Day 2774

December 31, 2012

Day 2774
a deepening blue
in the west transitioning
to night in the east


Day 2773

December 29, 2012
Day 2773
the snow-covered fields
reflecting the bright moon-light
stretched out to the west

Day 2772

December 21, 2012
Day 2772
at the small table
Mark opened the book he’d brought
and read me a poem

Day 2771

December 19, 2012
Day 2771
I walked back and forth
trying to find something right
amidst all the shlock

Troy’s Book Club: The Pearl

December 17, 2012

“The Pearl” is a short book, called a “parable” even, by one of my favorite, classic authors – John Steinbeck. I’ve taken to his earthy, simple writing style and have read a few of his books – “Cannery Row”, “East of Eden”, “Of Mice and Men”, and “The Grapes of Wrath.” “The Pearl” was first published in Dec 1945, and was suggested for readers “age 12 and up”; it was published in Woman’s Home Companion magazine. By 1988, it had gone through 109 printings! As with his other books, this one drew me in, created very real characters, and made me concerned for their well-being.

With “The Pearl”, Steinbeck sets his story somewhere on the Gulf (presumably “of Mexico”, though it’s never explicitly stated). His main characters are a couple – Kino and Juana – and their child, Coyotito. Kino is a pearl-diver, exploring the reefs to find pearls to sell in the nearby town. In the course of his diving, he finds “the pearl of the world”, an impossibly large pearl. The story follows the changes in Kino’s relationships with the other townspeople and what happens to his family as they try to deal with those changes. Steinbeck avoids sermonizing or telling people how to behave; he just lays out a narrative and allows the reader to make their own sense of what happens. It seems pretty in keeping with Steinbeck’s famous quote: “There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue. There’s just stuff people do.”

If you want, you can get this book from Boswell Books, or check it out from the Milwaukee Public Library!


Day 2770

December 17, 2012
Day 2770
he showed courtesy
to me, and then both of us
held the door open

Day 2769

December 13, 2012
Day 2769
I saw the photos
read the words, started to think
“what else can I do?”