I admire the almost mystic writing of American poet Gary Snyder, and especially this one which I think conjures beautifully the other-worldliness of having a baby, the domestic cave new parents dwell in for a while, and the sense of the world made anew. I also love the 60s-hippy detail of the pot of yoghurt…

Not Leaving the House

by Gary Snyder

When Kai is born
I quit going out

Hang around the kitchen – make cornbread
Let nobody in.
Mail is flat.
Masa lies on her side, Kai sighs,
Non washes and sweeps
We sit and watch
Masa nurse, and drink green tea.

Navajo turquoise beads over the bed
A peacock tail feather at the head
A badger pelt from Nagano-ken
For a mattress; under the sheet;
A pot of yogurt setting
Under the blankets, at his feet.

Masa, Kai,
And Non, our friend
In the garden light reflected in
Not leaving the house.
From dawn till late at night
making a new world of ourselves
around this life.

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