A place to share and discuss your favorite poems.
"A man is known by the company his mind keeps."
....Thomas Bailey Aldrich
The Prologue Here beginneth the book of the tales of Canterbury.
Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour, Of which vertu engendred is the flour; Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne, And smale fowles maken melodye, that slepen al the night with open yë, (So priketh hem nature in hir corages): Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages (And palmers for to seken straunge strondes) To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes; And specially, from every shires ende Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende, The holy blisful martir for to seke, That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.
When April with his showers sweet with fruit The drought of March has pierced unto the root And bathed each vein with liquor that has power To generate therein and sire the flower; When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath, Quickened again, in every holt and heath, The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun Into the Ram one half his course has run, And many little birds make melody That sleep through all the night with open eye (So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage)– Then do folk long to go on pilgrimage, And palmers to go seeking out strange strands, To distant shrines well known in sundry lands. And specially from every shire's end Of England they to Canterbury wend, The holy blessed martyr there to seek Who helped them when they lay so ill and weak.
Middle English passage from The Canterbury Tales as reprinted from The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. W.W. Skeat, Oxford University Press.
Modern English passage from a translation by J.U. Nicolson, Crown Publishers, New York. Copyright 1934 by Covici, Friede, Inc.
The Old Man Loves To Watch Plants Grow...A Poem
The old man loves to watch plants grow. He needs to look at them right now. They give him hope. The steady force of life that pushes up the seed brings peace, relief. He sees the growth unfold in telling design. Tall bushes press against his window, where he watches new-sprouting leaves and clustered knobs of yellow buds soon becoming small white flowers.
Each day he makes his rounds, inspects the large clay pots in his front yard for signs of growth. Did new green reach the sun? How much have small plants grown since yesterday? He is amazed by a hollyhock transplanted, small, only three inches high, now raging life, filling the pot, grown two feet tall in masses of cupped, green leaves, the stalk not yet appeared that will send it four feet higher. It is rampant, raucous with life, inevitable, light-loving... unless smitten for no reason by the hand of god or mindless passerby.
Copyright by Don Gray
From Gallipoli's rugged hillsides, to the sands of Alamein
On rolling seas and in the skies, those memories will remain
Of airmen and the sailors, of Lone Pine and Suvla Bay
The boys of the Dardenelles are remembered on this day.
They fought their way through jungles, the blood soaked desert sands,
They still remember comrades who rest in foreign lands.
They remember the siege of old Tobruk, the mud of the Kokoda Trail
Some paying the supreme sacrifice with courage that did not fail.
To the icy land of Korea, the steamy jungles of Vietnam
And the heroic battle of Kapyong and that epic victory at Long Tan
Fathers, sons and brothers, together they fought and died
That we may live in peace together, while at home their mothers cried.
When that final bugle calls them to cross that great divide
Those comrades will be waiting when they reach the other side.
There is a famous verse from the poem 'For the Fallen' by Lawrence Binyon ....
'They shall not grow, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them.'
Much love to you Anna and all the wonderful posters who have been sending such lovely poetry.
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
In a large room one man one fly
And yet there is only One great thing, The only thing: To live to see in huts and journeys The great day that dawns, And the little light that fills the world
The wind is tossing the lilacs, The new leaves laugh in the sun, And the petals fall on the orchard wall, But for me the spring is done.
Beneath the apple blossoms I go a wintry way, For love that smiled in April Is false to me in May.
A Thing of Beauty A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. --John Keats (Lines 1-5)
may my heart always be open to little... (19) e.e. cummings
may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know and if men should not hear them men are old
may my mind stroll about hungry and fearless and thirsty and supple and even if it's sunday may i be wrong for whenever men are right they are not young
and may myself do nothing usefully and love yourself so more than truly there's never been quite such a fool who could fail pulling all the sky over him with one smile
Bird, your world of twigs astounds- building blocks, a perch, and spring mating ground.
I came across this one, I like it.
reed warblers sing the great river still
" Part of writing haiku is finding the 'awe' that is usually passed by without notice--the act of creating a haiku is the act of a focusing our attention more closely than we might otherwise do."
That sure does resonate with me. I wrote one about kittys once but I wonder where it is.
A bird came down the walk: He did not know I saw; He bit an angle-worm in halves And ate the fellow, raw.
And then he drank a dew From a convenient grass, And then hopped sidewise to the wall To let a beetle pass.
He glanced with rapid eyes That hurried all abroad,-- They looked like frightened beads, I thought; He stirred his velvet head
Like one in danger; cautious, I offered him a crumb, And he unrolled his feathers And rowed him softer home
Than oars divide the ocean, Too silver for a seam, Or butterflies, off banks of noon, Leap, splashless, as they swim.
Beauteous May by John Milton
Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger, Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her The flow'ry May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose. Hail, beauteous May, that dost inspire Mirth, and youth, and warm desire; Woods and groves are of thy dressing, Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing. Thus we salute thee with our early song, And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
Images of hope and light and movement and lightness of being.
May is a special month. Not too hot except for a day here and there- at least in Michigan. Greens stay green. There are blooms of some flowers.
THE GREEN LINNET
BENEATH these fruit-tree boughs that shed Their snow-white blossoms on my head, With brightest sunshine round me spread Of spring's unclouded weather, In this sequestered nook how sweet To sit upon my orchard-seat! And birds and flowers once more to greet, My last year's friends together.
One have I marked, the happiest guest In all this covert of the blest: Hail to Thee, far above the rest In joy of voice and pinion! Thou, Linnet! in thy green array, Presiding Spirit here to-day, Dost lead the revels of the May; And this is thy dominion.
While birds, and butterflies, and flowers, Make all one band of paramours, Thou, ranging up and down the bowers, A Life, a Presence like the Air, Scattering thy gladness without care, Too blest with any one to pair; Thyself thy own enjoyment.
Amid yon tuft of hazel trees, That twinkle to the gusty breeze, Behold him perched in ecstasies, Yet seeming still to hover; There! where the flutter of his wings Upon his back and body flings Shadows and sunny glimmerings, That cover him all over.
My dazzled sight he oft deceives, A Brother of the dancing leaves; Then flits, and from the cottage-eaves Pours forth his song in gushes; As if by that exulting strain He mocked and treated with disdain The voiceless Form he chose to feign, While fluttering in the bushes. 1803.
Song of Songs Song 712
Come, my beloved, let us go out into the fields and lie all night in the flowering henna.
Let us go early into the vineyards to see if the vine has budded, if the blossoms have opened and the pomegranate is in flower.
There I will give you my love.
The air is filled with the scent of mandrakes and at our doors rare fruit of every kind, my love, I have stored away for you.
M - O - T - H - E - R "M" is for the million things she gave me, "O" means only that she's growing old, "T" is for the tears she shed to save me, "H" is for her heart of purest gold; "E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining, "R" means right, and right she'll always be, Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER," A word that means the world to me.
Howard Johnson (c. 1915)
Nature - The Gentlest Mother
By Emily Dickinson
Nature, the gentlest mother, Impatient of no child, The feeblest or the waywardest, Her admonition mild
In forest and the hill By traveller is heard, Restraining rampant squirrel Or too impetuous bird.
How fair her conversation, A summer afternoon, Her household, her assembly; And when the sun goes down
Her voice among the aisles Incites the timid prayer Of the minutest cricket, The most unworthy flower.
When all the children sleep She turns as long away As will suffice to light her lamps; Then, bending from the sky
With infinite affection And infiniter care, Her golden finger on her lip, Wills silence everywhere.
If Nature smiles -- the Mother must I'm sure, at many a whim Of Her eccentric Family -- Is She so much to blame?
I thought this poem from 1919 edition was powerful:
One shoulder lower, with unsure step like a bear erect, the smell of the wet black rags that she cleans with about her.
Scratching with four stiff fingers her half-bald head, smiling.
The clouds, piled in rows like merchandise, become dark; lights are lit in the lofts; the milliners, tacking bright flowers on straw shapes, say, glancing out of the windows, It is going to snow; and soon they hear the snow scratching the panes. By night it is high on the sills. The snow fills up the footprints in the streets, the ruts of wagons and of motor trucks. Except for the whir of the car brushing the tracks clear of snow, the streets are hushed. At closing time, the girls breathe deeply the clean air of the streets sweet after the smell of merchandise.
The basic tenets of Objectivist poetics were to treat the poem as an object and to emphasise sincerity, intelligence, and the poet's ability to look clearly at the world
From his teens, Reznikoff had been writing poetry, much of it influenced by the Imagists, and publishing it himself using handset printing plates. Throughout his writing life, Reznikoff was always concerned to ensure that his work was published, even at his own expense. This appears to have been inspired by a family story of his grandfather, an unpublished Hebrew poet whose manuscripts were destroyed after his death
The cocks have now the morn foretold, The sun again begins to peep, The shepherd, whistling to his fold, Unpens and frees the captive sheep. O’er pathless plains at early hours The sleepy rustic sloomy goes; The dews, brushed off from grass and flowers, Bemoistening sop his hardened shoes
While every leaf that forms a shade, And every floweret’s silken top, And every shivering bent and blade, Stoops, bowing with a diamond drop. But soon shall fly those diamond drops, The red round sun advances higher, And, stretching o’er the mountain tops, Is gilding sweet the village-spire.
’Tis sweet to meet the morning breeze, Or list the gurgling of the brook; Or, stretched beneath the shade of trees, Peruse and pause on Nature’s book, When Nature every sweet prepares To entertain our wished delay,— The images which morning wears, The wakening charms of early day!
Now let me tread the meadow paths While glittering dew the ground illumes, As, sprinkled o’er the withering swaths, Their moisture shrinks in sweet perfumes; And hear the beetle sound his horn; And hear the skylark whistling nigh, Sprung from his bed of tufted corn, A haling minstrel from the sky.
Wait for me, and I'll return Only wait very hard Wait when you are filled with sorrow... Wait in the sweltering heat Wait when the others have stopped waiting, Forgetting their yesterdays.
Wait even when from afar no letters come to you Wait even when others are tired of waiting... And when friends sit around the fire, Drinking to my memory, Wait, and do not hurry to drink to my memory too.
Wait. For I'll return,defying every death. And let those who do not wait say that I was lucky. They will never understand that in the midst of death, You with your waiting saved me. Only you and I know how I survived. It's because you waited, as no one else did.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.
John Macrae (1872-1918)
Show me a piece of land that God forgot- a strip between an unused sidewalk, say , and a bulldozed lot, rich in broken glass- and there, July on , will be chicory,
its leggy hollow stems staggering skyward, its leaves rough-hairy and lanceolate, like pointed shoes too cheap for elves to wear, its button- blooms the tenderest mauve-blue.
How good of it to risk the roadside fumes, the oil-soaked heat reflected from asphalt, and wretched earth dun-colored like cement, too packed for any other seed to probe.
It sends a deep tap-root (delicious, boiled), is relished by all livestock, lends its leaves to salads and cooked greens, but will not thrive in cultivated soil: it must be free.
Beach at Normandy
You were tall , lanky and my ideal Helen's brother who was always kind Who never treated us like the pests we were Six years of Latin gave you a poise We could imagine you at the Forum Leading Romans in discourse For you Dec 7, 1941 meant a call to arms Answered you left and we were resigned To missing you, to praying for your safety Marrying your sweetheart but I didn't mind I was too young and you were my hero What you desired I wanted, always the best for you Helen kept me abreast of your letters home As I shared my brothers too
One day the news of a invasion D-Day it was proclaimed and for you And for us, a terrible meaning You left your life on that sandy beach My mind could see you there Sprawled, your long form stretched From where you lay, your arms Your hands already clay And the ocean washed you where you lay
Grief still wells up and tears fall down For no longer was it just part of the war To be recalled in history books But it was a living, breathing mind We are poorer for you are gone
and there is no imprint on the sand ....
anna alexander 5/25/04 ©
Thanks to Magellan's radar, we Have maps of Venus and can see, The National Geographic claims, Whole mountainscapes, complete with names.
Beneath sulfuric- acid clouds That never lift their poison shrouds, Heat like an oven's turned to CLEAN Bakes Theia Mons, sere and serene.
Sif Mons, and Gula Mons and Maat (Or Ma ‘at) Mons is where it's at For altitude, equatorwise. Up north, on Ishtar Terra, lies.
The Lakshmi Planum; right next door The Maxwell Montes upward soar And boast a lava peak whose crest Out-towers Earth's Mt. Everest.
Heights innocent of snow and ice And hikers seeking edelweiss, They rise through hellish murk and are Subsumed within the evening star.
Life seems more sweet that Thou didst live
And men more true that Thou wert one;
Nothing is lost that Thou didst give,
Nothing destroyed that Thou has done.
When Death Comes
When death comes like the hungry bear in autumn when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut; when death comes like the measle pox;
when death comes like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering; what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything as a brotherhood and a sisterhood, and I look upon time as no more than an idea, and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something precious to the earth.
When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it's over, I don't want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
The Summer issue of the m.e.stubbs poetry journal is now on the web. Poets whose work appears in this issue are Vivienne Ledlie, Patricia Robinson-King, Beatriz Alba del Rio, James E. Fowler, Ward Kelley, John T. Baker, Elisha Porat, T. Ashok Chakravarthy, Ram Mehta, Emery L. Campbell, John Talbot Ross, and R. J. McCusker. Each poem is illustrated with fine art, graphics and watercolor paintings by Ann Dora Cantor. Poets in this issue come from all over the United States and as far away as Israel, India and Australia.
I'm enjoying Googling her name.
We cherish too, the Poppy red That grows on fields where valor led, It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies.
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.
We Shall Keep the Faith by Moira Michael, November 1918
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields, Sleep sweet - to rise anew! We caught the torch you threw And holding high, we keep the Faith With All who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red That grows on fields where valor led; It seems to signal to the skies That blood of heroes never dies, But lends a lustre to the red Of the flower that blooms above the dead In Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red We wear in honor of our dead. Fear not that ye have died for naught; We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought In Flanders Fields.
Watching the Dedication of the WWII Memorial
How different it must be for all those gathered there A sunny day , no stormy clouds in sight A pristine monument , the band, the cheers The music ,, the speeches , the praise Deserved and still ...for the most they moved When at last were home Onward, away from sounds of war The bullets, the big guns roar, the smell Of blood and guts and flesh quickly bent on decay The awful fear, the hopes, the prayers To God or perhaps just to the sky The dreams of home and loved ones there That often quickly dissolved to nightmares Of never seeing them again ...never see The friend beside you or even worse, it Might be me ...who would lay down my life On this wrecked plain, or fall from heaven, Or sink beneath the sea and should it be so What would I want the rest of America to know ? Sometimes you have no choice Not if your own Freedom came at price. It is a toll that is owed To the future , to insure someday all the world Will know ..freedom of heart and soul. I feel among those present there is small gladness It wasn't "me" who was left behind Whose spirit lies in white crossed fields Still when I watch the faces and see the tears There is an emptiness inside for each person there A hurt and pain for those not there to sit beside and receive A country's praise, deserved thanks and accolades.
anna alexander © 5/31/04
"to feel Greatly, and understand greatly, and express greatly, the natural Beauty, is the sole business of poetry" I like that Scrawler.
What is So Rare As a Day in June
AND what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days; Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune, And over it softly her warm ear lays; Whether we look, or whether we listen, We hear life murmur, or see it glisten; Every clod feels a stir of might, An instinct within it that reaches and towers, And, groping blindly above it for light, Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers; The flush of life may well be seen Thrilling back over hills and valleys; The cowslip startles in meadows green, The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice, And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean To be some happy creature's palace; The little bird sits at his door in the sun, Atilt like a blossom among the leaves, And lets his illumined being o'errun With the deluge of summer it receives; His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings, And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings; He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest, In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?
Now is the high-tide of the year, And whatever of life hath ebbed away Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer, Into every bare inlet and creek and bay; Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it, We are happy now because God wills it; No matter how barren the past may have been, 'Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green; We sit in the warm shade and feel right well How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell; We may shut our eyes but we cannot help knowing That skies are clear and grass is growing; The breeze comes whispering in our ear, That dandelions are blossoming near, That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing, That the river is bluer than the sky, That the robin is plastering his house hard by; And if the breeze kept the good news back, For our couriers we should not lack; We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing, And hark! How clear bold chanticleer, Warmed with the new wine of the year, Tells all in his lusty crowing!
Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how; Everything is happy now, Everything is upward striving; 'Tis as easy now for the heart to be true As for grass to be green or skies to be blue, 'Tis for the natural way of living: Who knows whither the clouds have fled? In the unscarred heaven they leave not wake, And the eyes forget the tears they have shed, The heart forgets its sorrow and ache; The soul partakes the season's youth, And the sulphurous rifts of passion and woe Lie deep 'neath a silence pure and smooth, Like burnt-out craters healed with snow. James Russell Lowell
Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day? (Sonnets XVIII)
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest; Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou growest: So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
-- William Shakespeare
To a Group of Starlings
All day you’ve chased the nuthatch, the titmouse,
the purple finches in the trees, and now
you strut down the street like overgrown boys,
raccoon coats hiding your matchstick legs,
the sidewalk your grand runway, and you’re
boys on newspaper boxes, little drummers
playing buckets and pails, shoe-shine men calling,
hustlers, shiny watches, the old shell game.
Birds of midnight sheen, of oil and ink,
of trashcans in the alley, you’re
my hard-times bird, my hand’s shadow.
You swarm over the roofs like thought
before it falls, you shoot from the furnace
with the coming rain, dirty stars, faraway flames. Joelle Biele
you’re my hard-times bird, my hand’s shadow. You swarm over the roofs like thought before it falls, you shoot from the furnace with the coming rain, dirty stars, faraway flames.
if my computer is beind difficult but the last two posts arewaaaaaaaay off center...hope it improves..I will restart my computer when I am back from shopping...I am glad you are like me JoanK ..they feed at my feeders,drape themselves often in my trees..they look like ragged bits of cloth hanging there...black shreds...but I dont begruge them the food..Actually that is not the truth but Iwouldnt want you to think I dislike any living thing...anna
Be strong! We are not here to play, to dream, to drift. We have hard work to do and loads to lift. Shun not the struggle, face it: 'tis God's gift.
Be strong! Say not the days are evil. Who's to blame? And fold the hands and acquiesce, O shame! Stand up, speak out and bravely, in God's name.
Be strong! It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong, How hard the battle goes, the day is long: Faint not, fight on! Tomorrow comes the song.
-- By Maltbie D. Babcock (poem carried by 2nd Lt. John Burkhalter who landed on Normandy Beach on June 6, 1944. John Burkhalter was an ordained pastor in the Southern Baptist Church when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942.)
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Requiem
Under the wide and starry sky, Dig the grave and let me lie. Glad did I live and gladly die, And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me: Here he lies where he longed to be; Home is the sailor, home from sea, And the hunter home from the hill.
1830 - 94
When I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me; Plant thou no roses at my head, Nor shady cypress tree: Be the green grass above me With showers and dewdrops wet; And if thou wilt, remember, And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows, I shall not feel the rain; I shall not hear the nightingale Sing on, as if in pain: And dreaming through the twilight That doth not rise nor set, Haply, I may remember, And haply may forget.
by Richard Hovey from Songs of Vagabondia, by Richard Hovey, Small, Maynard and Company
This is a classic example of the romanticism with which sea-wandering was viewed in popular culture.
I am fevered with the sunset, I am fretful with the bay, For the wander-thirst is on me And my soul is in Cathay.
There's a schooner in the offing, With her topsails shot with fire, And my heart has gone aboard her For the islands of Desire.
I must forth again to-morrow! With the sunset I must be Hull down on the trail of rapture In the wonder of the sea.
