An endangered language is being lost as the glacier retreats, diminishes.

Now the poem about what continues and you are mentioning non human things, even mountain, rain, but not glacier continuing language, although glacier speaks its own. And this is sad to me, for when the glacier is gone, that endangered language will be gone, another omen of omens. Even “gray that pours into Auke Bay like a glacier” —though you don’t stay with glacier, do not explore significance of glacier, and your song about Kotzebue does not mention the song of the glacier —wasn’t the glacier singing then? “They come from the land”, you say, well, the songs of glaciers is the land itself speaking.  And is indeed the sonic poetry of the land itself. Etc.

Burtner’s “Glacier Music”, recorded sounds of sacred territory also, glacier dying. Glacier Music

here’s a link to Burtner’s Glacier Music on iTunes

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