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Oct 13th
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The Poems of Lola Haskins

ae poetry1Editor’s note: This week’s Poetry Corner features Lola Haskins, who divides her time between Florida and Yorkshire, England. “Still, the Mountain,” her ninth book of poems, won a medal in the 2010 Florida Book Awards. Her 10th, “The Grace to Leave,” will be published by Anhinga Press in 2012. Ms. Haskins loves coming to Santa Cruz.


Above Settle
The contour lines come fast, like flood marks
or the ancient tracks of animals circling a fire.
Finally I reach the top and there they are:  
the stone barns, the moors,  the sheep
scattered like crumbs.  But then a mist
takes everything away, as if someone had
put white hands over my eyes and said
I will not let you see, you cannot stand this.

A Landscape without People in It
Has no scale, so you pose me as yardstick again.
ae poetry2Don’t. I’d rather think this bracken-strewn
slope the size of my thumb, and the sheep
that nibble its windy sky as small as the knots
on the dotted Swiss that crossed my bed
when I was a child. That white. That infinite.

On Ilkley Moor
From the stone circle, we make out a scatter of white parabolas listening across the valley. Do you think if we lined up the sun, they’d finally understand what they’ll never own, no matter how many messages they flash over the mountains, no matter how many satellites they tune into beyond this earth? Or would they believe it’s only words, the way the Christians thought they could possess these rocks by christening them The Twelve Apostles and sprinkling a little water on each early one morning, as if the rocks were boys at catechism and they the only true priests?

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Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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