I just posted this in the Rubbish game as a topic for sailing. Pretty neat poem I think.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking, And a gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
Dorothy Parker - Surprise
My heart went fluttering with fear Lest you should go, and leave me here To beat my breast and rock my head And stretch me sleepless on my bed. Ah, clear they see and true they say That one shall weep, and one shall stray For such is Love's unvarying law.... I never thought, I never saw That I should be the first to go; How pleasant that it happened so!
Alfred Lord Tennyson - Crossing The Bar
Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam, When that which drew from out the boundless deep Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crost the bar.
Mary Oliver - The Summer Day
Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean-- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is eating sugar out of my hand, who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-- who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes. Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face. Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away. I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do With your one wild and precious life?
Death Be Not Proud
by John Donne (1572-1631) DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so, For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow, Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee, Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow, And soonest our best men with thee doe goe, Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie. Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell, And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well, And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then; One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally, And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
Every morning the world is created. Under the orange
sticks of the sun the heaped ashes of the night turn into leaves again
and fasten themselves to the high branches --- and the ponds appear like black cloth on which are painted islands
of summer lilies. If it is your nature to be happy you will swim away along the soft trails
for hours, your imagination alighting everywhere. And if your spirit carries within it
the thorn that is heavier than lead --- if it's all you can do to keep on trudging ---
there is still somewhere deep within you a beast shouting that the earth is exactly what it wanted ---
each pond with its blazing lilies is a prayer heard and answered lavishly, every morning,
whether or not you have ever dared to be happy, whether or not you have ever dared to pray.
What an understanding of people and a gift for image Mary Oliver has- reminds me of an essence of Emily Dickinson- and so I came across this poem and like it. I have felt both ways she talks about.
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -- over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
The American Flag
Joseph Rodman Drake
When freedom, from her mountain height Unfurled her standard to the air, She tore the azure robe of night And set the stars of glory there. She mingled with its gorgeous dyes The milky baldric of the skies, Then from his mansion in the sun She called her eagle-bearer down And gave into his mighty hand The symbol of her chosen land.
[FREDRIC NIETZSCHE] Day by day Day by day Oh Dear Lord Three things I pray To see thee more clearly Love thee more dearly Follow thee more nearly Day by day
Summer Amy Lowell
Some men there are who find in nature all Their inspiration, hers the sympathy Which spurs them on to any great endeavor, To them the fields and woods are closest friends, And they hold dear communion with the hills; The voice of waters soothes them with its fall, And the great winds bring healing in their sound. To them a city is a prison house Where pent up human forces labour and strive, Where beauty dwells not, driven forth by man; But where in winter they must live until Summer gives back the spaces of the hills. To me it is not so. I love the earth And all the gifts of her so lavish hand: Sunshine and flowers, rivers and rushing winds, Thick branches swaying in a winter storm, And moonlight playing in a boat's wide wake; But more than these, and much, ah, how much more, I love the very human heart of man. Above me spreads the hot, blue mid-day sky, Far down the hillside lies the sleeping lake Lazily reflecting back the sun, And scarcely ruffled by the little breeze Which wanders idly through the nodding ferns. The blue crest of the distant mountain, tops The green crest of the hill on which I sit; And it is summer, glorious, deep-toned summer, The very crown of nature's changing year When all her surging life is at its full. To me alone it is a time of pause, A void and silent space between two worlds, When inspiration lags, and feeling sleeps, Gathering strength for efforts yet to come. For life alone is creator of life, And closest contact with the human world Is like a lantern shining in the night To light me to a knowledge of myself. I love the vivid life of winter months In constant intercourse with human minds, When every new experience is gain And on all sides we feel the great world's heart; The pulse and throb of life which makes us men!
So much of what we live goes on inside– The diaries of grief, the tongue-tied aches Of unacknowledged love are no less real For having passed unsaid. What we conceal Is always more than what we dare confide. Think of the letters that we write our dead.
New Life by Paul Bodet
I've been sitting around this life for years, Not enough laughs and too many tears. Trying to figure out where it all went, These wasted years that I have spent.
Searching for something to go beyond, Life's a stone skipping across a pond. At the last skip, it hits with a splash, Down the stone sinks, gone in a flash.
Pushing and pulling, it's tearing apart, Poking and prodding an underused heart. This dark velvet curtain that hides my soul, Living this life has taken it's toll.
In a flash of bright light, the curtain is torn, Tumbling down all tattered and worn. Revealing new life, a child within, Born free of hate, of suffering and sin.
Now my eyes see what has never been told, Striving forth happy, confident and bold. Into a world that's unfamiliar but friendly, Into this new life my spirit will send me.
Living and laughing, loving it all, I stood myself up and answered the call. The darkness has gone, replaced by the light, I gave up the darkness with hardly a fight.
I've been sitting around this life for years, With laughter aplenty and hardly a tear. Now I can see just where it all went, Cherish every moment of this new life I've spent.
Homecoming by Tina K
I must go back to my tree again, To that lovely tree where I cried. And all I ask is a whispering breeze And a serene cerulean sky.
And the rustle of leaves, and the creak of the boughs, And the grit that clings to the bark; And the grooves of ancient forget- me- nots The tinder for memory's spark.
To rest once again in utter peace In those gnarled and knotted limbs, To drift in blissful transcendence And to make my peace with Him.
Endure by Bobi
If I can endure for this moment, whatever is happening to me. No matter how heavy my heart, or how dark the moment may be. If I can but keep on believing, what I know in my heart to be true. Then darkness will fade into morning, and with this dawn a new day, too.
New Beginning © Debbie C Hunt, Victoria, Australia, April 28, 2004
See the beauty Feel the softness Smell the sweetness Hear the harmony Taste the freedom.
Make up your own ending.
Envisage the new beginning.
Imagine Heaven... Like only you can.
Across the Fields to Anne
By Richard Burton
HOW often in the summer-tide, His graver business set aside Has stripling Will, the thoughtful-eyed, As to the pipe of Pan, Stepped blithesomely with lover’s pride Across the fields to Anne.
It must have been a merry mile, This summer stroll by hedge and stile, With sweet foreknowledge all the while How sure the pathway ran To dear delights of kiss and smile, Across the fields to Anne.
The silly sheep that graze to-day, I wot, they let him go his way, Nor once looked up, as who should say: “It is a seemly man.” For many lads went wooing aye Across the fields to Anne.
The oaks, they have a wiser look; Mayhap they whispered to the brook: “The world by him shall yet be shook, It is in nature’s plan; Though now he fleets like any rook Across the fields to Anne.”
And I am sure, that on some hour Coquetting soft ’twixt sun and shower, He stooped and broke a daisy-flower With heart of tiny span, And bore it as a lover’s dower Across the fields to Anne.
While from her cottage garden-bed She plucked a jasmine’s goodlihede, To scent his jerkin’s brown instead; Now since that love began, What luckier swain than he who sped Across the fields to Anne?
The winding path whereon I pace, The hedgerow’s green, the summer’s grace, Are still before me face to face; Methinks I almost can Turn poet and join the singing race Across the fields to Anne!
A NEW BEGINNING
Each day's a new beginning, We sail an unknown course, But if we trust the Master And seek Him as our source, He'll guide our ship of hours As we strive to chart our way, And we'll feel a reassurance That will comfort all the day. For when we ask our Father To help us at day's end, He'll strengthen and sustain us With love to overwhelm.
Virginia Borman Grimmer
Amy Lowell - A Coloured Print by Shokei
It winds along the face of a cliff This path which I long to explore, And over it dashes a waterfall, And the air is full of the roar And the thunderous voice of waters which sweep In a silver torrent over some steep. It clears the path with a mighty bound And tumbles below and away, And the trees and the bushes which grow in the rocks Are wet with its jewelled spray; The air is misty and heavy with sound, And small, wet wildflowers star the ground. Oh! The dampness is very good to smell, And the path is soft to tread, And beyond the fall it winds up and on, While little streamlets thread Their own meandering way down the hill Each singing its own little song, until I forget that 't is only a pictured path, And I hear the water and wind, And look through the mist, and strain my eyes To see what there is behind; For it must lead to a happy land, This little path by a waterfall spanned.
Needing a new song
Oh help me, I need a new song. The old one served me well and long, Still it is time I move along To other places, other faces., A new home pale in color Pink the artist would say. And it will be a new life for me. I regretfully leave behind The old one, It was fair And I will always miss it there. But now I need a new song, A verse to sing while I grow new wings, A melody to lift my heart, To challenge me to new start. The old one will still be there, Cherished, kept intact , I will Place it in a camphor box, All lined with silk and seeded pearls. And when my new song is complete, Each word and phrase etched on my heart, Some cold and chilly winter day Before a roaring flame to keep me warm, I will curl up on a sofa there. Bring out my camphor box, Open the lid and invite the old song To come out, to join me where I can sing each sweet remembered note. The past glories of my old song will float In my new home and I will smile, And a sweet memory will reveal How blessed I am to have had you both, My old song and now my new. Blended now in one sweet refrain . Thank you life for giving me All these warm and blessed memories.......
anna alexander June 17, 2004© Just for anneo
Slowly, silently, now the moon
walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silver thatch;
Couched in his kennel., like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws and a silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.
It's So Nice To Have A Dad Around The House by: Helen Steiner Rice,
DADS are special people No home should be without, For every family will agree They're 'SO NICE TO HAVE ABOUT' - They are a happy mixture Of a 'SMALL BOY' and a 'MAN' And they're very necessary In every 'FAMILY PLAN' - Sometimes they're most demanding And stern, and firm and tough But underneath they're 'soft as silk' For this is just a 'BLUFF' - But in any kind of trouble Dad reaches out his hand. And you can always count on him To help and understand - And while we do not praise Dad as often as we should, We love him and admire him, And while that's understood, It's only fair to emphasise His importance and his worth - For if there were no loving Dads This would be a 'LOVELESS EARTH'.
First snow falling on the half-finished bridge.
Winter storm In a world of one color The sound of wind
My father died when I was twenty-one More years ago than I care to remember Still the woman I am today is who She is because of what he stood for.
Tolerance I learned from him Never to judge someone by skin Color, or ethnic background Or any of a hundred things We use as criteria to determine Who we choose for friends
We had a comfortable living Earned by his efforts and desire To give us the best he could. Yet it was what he gave us On quiet summer evenings Sitting on the green vined porch The soft answers to our questions The condemnation for anything Mean or hurtful The gruff, loving care he showed us In all he did. The fair way he treated Us. The love he held for our mother, His mother, and family members. He taught me to be myself To be a leader, and not a follower To take responsibility for my behavior He reminded us to be lenient in our Dealings with others and to be strict With our dealings with ourselves He trusted us to be the best in whatever we did Encouraged our dreams Woke us on a hot summer’s eve to Eat ice cream he carried home On the bus. Greeted us at the breakfast table on A winters day with fresh doughnuts From the bakery near his bus stop This may not be a poem but it is truth About a man who taught me what to Look for in the man I married So he too would be a Father Not just the man Mother married. anna alexander 5/19/1997 all right reserved
A Saturated meadow, Sun-shaped and jewel-small, A circle scarcely wider Than the trees around were tall; Where winds were quite excluded, And the air was stifling sweet With the breath of many flowers,-- A temple of the heat.
There we bowed us in the burning, As the sun's right worship is, To pick where none could miss them A thousand orchises; For though the grass was scattered, Yet every second spear Seemed tipped with wings of color, That tinged the atmosphere.
We raised a simple prayer Before we left the spot, That in the general mowing That place might be forgot; Or if not all so favored, Obtain such grace of hours, That none should mow the grass there While so confused with flowers.
Making Real Sense of the Senses
Our eyes are for looking at things, But they are also for crying When we are very happy or very sad. Our eyes are for listening. But so are our hearts. Our noses are for smelling food But also the wind and the grass and If we try very hard, butterflies. Our hands are for feeling. But also for hugging and touching so gently. Our mouths and tongues are for tasting. But also for saying words, like "I love you," and "Thank you God, for all of these things."
Excerpted from Heartsongs, by Mattie J.T. Stepanek, Copyright © Sept. 2001. Published by VSP Books/Hyperion
Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children
They will not be the same next time. The sayings So cute, just slightly off,will be corrected. Their eyes will be more skeptical, plugged in the more securely to the worldly buzz of television, alphabet, and street talk, culture polluting their gazes'dawn blue. It makes you see at last the value of those boring aunts and neighbors (their smells of summer sweat and cigarettes, their faces like shapes of sky between shade-giving leaves) who knew you from the start, when you were zero, cooing their nothings before you could be bored or knew a name, not even your own, or how this world brave with hellos turns all goodbye.
Not theirs the stoves inflammatory drama, or the refrigerator's frosty glamour, or the trim glazed hauteur of window frames, but the warmth of the fire, we feel on our knuckles a kiss of heat like a dog's nudge, and remember that the room lulls our blood not my accident but by basement-base thermodynamic plan.
With their thick fins and many spines these cast iron soldiers stant at attention in the least obstrusive corners, like museum guards, sleepy and dull, in rooms of glowing treasure- ourselves. Their weeping, whistling valves declare a love of us that makes them throb and simmer: they call out for our praise for their fidelity, but are, cobwebbed untouchables, ignored.
One size fits all. The shape or coloration of the god or high heaven matters less than that there is one, somehow, somewhere. hearing the hasty prayer and chalking up the mite the widow brings to the temple. A child alone with awful verities cries out for there to be a limit, a warm wall whose stones give back an answer, however faint.
Strange, the extravagance of it-who needs those eighteen-armed black Kalis, those musty saints whose bones and bleeding wounds appall good taste; those joss sticks, houris, gilded Buddhas, books Moroni etched in tedious detail? We do, we need more worlds. This one will fail.
Concord Hymn Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sung at the completion of the battle monument on April 19, 1836
By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept; Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; And Time the ruined bridge has swept Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream, We set today a votive stone; That memory may their deed redeem, When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit that made those heroes dare To die, and leave their children free, Bid Time and Nature gently spare The shaft we raise to them and thee.
The wind is singing through the trees to-night, A deep-voiced song of rushing cadences And crashing intervals. No summer breeze Is this, though hot July is at its height, Gone is her gentler music; with delight She listens to this booming like the seas, These elemental, loud necessities Which call to her to answer their swift might. Above the tossing trees shines down a star, Quietly bright; this wild, tumultuous joy Quickens nor dims its splendour. And my mind, O Star! is filled with your white light, from far, So suffer me this one night to enjoy The freedom of the onward sweeping wind.
Oh, say can you see how our old ten and two and one Our thirteen starters twinkling, an original star Flared up, a July fourth supernova, (memory Watching starry rockets now in grandstands, or along Chilly beaches) Can you see how then it exploded Westward, southward, urging the hegemony of light On hills of high, darkened cloud, unwilling plains, milky Rivers and one-candled mountain-cabins of the night? Democracy which closes the past against us (said Tocqueville) opens the future up: but as you sit here With me on the high rocks at Cape Eleutheria, Truthful in your shawl, all the light that ever was shines In your eyes, later to burn off tomorrow's blankness.
Carl Sandburg - Good-night
MANY ways to spell good night.
Fireworks at a pier on the Fourth of July spell it with red wheels and yellow spokes.
They fizz in the air, touch the water and quit. Rockets make a trajectory of gold-and-blue and then go out.
Railroad trains at night spell with a smokestack mushrooming a white pillar.
Steamboats turn a curve in the Mississippi crying in a baritone that crosses lowland cottonfields to a razorback hill. It is easy to spell good night.
Many ways to spell good night.
The American Flag
Joseph Rodman Drake
When freedom, from her mountain height Unfurled her standard to the air, She tore the azure robe of night And set the stars of glory there. She mingled with its gorgeous dyes The milky baldric of the skies, Then from his mansion in the sun She called her eagle-bearer down And gave into his mighty hand The symbol of her chosen land.
Inward Morning Henry David Thoreau
Packed in my mind lie all the clothes Which outward nature wears, And in its fashion's hourly change It all things else repairs. In vain I look for change abroad, And can no difference find, Till some new ray of peace uncalled Illumes my inmost mind.
What is it gilds the trees and clouds, And paints the heavens so gay, But yonder fast-abiding light With its unchanging ray?
Lo, when the sun streams through the wood, Upon a winter's morn, Where'er his silent beams intrude, The murky night is gone.
How could the patient pine have known The morning breeze would come, Or humble flowers anticipate The insect's noonday hum--
Till the new light with morning cheer From far streamed through the aisles, And nimbly told the forest trees For many stretching miles?
I've heard within my inmost soul Such cheerful morning news, In the horizon of my mind Have seen such orient hues,
As in the twilight of the dawn, When the first birds awake, Are heard within some silent wood, Where they the small twigs break,
Or in the eastern skies are seen, Before the sun appears, The harbingers of summer heats Which from afar he bears.
It's a grand ole flag It's a high flying flag Forever in peace may it wave The emblem of the land I love The home of the free and the brave Every heart beats true Under the red,white and blue Where there is never a boast or a brag //
Should auld acquaintence be forgot ? Keep your eye on the grand ole flag!
George M Cohan
In Sleep Under moonlight the valley opens calmly to the sea pushing back, pushing back, uncountable, unaccountably gentle, digging at the gravelly beach, and, under moonlight, to the shallow shoveling of your breathing in, in sleep, and out at the night.
David McAleavey teaches English at George Washington University and is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Holding Obsidian (Washington Writers Publishing House, 1985). He has edited an anthology of Washington writers, Evidence of Community (GW University, 1984), and a collection of essays, Washington and Washington Writers (GW, 1986).
Sonnet: At Ostend, July 22nd 1787 by William Lisle Bowles
How sweet the tuneful bells' responsive peal! As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease, So piercing to my heart their force I feel! And hark! with lessening cadence now they fall, And now, along the white and level tide, They fling their melancholy music wide, Bidding me many a tender thought recall Of summer-days, and those delightful years When by my native streams, in life's fair prime, The mournful magic of their mingling chime First waked my wond'ring childhood into tears; - But seeming now, when all those days are o'er, The sounds of joy, once heard, and heard no more.
The Echoing Green William Blake 1757-1827 From Songs of Innocence
The sun does arise, And make happy the skies; The merry bells ring To welcome the Spring; The skylark and thrush, The birds of the bush, Sing louder around To the bells' cheerful sound; While our sports shall be seen On the echoing green.
Old John, with white hair, Does laugh away care, Sitting under the oak, Among the old folk. They laugh at our play, And soon they all say, 'Such, such were the joys When we all -- girls and boys -- In our youth-time were seen On the echoing green.'
Till the little ones, weary, No more can be merry: The sun does descend, And our sports have an end. Round the laps of their mothers Many sisters and brothers, Like birds in their nest, Are ready for rest, And sport no more seen On the darkening green.
ON THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE CRICKET
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead; That is the Grasshopper's—he takes the lead In summer luxury,—he has never done With his delights; for when tired out with fun He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed. The poetry of earth is ceasing never: On a lone winter evening, when the frost Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever, And seems to one in drowsiness half lost, The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.
These shriveled sinews and this bending frame, The workmanship of Time's strong hand proclaim; Skilled to reverse whate'er the gods create, And make that crooked which they fashion straight. Hard choice for man, to die -- or else to be That tottering, wretched, wrinkled thing you see: Age then we all prefer; for age we pray, And travel on to life's last, lingering day; Then sinking slowly down from worse to worse, Find heaven's extorted boon our greatest curse.
One Art Elizabeth Bishop
The art of losing isn't hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.
