Junglecast 4: Could This Be It?

I admit, I sound a little giddy in this particular podcast. But you have to imagine the scene: we’ve just spent several hours in a truck and then in a boat down the Usumacinta River. Now we’re hiking through the rainforest, up a ridge, and we stumble on to some Maya ruins on the top of the ridge, as if they just hacked off the top of the hill to create a plateau and then built this big complex of buildings there — part of a complex called the Acropolis at Yaxchilan. It is a glorious day, just amazing — the sun, the temperature, the howler monkeys, the buzzing alive-ness of the insects and plants of the rainforest, and the sheer wonder at the immensity of these ruins buried in the jungle — when, out of the simple beauty of the moment, I just start singing. Fly Me To The Moon, no less. And a little farther down, hiking in the jungle, I’m reflecting on the clarity and glory of the one moment we just had at the top of the Maya Acropolis on this high hill a long way from anything, and it was downright poetic. The ancients, the history, nature, the solitude — and suddenly a poem I had memorized many years earlier came to mind and I shared it with Dave. In fact, it occurred to me that the recitation of that particular poem at the particular minute in that particular location — well, it seemed obvious that it had all been pre-ordained, that the only reason I memorized that poem nine or ten years ago was to recite it right there and then. Of course, Dave managed to record the whole thing for your podcasting pleasure [listen here]:


Transfiguration. Consider it from where you stand.
Overnight the cold, cloudy wet spell was lifted, and
you wake beneath a Byzantine blue dome of glass:
golden birds–red hearts in their musical breasts–
overflow the oak leaves with echoes, a frenzy
of possession that fractures into small squabbles as
two redbreasted nuthatches struggle for dominion
in a sapling oak — its leaves emerald tesserae in which
sunlight glows. Suddenly, the leaves look back at you
looking up at their broad, light-lapping faces, morning
riding your shoulders like a pet monkey, and all is pause
for a cracked moment of amazement, mutuality, until
you walk on into woodshade, flapping mosquitoes away.

by Eamon Grennan

3 Responses to “Junglecast 4: Could This Be It?”

  1. Mary Helene Says:

    wow…glad I listened. The pictures all deepen, the texture adds sound.

  2. Dave Pentecost Says:

    Bravo, Nicco! Great intro to the moment.

    I had an echo of it this morning when I got up at 4:30 in Panchan, to get my early taxi out, to fly home. The howlers were at it, two gangs barking at each other, and I was the only person awake to hear, of all the travelers passing through. And now I’m back in Manhattan. What a world!

  3. The Daily Glyph Says:

    Nicco and Junglecast 4

    Nicco has posted a good intro to what I called Nicco’s Moment and he labels “Could this be it?” after…

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