JIM JOHNSON, THE RECENTLY CHOSEN 2008-2010 DULUTH POET LAUREATE, writes poetry that is cut from the cloth of his Finnish roots. While much of his work recalls the lives of Finnish settlers in northern Minnesota, the message is universal. It is the quintessentially American story of the immigrant experience and of families, hunger, nature, and hard work.
In The Blueberry Bucket (from A Field Guide to Blueberries)
A man picks blueberries all day. In the bucket
small green and withered sifting down,
too old and squashed against the sides,
twigs leave spruce needles settled to the bottom
while the large ripe rise up to the top.
So full of flesh, so ordinary?
a woman, at sunset
a blond woman leading a reindeer
across the horizon. You are that woman. I am that man.
And this I give to you
is, if not the history of the world
at the end of the day, but
a bucketful of blueberries.
In blueberry picking news, we were at the Dexter Blueberry Farm yesterday (August 2 2008) and picked a good quantity of berries - the big commercial high bush berries which are easier to fill buckets with, even if you are the only one picking and your traveling companions are mostly eating.