--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident the art of losing's not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
I Loved You by: Alexander Pushkin (1799 - 1837)
I loved you; even now I may confess, Some embers of my love their fire retain; But do not let it cause you more distress, I do not want to sadden you again. Hopeless and tongue-tied, yet I loved you dearly, With pangs the jealous and the timid know; So tenderly I loved you, so sincerely, I pray God grant another love you so.
Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota, Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. And the eyes of those two Indian ponies Darken with kindness. They have come gladly out of the willows To welcome my friend and me. We step over the barbed wire into the pasture Where they have been grazing all day, alone. They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness That we have come. They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other. There is no loneliness like theirs. At home once more, they begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness. I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms, For she has walked over to me And nuzzled my left hand. She is black and white, Her mane falls wild on her forehead, And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist. Suddenly I realize That if I stepped out of my body I would break Into blossom.
Sonnet 29 "When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes"
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon myself, and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd, Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope, With what I most enjoy contented least: Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, Haply I think on thee,--and then my state (Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate; For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings'.
(1564 - 1616)
The superrich make lousy neighbors- they buy a house and tear it down and build another, twice as big, and leave. They're never there: they own so many other houses, each demands a visit. Entire neighborhoods called fashionable, bustling with servants and masters, such as Louisburg Square in Boston or Bel Air in L.A. are districts now like Wall Street after dark or Tombstone once the silver boom went bust. The essence of the surperrich is absence. They like to demonstrate they can afford to be elsewhere. Don't let them in. Their riches form a kind of poverty.
TWO butterflies went out at noon And waltzed above a stream, Then stepped straight through the firmament And rested on a beam;
And then together bore away Upon a shining sea, Though never yet, in any port, Their coming mentioned be.
If spoken by the distant bird, If met in ether sea By frigate or by merchantman, Report was not to me.
Emily Dickinson (1830–86). Complete Poems. 1924.
Don't know which edition this is from- didn't say on the website from which I copy & pasted.
Butterflies are really busy at this time of year. And can be elusive as Emily seems to say.
Two railroads crossed here,making the depot hot property for an army that could take it. Grant won out, and rode the rails to Vicksburg. The little city now uncoveted by any side,reposes in the hope of Shiloh's bloody glamour rubbing off as peaceful golddust-tourist traffic. This veranda knew the boots of Beaurgard
and of Ulysses,too. What epic times when bayonet and cannonball dispersed the souls of country boys in gray and blue! An iron lozenge forged to fit the wheels that roll east-west and north-south marks the spot a throng died for. I stood there all alone.
THE GENESIS OF BUTTERFLIES
by: Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
The dawn is smiling on the dew that covers The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers That kiss the buds, and all the flutterings In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings, That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide, With muffled music, murmured far and wide. Ah, the Spring time, when we think of all the lays That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays, Of the fond hearts within a billet bound, Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound, The messages of love that mortals write Filled with intoxication of delight, Written in April and before the May time Shredded and flown, playthings for the wind's playtime, We dream that all white butterflies above, Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love, And leave their lady mistress in despair, To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair, Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies Flutter, and float, and change to butterflies.
A Cap of Lead Across the SkyEmily Dickinson
A Cap of Lead across the sky Was tight and surly drawn We could not find the mighty Face The Figure was withdrawn --
A Chill came up as from a shaft Our noon became a well A Thunder storm combines the charms Of Winter and of Hell.
Anna Akhmatova - You Will Hear Thunder
You will hear thunder and remember me, And think: she wanted storms. The rim Of the sky will be the colour of hard crimson, And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.
That day in Moscow, it will all come true, when, for the last time, I take my leave, And hasten to the heights that I have longed for, Leaving my shadow still to be with you.
Philip Larkin - Mother, Summer, I
My mother, who hates thunder storms, Holds up each summer day and shakes It out suspiciously, lest swarms Of grape-dark clouds are lurking there; But when the August weather breaks And rains begin, and brittle frost Sharpens the bird-abandoned air, Her worried summer look is lost,
And I her son, though summer-born And summer-loving, none the less Am easier when the leaves are gone Too often summer days appear Emblems of perfect happiness I can't confront: I must await A time less bold, less rich, less clear: An autumn more appropriate.
"Too often summer days appear Emblems of perfect happiness I can't confront: I must await A time less bold, less rich, less clear: An autumn more appropriate."
With all the terrible tornados, etc. this summer and flooding here and there I would think most people would fret about summer storms as he describes the mother.
SUMMER'S ENDING.Andrew Lang
THE flags below the shadowy fern Shine like spears between sun and sea, The tide and the summer begin to turn, And ah, for hearts, for hearts that yearn, For fires of autumn that catch and burn, For love gone out between thee and me.
The wind is up, and the weather broken, Blue seas, blue eyes, are grieved and grey, Listen, the word that the wind has spoken, Listen, the sound of the sea, - a token That summer's over, and troths are broken, - That loves depart as the hours decay.
A love has passed to the loves passed over, A month has fled to the months gone by; And none may follow, and none recover July and June, and never a lover May stay the wings of the Loves that hover, As fleet as the light in a sunset sky.
Emily Dickinson - These are the Nights that Beetles love --
These are the Nights that Beetles love -- From Eminence remote Drives ponderous perpendicular His figure intimate The terror of the Children The merriment of men Depositing his Thunder He hoists abroad again -- A Bomb upon the Ceiling Is an improving thing -- It keeps the nerves progressive Conjecture flourishing -- Too dear the Summer evening Without discreet alarm -- Supplied by Entomology With its remaining charm --
A giant firefly: that way, this way, that way, this - and it passes by.
Carl Sandburg - Sandpipers
TEN miles of flat land along the sea. Sandland where the salt water kills the sweet potatoes. Homes for sandpipers—the script of their feet is on the sea shingles—they write in the morning, it is gone at noon—they write at noon, it is gone at night. Pity the land, the sea, the ten mile flats, pity anything but the sandpiper’s wire legs and feet.
Mary Oliver - Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond
So heavy is the long-necked, long-bodied heron, always it is a surprise when her smoke-colored wings
open and she turns from the thick water, from the black sticks
of the summer pond, and slowly rises into the air and is gone.
Then, not for the first or the last time, I take the deep breath of happiness, and I think how unlikely it is
that death is a hole in the ground, how improbable that ascension is not possible, though everything seems so inert, so nailed
back into itself-- the muskrat and his lumpy lodge, the turtle, the fallen gate.
And especially it is wonderful that the summers are long and the ponds so dark and so many, and therefore it isn't a miracle
but the common thing, this decision, this trailing of the long legs in the water, this opening up of the heavy body
into a new life: see how the sudden gray-blue sheets of her wings strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing takes her in.
After reading the Sandpiper ones yesterday I hunted and found this poet and her Sandpiper. She is very interesting. Celia Thaxter is her name. http://seacoastnh.com/poems/celia2.html
Sandpiper By Celia Thaxter (1872)
Across the narrow beach we flit, One little sandpiper and I, And fast I gather, bit by bit, The scattered driftwood bleached and dry. The wild waves reach their hands for it, The wild wind raves, the tide runs high, As up and down the beach we flit,-- One little sandpiper and I.
Above our heads the sullen clouds Scud black and swift across the sky; Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds Stand out the white lighthouses high. Almost as far as eye can reach I see the close-reefed vessels fly, As fast we flit along the beach,-- One little sandpiper and I.
I watch him as he skims along, Uttering his sweet and mournful cry. He starts not at my fitful song, Nor flash of fluttering drapery. He has no thought of any wrong; He scans me with a fearless eye: Staunch friends are we, well tried and strong, The little sandpiper and I.
Comrade, where wilt thou be tonight, When the loosed storm breaks furiously? My driftwood fire will burn so bright! To what warm shelter canst thou fly? I do not fear for thee, though wroth The tempest rushes through the sky: For are we not God's children both, Thou, little sandpiper, and I?
Flitting through vast darkness; The sky, burnt to midnight Becomes the stage Where fireflies Beckon the imagination, And I cant take my eyes off them. Sparks of simplicity Furiously dashing Across nothingness, Turning it to something Far more beautiful Than words can describe. I lie upon the cool grass Imagining myself Lying upon a bed of flames That tease the darkness overhead. And the fireflies, Caught up in my dream, Dance as sparks above me.
How easily iy lights up how easily it goes out- the firefly.
Edna St. Vincent Millay - I Know I Am But Summer To Your Heart
I know I am but summer to your heart, And not the full four seasons of the year; And you must welcome from another part Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear. No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing; And I have loved you all too long and well To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring. Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes, I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums, That you may hail anew the bird and rose When I come back to you, as summer comes. Else will you seek, at some not distant time, Even your summer in another clime.
Here come real stars to fill the upper skies, And here on earth come emulating flies, That though they never equal stars in size, (And they were never really stars at heart) Achieve at times a very star-like start. Only, of course, they can't sustain the part.
I have missed you in my yard You golden blinking stars From the remembered days of youth When we gathered you in mason jars And could not sleep lest your glow Disappear too soon
Tonight as dark crept across the sky And softly pressed the green of earth Before the first star announced Day had passed and night was near I stepped out and found you there A hundred or more sending a message In your Morse code
Science says it is your way Of finding for yourself a mate Announcing with your glowing wink Your availability for all to see I hope before the dawn arrives You find someone to share your days As your blink stills it glowing beat Switches off, fades and dies You enter glory with a satisfied sigh. And hopefully so will I.........anna alexander 17 June 2002 ©
Robert Frost - A Line-Storm Song
The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift. The road is forlorn all day, Where a myriad snowy quartz stones lift, And the hoof-prints vanish away. The roadside flowers, too wet for the bee, Expend their bloom in vain. Come over the hills and far with me, And be my love in the rain.
The birds have less to say for themselves In the wood-world's torn despair Than now these numberless years the elves, Although they are no less there: All song of the woods is crushed like some Wild, earily shattered rose. Come, be my love in the wet woods, come, Where the boughs rain when it blows.
There is the gale to urge behind And bruit our singing down, And the shallow waters aflutter with wind From which to gather your gown. What matter if we go clear to the west, And come not through dry-shod? For wilding brooch shall wet your breast The rain-fresh goldenrod.
Oh, never this whelming east wind swells But it seems like the sea's return To the ancient lands where it left the shells Before the age of the fern; And it seems like the time when after doubt Our love came back amain. Oh, come forth into the storm and rout And be my love in the rain.
Yesterday while I was out I saw a hawk swoop across the sky It circled and swung against the faded light, The remmnants of a storm Did it spy some victim skulking on the ground ? Or did it just feel the joy of soaring effortlessly through the air I dont know but I am glad that I was there To see him revel in his flight, to see him swoop and turn His brown wings gliding with joy through the windless day Oh if I could be like him to know the freedom of his flight Instead I am tethered to the earth, to the coming night.
anna alexander 7/28/2004
No place to go
The promised thunderstorms arrived Clouds a hundred shades of gray Boiled upward and suddenly Lightening like a surgeons knife Sliced across the sky Slitting the belly of clouds Releasing a hundred millions drops of rain It poured across my roof Flowed down, a weighted curtain Across the window glass. Funny how something so gray Was still translucent and I could see Gusty winds tossing fresh green leaves Branches newly formed swayed And shook in an anxious dance. Torrents of water pounded the skylights Demanding entry and angrily beat The plastic dome. It seemed to desire To be an unwanted , unwelcome intruder in my home A momentary pause fooled me Into believing the storm was gone A quick ray of sunlight , a brief respite A fleeting calm Again the thunder breached the peace A celestial river coursed downward from the sky Drowned me in its flow And I am caught in its undertow
anna alexander May 20, 2004©
Thinking you mean something like your whole self was caught up into the storm emotionally.
All your senses became involved.
Or shall I say all the narrators emotions and senses.
Dorothy Parker - August
When my eyes are weeds, And my lips are petals, spinning Down the wind that has beginning Where the crumpled beeches start In a fringe of salty reeds; When my arms are elder-bushes, And the rangy lilac pushes Upward, upward through my heart;
Summer, do your worst! Light your tinsel moon, and call on Your performing stars to fall on Headlong through your paper sky; Nevermore shall I be cursed By a flushed and amorous slattern, With her dusty laces' pattern Trailing, as she straggles by.
Smell of hot concrete, metal and tar hint of fresh mowed grass perfume of rain, sunshine and roses -is the scent of summer. Stepping one foot within each square of narrow, hand poured walks leaving wet barefoot impressions -is the image of summer
Warbles and chirps, twitters and caws wafting from leafy boughs the barking of squirrels at prowling cats -is the music of summer
Warm sudden wind of approaching thunder electricity charging the air caress of cool rain refreshing the earth -is the touch of summer
Through all my senses runs a thread of time tinged with the memory of summer.
“I Heard a Thousand Blended Notes”
I heard a thousand blended notes While in a grove I sat reclined, In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What Man has made of Man.
Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower, The periwinkle trailed its wreaths; And 'tis my faith that every flower Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played, Their thoughts I cannot measure - But the least motion which they made It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan To catch the breezy air; And I must think, do all I can, That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent, If such be Nature's holy plan, Have I not reason to lament What Man has made of Man?
- William Wordsworth
The Deep-Sea Cables
(W Heath Robinson - 1909)
The wrecks dissolve above us; their dust drops down from afar - Down to the dark, to the utter dark, where the blind white sea-snakes are. There is no sound, no echo of sound, in the deserts of the deep, Or the great grey level plains of ooze where the shell-burred cables creep.
Here in the womb of the world - here on the tie-ribs of earth Words, and the words of men, flicker and flutter and beat - Warning, sorrow and gain, salutation and mirth - For a Power troubles the Still that has neither voice nor feet.
They have wakened the timeless Things; they have killed their father Time Joining hands in the gloom, a league from the last of the sun. Hush! Men talk to-day o'er the waste of the ultimate slime, And a new Word runs between: whispering, 'Let us be one!'
Mary Oliver - August
When the blackberries hang swollen in the woods, in the brambles nobody owns, I spend
all day among the high branches, reaching my ripped arms, thinking
of nothing, cramming the black honey of summer into my mouth; all day my body
accepts what it is. In the dark creeks that run by there is this thick paw of my life darting among
the black bells, the leaves; there is this happy tongue.
Summer heat-George MacLean Akurunwa
The mad sun of summer that belches fire with rancor from the uninhibited space above, now seems to be sitting permanently on my roof, crackling and stirring up hell.
Why does the sun always flame? Why does its flame always rage in summer?
How does the river keep its water away from the thirsty lips of the angry sun? How is the sea able to swell and leap over the scalding hands of summer heatwave?
Today, the sun with its yellow teeth and fiery breath threatens above my roof like a tyrant, keeping me imprisoned in my own house.
But with all the harshness of the sun, when the night comes and its sparkle dims, the magic of the day suddenly dies.
Now as the train bears west Its rhythm rocks the earth, And from my Pullman berth I stare into the night While others take their rest. Bridges of iron lace, A suddenness of trees, A lap of mountain mist All across my line of sight, Then a bleak wasted place, And a lake below my knees. Full on my neck I feel The straining of a curve, My muscles move with steel , I wake in every nerve. I watch the beacon swing From dark to blazing bright: We thunder through ravines And gullies washed with light. Beyond the mountain pass Mist deepens on the pane: We rush into a rain That rattles double glass, Wheels shake the roadbed stone, The pistons jerk and shove, I stay up half the night To see the land I love.
Theodore Roethke 1908-1963
Name of Horses
All winter your brute shoulders strained against collars, padding and steerhide over the ash hames, to haul sledges of cordwood for drying through spring and summer, for the Glenwood stove next winter, and for the simmering range.
In April you pulled cartloads of manure to spread on the fields, dark manure of Holsteins, and knobs of your own clustered with oats. All summer you mowed the grass in meadow and hayfield, the mowing machine clacketing beside you, while the sun walked high in the morning;
and after noon's heat, you pulled a clawed rake through the same acres, gathering stacks, and dragged the wagon from stack to stack, and the built hayrack back, uphill to the chaffy barn, three loads of hay a day from standing grass in the morning.
Sundays you trotted the two miles to church with the light load a leather quartertop buggy, and grazed in the sound of hymns. Generation on generation, your neck rubbed the windowsill of the stall, smoothing the wood as the sea smooths glass.
When you were old and lame, when your shoulders hurt bending to graze, one October the man, who fed you and kept you, and harnessed you every morning, led you through corn stubble to sandy ground above Eagle Pond, and dug a hole beside you where you stood shuddering in your skin,
and lay the shotgun's muzzle in the boneless hollow behind your ear, and fired the slug into your brain, and felled you into your grave, shoveling sand to cover you, setting goldenrod upright above you, where by next summer a dent in the ground made your monument.
For a hundred and fifty years, in the Pasture of dead horses, roots of pine trees pushed through the pale curves of your ribs, yellow blossoms flourished above you in autumn, and in winter frost heaved your bones in the ground - old toilers, soil makers:
O Roger, Mackerel, Riley, Ned, Nellie, Chester, Lady Ghost.
Old as he was,
the Indian held the Shining
spoke of the Spirit Way,
taught us of raids
and drowned river ice
as far as Crow Mountain.
He called it Tastshe-wah.
And he said:
I will show you of shields,
Medicine, of Stone-that-leaps-fire
In the grey windfall,
his breath was The People.
Antelope-headed, he prayed
in the Old Way
with only a stick and a
thong of striped feathers.
The Song of the Owl
we'd never suspected.
Silence came to him
out of the stone hills.
He knew by then
that Death was a Woman,
knew by only the silhouette
whence Power came,
and gave us our Vision
by rattle of hare bones
shook in a circle.
I was ten, sister thirteen,
spelled by his ghosts,
wearing the ankle-bones
From the high haywagon
he spoke of Whole Earth, While Sky,
and painted our cheeks
with bright blue crescents,
making us strong.
His name meant Bird-Who Waits,
and when he died
shadow of orchid flared
from the temples of bare rock,
and cool dust
rose like an aura into
the stars' syntax.
It was the Way
the still havens
we know rustled with shells
and we alone
heard under the spirit dark
the ancient whistling of geese
across the Washita.
Free Food © Elizabeth Larrabee
Have you ever stood in line at the commissary on Rantoul Street, the storefront where depression-poor people picked up grapefruit, eggs, butter, cheese? Leftovers.
Well, Mama and Papa weren't so happy about having to take a hand-out from the government but to tell the truth I looked forward to Thursday afternoons. And holding Papa's hand in the long line. Waiting to see if perhaps there might be? Oranges.
She searched through the cupboards again
hoping she might have missed something.
But she hadn’t.
Alone on the shelf
sat a half empty jar
of peanut butter.
And at the table
sat five children.
She searched through her purse.
She ran her hand down
between the cushions on the sofa.
A Nickel? Yes, her heart leapt.
Hope surged where none had been.
“God don’t let me down.”
Nine cents. What can you buy
with nine cents?
She continued the search,
in the medicine chest.
her housecoat pocket
the toy box.
And then in the window sill
behind the bed
she spotted something
gleaming in the sun.
Now she had twelve cents
wrapped in a handkerchief
clutched in her hand
she walked to the store.
“What can I get for twelve cents?
Bread? No that’s thirty-one cents.
Muffin mix? Sometimes it’s on sale
five for a dollar.
No. That would be twenty cents.”
When there on the shelf
sat a single box of crackers.
She checked the price.
comes in a red box.
FROM the great trees the locusts cry In quavering ecstatic duo--a boy Shouts a wild call--a mourning dove In the blue distance sobs--the wind Wanders by, heavy with odors Of corn and wheat and melon vines; The trees tremble with delirious joy as the breeze Greets them, one by one--now the oak Now the great sycamore, now the elm.
And the locusts in brazen chorus, cry Like stricken things, and the ring-dove's note Sobs on in the dim distance.
