Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A reader on his birthday

.. saw a large flock of wild geese, right overhead, not very high up, ranged in V-shape, in relief against the noon clouds of light smoke-color .. Queer thoughts melted into me the two or three minutes, or less, seeing these creatures cleaving the sky - the spacious, airy realm - even the prevailing smoke-gray color every-where, (no sun shining) - the waters below - the rapid flight of the birds, appearing just for a minute - flashing to me such a hint of the whole spread of Nature, with her eternal unsophisticated freshness, her never-visited recesses of sea, sky, shore - and then disappearing in the distance.

They did not make it up, Preacher and Billy Bob; it was not because they didn't want to, it was only that there did not seem to be any straight way for their friendship to happen again. But they couldn't get rid of this friendship: each was always aware of what the other was up to; and when Preacher found himself a new buddy, Billy Bob moped around for days, picking things up, dropping them again, or doing sudden wild things, like purposely poking his finger into the electric fan .. But then, and though it was a cold winter day, he went in the backyard and climbed up into the pecan tree, crouching there all afternoon in the blue December branches.

There is no closing of the book, on the formation of the flock in flight or on the crotch of the pecan. I have nothing to give any reader but gratitude for his company in these places where we all are found, high and low, and to two of the purest, clearest springs in New World letters, to wish for any friend love on his birthday - and mirth, because it is our way. 


Walt Whitman
Specimen Days
  A Hint of Wild Nature
Justin Kaplan, editor
Walt Whitman: 
  Complete Poetry and 
  Collected Prose
Literary Classics of
  the United States, 1982©

Truman Capote
Children on their Birthdays
The Complete Stories of
  Truman Capote
Truman Capote Literary Trust
Random House, 2004©


  1. I know JOY and MIRTH are the feeling that washes over the luckiest man whom is YOUR birthday friend

  2. I mean it when I say, I'm glad for these guys I cite, who are just there, and around, and in our nature, and can be quaffed. I listen to them, I know they did imagine us, doing this. You can hear their wanting us, as we are.