The sound of human nature

The Almanac features a Gary Snyder poem this morning, describing the peaceful dawn sounds of animal nature returning to life-

distant dogs bark, a pair of
cawing crows; the twang
of a pygmy nuthatch high in a pine—
from behind the cypress windrow
the mare moves up, grazing.

 And then, the less peaceful drone of human nature returning to the office-

a soft continuous roar
comes out of the far valley
of the six-lane highway—thousands
and thousands of cars
driving men to work.

I can relate. From my dawn porch I too hear the occasional bark, caw, twang, and chirp. And, I hear that continuous roar of internal combustion, on I-40 a couple of miles away. “Soft”? Not the word I’d choose. Some days the sound is less invasive, that may have something to do with topography and the state of the atmosphere but probably more with the hearer’s state of mind and the poet’s prompt. Usually I tune out the roar. This morning I can’t. Thanks, Gary. Thanks, Henry Ford.

But it’s all nature, it’s all right here with us whether we’re attending or not. We’d better attend. It may be tolerable or ignorable, but it’s not sustainable.

6:15/5:49, 70/87

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