Magnetic Poetry ©Karen Weston 08-08-2004
Onstage coffeehouse: Enter Callow Youth, Emaciated Uniformed: Undershirt, tattered jeans, sandals Sunglasses, beret; Cape ceremoniously discarded. Painfully studied disinterest Slouches onto a stool, Stifles a practiced yawn; Cigarette dangles from chapped lips. Trancelike affectation, Stuck in the Sixties. Random words, Chosen blindfolded from a box, Loosely related, Sonorously intoned. Believes these ramblings deathless prose. Tragic but amusing.
A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit, Dumb As old medallions to the thumb, Silent as the sleeve-worn stone Of casement ledges where the moss has grown-- A poem should be wordless As the flight of birds.
A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs, Leaving, as the moon releases Twig by twig the night-entangled trees, Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves. Memory by memory the mind-- A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs.
A poem should be equal to: Not true. For all the history of grief An empty doorway and a maple leaf. For love The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea-- A poem should not mean But be.
Summer Dawn By William Morris 1834-1896
PRAY but one prayer for me 'twixt thy closed lips, Think but one thought of me up in the stars. The summer night waneth, the morning light slips Faint and gray 'twixt the leaves of the aspen, betwixt the cloud-bars, That are patiently waiting there for the dawn: Patient and colourless, though Heaven's gold Waits to float through them along with the sun. Far out in the meadows, above the young corn, The heavy elms wait, and restless and cold The uneasy wind rises; the roses are dun; Through the long twilight they pray for the dawn Round the lone house in the midst of the corn. Speak but one word to me over the corn, Over the tender, bow'd locks of the corn.
I like working near a door. I like to have my work-bench close by, with a locker handy.
Here, the cold creeps in under the big doors, and in the summer hot dust swirls, clogging the nose.
When the big doors open to admit a truck-load of steel, conditions do not improve.
Even so, I put up with it,
and wouldn't care to shift to another bench, away from the big doors.
As one may imagine, this is a noisy place with smoke rising,
machines thumping and thrusting, people kneading,
shaping, and putting things together.
Because I am nearest to the big doors
I am the furtherest away from those who have to come down to shout instructions in my ear.
I am the first to greet strangers who drift
in through the open doors looking for work.
I give them as much information as they require,
direct them to the offices,
and acknowledge the casual recognition that one worker signs to another.
I can always tell the look on the faces
of the successful ones as they hurry away.
The look on the faces of the unlucky I know also,
but cannot easily forget.
I have worked here for fifteen months.
It's too good to last.
Orders will fall off
and there will be a reduction in staff.
More people than we can cope with
will be bought in from other lands:
people who are also looking
for something more real, more lasting,
more permanent maybe, than dying....
I really ought to be looking for another job
before the axe falls.
These thoughts I push away, I think that I am lucky
to have a position by the big doors which open out
to a short alley leading to the main street; console myself
that if the worst happened I at least
would have no great distance to carry my gear and tool-box off the premises.
I always like working near a door. I always look for a work-bench hard by -- in case an Earthquake occurs and a fire breaks out, you know ?
The Barefoot Boy John Greenleaf Whittier
Blessings on thee, little man, Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan! With thy turned-up pantaloons, And thy merry whistled tunes; With thy red lip, redder still Kissed by strawberries on the hill; With the sunshine on thy face, Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace; From my heart I give thee joy, - I was once a barefoot boy! Prince thou art, - the grown-up man Only is republican. Let the million-dollared ride! Barefoot, trudging at his side, Thou hast more than he can buy In the reach of ear and eye, - Outward sunshine, inward joy: Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!
The Makersby Howard Nemerov
Who can remember back to the first poets, The greatest ones, greater even than Orpheus? No one has remembered that far back Or now considers, among the artifacts, And bones and cantilevered inference The past is made of, those first and greatest poets, So lofty and disdainful of renown They left us not a name to know them by.
They were the ones that in whatever tongue Worded the world, that were the first to say Star, water, stone, that said the visible And made it bring invisibles to view In wind and time and change, and in the mind Itself that minded the hitherto idiot world And spoke the speechless world and sang the towers Of the city into the astonished sky.
They were the first great listeners, attuned To interval, relationship, and scale, The first to say above, beneath, beyond, Conjurors with love, death, sleep, with bread and wine, Who having uttered vanished from the world Leaving no memory but the marvelous Magical elements, the breathing shapes And stops of breath we build our Babels of.
A poem should be like a crystal bowl filled with ice – deliciously transparent, leaving no spot invisible.
Be a Friend
Be a friend. You don't need money; Just a disposition sunny; Just the wish to help another Get along some way or other; Just a kindly hand extended Out to one who's unbefriended; Just the will to give or lend, This will make you someone's friend.
Be a friend. You don't need glory. Friendship is a simple story. Pass by trifling errors blindly, Gaze on honest effort kindly, Cheer the youth who's bravely trying, Pity him who's sadly sighing; Just a little labor spend On the duties of a friend.
Be a friend. The pay is bigger (Though not written by a figure) Than is earned by people clever In what's merely self-endeavor. You'll have friends instead of neighbors For the profits of your labors; You'll be richer in the end Than a prince, if you're a friend.
-- Edgar A. Guest
The Mocking Bird I. Then first a liquid joy should float From out the native wilding's throat. With frenzied eye, and quivering wing, And 'passioned power that bird should sing; With wild and mounting rhapsody As though he pined to pierce the sky; And when the last full marvel fell There should be silence like a spell.
By Lorna Crozier
Swaths of wheat cross the fields in currents so thick they cannot move. Summer run-off. How much ripeness they must carry, how much light caught in stalk and seed head. I want to float down their clotted water, my body's sails catching the heart's held breath. It takes me nowhere, this slow flux, the rows stopped in mid-motion, the day's long lethargy. Wind minnows flicker in streams of wheat, in the lingering of an eye, golden like the goat's at the edge of the field where the grass isn't cut. His horizontal pupils slant the light, making everything lie down.
Lorna Crozier became well known to a national audience beyond the usual poetry-reading crowd when Peter Gzowski made her his virtual poet in residence for his great morning show on CBC radio. Her lyrical works attend intimately to the relationship between humans and the earth, both in her native Saskatchewan and in Vancouver Island, where she lives today
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - The Day is Done
The day is done, and the darkness Falls from the wings of Night, As a feather is wafted downward From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village Gleam through the rain and the mist, And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me That my soul cannot resist:
A feeling of sadness and longing, That is not akin to pain, And resembles sorrow only As the mist resembles the rain.
Come, read to me some poem, Some simple and heartfelt lay, That shall soothe this restless feeling, And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters, Not from the bards sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo Through the corridors of Time.
For, like strains of martial music, Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavor; And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet, Whose songs gushed from his heart, As showers from the clouds of summer, Or tears from the eyelids start;
Who, through long days of labor, And nights devoid of ease, Still heard in his soul the music Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet The restless pulse of care, And come like the benediction That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume The poem of thy choice, And lend to the rhyme of the poet The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music And the cares, that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, And as silently steal away.
End of Summer
An agitation of the air, A perturbation of the light Admonished me the unloved year Would turn on its hinge that night.
I stood in the disenchanted field Amid the stubble and the stones, Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me The song of my marrow-bones.
Blue poured into summer blue, A hawk broke from his cloudless tower, the roof of the silo blazed, and I knew that part of my life was over.
Already the iron door of the north Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows Order their population forth, And a cruel wind blows.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - The Spirit of Poetry
There is a quiet spirit in these woods, That dwells where'er the gentle south-wind blows; Where, underneath the white-thorn, in the glade, The wild flowers bloom, or, kissing the soft air, The leaves above their sunny palms outspread. With what a tender and impassioned voice It fills the nice and delicate ear of thought, When the fast ushering star of morning comes O'er-riding the gray hills with golden scarf; Or when the cowled and dusky-sandaled Eve, In mourning weeds, from out the western gate, Departs with silent pace! That spirit moves In the green valley, where the silver brook, From its full laver, pours the white cascade; And, babbling low amid the tangled woods, Slips down through moss-grown stones with endless laughter. And frequent, on the everlasting hills, Its feet go forth, when it doth wrap itself In all the dark embroidery of the storm, And shouts the stern, strong wind. And here, amid The silent majesty of these deep woods, lts presence shall uplift thy thoughts from earth, As to the sunshine and the pure, bright air Their tops the green trees lift. Hence gifted bards Have ever loved the calm and quiet shades. For them there was an eloquent voice in all The sylvan pomp of woods, the golden sun, The flowers, the leaves, the river on its way, Blue skies, and silver clouds, and gentle winds, The swelling upland, where the sidelong sun Aslant the wooded slope, at evening, goes, Groves, through whose broken roof the sky looks in, Mountain, and shattered cliff, and sunny vale, The distant lake, fountains, and mighty trees, In many a lazy syllable, repeating Their old poetic legends to the wind.
And this is the sweet spirit, that doth fill The world; and, in these wayward days of youth, My busy fancy oft embodies it, As a bright image of the light and beauty That dwell in nature; of the heavenly forms We worship in our dreams, and the soft hues That stain the wild bird's wing, and flush the clouds When the sun sets. Within her tender eye The heaven of April, with its changing light, And when it wears the blue of May, is hung, And on her lip the rich, red rose. Her hair Is like the summer tresses of the trees, When twilight makes them brown, and on her cheek Blushes the richness of an autumn sky, With ever-shifting beauty. Then her breath, It is so like the gentle air of Spring, As, front the morning's dewy flowers, it comes Full of their fragrance, that it is a joy To have it round us, and her silver voice Is the rich music of a summer bird, Heard in the still night, with its passionate cadence.
Death you will not find me waiting silently or stillDont look for me in the valleysBut at the top of the hill
there is more but you can get the gist of it from those lines ...glad to see you here ..and I know you are watching the Olympics ..anna
The Walrus and The Carpenter Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)
The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright-- And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After the day was done-- "It's very rude of him," she said, "To come and spoil the fun!"
The sea was wet as wet could be, The sands were dry as dry. You could not see a cloud, because No cloud was in the sky: No birds were flying overhead-- There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand; They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: "If this were only cleared away," They said, "it would be grand!"
"If seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year. Do you suppose," the Walrus said, "That they could get it clear?" "I doubt it," said the Carpenter, And shed a bitter tear.
"O Oysters, come and walk with us!" The Walrus did beseech. "A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk, Along the briny beach: We cannot do with more than four, To give a hand to each."
The eldest Oyster looked at him, But never a word he said: The eldest Oyster winked his eye, And shook his heavy head-- Meaning to say he did not choose To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up, All eager for the treat: Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, Their shoes were clean and neat-- And this was odd, because, you know, They hadn't any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them, And yet another four; And thick and fast they came at last, And more, and more, and more-- All hopping through the frothy waves, And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so, And then they rested on a rock Conveniently low: And all the little Oysters stood And waited in a row.
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings-- And why the sea is boiling hot-- And whether pigs have wings."
"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried, "Before we have our chat; For some of us are out of breath, And all of us are fat!" "No hurry!" said the Carpenter. They thanked him much for that.
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said, "Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides Are very good indeed-- Now if you're ready, Oysters dear, We can begin to feed."
"But not on us!" the Oysters cried, Turning a little blue. "After such kindness, that would be A dismal thing to do!" "The night is fine," the Walrus said. "Do you admire the view?
"It was so kind of you to come! And you are very nice!" The Carpenter said nothing but "Cut us another slice: I wish you were not quite so deaf-- I've had to ask you twice!"
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said, "To play them such a trick, After we've brought them out so far, And made them trot so quick!" The Carpenter said nothing but "The butter's spread too thick!"
"I weep for you," the Walrus said: "I deeply sympathize." With sobs and tears he sorted out Those of the largest size, Holding his pocket-handkerchief Before his streaming eyes.
"O Oysters," said the Carpenter, "You've had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?' But answer came there none-- And this was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.
After Apple-Picking By Robert Frost
My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree Toward heaven still, And there's a barrel that I didn't fill Beside it, and there may be two or three Apples I didn't pick upon some bough. But I am done with apple-picking now. Essence of winter sleep is on the night, The scent of apples: I am drowsing off. I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight I got from looking through a pane of glass I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough And held against the world of hoary grass. It melted, and I let it fall and break. But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell, And I could tell What form my dreaming was about to take. Magnified apples appear and disappear, Stem end and blossom end, And every fleck of russet showing dear. My instep arch not only keeps the ache, It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round. I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend. And I keep hearing from the cellar bin The rumbling sound Of load on load of apples coming in. For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired Of the great harvest I myself desired. There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch, Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall. For all That struck the earth, No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble, Went surely to the cider-apple heap As of no worth. One can see what will trouble This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is. Were he not gone, The woodchuck could say whether it's like his Long sleep, as I describe its coming on, Or just some human sleep.
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings-- And why the sea is boiling hot-- And whether pigs have wings."
In the mountain depths, Treading through the crimson leaves, Cries the wandering stag. When I hear the lonely cry, Sad,--how sad--the autumn is!
6 Under stars, heavy with brightness they seem to have
with day near, I cross the log bridge where we once fed birds
by the lake called Clear, with forest standing under blue water
in the ancient bed. I skate boots like a young girl,
brushing frost flowers from decking, hoping to find you,
this time, cabined, waiting a fire on the open hearth.6 Chunagon Yakamochi
If the "Magpie Bridge"-- Bridge by flight of magpies spanned,-- White with frost I see:-- With a deep-laid frost made white:-- Late, I know, has grown the night.
7 I have gone West twenty-three years. Not strange that,
as I make new friends, they express surprise that I have a son
in the East. I tell them how I go watch the moon rise
with the evening star and think of it shining high in the ecliptic
above the home he has made with his young wife there.7 Abe no Nakamaro
When I look abroad O'er the wide-stretched "Plain of Heaven," Is the moon the same That on Mount Mikasa rose, In the land of Kasuga?
Ono no Komachi
Color of the flower Has already passed away While on trivial things Vainly I have set my gaze, In my journey through the world.
Walter De La Mare
Thistle and darnel and dock grew there,
And a bush, in the corner of may,
On the orchard wall I used to sprawl
In the blazing heat of the day;
Half asleep and half awake,
While the birds went twittering by,
And nobody there my lone to share
But Nicholas Nye.
Nicholas Nye was lean and grey,
Lame of leg and old,
More than a score of donkey's years
He had seen since he was foaled;
He munched the thistles, purple and spiked,
Would sometimes stoop and sigh,
And turn his head, as if he said,
'Poor Nicholas Nye!'
Alone with his shadow he'd drowse in the meadow,
Lazily swinging his tail,
At break of day he used to bray,-
Not much too hearty and hale;
But a wonderful gumption was under his skin,
And a clear calm light in his eye,
And once in a while he'd smile...
Would Nicholas Nye.
Seem to be smiling at me, he would,
From his bush in the corner, of may,-
Bony and ownerless, widowed and worn,
Knobble-kneed, lonely and grey;
And over the grass would seem to pass
'Neath the deep dark blue of the sky,
Something much better than words between me
And Nicholas Nye.
But dusk would come in the apple boughs,
The green of the glow-worm shine,
The birds in the nest would crouch to rest,
And home I'd trudge to mine;
And there in the moonlight, dark with dew,
Asking not wherefore and why,
Would brood like a ghost, and still as a post.
Old Nicholas Nye.
Amy Lowell - Late September
Tang of fruitage in the air; Red boughs bursting everywhere; Shimmering of seeded grass; Hooded gentians all a'mass. Warmth of earth, and cloudless wind Tearing off the husky rind, Blowing feathered seeds to fall By the sun-baked, sheltering wall. Beech trees in a golden haze; Hardy sumachs all ablaze, Glowing through the silver birches. How that pine tree shouts and lurches! From the sunny door-jamb high, Swings the shell of a butterfly. Scrape of insect violins Through the stubble shrilly dins. Every blade's a minaret Where a small muezzin's set, Loudly calling us to pray At the miracle of day. Then the purple-lidded night Westering comes, her footsteps light Guided by the radiant boon Of a sickle-shaped new moon.
C. DAY. LEWIS.
It is eighteen years ago, almost to the day--
A sunny day with leaves just turning,
The touch lines new ruled -- since I watched you play
Your first game of football, then, like a satellite
Wrenched from its orbit, go drifting away.
Behind a scatter of boys, I can see
You walking away from me towards the school
With the pathos of a half-fledged thing set free
Into a wilderness, the gait of one
Who finds no path, where the path should be.
That hesitant figure, eddying away
Like a winged seed loosened from its parent stem.
Has something I never quite grasp to convey
About nature's give and take -- the small, the scorching
Ordeals which fire one's irresolute clay.
I have had worse partings, but none that so
Gnaws at my mind still. Perhaps it is roughly
Saying what God alone could perfectly show--
How selfhood begins with a walking away,
And love is proved in the letting go.
A noiseless patient spider Walt Whitman
A noiseless patient spider, I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.
I Hear America SingingWalt Whitman
I HEAR America singing, the varied carols I hear; Those of mechanics—each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong; The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam, The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work; The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat— the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck; The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench— the hatter singing as he stands; The wood-cutter’s song—the ploughboy’s, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown; The delicious singing of the mother—or of the young wife at work—or of the girl sewing or washing— Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else; The day what belongs to the day—At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.
Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)
The golden-rod is yellow; The corn is turning brown; The trees in apple orchards With fruit are bending down.
The gentian's bluest fringes Are curling in the sun; In dusty pods the milkweed Its hidden silk has spun.
The sedges flaunt their harvest, In every meadow nook; And asters by the brook-side Make asters in the brook,
From dewy lanes at morning The grapes' sweet odors rise; At noon the roads all flutter With yellow butterflies.
By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer's best of weather, And autumn's best of cheer.
But none of all this beauty Which floods the earth and air Is unto me the secret Which makes September fair.
'T is a thing which I remember; To name it thrills me yet: One day of one September I never can forget.
"Here for Labor Day is a poem by Philip Levine, an American poet who has written memorably about work. Here's Philip Levine's poem, "What Work Is," from his book of the same title."
We stand in the rain in a long line waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work. You know what work is--if you're old enough to read this you know what work is, although you may not do it. Forget you. This is about waiting, shifting from one foot to another. Feeling the light rain falling like mist into your hair, blurring your vision until you think you see your own brother ahead of you, maybe ten places. You rub your glasses with your fingers, and of course it's someone else's brother, narrower across the shoulders than yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin that does not hide the stubbornness, the sad refusal to give in to rain, to the hours wasted waiting, to the knowledge that somewhere ahead a man is waiting who will say, "No, we're not hiring today," for any reason he wants. You love your brother, now suddenly you can hardly stand the love flooding you for your brother, who's not beside you or behind or ahead because he's home trying to sleep off a miserable night shift at Cadillac so he can get up before noon to study his German. Works eight hours a night so he can sing Wagner, the opera you hate most, the worst music ever invented. How long has it been since you told him you loved him, held his wide shoulders, opened your eyes wide and said those words, and maybe kissed his cheek? You've never done something so simple, so obvious, not because you're too young or too dumb, not because you're jealous or even mean or incapable of crying in the presence of another man, no, just because you don't know what work is.
The women who clean fish are all named Rose or Grace. They wake up close to the water, damp and dreamy beneath white sheets, thinking of white beaches.
It is always humid where they work. Under plastic aprons, their breasts foam and bubble. They wear old clothes because the smell will never go.
On the floor, chlorine. On the window, dry streams left by gulls. When tourists come to watch them working over belts of cod and hake, they don't look up.
They stand above the gutter. When the belt starts they pack the bodies in, ten per box, their tales crisscrossed as if in sacrament. The dead fish fall compliantly.
