Easter Rising

Anna Brunner
11 November 1882 ~ 19 September 1884
Rockport, Texas City Cemetery


Because I did not for a moment doubt in childhood
the story of this rising, shall I, now
I am wiser? The world still has no
boundary. The lines still shiver and wave;
the impossible takes place; people are kind.
And these woods are still as real and magic
as when I first chased and followed any path
that found me, and just as fearful, and brown death
still haunts the green, discolouring all
in brilliant falls ground to sodden mulch,
from which, in deepest regions of the wood,
the bright stem still rises, witnessed by
those few who run like children home to tell us.


                                            ~  Excerpted from “Topographies of Easter” by John Terpstra


Comments always are welcome. To read the entire poem, click here.
For more information on John Terpstra, Canadian poet and cabinet-maker, click here.

22 thoughts on “Easter Rising

  1. The inversion of the path finding us is a deft touch. As for “those few who run like children home to tell us,” those few (or many) could be we who present in our blogs the things we’ve found.

    1. I’ve occasionally thought of our blogs as ‘show and tell’ for grownups.The comparison seems apt, and there certainly are times when posting gives me as much pleasure as that I experienced many, many years ago when I’d run home with a particularly lovely stone or twig to show off.

    1. He reminded me of Gordon Bok, who combines singing and song-writing with wood carving. I suppose I enjoy their stories because of my own combination of writing and woodworking. I suspect that Terpstra does a good bit of pondering and musing over his poetry as he planes his wood.

    1. I posted here a little ‘early’ by our clock, just for those of you on the other side of the world. A blessed Easter to you and yours, as well.

      Of course I thought of William Blake’s poem about the little lamb when I studied the photo, but I thought Terpstra’s more suitable. It’s less obvious, but I found it more meaningful.

  2. It’s always hard to see the graves of little children. My great great grandma lost one aged two and then died herself at the end of the same year.

    1. It is hard. There’s a section of the Rockport cemetery where the graves of young victims of the 1918 flu epidemic are clustered; in Galveston, there was a smallpox epidemic whose traces can be found in the angels and lambs atop stones. The first burial at Rockport was the two-year old daughter of one of its founders: Emma Fulton.

  3. So sad this wee one didn’t live long, but I found it touching her loved ones erected such a beautiful marker for her. And this poem is lovely, particularly apt during April (National Poetry Month). Happy Easter, Linda, and I hope you have a sunny, pleasant day in which to enjoy it!

    1. It’s remarkable how well some of these lovely markers endure the onslaughts of time and weather. The tree that’s fallen behind Anna’s stone was substantial, and it could have taken out the lamb when it fell. I’m glad it didn’t — and I thought it was interesting that new growth is rising from the trunk, which still is rooted to the ground.

      It was a lovely weekend — perhaps the prettiest we’ve had this year. I suspect there were a lot of Easter egg hunters and hiders who were happy about that.

  4. Beautiful except – perfect choice.
    Not surprised the poet is also a cabinet maker – working with wood is pretty zen.
    I love that lamb marker (Would be my choice – the lamb so meaningful and what a lovely shape that marker has, but now, sigh, they seem to insist on uniform flat rectangles…so much like prisoner’s jail numbers all sequential and in a row?)
    Hope you were able to enjoy this lovely day of weather given us.

    1. Enjoy it, I did. In fact, I enjoyed it so enthusiastically that when it was over, I sat down at the computer, stared at the screen for a minute, and said, “This can wait until tomorrow.” A five-hour hike was part of the day’s festivities, and as the country folk say, it plumb wore me out.

      I trust your day was a good one. I was greatly amused to see a huge, pink rabbit waving to traffic down by Skipper’s yesterday morning. I’m not sure it was Harvey, but it could have been.

    1. It was perfect, even without a chocolate bunny. Actually, it was a great day, with perfect weather and a five-hour hike. I came home resolved to get myself back into hiking shape, believe you me. With long days now, I have the time to put in an hour or so every day, and I’m going to try to keep to the regimen.

    1. I especially liked the way the fallen tree had stayed rooted, and was putting up new shoots. I was glad it didn’t take out the marker when it fell, too. I love Easter, but there are a lot of ways to approach it without being sugary-sentimental — which is good, because that’s not my style, anyway.

      1. We don’t celebrate holidays here. My sister in law comes up for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners but that’s about it. Not even birthdays…I suppose if either of us makes it to 80 or 90 that might be a big deal. But I do miss Easter at my mother in law’s. Again, not a big celebration but enjoyable time spent and good food.
        Sentiment. It has its place, I think. I’ve spent the last few days thinking of moments spent with a certain cousin during our childhoods. He just passed away at 73 and we hadn’t seen each other or spoken, for no unpleasant reason, in the better part of 60 years. Just a few comments on Facebook. Although I am sorry about that it still hasn’t made me want to change the way I live my life and traipse all over the world trying to make up for lost time with my other cousins.. If I were to travel I’d visit my friends in Texas. :)

        1. Your remark about traipsing all over the world trying to make up for lost time with cousins reminded me of my aunt’s insistence that I really should move back to Kansas City, where I could be with what family remains: my aunt, and three cousins with their assorted spouses and kids. I good-naturedly point out that she’s well past ninety, and as soon as I moved up there, she’d probably depart this mortal coil, and there I’d be. She laughs and say, “Well, there is that.”

          Sentiment’s good. It’s the “sugary” that gets to me. That’s hard to define, of course. While I say I don’t like sugary sentimentality, I love to see a southern grandma say, “Come’ere and give me a little sugar, sweetie.” Context is everything.

    1. Indeed it does. It’s a time for exploration and discovery, and those are the very essence of childhood for the lucky ones. Every year, I get a little younger!

    1. Thank you. I very nearly used William Blake’s poem about the lamb, but decided this one suited my mood better this year. It’s a beautiful stone, for being so old.

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