A Poetic Wine Tasting

At a gathering around our table Wednesday, I felt held, taken care of, almost cradled. I’d done very little of the work to bring it together, only getting the flowers, candles, tablecloth in place that afternoon.

Leuta Wine Tasting

We were wine-tasting thanks to Mary Early’s bringing Denis Zeni of Leuta Winery in Cortona, Italy, into our world. And for many people at the table, it was the first time they had been here. But gradually, in various conversations, it emerged that poetry was one of the things we shared.

Poetry BoxSeveral people spoke of reading the poems in our Poetry Box when they walk their dogs along Penridge. Tom had found that his neighbor, the only person older than he at the table, had begun writing in the “winter of her life.” We gave Tom’s book to those who didn’t have it. And I found that while we were away, my cousin and a poet friend had been replenishing the contents of the Poetry Box for us.

One of the ones they put out there was this:

​​ Fall

the black oaks
​​​fling their bronze fruit
​​​into all the pockets of the earth
​​​​pock pock

​​​they knock against the thresholds
​​​the roof the sidewalk
​​​fill the eaves
​​​​the bottom line

​​​of the old gold song
​​​of the almost finished year
​​​what is spring all that tender
​​​​green stuff

​​​compared to this
​​​falling of tiny oak trees
​​​out of the oak trees
​​​​then the clouds

​​​gathering thick along the west
​​​then advancing
​​​then closing over
​​​​breaking open

​​​the silence
​​​then the rain
​​​dashing its silver seeds
​​​​against the house

​​​​​​​​Mary Oliver

I am grateful! And in ice, which we had a-plenty Wednesday morning, the replenishing will be hazardous. I’ve recently been relearning “The Shortest Day” by Susan Cooper, getting ready for the Solstice. But I think I’ll add this Mary Oliver now. I love the way she uses the sounds and the metallic colors.

4 thoughts on “A Poetic Wine Tasting

  1. Need to know more about your “poetry box” – can’t figure out where it is and how it “works” … Sounds titillating!


  2. How it “works” is first of all that Hester built it for Tom’s 88th birthday. She used the power tools in Hansville, the post an old split-rail from the pasture up there. We put in it just anything we want and think people would enjoy. Some we’ve written ourselves, others poems we like. In the picture, there’s one of my watercolors with I think one of Tom’s poems.


  3. THANK you. The reason I asked is because when I was a little girl, I and two other neighborhood friends had a buried coffee can in which we left each other messages. It was SO much fun and I figured that perhaps your Poetry Box was kind of the same thing …. and I’m hankering to set one up here in Athens. Must think hard on this – how it would be possible in the suburbs of this huge city. There’s a ready pool of potential users, the Poetry Group which is a subgroup of my Book Club. I’m not a member of the poetry group because I wouldn’t say poetry is really my “thing” but now and then, and if it had the exciting surprise-message associations of my childhood,… wouldn’t it be fun? Hmmmm what to use for the “box” and – harder – where to have it??? Will at least share the idea with the group. I’ll start with another “subgroup” of the reading group – the four of us who meet for coffee on First Tuesdays. : ) All of them ARE poetry people.


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