It is the iridescent scales that stick, clinging to cheek and wrist, lighting up hours later in a dark room.
The packers say they feel orange spawn between their fingers, the smell of themselves more like salt than peach.
From Natural Affinities by Erica Funkhouser, published by Alice James Books.
This sure evokes the feeling of work. I have some others I found to post. You can imagine it all very clearly.
The five o'clock whistle Bellowed like a bull, controlling Clocks on kitchen walls; Women dabbed loud perfume Behind their ears & set tables Covered with flowered oilcloth.
When grief hangs in the trees like flocking birds, and limbs droop low beneath the weight of it, when somber doves cry out in mournful thirds, then, with their only word, to silence quit. Heads bowed as if in fervent, soulful prayer must rise and scan the world; new life redeems the loves, the leaves uncover deeper layers that ease the sting of melancholy dreams. Then shall the birds of grief take wing and fly. Though they return to peck your scattered crumbs, they search for peace, and on His words rely with faith, like schoolchildren doing their sums. They recall a life that soared like a song, and a throbbing pain that lingered all too long.
September 1, 1939 W. H. Auden
I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night.
Accurate scholarship can Unearth the whole offence From Luther until now That has driven a culture mad, Find what occurred at Linz, What huge imago made A psychopathic god: I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return.
Exiled Thucydides knew All that a speech can say About Democracy, And what dictators do, The elderly rubbish they talk To an apathetic grave; Analysed all in his book, The enlightenment driven away, The habit-forming pain, Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again.
Into this neutral air Where blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse: But who can live for long In an euphoric dream; Out of the mirror they stare, Imperialism's face And the international wrong.
Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play, All the conventions conspire To make this fort assume The furniture of home; Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good.
The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About Diaghilev Is true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love But to be loved alone.
From the conservative dark Into the ethical life The dense commuters come, Repeating their morning vow; "I will be true to the wife, I'll concentrate more on my work," And helpless governors wake To resume their compulsory game: Who can release them now, Who can reach the deaf, Who can speak for the dumb?
All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die.
Defenceless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame.
I think all poetry speaks of sadness and joy - no matter the subject. The poet can do that.
Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
Earth hasd not anything to show me more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty: This City now doth like a garment wear The beauty of the morning: silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie Open unto the fields and to the sky; ALl bright and glittering in the smokeless air. Never did a sun more beautifully steep In his first splendour valley, rock or hill; Ne`er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will: Dear God! the very houses seem asleep; And all that mighty heart is lying still!
William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850)
REST IN PEACE September 11, 2001REST IN PEACE by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat <pre.
I am a World Trade Center tower, standing tall in the clear blue sky, feeling a violent blow in my side, and I am a towering inferno of pain and suffering imploding upon myself and collapsing to the ground. May I rest in peace.
I am a terrified passenger on a hijacked airplane not knowing where we are going or that I am riding on fuel tanks that will be instruments of death, and I am a worker arriving at my office not knowing that in just a moment my future will be obliterated. May I rest in peace.
I am a pigeon in the plaza between the two towers eating crumbs from someone's breakfast when fire rains down on me from the skies, and I am a bed of flowers admired daily by thousands of tourists now buried under five stories of rubble. May I rest in peace.
I am a firefighter sent into dark corridors of smoke and debris on a mission of mercy only to have it collapse around me, and I am a rescue worker risking my life to save lives who is very aware that I may not make it out alive. May I rest in peace.
I am a survivor who has fled down the stairs and out of the building to safety who knows that nothing will ever be the same in my soul again, and I am a doctor in a hospital treating patients burned from head to toe who knows that these horrible images will remain in my mind forever. May I know peace.
I am a tourist in Times Square looking up at the giant TV screens thinking I'm seeing a disaster movie as I watch the Twin Towers crash to the ground, and I am a New York woman sending e-mails to friends and family letting them know that I am safe. May I know peace.
I am a piece of paper that was on someone's desk this morning and now I'm debris scattered by the wind across lower Manhattan, and I am a stone in the graveyard at Trinity Church covered with soot from the buildings that once stood proudly above me, death meeting death. May I rest in peace.
I am a dog sniffing in the rubble for signs of life, doing my best to be of service, and I am a blood donor waiting in line to make a simple but very needed contribution for the victims. May I know peace.
I am a resident in an apartment in downtown New York who has been forced to evacuate my home, and I am a resident in an apartment uptown who has walked 100 blocks home in a stream of other refugees. May I know peace.
I am a family member who has just learned that someone I love has died, and I am a pastor who must comfort someone who has suffered a heart-breaking loss. May I know peace.
I am a loyal American who feels violated and vows to stand behind any military action it takes to wipe terrorists off the face of the earth, and I am a loyal American who feels violated and worries that people who look and sound like me are all going to be blamed for this tragedy. May I know peace.
I am a frightened city dweller who wonders whether I'll ever feel safe in a skyscraper again, and I am a pilot who wonders whether there will ever be a way to make the skies truly safe. May I know peace.
I am the owner of a small store with five employees that has been put out of business by this tragedy, and I am an executive in a multinational corporation who is concerned about the cost of doing business in a terrorized world. May I know peace.
I am a visitor to New York City who purchases postcards of the World Trade Center Twin Towers that are no more, and I am a television reporter trying to put into words the terrible things I have seen. May I know peace.
I am a boy in New Jersey waiting for a father who will never come home, and I am a boy in a faraway country rejoicing in the streets of my village because someone has hurt the hated Americans. May I know peace.
I am a general talking into the microphones about how we must stop the terrorist cowards who have perpetrated this heinous crime, and I am an intelligence officer trying to discern how such a thing could have happened on American soil, and I am a city official trying to find ways to alleviate the suffering of my people. May I know peace.
I am a terrorist whose hatred for America knows no limit and I am willing to die to prove it, and I am a terrorist sympathizer standing with all the enemies of American capitalism and imperialism, and I am a master strategist for a terrorist group who planned this abomination. My heart is not yet capable of openness, tolerance, and loving. May I know peace.
I am a citizen of the world glued to my television set, fighting back my rage and despair at these horrible events, and I am a person of faith struggling to forgive the unforgivable, praying for the consolation of those who have lost loved ones, calling upon the merciful beneficence of God/Lord/Allah/Spirit/Higher Power. May I know peace.
I am a child of God who believes that we are all children of God and we are all part of one another. May we all know peace.
Should old acquaintance be forgot?
Shall we just close the door.
Or should we remember yesterday
When many died and more?
We must look a’way beyond
today and days to come
and wonder with an urgency
what it might become.
If we ignore the evil ones
whose hatred caused such pain
to those with still a life to live
and each one had a name.
Any path that leads somewhere
has to pass today
split seconds, merely moments
transforms our yesterdays..
by those who would much evil do
mistaken minds ooze wrath
and they have forced a new design
a sad and bloody path
And so the questions we must ask
while facing such a daunting task
Should we forget Old Lang Syne
The flag, the freedoms, humankind?
Should we ignore the bastard swine
and walk away with watered spine
Or shall we stand and face our foe
with saddened bravery we must show
the knaves of cruelty who we are
and thus from whence we came
Our strengths ring loud, the message clear
America is our name...
ANIMAL VIGOUR A hen and twelve chicks peck and walk
As I see the hills the feet of my memory climb through them.
RIGHT OF OWNERSHIP Nothing is as mine, as the sea when I gaze upon it!
Elizabeth Bishop - Sandpiper
The roaring alongside he takes for granted, and that every so often the world is bound to shake. He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward, in a state of controlled panic, a student of Blake.
The beach hisses like fat. On his left, a sheet of interrupting water comes and goes and glazes over his dark and brittle feet. He runs, he runs straight through it, watching his toes.
--Watching, rather, the spaces of sand between them where (no detail too small) the Atlantic drains rapidly backwards and downwards. As he runs, he stares at the dragging grains.
The world is a mist. And then the world is minute and vast and clear. The tide is higher or lower. He couldn't tell you which. His beak is focussed; he is preoccupied,
looking for something, something, something. Poor bird, he is obsessed! The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst.
I came across this poem by the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore . I really like his work. (1861-1941)
Stray birds of summer come to my window to sing and fly away. And yellow leaves of autumn, which have no songs, flutter and fall there with a sigh.
from "Stray Birds"
Doves beak to beak Carry straw to the fragrant fir Homesteading
James Whitcomb Riley - When the Frost is on the Punkin
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock, And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock, And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens, And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence; O, it's then's the times a feller is a-feelin' at his best, With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest, As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock, When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here-- Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees, And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees; But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock-- When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn, And the raspin' of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn; The stubble in the furries--kindo' lonesome-like, but still A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill; The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed; The hosses in theyr stalls below--the clover over-head!-- O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock, When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!
Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps; And your cider-makin' 's over, and your wimmern-folks is through With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! ... I don't know how to tell it--but ef sich a thing could be As the Angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me-- I'd want to 'commodate 'em--all the whole-indurin' flock-- When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!
Winter Moon Polished pewter plate Frozen light
James Whitcomb Riley - Little Orphant Annie
INSCRIBED WITH ALL FAITH AND AFFECTION
To all the little children: -- The happy ones; and sad ones; The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones; The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.
Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay, An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away, An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep, An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep; An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done, We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about, An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you Ef you Don't Watch Out!
Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,-- An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs, His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl, An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all! An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press, An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess; But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:-- An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out!
An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin, An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin; An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there, She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care! An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide, They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side, An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about! An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out!
An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue, An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo! An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray, An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,-- You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear, An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear, An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about, Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out!
The Last Day of Harvest
You climb up and check the oil the same as all the other days, grease the machine in all the hidden places until you know it'll run slick. Then you start the engine, feel every nut and bolt brace against the first surge of fuel. And maybe you feel like the old man who knows tonight is the last night he will have to climb into bed. Field past field, you think back trying to remember how good the first harvest day felt--how the heat, and wheat dust welcomed you like a mother's challenge to walk. Acre after acre, grain has bouquet'd into your throat, your steel cylinder gut digesting load after load--hours monogrammed inside this cab when you felt like a combine king, your country a kingdom stretched to the horizon's black-thread crease. More hours you were nothing --a wrench tightened instinct lifting and lowering the header, suggesting the machine faster and slower, internal sounds felt before heard, metal and rubber. Then you live it, the last round, a narrow swath where you've never been, tied down by a row of uncut corners, tokens from every round, leading to the road. And then it's over. Nothing left but stubble. The last uncut corner cut. A good friend gone.
Found a good one about the Harvest Moon which will be upon us either this month yet or in Oct- can't remember for sure.
The Harvest Moon
The flame-red moon, the harvest moon, Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing, A vast balloon, Till it takes off, and sinks upward To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon. The harvest moon has come, Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon. And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.
So people can't sleep, So they go out where elms and oak trees keep A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush. The harvest moon has come!
And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep Stare up at her petrified, while she swells Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing Closer and closer like the end of the world.
Till the gold fields of stiff wheat Cry `We are ripe, reap us!' and the rivers Sweat from the melting hills.
—John Donne (1572–1631) "Elegy IX: The Autumnal"
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
—John Keats (1795–1821) "CCLV Ode to Autumn, " The Golden Treasury (1875
In the last jovial, clear-sky days of autumn the mockingbird in his monk-gray coat and his arrowy wings
flies from the hedge to the top of the pine and begins to sing — but it's neither loose, nor lilting, nor lovely —
it's more like whistles and truck brakes and dry hinges. All birds are birds of heaven but this one, especially, adores the earth so well he would imitate, for half the day and on into the evening,
its ticks and wheezings, and so I have to wait a long time for the soft, true voice of his own glossy life
to come through, and of course I do. I don't know what it is that makes him, finally, look inward
to the sweet spring of himself, that mirror of heaven, but when it happens — when he lifts his head and the feathers of his throat tremble,
and he begins, like Saint Francis, little flutterings and leapings from the pine's forelock, resettling his strong feet each time among the branches, I am recalled,
from so many wrong paths I can't count them, simply to stand, and listen. All my life I have lived in a kind of haste and darkness of desire, ambition, accomplishment.
Now the bird is singing, but not anymore of this world. And something inside myself is fluttering and leaping, is trying to type it down, in lumped-up language, in outcry, in patience, in music, in a snow-white book.
Wild Swans at Coole
The trees are in their autumn beauty, The woodland paths are dry, Under the October twilight the water Mirrors a still sky; Upon the brimming water among the stones Are nine-and-fifty swans.
The nineteenth autumn has come upon me Since I first made my count; I saw, before I had well finished, All suddenly mount And scatter wheeling in great broken rings Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures, And now my heart is sore. All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight, The first time on this shore, The bell-beat of their wings above my head, Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover, They paddle in the cold Companionable streams or climb the air; Their hearts have not grown old; Passion or conquest, wander where they will, Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water, Mysterious, beautiful; Among what rushes will they build, By what lake’s edge or pool Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day To find they have flown away?
William Butler Yeats, 1865-1939
THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE
I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made: Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee, And live alone in the bee-loud glade. And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the mourning to where the cricket sings; There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet's wings. I will arise and go now, for always night and day I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, I hear it in the deep heart's core.
William Butler Yeats
the autumn moon rising later and rounder tonight
by Robert Gibson
I too, have tired eyelids on tired eyes, though the evening is still young. I must wander off to my slumbers. +++ Trevor
Elizabeth Bishop - Giant Snail
The rain has stopped. The waterfall will roar like that all night. I have come out to take a walk and feed. My body--foot, that is--is wet and cold and covered with sharp gravel. It is white, the size of a dinner plate. I have set myself a goal, a certain rock, but it may well be dawn before I get there. Although I move ghostlike and my floating edges barely graze the ground, I am heavy, heavy, heavy. My white muscles are already tired. I give the impression of mysterious ease, but it is only with the greatest effort of my will that I can rise above the smallest stones and sticks. And I must not let myself be dis- tracted by those rough spears of grass. Don't touch them. Draw back. Withdrawal is always best. The rain has stopped. The waterfall makes such a noise! (And what if I fall over it?) The mountains of black rock give off such clouds of steam! Shiny streamers are hanging down their sides. When this occurs, we have a saying that the Snail Gods have come down in haste. I could never descend such steep escarp- ments, much less dream of climbing them. That toad was too big, too, like me. His eyes beseeched my love. Our proportions horrify our neighbors. Rest a minute; relax. Flattened to the ground, my body is like a pallid, decomposing leaf. What's that tapping on my shell? Nothing. Let's go on. My sides move in rhythmic waves, just off the ground, from front to back, the wake of a ship, wax-white water, or a slowly melting floe. I am cold, cold, cold as ice. My blind, white bull's head was a Cretan scare-head; degenerate, my four horns that can't attack. The sides of my mouth are now my hands. They press the earth and suck it hard. Ah, but I know my shell is beautiful, and high, and glazed, and shining. I know it well, although I have not seen it. Its curled white lip is of the finest enamel. Inside, it is as smooth as silk, and I, I fill it to perfection. My wide wake shines, now it is growing dark. I leave a lovely opalescent ribbon: I know this. But O! I am too big. I feel it. Pity me. If and when I reach the rock, I shall go into a certain crack there for the night. The waterfall below will vibrate through my shell and body all night long. In that steady pulsing I can rest. All night I shall be like a sleeping ear.
Dylan Thomas - Especially When The October Wind
Especially when the October wind With frosty fingers punishes my hair, Caught by the crabbing sun I walk on fire And cast a shadow crab upon the land, By the sea's side, hearing the noise of birds, Hearing the raven cough in winter sticks, My busy heart who shudders as she talks Sheds the syllabic blood and drains her words.
Shut, too, in a tower of words, I mark On the horizon walking like the trees The wordy shapes of women, and the rows Of the star-gestured children in the park. Some let me make you of the vowelled beeches, Some of the oaken voices, from the roots Of many a thorny shire tell you notes, Some let me make you of the water's speeches.
Behind a post of ferns the wagging clock Tells me the hour's word, the neural meaning Flies on the shafted disk, declaims the morning And tells the windy weather in the cock. Some let me make you of the meadow's signs; The signal grass that tells me all I know Breaks with the wormy winter through the eye. Some let me tell you of the raven's sins.
Especially when the October wind (Some let me make you of autumnal spells, The spider-tongued, and the loud hill of Wales) With fists of turnips punishes the land, Some let me make of you the heartless words. The heart is drained that, spelling in the scurry Of chemic blood, warned of the coming fury. By the sea's side hear the dark-vowelled birds.
The sea is never still. It pounds on the shore Restless as a young heart, Hunting.
The sea speaks And only the stormy hearts Know what it says: It is the face of a rough mother speaking.
The sea is young. One storm cleans all the hoar And loosens the age of it. I hear it laughing, reckless.
They love the sea, Men who ride on it And know they will die Under the salt of it
Let only the young come, Says the sea.
Let them kiss my face And hear me. I am the last word And I tell Where storms and stars come from.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)
The Chambered Nautilus
This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign, Sails the unshadowed main, -- The venturous bark that flings On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings, And coral reefs lie bare, Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.
Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl; Wrecked is the ship of pearl! And every chambered cell, Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell, As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell, Before thee lies revealed, -- Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!
Year after year beheld the silent toil That spread his lustrous coil; Still, as the spiral grew, He left the past year's dwelling for the new, Stole with soft step its shining archway through, Built up its idle door, Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.
Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee, Child of the wandering sea, Cast from her lap, forlorn! From thy dead lips a clearer note is born Than ever Triton blew from wreathèd horn! While on mine ear it rings, Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings: --
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!
Robert Frost- October
O hushed October morning mild, Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild, Should waste them all. The crows above the forest call; Tomorrow they may form and go. O hushed October morning mild, Begin the hours of this day slow. Make the day seem to us less brief. Hearts not averse to being beguiled, Beguile us in the way you know. Release one leaf at break of day; At noon release another leaf; One from our trees, one far away. Retard the sun with gentle mist; Enchant the land with amethyst. Slow, slow! For the grapes' sake, if they were all, Whose leaves already are burnt with frost, Whose clustered fruit must else be lost-- For the grapes' sake along the wall.
When October Goes
Music by Barry Manilow
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
And when October goes The snow begins to fly Above the smokey roofs I watch the planes go by The children running home Beneath a twilight sky Oh, for the fun of them When I was one of them And when October goes The same old dream appears And you are in my arms To share the happy years I turn my head away To hide the helpless tears Oh how I hate to see October go I should be over it now I know It doesn't matter much How old I grow I hate to see October go
The morns are meeker than they were, The nuts are getting brown; The berry's cheek is plumper, The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf, The field a scarlet gown. Lest I should be old-fashioned, I'll put a trinket on.
Emily Dickinson 1830-1886
Willaim Cullen Bryant
Ay, thou art welcome, heaven`s delicious breath! When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf, And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief And the year smiles as it draws near its death. Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay In the gay woods and in the golden air, Like to a good old age released from care, Journeying, in long serenity, away. In such a bright, late quiet, would that I Might wear out life like thee, `mid bowers and brooks And dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks, And music of kind voices ever nigh; And when my last sand twinkled in the glass, Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.
SLEEPIN’ AT THE FOOT O’ THE BED
Did ye ever sleep at the foot ’o the bed When the weather wuz a whizzin’ cold When the wind wuz a whistling’ around’ the house An’ the moon wuz yeller ez gold, An give yore good warm feathers up To Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Fred- Too many kinfolks on a bad, raw night And you went to the foot of the bed- Fer some darn reason the coldest night ‘o the season An’ you wuz sent to the foot of the bed.
