Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added)
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.
--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Death of a Fox

Picture a red fox, bruised and cut, slipping across a landscape—black stems of trees, mist rising from melting snow like a white dream, reserved green of winter firs. Or dashing along the sea, the waves wetting his paws. Or over dunes, his brushy tail flecked with sand. Imagine his rollicking freedom. Imagine that on his tongue is an infinitely precious disk of white fire: the peace of the world. He is flying around the world with peace flowing from his mouth like white breath in the cold. His feet go pattering past the dead of the world, thrown like bundles in the street. How quick they are, the small, silent feet. They dart past the boots of men. Listen! The crack of shots. The infinitely small noise of blood feeling its way over the earth.

Tom Fox, rest in the peace that clearly passes all of our human understanding.

8 comments:

  1. Well. You are a fine writer. I'll have this set of fox images, and the sadness that comes with them, in my head for a very long time.

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  2. Oh, Ms. J--
    You may thank yourself, as that particular dream of a fox sprang up and flew away while I was reading about your vigil with souls and snowflakes.

    Tom Fox was braver than I have ever been, and I hope that he would not be displeased to be recalled as a Quaker Friend-fox, spreader of peace.

    Laura, thank you! A compliment from the lady of flourishing trees (and of pens and inks and brushes with wonderful names) is one devoutly to be wished.

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  3. Each has his/her own gift from God. . . some the gift of courage to go, others the gift of words to make known, all the gift of compassion to live and give as we are given.
    Dear one, write on. . .

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  4. And you have the gift of encouragement! Among other things...

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  5. That peace embodied by Tom Fox has slipped through human fingers so many times, like a whisp of smoke or shread of wind, but your words caught raw truth, and that is as close as we're going to get to that pearly disk of peace.

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  6. That's awfully sad and clear-eyed, for 13 or thereabouts, Miss Megan!

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  7. Sorrow brings with it the edge of hope and the promise of new joy, so I suppose it's alright. Mayhap from the resting place of Tom Fox will come the robin with the first whisp of spring.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.