I could allus wait till the old folks et An’ then eat the leavin’s with grace, The teacher could keep me after school, An’ I’d still hold a smile on my face, I could wear the big boys’ wore-out clothes Er let sister have my sled, But it allus did git my nanny goat To have to sleep at the foot o’ the bed; They’s not a location topside o’ creation That I hate like the foot o’ the bed.
“Twuz fine enough when the kinfolks come- The kids brought brand-new games, You could see how fat all the old folks wuz, An’ learn all the babies names, Had biscuits an’ custard and chicken pie, An’ allus got Sunday fed, But you knowed dern well when night come on You wuz headed fer the foot o’ the bed: You couldn’t git by it, they wuz no use to try it, You wuz headed fer the foot ‘ the bed.
They tell me that some folks don’t know whut it is To have company all over the place, O rassel fer cover thru a long winter night With a big foot settin’ in your face, Er with toenails a-scratchin’ yore back An’ a footboard a-scrubbin’ yore head: I’ll tell the wide world you ain’t lost a thing Never sleepin’ at the foot o’ the bed.
I’ve done it , and I’ve done it many uv a time In this land o’ the brave an’ the free, An’ in this all-fired battle uv life It’s done left its mark upon me, Fer I’m allus a-struggling’ around the foot Instead of forgin’ ahead, An’ I don’t think it’s caused by a doggone thing But sleepin’ at the foot o’ the bed: I’ve lost all my claim on fortune an’ fame, A-sleepin’ at the foot o’ the bed.
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode
"..... links images that elicit feelings of strong physical revulsion (the festering, running sore, for instance) to an otherwise hazy and ephemeral idea (a "dream"). Notice that this poem does not tell you what a "dream deferred" is or what it must become; Hughes merely poses the question, leaves the answer open, although he does so with the unforgettable force that has made his poetic voice so distinctive and memorable.."
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
wunnerful. . . claire
this is typical rrwelve bar construction
My man's done left me, e chord
Chile, he's gone away. e7th chord
My good man's left me, a7 chord
Babe, he's gone away. echord
Now the cryin' blues b7 plus a c7 maybe AGAIN
Haunts me night and day. e chord again. . .
only all these changes start at the beginning of the line. not the end. oh well. . . .
these players at blues on line sound bites play the thumpy style authentic blues I guess mine is more piddling around but still within the framework and hughes words are just right.
I love his poems . . . they have the feel. . . . thanks marj...
IT takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home, A heap o' sun an' shadder, an' ye sometimes have t' roam Afore ye really 'preciate the things ye lef' behind, An' hunger fer 'em somehow, with 'em allus on yer mind. It don't make any differunce how rich ye get t' be, How much yer chairs an' tables cost, how great yer luxury; It ain't home t' ye, though it be the palace of a king, Until somehow yer soul is sort o' wrapped round everything.
Home ain't a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute; Afore it's home there's got t' be a heap o' livin' in it; Within the walls there's got t' be some babies born, and then Right there ye've got t' bring 'em up t' women good, an' men; And gradjerly as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn't part With anything they ever used -- they've grown into yer heart: The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore Ye hoard; an' if ye could ye'd keep the thumb-marks on the door.
Ye've got t' weep t' make it home, ye've got t' sit an' sigh An' watch beside a loved one's bed, an' know that Death is nigh; An' in the stillness o' the night t' see Death's angel come, An' close the eyes o' her that smiled, an' leave her sweet voice dumb. Fer these are scenes that grip the heart, an'when yer tears are dried, Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an' sanctified; An' tuggin' at ye always are the pleasant memories O' her that was an' is no more -- ye can't escape from these.
Ye've got t' sing an' dance fer years, ye've got t' romp an' play, An' learn t' love the things ye have by usin' 'em each day; Even the roses 'round the porch must blossom year by year Afore they 'come a part o' ye, suggestin' someone dear Who used t' love 'em long ago, an' trained 'em jes t' run The way they do, so's they would get the early mornin' sun; Ye've got t' love each brick an' stone from cellar up t' dome: It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home.
TO make this little house my very own Could not be done by law alone. Though covenant and deed convey Absolute fee, as lawyers say, There are domestic rites beside By which this house is sanctified.
By kindled fire upon the hearth, By planted pansies in the garth, By food, and by the quiet rest Of those brown eyes that I love best, And by a friends bright gift of wine, I dedicate this house of mine.
When all but I are soft abed I trail about my quiet stead A wreath of blue tobacco smoke (A charm that evil never broke) And bring my ritual to an end By giving shelter to a friend.
This done, O dwelling, you become Not just a house, but truly Home!
Good-Bye, Little CabinO dear little cabin, I've loved you so long, And now I must bid you good-bye! I've filled you with laughter, I've thrilled you with song, And sometimes I've wished I could cry. Your walls they have witnessed a weariful fight, And rung to a won Waterloo: But oh, in my triumph I'm dreary to-night -- Good-bye, little cabin, to you!
Your roof is bewhiskered, your floor is a-slant, Your walls seem to sag and to swing; I'm trying to find just your faults, but I can't -- You poor, tired, heart-broken old thing! I've seen when you've been the best friend that I had, Your light like a gem on the snow; You're sort of a part of me -- Gee! but I'm sad; I hate, little cabin, to go.
Below your cracked window red raspberries climb; A hornet's nest hangs from a beam; Your rafters are scribbled with adage and rhyme, And dimmed with tobacco and dream. "Each day has its laugh", and "Don't worry, just work". Such mottoes reproachfully shine. Old calendars dangle -- what memories lurk About you, dear cabin of mine!
I hear the world-call and the clang of the fight; I hear the hoarse cry of my kind; Yet well do I know, as I quit you to-night, It's Youth that I'm leaving behind. And often I'll think of you, empty and black, Moose antlers nailed over your door: Oh, if I should perish my ghost will come back To dwell in you, cabin, once more!
How cold, still and lonely, how weary you seem! A last wistful look and I'll go. Oh, will you remember the lad with his dream! The lad that you comforted so. The shadows enfold you, it's drawing to-night; The evening star needles the sky: And huh! but it's stinging and stabbing my sight -- God bless you, old cabin, good-bye!
God's World by Edna St. Vincent Millay
O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise! Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff! World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this:
Here such a passion is As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year; My soul is all but out of me,—let fall No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.
OCTOBER is the treasurer of the year, And all the months pay bounty to her store: The fields and orchards still their tribute bear, And fill her brimming coffers more and more. But she, with youthful lavishness, Spends all her wealth in gaudy dress, And decks herself in garments bold Of scarlet, purple, red, and gold.
She heedeth not how swift the hours fly, But smiles and sings her happy life along; She only sees above a shining sky; She only hears the breezes' voice in song. Her garments trail the woodland through, And gather pearls of early dew That sparkle till the roguish Sun Creeps up and steals them every one.
But what cares she that jewels should be lost, When all of Nature's bounteous wealth is hers? Though princely fortunes may have been their cost, Not one regret her calm demeanor stirs. Whole-hearted, happy, careless, free, She lives her life out joyously, Nor cares when Frost stalks o'er her way And turns her auburn locks to gray.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - AUTUMN
Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain, With banners, by great gales incessant fanned, Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand, And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain! Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne, Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand Outstretched with benedictions o'er the land, Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain! Thy shield is the red harvest moon, suspended So long beneath the heaven's o'er-hanging eaves; Thy steps are by the farmer's prayers attended; Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves; And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid, Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves!
Sounds of Healing Claire Read
I listen for the sounds of rain the refrigerator, the furnace, tinitus blood pulsing strongly in my ears gastric acid, arthritis drowning it out.
I search for a place for my pain everywhere, I'm tossing about, anger ,doubt and fear burn in my brain. I find the pounding rain drowns them out
Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by. Now overlap the sundials with your shadows, and on the meadows let the wind go free.
Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine; grant them a few more warm transparent days, urge them on to fulfillment then, and press the final sweetness into the heavy wine.
Whoever has no house now, will never have one. Whoever is alone will stay alone, will sit, read, write long letters through the evening, and wander along the boulevards, up and down, restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.
-- Rainer Maria Rilke
edited just a little. now it looks like this
claire ------------------- LEARNING TO BE ME May 29, 2001
Howling after midnight underfed -- water only -- water waiting waiting until six and then ten and two and six again then possibly just possibly some sustenance at ten learning to watch the clock for those four hour feedings after midnight -- only water -- water only learning to tell time even babies can tell time.
aching after midnight every bone, every joint waiting waiting until two maybe maybe one will do possibly possibly codein and tylonal every four hours or as needed -- needed too often, too soon waiting and watching the clock learning to be me at seventy three.
The breezes taste Of apple peel. The air is full Of smells to feel.
Ripe fruit, old footballs, Burning brush, New books, erasers, Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive Well-honeyed hums, And Mother cuts Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean With suds, the days Are polished with A morning haze.
October Day at Dam Neck Beach
With skipping feet we climbed the stile Of weathered wood, our faces smiling. Atop the dune we paused to see The flow of sea and tide. Oh Naughty Waves, you Southern Belles In ruffled dresses and rippling tresses Inviting shore to dance. You bow and tease, pretend you care. Then laugh and run to come again To play with gulls and saucy pipers. Whose only thought to find a morsel Left behind as you retreat. Sand and sky, you wondrous things! Wind, you gently lift our hair Blow softly cross our upturned faces. October sky! What blue is lovelier? Adorned with leis of clouds, you smile As warming rays from solar disk Reflect from sea and chase The chill from Arctic clime Waiting off stage to spoil our fun In its own time. Today, we laugh and gather bits of shell Remnants from a storm at sea. Lovely still, their shimmering iridescence Glowing memories in our pockets. Footprints deep upon the sand I stretch to match the stride Of my playmates here. The camera clicks. I already know it cannot capture What is deep inside, our youth! We hug it close, take it with us. When Winter comes in colder dress We'll warm out hearts before the fire Of this October day.
Anna Alexander October 23, 1995
Happily Even After ©1972 Karen Weston
For a while I wished that I had also died. That part of me that lived and loved lay shriveled up inside. All that seemed to matter, shards of bones and dust. Her joyful soul now gone from me, as dead things must.
Crippled by my loss and pain, I could only cry, Until her memory begged me to begin the long goodbye. And then one day, remembering her laughter, I set out again to find happily even after.
NOT QUITE SO BRIGHT
I see the tiger in the zoo With days and months and years Of nothing to do. His yellow eyes are filled With infinities of tragedies. This box of iron has willed He must carry to and fro His heavy yellow yearnings Whose wish is just to go.
Some delinquent night I could try To slip back here, when the moon, Blindfolded by a cloud, its eye Undiscerning to permit The mice and me A modicum of Invisibility.
I would find the tiger’s cage unlocked. “Come!”, I would beckon with my finger And, in delight and surprise, He would arise. At first, in haste, we would not linger. A quiet thunder in his throat Would reveal an urgent note And we would quickly pace To make ourselves remote.
Through the murky alleyways And ill-lit streets we would flee. I would scout ahead And he would follow me Until we reached the sanctuary of my place Where the doorman, ever discrete, Would let us in And gaze politely at his feet.
Up the elevator we would ride, My finger on the button to my floor With the tiger, yawning, at my side. And then to bed Where I would snooze With the tiger stretched upon the rug Which he would choose.
Next morning, in the bright of day, We would make our plans. I would figure out a way, While making scrambled eggs In several frying pans, How we would spend our day. But first, I must teach him To perambulate on two legs.
That done, he’d don a derby hat, A cut down pair of jeans And, above that, A sweater, turtle neck And running shoes. And then, we’d hit the deck.
On our morning’s stroll He’d twitch his ears At the taxi hoots, the buses’ growl And suppress his disconcerting thought About the city traffic clatter. He will wonder why I brought Him from his sterile sanctum Into the nerve-wracking panic. But it really wouldn’t matter.
Offhandedly he’d gobble down A dog or two, Perhaps, a pigeon and a sparrow. This would cause distress. I cautioned his ability To violate finesse He must maintain civility, Or we’d end up in a mess.
Back at home, we’d discourse on Basic metaphysics. I’d do the dishes while he’d dry And juggle them for kicks. Nietzsche was his man, of course, While I inclined to Kant. He’d speak incessantly with force With a tendency to rant.
In the end, he’d do well. His personality was strong. Wall Street was his first aim But he’d ended in Hong Kong. He’d be successful, as things go, Being so relentless, Becoming a rich CEO Totally repentless.
"Voulez vous," the tiger said, (I think he knew some French). Running quickly to her side, he grabbed the tasty wench" I 1 der if you'd dine with me, "9," she said, “adieu.” It is already 3 o’clock; I 8 at half past two.
We were talking about sadness & googling I came across this poem and the last verse seemed mighty strong and right to the point.
7 Sadness has its own beauty, of course. Toward dusk, Let us say, the river darkens and look bruised, And we stand looking out at it through rain. It is as if life itself were somehow bruised And tender at this hour; and a few tears commence. Not that they are but that they feel immense.
Indian Summer Dorothy Parker In youth, it was a way I had To do my best to please, And change, with every passing lad, To suit his theories.
But now I know the things I know, And do the things I do; And if you do not like me so, To hell, my love, with you!
A Confession To A Friend in Trouble
YOUR troubles shrink not, though I feel them less Here, far away, than when I tarried near; I even smile old smiles--with listlessness-- Yet smiles they are, not ghastly mockeries mere.
A thought too strange to house within my brain Haunting its outer precincts I discern: --That I will not show zeal again to learn Your griefs, and, sharing them, renew my pain....
It goes, like murky bird or buccaneer That shapes its lawless figure on the main, And each new impulse tends to make outflee The unseemly instinct that had lodgment here; Yet, comrade old, can bitterer knowledge be Than that, though banned, such instinct was in me!
Stars - Poem by Emily Bronte
Ah! why, because the dazzling sun Restored our Earth to joy, Have you departed, every one, And left a desert sky?
All through the night, your glorious eyes Were gazing down in mine, And, with a full heart's thankful sighs, I blessed that watch divine.
I was at peace, and drank your beams As they were life to me; And revelled in my changeful dreams, Like petrel on the sea.
Thought followed thought, star followed star, Through boundless regions, on; While one sweet influence, near and far, Thrilled through, and proved us one!
Why did the morning dawn to break So great, so pure, a spell; And scorch with fire the tranquil cheek, Where your cool radiance fell?
Blood-red, he rose, and, arrow-straight, His fierce beams struck my brow; The soul of nature sprang, elate, But mine sank sad and low!
My lids closed down, yet through their veil I saw him, blazing, still, And steep in gold the misty dale, And flash upon the hill.
I turned me to the pillow, then, To call back night, and see Your worlds of solemn light, again, Throb with my heart, and me!
It would not do--the pillow glowed, And glowed both roof and floor; And birds sang loudly in the wood, And fresh winds shook the door;
The curtains waved, the wakened flies Were murmuring round my room, Imprisoned there, till I should rise, And give them leave to roam.
Oh, stars, and dreams, and gentle night; Oh, night and stars, return! And hide me from the hostile light That does not warm, but burn;
That drains the blood of suffering men; Drinks tears, instead of dew; Let me sleep through his blinding reign, And only wake with you!
I love the fitful gust that shakes The casement all the day, And from the mossy elm tree takes The faded leaf away, Twirling it by the window pane With thousand others down the lane.
I love to see the shaking twig Dance till the shut of eve, The sparrow on the vottage rig Whose chirp would make believe That spring was just now flirting by In summer's lap with flowers to lie. I love to see the cottage smoke Curl upwards through the naked trees; The pigeons nestled round the cote On dull November days like these; The cock upon the dunghill crowing; The mill sails on the heath agoing.
The feather from the raven's breast Falls on the stubble lea; The acorns near the old crow's nest Fall pattering down the tree The grunting pigs that wait for all Scramble and hurry where they fall.
John Clare, 1793 - 1864
Charles G. D. Roberts (1860-1943)
The Potato Harvest
A high bare field, brown from the plough, and borne Aslant from sunset; amber wastes of sky Washing the ridge; a clamour of crows that fly In from the wide flats where the spent tides mourn To yon their rocking roosts in pines wind-torn; A line of grey snake-fence, that zigzags by A pond and cattle; from the homestead nigh The long deep summonings of the supper horn.
Black on the ridge, against that lonely flush, A cart, and stoop-necked oxen; ranged beside Some barrels; and the day-worn harvest-folk, Here emptying their baskets, jar the hush With hollow thunders. Down the dusk hillside Lumbers the wain; and day fades out like smoke.Notes
by the way local colors show up more in the rainn because they are wet like stones you pick up in the water that change after they dry and the shadows aren't as prevelent. You get to see more of them (the colors). I noticed that years ago when I was painting in my car in the rain for a class at college. I missed the shadows which helped to define the masses, but the collers were much stronger. claire
There was an old witch who liked to pitch Pumpkins and brooms across a ditch. She pitched too hard and fell down flat And they stitched her up from shoes to hat.
--Lauren Cash Second Grade Mrs. McCorkle's Class Eupora Elementary School Eupora, Mississippi
The Family Vampire
There was a vampire under my bed He was not moving, but he was not dead. He had pointy teeth, and one green eye, Then someone cried, "You're gonna die!" I ran to my mom, she was not there. Then I saw it's shadow on the stairs. I knew it was coming after me, I could feel it's hot breath on my knee. When I looked down, it had shoes on. It turned and ran. Man, it was gone! It wasn't a vampire! Here's how I knew: That thing was wearing my brother's shoe. I'll bet my brother's worried now Cause he knows I'll get him back somehow.
—Anthony Fifth Grade Class Mrs. Gilliland's Room Central Elementary School Holton, Kansas
Witches and goblins on the moon, And besides the black cat, there was a raccoon. The black cat flicked him to Saskatoon, And he never came back until the end of June.
--Chas Lowery Grade 4 Mrs. Krug's Room Western Avenue School Geneva, Illinois
Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun! One mellow smile through the soft vapoury air, Ere, o`er the frozen earth, the loud winds ran, Or snows are sifted o`er the meadows bare. One smile on the brown hills and naked trees, And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast, And the blue Gentian flower, that, in the breeze, Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last. Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee Shall murmur by the hedge that skim the way, The cricket chirp upon the russet lea, And man delight to linger in thy ray. Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.William Cullen Bryant
Election Day, November, 1884
By Walt Whitman 1819-1892--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show, 'Twould not be you, Niagara--nor you, ye limitless prairies--nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado, Nor you, Yosemite--nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing, Nor Oregon's white cones--nor Huron's belt of mighty lakes--nor Mississippi's stream: --This seething hemisphere's humanity, as now, I'd name--the still small voice vibrating--America's choosing day, (The heart of it not in the chosen--the act itself the main, the quadriennial choosing,) The stretch of North and South arous'd--sea-board and inland-- Texas to Maine--the Prairie States--Vermont, Virginia, California, The final ballot-shower from East to West--the paradox and conflict, The countless snow-flakes falling--(a swordless conflict, Yet more than all Rome's wars of old, or modern Napoleon's:) the peaceful choice of all, Or good or ill humanity--welcoming the darker odds, the dross: --Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify--while the heart pants, life glows: These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships, Swell'd Washington's, Jefferson's, Lincoln's sails.
enjoy if you can. . . . claire
Walt Whitman - Dirge for Two Veterans.
THE last sunbeam Lightly falls from the finish’d Sabbath, On the pavement here—and there beyond, it is looking, Down a new-made double grave.
Lo! the moon ascending! Up from the east, the silvery round moon; Beautiful over the house tops, ghastly phantom moon; Immense and silent moon.
I see a sad procession, And I hear the sound of coming full-key’d bugles; All the channels of the city streets they’re flooding, As with voices and with tears.
I hear the great drums pounding, And the small drums steady whirring; And every blow of the great convulsive drums, Strikes me through and through.
For the son is brought with the father; In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell; Two veterans, son and father, dropt together, And the double grave awaits them.
Now nearer blow the bugles, And the drums strike more convulsive; And the day-light o’er the pavement quite has faded, And the strong dead-march enwraps me.
In the eastern sky up-buoying, The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumin’d; (’Tis some mother’s large, transparent face, In heaven brighter growing.)
O strong dead-march, you please me! O moon immense, with your silvery face you soothe me! O my soldiers twain! O my veterans, passing to burial! What I have I also give you.
The moon gives you light, And the bugles and the drums give you music; And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans, My heart gives you love.
Yea, I have looked, and seen November there; The changeless seal of change it seemed to be, Fair death of things that, living once, were fair; Bright sign of loneliness too great for me, Strange image of the dread eternity, In whose void patience how can these have part, These outstretched feverish hands, this restless heart?
- William Morris, November
And then this:
I saw old Autumn in the misty morn Stand shadowless like silence, listening To silence.
- Thomas Hood, Ode: Autumn, 1827
The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night, Ya-honk! he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation: The pert may suppose it meaningless, but I listen closer, I find its purpose and place up there toward the November sky.-
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1855, I Celebrate Myself, Line 238
It's a pleasant change here in southern ca. the days are perfect even with the occassional rain when the blue skies welcome puffy clouds with dark bottoms, nights are beginning to be cool and the dry heat of summer, thank goodness is gone.
We don't have much in the way of colored leaves, but now and then we see a tree dressed in red. November is sad for me because my family is elsewhere and I'm not ilk here in conservative orange county so thanksgiving is just another day. I used to like to cook for my loved ones. . . .all of it fatning. Now I eat something I really like maybe sushi? and read or watch a movie. or mess with my computer and my cyber friends if they're around. life goes on . . . thankgoodness. . . claire
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.John McCrae
If anyone is interested in reading about John McRae you might try this link.... http://www.museum.guelph.on.ca/mccraejohn.htm
Hi, Perhaps this is what you want.
The first cool hint of winter Came this Sunday morning From a pale blue sky To shine With lemon light on yellow leaves And fire up maple reds. It jostled stiff brown stems To rustle in the flower beds. So frail and shy a creature With the slightest touch Transmutes the summer=s feature By not much - In such a gentle evil way One does not even quail To feel the softest brush Of faint death's tail.
Has this ghost pupa hatched From out the extra hour Set to sleep through summer From the Spring? Or merely tipped and spilled From Time itself Which wobbles With the planet=s bobbles In its sunswept swing?
Transparently It glitters in the weakened sun To stiffen out its membranes With their needle spines. Cooling breezes tease away The heat of summer Shed like a sunburned skin To sweep like flying silken scarves Far down to Africa.
It needs three months To gnaw away the green to brown And brown to black, To fill its lungs with poison cold and ice And crack the shell of life, To spill the snow with frozen birds And mice And etch its black-white artistry On dead gray clouds. A moon-white sun Awaits for when The Earth slides down its path To certain rendezvous with life Begun again.
Edgar Allan Poe - A Dream Within A Dream
Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now, Thus much let me avow-- You are not wrong, who deem That my days have been a dream; Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand-- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep--while I weep! O God! can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save One from the pitiless wave? Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream?
A Winter Night
My window-pane is starred with frost, The world is bitter cold to-night, The moon is cruel and the wind Is like a two-edged sword to smite.
God pity all the homeless ones, The beggars pacing to and fro. God pity all the poor to-night Who walk the lamp-lit streets of snow.
My room is like a bit of June, Warm and close-curtained fold on fold, But somewhere, like a homeless child, My heart is crying in the cold.
I have outlasted all desire, My dreams and I have grown apart; My grief alone is left entire, The gleanings of an empty heart. The storms of ruthless dispensation Have struck my flowery garland numb- I live in lonely desolation And wonder when my end will come. Thus on a naked tree-limb, blasted By tardy winter's whistling chill, A single leaf which has outlasted Its season will be trembling still.
Mary Oliver - Clapp's Pond
Three miles through the woods Clapp's Pond sprawls stone gray among oaks and pines, the late winter fields
where a pheasant blazes up lifting his yellow legs under bronze feathers, opening bronze wings;
and one doe, dimpling the ground as she touches its dampness sharply, flares out of the brush and gallops away.
By evening: rain. It pours down from the black clouds, lashes over the roof. The last acorns spray over the porch; I toss one, then two more logs on the fire.
How sometimes everything closes up, a painted fan, landscapes and moments flowing together until the sense of distance - - - say, between Clapp's Pond and me - - - vanishes, edges slide together like the feathers of a wing, everything touches everything.
Later, lying half-asleep under the blankets, I watch while the doe, glittering with rain, steps under the wet slabs of the pines, stretches her long neck down to drink
from the pond three miles away.
Ode to the West Wind Percy Bysshe Shelley
O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being— Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-stricken multitudes!—O thou Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed The wingèd seeds, where they lie cold and low, Each like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) With living hues and odours plain and hill— Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere— Destroyer and Preserver—hear, O hear!
Make me thy lyre, ev'n as the forest is: What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take from both a deep autumnal tone, Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe, Like wither'd leaves, to quicken a new birth; And, by the incantation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
I never knew
time could move so fast collapse and fall into a black hole caught in space and leave no trace where are the days and hours that stretched before when youth was mine to hold ?
where are my loved ones lost and gone to that dark place where no one answers questions I once failed to ask
where are the babes who thought me wise who kissed me with small moist mouths and whispered in my ear I love you mom?
where are the seasons that marked my days gone down into that rabbit hole and I soon to follow?
I never knew age would bring knowledge , never guessed life would not be hour or days or even years, but only seconds on my watch while I wait for God to press The STOP
Anna Alexander 2/02/02 ©
Poetry speaks to me in that way which is why I'm here. The ancients while interesting cannot lead the way to my heart since I really hate their morals and lifestyles and their insistence on GOD in their lives. I won't argue GOD in here because it doesn't belong here, but I will say that I think he is a bloody CON. so yOu know where I'm coming from. . . a humanist and an ardent athiest with reason and experience my guidss. . . claire
Alone Looking at the Mountain
by Li Bai
All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe (14)
I found this at google..millay and mountains
I. O, WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O, thou, Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low, Each like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o'er the dreaming earth, and fill (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) With living hues and odours plain and hill:
Wild Spirit, which art moving every where;
* Millay's Echoes - Millay's Echoes By Robert Creeley ... To hear the poet read "Millay's Echoes," click here.
"All I could see from where I stood Was three long mountains and a wood; I turned and looked the other way ... http://slate.msn.com/?id=3426 - 26k - similar pages - add to favorites
Destroyer and preserver; hear, O, hear!
Jan Sand in a letter about the election. he's got no choice...he speaks poetry and images even while stating a political position.
Joyce Kilmer - The House with Nobody in It
Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black. I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.
I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things; That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings. I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do; For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.
This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass, And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass. It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied; But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.
If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade. I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.
Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door, Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store. But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone For the lack of something within it that it has never known.
But a house that has done what a house should do, a house that has sheltered life, That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife, A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet, Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.
So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back, Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart, For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.
Robert Frost - Gathering Leaves
Spades take up leaves No better than spoons, And bags full of leaves Are light as balloons.
I make a great noise Of rustling all day Like rabbit and deer Running away.
But the mountains I raise Elude my embrace, Flowing over my arms And into my face.
I may load and unload Again and again Till I fill the whole shed, And what have I then?
Next to nothing for weight, And since they grew duller From contact with earth, Next to nothing for color.
Next to nothing for use. But a crop is a crop, And who's to say where The harvest shall stop?
Shades of gray
November is lurking ‘round the corner Already the days are gray The gray squirrel is hidden in its midst Only a plume of fur tells me it is there Leaves on trees seem like calico cloth The gaudy loom of fall’s attire On the ground are soon dark and brown Rain falls from tarnished pewter skies . Drips heavily from the eaves Weighs down the flattened leaves Of Sooty gray , of crinkled gowns Create wet mats upon the ground I will not rake or make piles of them But allow the winter wind to blow Let them ride once more a current cold of air Let them feel a gale and think for just second There is more.
Anna Alexander 10/24/04©
Over the river and through the wood To Grandmother's house we go. The horse knows the way To carry the sleigh Through white and drifted snow.
Over the river and through the wood Oh, how the wind does blow! It stings the toes And bites the nose, As over the ground we go.
Over the river and through the wood To have a first-rate play. Hear the bells ring, Ting-a-ling-ling! Hurrah forThanksgiving Day!
Over the river and through the wood, Trot fast, my dapple gray! Spring over the ground Like a hunting hound, For this is Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river and through the wood, And straight through the barnyard gate. We seem to go Extremely slow~ It is so hard to wait!
Over the river and through the wood~ Now Grandmother's cap I spy! Hurrah for fun! Is the pudding done? Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!
By Linda Maria Child
A Happy Birthday Ted Kooser
This evening, I sat by an open window and read till the light was gone and the book was no more than a part of the darkness. I could easily have switched on a lamp, but I wanted to ride this day down into night, to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page with the pale gray ghost of my hand.
Thanksgiving by edgar a. guest
Gettin' together to smile an' rejoice, An' eatin' an' laughin' with folks of your choice; An' kissin' the girls an' declarin' that they Are growin' more beautiful day after day; Chattin' an' braggin' a bit with the men, Buildin' the old family circle again; Livin' the wholesome an' old-fashioned cheer, Just for awhile at the end of the year.
Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door And under the old roof we gather once more Just as we did when the youngsters were small; Mother's a little bit grayer, that's all. Father's a little bit older, but still Ready to romp an' to laugh with a will. Here we are back at the table again Tellin' our stories as women an' men.
Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer; Oh, but we're grateful an' glad to be there. Home from the east land an' home from the west, Home with the folks that are dearest an' best. Out of the sham of the cities afar We've come for a time to be just what we are. Here we can talk of ourselves an' be frank, Forgettin' position an' station an' rank.
Give me the end of the year an' its fun When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done; Bring all the wanderers home to the nest, Let me sit down with the ones I love best, Hear the old voices still ringin' with song, See the old faces unblemished by wrong, See the old table with all of its chairs An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers.
"Our New National Hymn" was printed in the Asheville, N.C., Sunday Republican on September 27, 1899; it serves as a sample of the many poems of protest written both in America and abroad during our expansionist Spanish-American War.
OUR NEW NATIONAL HYMN
by William G. Eggleston : American
We are marching on to glory with the Bible in our hands,
We are carrying the gospel to the lost in foreign lands;
We are marching on to glory, we are going forth to save
With the zeal of ancient pirate, with the prayer of modern knave;
We are robbing Christian churches in our missionary zeal,
And we carry Christ's own message in our shells and bloody steel.
By the light of burning roof-trees they may read the Word of Life,
In the mangled forms of children they may see the Christian strife.
We are healing with the Gatling, we are blessing with the sword;
For the Honor of the Nation and the Glory of the Lord.
Then march on, Christian soldiers! with word and torch in hand,
And carry free salvation to each benighted land!
Go, preach God's Love and Justice with steel and shot and shell!
Go, preach a future Heaven and prove a present Hell!
Baptize with blood and fire, with every gun's hot breath
Teach them to love the Father, and make them free in Death;
Proclaim the newer gospel, the cannon giveth peace,
Christ rides upon the warship his army to increase.
So bless them with the rifle and heal them with the sword,-
For the Honor of the Nation and the Glory of the Lord!
Prosody 101 ....Linda Pastan
When they taught me that what mattered most was not the strict iambic line goose-stepping over the page but the variations in that line and the tension produced on the ear by the surprise of difference, I understood yet didn't understand exactly, until just now, years later in spring, with the trees already lacy and camellias blowsy with middle age, I looked out and saw what a cold front had done to the garden, sweeping in like common language, unexpected in the sensuous extravagance of a Maryland spring. There was a dark edge around each flower as if it had been outlined in ink instead of frost, and the tension I felt between the expected and actual was like that time I came to you, ready to say goodbye for good, for you had been a cold front yourself lately, and as I walked in you laughed and lifted me up in your arms as if I too were lacy with spring instead of middle aged like the camellias, and I thought: so this is Poetry!
MAY YOUR STUFFING BE TASTY, MAY YOUR TURKEY BE PLUMP. MAY YOUR POTATOES 'N GRAVY HAVE NARY A LUMP, MAY YOUR YAMS BE DELICIOUS, MAY YOUR PIES TAKE THE PRIZE, MAY YOUR THANKSGIVING DINNER STAY OFF OF YOUR THIGHS.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL
and as I walked in you laughed and lifted me up in your arms as if I too were lacy with spring instead of middle aged like the camellias, and I thought: so this is Poetry!
Wonderful expression of a light heart. Away from the "rules".
The winter issue of the m. e. stubbs poetry journal is now on the web.
Poets in this issue are Patricia Robinson-King, John T. Baker, James E. Fowler, Ashok T. Chakravarthy, John Talbot Ross, Gerald Bosacker, Emery L. Campbell, R. J. McCusker and Mardelle Shagool.
Featured artist in this issue is SeniorNet artist, Ann Dora Cantor. SeniorNet poets in this issue are Patricia Robinson-King, John T. Baker, John Talbot Ross and R. J. McCusker.
Marilyn Freeman, Publisher of
m. e. stubbs poetry journal
We think of hidden in a white dress among the folded linens and sachets of well-kept cupboards, or just out of sight sending jellies and notes with no address to all the wondering Amherst neighbors. Eccentric as New England weather the stiff wind of her mind, stinging or gentle, blew two half imagined lovers off. Yet legend won't explain the sheer sanity of vision, the serious mischief of language, the economy of pain.
It's just marvelous!
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Beareth all things.---1 Cor. xiii. 7.)
Gently I took that which ungently came, And without scorn forgave :--Do thou the same. A wrong done to thee think a cat's-eye spark Thou wouldst not see, were not thine own heart dark. Thine own keen sense of wrong that thirsts for sin, Fear that--the spark self-kindled from within, Which blown upon will blind thee with its glare, Or smother'd stifle thee with noisome air. Clap on the extinguisher, pull up the blinds, And soon the ventilated spirit finds Its natural daylight. If a foe have kenn'd, Or worse than foe, an alienated friend, A rib of dry rot in thy ship's stout side, Think it God's message, and in humble pride With heart of oak replace it ;--thine the gains-- Give him the rotten timber for his pains !
1832?, published 1834
Gently I took that which ungently came, And without scorn forgave :--you do the same. A wrong done to you think a cat's-eye spark You would not see, were not your own heart dark. Your own keen sense of wrong that thirsts for sin, Fear that--the spark self-kindled from within, Which blown upon will blind you with its glare, Or smother'd stifle you with nauseous air. Clap on the extinguisher, pull up the blinds, And soon the ventilated spirit finds Its natural daylight. If a foe has found, Or worse than foe, an alienated friend, A rib of dry rot in your ship's stout side, Think it God's message, and in humble pride With heart of oak replace it ;--yours the gains-- Give him the rotten timber for his pains !
In this interim of quiet When the web ceases to peep And you slip off to sleep While my mind continues to defy it Comes the gap to permit A troop of poetry to invade With its sense cavalcade In tumbles of woe and wit.
Time drips through All clocks in the world And vaporizes into yesterday. The scent it leaves behind is now, An evanescent fragrance Enhancing light and form, Bulk and reference Investing presence in all things, But very fugitive, Persisting merely, at best, The pittance of a hundred years
I set my words upon the windowsill, Open cups to catch the sun and rain, To catch the sounds of birds, to fill Up with the buzz of life, marked with the stain Of sun and moon and flecked with pointed stars. My words now stand upon my cupboard shelf And when I tap them with my thought their bars Of earthly melodies resound within myself.
He says "this stuff leaks out of me like sneezes: . . . . Claire
The most important thing we've learned, So far as children are concerned, Is never, NEVER, NEVER let Them near your television set -- Or better still, just don't install The idiotic thing at all. In almost every house we've been, We've watched them gaping at the screen. They loll and slop and lounge about, And stare until their eyes pop out. (Last week in someone's place we saw A dozen eyeballs on the floor.) They sit and stare and stare and sit Until they're hypnotised by it, Until they're absolutely drunk With all that shocking ghastly junk. Oh yes, we know it keeps them still, They don't climb out the window sill, They never fight or kick or punch, They leave you free to cook the lunch And wash the dishes in the sink -- But did you ever stop to think, To wonder just exactly what This does to your beloved tot? IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD! IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD! IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND! IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND! HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE! HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE! HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES! 'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say, 'But if we take the set away, What shall we do to entertain Our darling children? Please explain!' We'll answer this by asking you, 'What used the darling ones to do? 'How used they keep themselves contented Before this monster was invented?' Have you forgotten? Don't you know? We'll say it very loud and slow: THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ, AND READ and READ, and then proceed To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half their lives was reading books! The nursery shelves held books galore! Books cluttered up the nursery floor! And in the bedroom, by the bed, More books were waiting to be read! Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales And treasure isles, and distant shores Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars, And pirates wearing purple pants, And sailing ships and elephants, And cannibals crouching 'round the pot, Stirring away at something hot. (It smells so good, what can it be? Good gracious, it's Penelope.) The younger ones had Beatrix Potter With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter, And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland, And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and- Just How The Camel Got His Hump, And How the Monkey Lost His Rump, And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul, There's Mr. Rate and Mr. Mole- Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall. Then fill the shelves with lots of books, Ignoring all the dirty looks, The screams and yells, the bites and kicks, And children hitting you with sticks- Fear not, because we promise you That, in about a week or two Of having nothing else to do, They'll now begin to feel the need Of having something to read. And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy! You watch the slowly growing joy That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen They'll wonder what they'd ever seen In that ridiculous machine, That nauseating, foul, unclean, Repulsive television screen! And later, each and every kid Will love you more for what you did.
Christopher Robin Had wheezles And sneezles, They bundled him Into His bed. They gave him what goes With a cold in the nose, And some more for a cold In the head. They wondered If wheezles Could turn Into measles, If sneezles Would turn into mumps. They examined his chest For a rash Of his body for swellings and lumps. They sent for some doctors In sneezles And wheezles To tell them what ought To be done All sorts and conditions of famous physicians come hurrying around At a run. They all made a note Of the state of his throat They asked if he suffered from thirst; They asked if the sneezles Came after the wheezles, Or if the first sneezle Came first. They said, "If you teazle A sneezle Or wheezle, A measle May easily grow. But humour or pleazle The wheezle Or sneezle, The measle Will certainly go." They expounded the reazles For sneezles And wheezles, And manner of measles When new. They said, "If he freezles in droughts and in breezles, Then PHTHEEZLES May even ensue." Christopher Robin Got up in the morning, The sneezles had vanished away. And the look in his eye Seemed to say to the sky, "Now, how to amuse them today?"
I love Tigger so you get to read that one! It's wonderful in its musical form.
The wonderful thing about tiggers, Is tiggers are wonderful things, Their tops are out of rubber, Their bottoms are made out of springs, They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!
Oh, the wonderful thing about tiggers Is tiggers are wonderful chaps They're loaded with vim and with vigor, They love to leap in your laps. They're jumpy, bumpy, clumpy, thumpy, Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun ! But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!!
Tiggers are cud-dl-y fellows, Tiggers are awfully sweet, Everyone else is jealous, That's why I repeat and repeat:
The wonderful thing about tiggers, Is tiggers are wonderful things, Their tops are made out of rubber, Their bottoms are made out of springs, They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! FUN! But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers Is I'm the only one!! Yes, I'm the only one (GRRrrrrrr...) ooOOoooOOooooOOOO
The First Thing in the Morning
The first thing in the morning I awake to see what kind of day Is waiting there for me In winter the sun shining in my eyes Makes me smile and jump from bed Ready to start, begin my chores If the dawn is hidden in dreary clouds My smile turns into a frown And all the day I feel down If I could I would lay in bed Snuggle down beneath the quilts Await a sunny day
In summer it is just the opposite A sunny day declares heated breath A dragon spitting fire The sun too bright hurts my eyes I long to stay abed To wait for cooler times A day that foretells rain The sun obscured by clouds Makes me sing Hug the day and think of all the things I can do while I hear rain Beat a sharp tattoo On my window pane
I think what I am saying Temperate weather is my thing Warm sunny days in spring Crisp sharp days of fall To awaken then is a heady draught I am ready for anything The morning and the day will bring Then the first thing in the morning My heart smiles and sings
anna alexander 1/14/99 all right reserved
Good-by and Keep Cold ...Robert Frost
This saying good-by on the edge of the dark And the cold to an orchard so young in the bark Reminds me of all that can happen to harm An orchard away at the end of the farm All winter, cut off by a hill from the house. I don't want it girdled by rabbit and mouse, I don't want it dreamily nibbled for browse By deer, and I don't want it budded by grouse. (If certain it wouldn't be idle to call I'd summon grouse, rabbit, and deer to the wall And warn them away with a stick for a gun.) I don't want it stirred by the heat of the sun. (We made it secure against being, I hope, By setting it out on a northerly slope.) No orchard's the worse for the wintriest storm; But one thing about it, it mustn't get warm. 'How often already you've had to be told, Keep cold, young orchard. Good-by and keep cold. Dread fifty above more than fifty below.' I have to be gone for a season or so. My business awhile is with different trees, less carefully nurtured, less fruitful than these, And such as is done to their wood with an ax-- Maples and birches and tamaracks. I wish I could promise to lie in the night And think of an orchard's arboreal plight When slowly (and nobody comes with a light) Its heart sinks lower under the sod. But something has to be left to God.
December 1 2004
The temperature at dawn was like a summer day Still dark stuffed pillows full of rain Denied the sun and displayed the beginning Of a winter morn The streets and lawn flaunt gaudy rugs Of fallen leaves , matted down While on the trees their remaining kin Frantically wave and then bravely Parachute to the ground Funny how in summer tree limbs Appear as living things, supple They move in those warm days But today in December they seem stiff and old And flail the sky with blackened boughs My face is pressed against the pane Of rain streaked glass , a fractured view I see And hear the beat of falling rain On the skylight overhead No window open but I can feel There is colder air approaching and night Will see , it was not a summer day Waiting this morn for me But winter riding in ….
Anna Alexander 12/1/04©
I like: My face is pressed against the pane Of rain streaked glass , a fractured view I see
A Winter Bluejay
Sara TeasdaleCrisply the bright snow whispered, Crunching beneath our feet; Behind us as we walked along the parkway, Our shadows danced, Fantastic shapes in vivid blue. Across the lake the skaters Flew to and fro, With sharp turns weaving A frail invisible net. In ecstacy the earth Drank the silver sunlight; In ecstacy the skaters Drank the wine of speed; In ecstacy we laughed Drinking the wine of love. Had not the music of our joy Sounded its highest note? But no, For suddenly, with lifted eyes you said, "Oh look!" There, on the black bough of a snow flecked maple, Fearless and gay as our love, A bluejay cocked his crest! Oh who can tell the range of joy Or set the bounds of beauty?
"Hi Here's one I assembled a few minutes ago.
That creation Is the result of Prestidigitation Is worth, I suppose, Some contemplation. Prior to that event Designated “bang”, Somewhat oversized, Was there, perhaps, A “pop”, mayhap a “clang” That might have compromised The silence heretofore Complete? Out of this bang, clang or pop Emerged the stuff of us, A nanodot of soup, preatomic That bulged and burped In ways most comic Surging out in frantic fuss Well before the birth of light.. The progress then, contentional, Followed paths conventional To produce, in ways quite loose, Events some say, are intentional. But, please excuse, I have doubts, ‘Cause you can see All this wild activity Resulted in skeptic me.
Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser
Each time I go outside the world is different. This has happened all my life.
The clock stopped at 5:30 for three months. Now it's always time to quit work, have a drink, cook dinner.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
1 Whose woods these are I think I know. 2 His house is in the village though; 3 He will not see me stopping here 4 To watch his woods fill up with snow.
5 My little horse must think it queer 6 To stop without a farmhouse near 7 Between the woods and frozen lake 8 The darkest evening of the year.
9 He gives his harness bells a shake 10 To ask if there is some mistake. 11 The only other sound's the sweep 12 Of easy wind and downy flake.
13 The woods are lovely, dark and deep. 14 But I have promises to keep, 15 And miles to go before I sleep, 16And miles to go before I sleep.
Maya Angelou - Touched by An Angel
We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life.
Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies old memories of pleasure ancient histories of pain. Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity In the flush of love's light we dare be brave And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.
At Christmas (Edgar Albert Guest, 1881-1959)
A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year; He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season's here; Then he's thinking more of others than be's thought the months before, And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for. He is less a selfish creature than at any other time; When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.
When it's Christmas man is bigger and is better in his part; He is keener for the service that is prompted by the heart. All the petty thoughts and narrow seem to vanish for awhile And the true reward he's seeking is the glory of a smile. Then for others he is toiling and somehow it seems to me That at Christmas he is almost what God wanted him to be.
If I had to paint a picture of a man I think I'd wait Till he'd fought his selfish battles and had put aside his hate. I'd not catch him at his labors when his thoughts are all of pelf, On the long days and the dreary when he's striving for himself. I'd not take him when he's sneering, when he's scornful or depressed, But I'd look for him at Christmas when he's shining at his best.
Man is ever in a struggle and he's oft misunderstood; There are days the worst that's in him is the master of the good, But at Christmas kindness rules him and he puts himself aside And his petty hates are vanquished and his heart is opened wide. Oh, I don't know how to say it, but somehow it seems to me That at Christmas man is almost what God sent him here to be.
It sifts from leaden sieves, It powders all the wood, It fills with alabaster wool The wrinkles of the road. It makes an even face Of mountain and of plain, Unbroken forehead from the east Unto the east again. It reaches to the fence, It wraps it, rail by rail, Till it is lost in fleeces; It flings a crystal veil. On stump and stack and stem, The summer's empty room, Acres of seams where harvests were, Recordless, but for them. It ruffles wrist of posts, As ankles of a queen, Then still its artisans like ghosts, Denying they have been.
By Emily Dickinson
Colored ToysRabindranath Tagore
When I bring to you colored toys, my child, I understand why there is such a play of colors on clouds, on water, and why flowers are painted in tints ---when I give colored toys to you, my child.
When I sing to make you dance I truly know why there is music in leaves, and why waves send their chorus of voices to the heart of the listening earth ---when I sing to make you dance.
When I bring sweet things to your greedy hands I know why there is honey in the cup of the flowers and why fruits are secretly filled with sweet juice ---when I bring sweet things to your greedy hands.
When I kiss your face to make you smile, my darling, I surely understand what pleasure streams from the sky in morning light, and what delight that is that is which the summer breeze brings to my body ---when I kiss you to make you smile.
Snow, that debutante in winter dress dances ‘cross my lawn. With fancy arabesques she shows her ruffled gossamer gown.
Wind escorts her willingly pas de deux they advance. Bow to each, they chase and lift and whirl and spin in space.
Their promenade covers my wood piled high with a mantle of loveliness. Exiting stage right they leave behind a landscape of shimmered serenity.II
Snow? that temptress with her flaunting ways, seals my doors so I cannot escape. Sheds icy tears, encapsulates my car, imprisons me with snowy bars.
Vehicles slip and slide into the ditch while people trudge and seek to find. A warm place to melt their icy palms, curse feet they no longer can control.
How can it be this frothy snow contains both a beauty and a beast? Was it me that yearned for snow ? now I plead... Please, Please GO!
anna alexander 2/10/00 all rights reserved
My Winter Conditions
I'll meet you in Texas this Christmas if I can just get away from the ranch But snow is falling here now in the Rockies and I'm not sure I should jump at the chance True, there's nothing to do when the work's done but sit around and just read Christmas mail So, yes, Texas at Christmas sounds perfect -- yes, Christmas in Texas sounds swell
I'll meet you in Texas this Christmas if we can sled down a Hill Country road And go ice fishing up on the Brazos as a Lone Star 'winter of wonder' unfolds I'll bring sleigh bells to hang on the fencepost if we can snowshoe to Del Rio from home And then cross country ski to Uvalde -- and do it all before Christmas is gone
I'll greet you in Texas this Christmas if the coastline will be covered in snow If there's Aransas Pass avalanche warnings screaming to the Gulf's frigid waters below I'll bring soft flannel sheets for the cabin and mistletoe we can run up the mast I'll buy lift tickets now for Mount Corpus -- and never want for this Christmas to pass
I'll head down to Texas this Christmas if you can promise me all of these things If you can accept all my winter conditions we'll watch the snow fall on Carizzo Springs We'll eat bowls of some good beanless chili and we'll chain up my four-wheel for the drive Up over the mountains that drop to Laredo -- and across the Rio that's frozen beside
Yes, I'd meet you in Texas this Christmas if I could just get away from the ranch But with snow now embracing the mountains the hard winter chores just don't offer a chance True, I could use a South Border vacation if I could just get away from the herd But when you live, work, and play in the Rockies -- Christmas in Texas, sounds frankly, absurd
© 2000, G. Don Ensminger used by permission of the author.
Cold Poem Mary Oliver
Cold now. Close to the edge. Almost unbearable. Clouds bunch up and boil down from the north of the white bear. This tree-splitting morning I dream of his fat tracks, the lifesaving suet.
I think of summer with its luminous fruit, blossoms rounding to berries, leaves, handfuls of grain.
Maybe what cold is, is the time we measure the love we have always had, secretly, for our own bones, the hard knife-edged love for the warm river of the I, beyond all else; maybe
that is what it means the beauty of the blue shark cruising toward the tumbling seals.
In the season of snow, in the immeasurable cold, we grow cruel but honest; we keep ourselves alive, if we can, taking one after another the necessary bodies of others, the many crushed red flowers.
Time Sister Mary Faith Schuster, OSB
Life is all questions, but oh how beautiful they are as we travel. And at the end how beautiful is the beginning.
The last wolf hurried toward me
throught the ruined city
and I heard his baying echoes
down the steep smashed warrens
of Montgomery Street and past
the ruby-crowned highrises left standing
their lighted elevators useless
Passing the flicking red and green of traffic signals
baying his way eastward
in the mystery of his wild loping gait
closer the sounds in the deadly night
through clutter and rubble of quiet blocks
I hear his voice ascending the hill
and at last his low whine as he came
floor by empty floor to the room where I sat
in my narrow bed looking west, waiting
I heard him snuffle at the door and I watched
He trotted across the floor
he laid his long gray muzzle
on the spare white spread
and his eyes burned yellow
his small dotted eyebrows quivered
Yes, I said.
I know what they have done.
When Death Comes
When death comes like the hungry bear in autumn when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut; when death comes like the measle pox;
when death comes like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering; what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything as a brotherhood and a sisterhood, and I look upon time as no more than an idea, and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something precious to the earth.
When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it's over, I don't want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My county is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
How Far Is That?
I look out of my window at a distance As far as my eyes and imagination can See…I then wonder… How far is that ? I have dreams of all sizes, colors and shapes. What will I be tomorrow? Where will I Be tomorrow? Will I see tomorrow? How far is that … What’s over there? If I journey to that Distant place will I be there, or once Again at my beginning…when do I reach The end… How far is that … My tomorrow my be my today . Who’s to say? I cant find an authority For my destiny. Perhaps I should take life One step at a time. I’m looking at a distance … Am I at the beginning or at my end? Maybe life is one big circle where At some point you get to see yourself From a distance… How far is that.
Gerome Meminger Sr Used with permission of the author
Frequently these days have I approached Some storage place, the fridge, the sink, And then stand there in puzzlement As to why I came. My mind meandered to think Of other things. The entanglement Of extranealities led me astray. Will I then approach death and not know How it came to be I lost my way, And now I stand ,look at him, tip-toe To wonder why I came to here. Will it come to me before I disappear?
Mistletoe (Walter de la Mare)
Sitting under the mistletoe (Pale-green, fairy mistletoe), One last candle burning low, All the sleepy dancers gone, Just one candle burning on, Shadows lurking everywhere: Some one came, and kissed me there.
Tired I was; my head would go Nodding under the mistletoe (Pale-green, fairy mistletoe), No footsteps came, no voice, but only, Just as I sat there, sleepy, lonely, Stooped in the still and shadowy air Lips unseen - and kissed me there.
Robert William Service - Dedication To Providence
I loved to toy with tuneful rhyme, My fancies into verse to weave; For as I walked my words would chime So bell-like I could scarce believe; My rhymes rippled like a brook, My stanzas bloomed like blossoms gay: And that is why I dream this book A verseman's holiday.
The palm-blades brindle in the blaze Of sunsets splendouring the sea; The Gloaming is a lilac haze That impish stars stab eagerly. . . . O Land of Song! Oh golden clime! O happy me, whose work is play! Please take this tribute of my rhymes: A verseman's holiday.
The Snowman in the Yard Joyce Kilmer
(For Thomas Augustine Daly)
The Judge's house has a splendid porch, with pillars and steps of stone, And the Judge has a lovely flowering hedge that came from across the seas; In the Hales' garage you could put my house and everything I own, And the Hales have a lawn like an emerald and a row of poplar trees.
Now I have only a little house, and only a little lot, And only a few square yards of lawn, with dandelions starred; But when Winter comes, I have something there that the Judge and the Hales have not, And it's better worth having than all their wealth -- it's a snowman in the yard.
The Judge's money brings architects to make his mansion fair; The Hales have seven gardeners to make their roses grow; The Judge can get his trees from Spain and France and everywhere, And raise his orchids under glass in the midst of all the snow.
But I have something no architect or gardener ever made, A thing that is shaped by the busy touch of little mittened hands: And the Judge would give up his lonely estate, where the level snow is laid For the tiny house with the trampled yard, the yard where the snowman stands.
They say that after Adam and Eve were driven away in tears To toil and suffer their life-time through, because of the sin they sinned, The Lord made Winter to punish them for half their exiled years, To chill their blood with the snow, and pierce their flesh with the icy wind.
But we who inherit the primal curse, and labour for our bread, Have yet, thank God, the gift of Home, though Eden's gate is barred: And through the Winter's crystal veil, Love's roses blossom red, For him who lives in a house that has a snowman in the yard.
SnowflakesJohn Greenleaf Whittier
Out of the bosom of the air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow Descends the snow.
Even as our cloudy fancies take Suddenly shape in some divine expression, Even as the troubled heart doth make In the white countenance confession, The troubled sky reveals The grief it feels.
This is the poem of the air, Slowly in silent syllables recorded; This is the secret of despair, Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded, Now whispered and revealed To wood and field.
The bells of waiting Advent ring,
The Tortoise stove is lit again
And lamp-oil light across the night
Has caught the streaks of winter rain.
In many a stained-glass window sheen
From Crimson Lake to Hooker's Green.
The holly in the windy hedge
And round the Manor House the yew
Will soon be stripped to deck the ledge,
The altar, font and arch and pew,
So that villagers can say
'The Church looks nice' on Christmas Day.
Provincial public houses blaze
And Corporation tramcars clang,
On lighted tenements I gaze
Where paper decorations hang,
And bunting in the red Town Hall
Says 'Merry Christmas to you all'
And London shops on Christmas Eve
Are strung with silver bells and flowers
As hurrying clerks the City leave
To pigeon-haunted classic towers,
And marbled clouds go scudding by
The many-steepled London sky.
And girls in slacks remember Dad,
And oafish louts remember Mum,
And sleepless children's hearts are glad,
And Christmas morning bells say 'Come!'
Even to shining ones who dwell
Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.
And is it true? and is it true?
The most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me?
And is it true? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant.
No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare -
That God was Man in Palestine
And lives to-day in Bread and Wine.
winter solstice light snowfall melts on your lips
there are many more jewels on this page: http://www.scifaiku.com/xmas/
'Twas the Night Before Christmas or Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas by Major Henry Livingston Jr. (1748-1828) (previously believed to be by Clement Clarke Moore)
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN! On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONDER and BLITZEN! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my hand, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, "HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"
The pair seemed lovers, yet absorbed
In mental scenes no longer orbed
By loves young rays. Each countenance
As it slowly, as it sadly, caught the lamplight's yellow glance,
Held in suspense a misery
At things that had been or might be
When I retrod the watery way
Some hours beyond the droop of day,
Still I found pacing there the twain
Just as slowly, just as sadly
Heedless of the night rain.
One could but wonder who they were,
And what wild woe detained them there.
Though thirty years of blur and blot
Have slid since I beheld that spot,
And saw in curious converse there
Moving slowly, moving sadly,
That mysterious tragic pair,
Its olden look my linger on --
All but the couple, they are gone.
Whither? Who knows, indeed.... And yet
To me, when nights are weird and wet,
Without those comrades there at tryst
Creeping slowly, creeping sadly,
That lone lane does not exist.
There they seem brooding on their pain,
And will, while such a lane remain.
by Henry Lawson
John Clare - The Winter's Spring
The winter comes; I walk alone, I want no bird to sing; To those who keep their hearts their own The winter is the spring. No flowers to please—no bees to hum— The coming spring's already come.
I never want the Christmas rose To come before its time; The seasons, each as God bestows, Are simple and sublime. I love to see the snowstorm hing; 'Tis but the winter garb of spring.
I never want the grass to bloom: The snowstorm's best in white. I love to see the tempest come And love its piercing light. The dazzled eyes that love to cling O'er snow-white meadows sees the spring.
I love the snow, the crumpling snow That hangs on everything, It covers everything below Like white dove's brooding wing, A landscape to the aching sight, A vast expanse of dazzling light.
It is the foliage of the woods That winters bring—the dress, White Easter of the year in bud, That makes the winter Spring. The frost and snow his posies bring, Nature's white spurts of the spring.
We Are Going
They came in to the little town A semi-naked band subdued and silent All that remained of their tribe. They came here to the place of their old bora ground Where now the many white men hurry about like ants. Notice of the estate agent reads: 'Rubbish May Be Tipped Here'. Now it half covers the traces of the old bora ring. 'We are as strangers here now, but the white tribe are the strangers. We belong here, we are of the old ways. We are the corroboree and the bora ground, We are the old ceremonies, the laws of the elders. We are the wonder tales of Dream Time, the tribal legends told. We are the past, the hunts and the laughing games, the wandering camp fires. We are the lightening bolt over Gaphembah Hill Quick and terrible, And the Thunderer after him, that loud fellow. We are the quiet daybreak paling the dark lagoon. We are the shadow-ghosts creeping back as the camp fires burn low. We are nature and the past, all the old ways Gone now and scattered. The scrubs are gone, the hunting and the laughter. The eagle is gone, the emu and the kangaroo are gone from this place. The bora ring is gone. The corroboree is gone. And we are going.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
It may be misery not to sing at all, And to go silent through the brimming day; It may be misery never to be loved, But deeper griefs than these beset the way. To sing the perfect song, And by a half-tone lost the key, There the potent sorrow, there the grief, The pale, sad staring of Life's Tragedy. To have come near to the perfect love, Not the hot passion of untempered youth, But that which lies aside its vanity, And gives, for thy trusting worship, truth. This, this indeed is to be accursed, For if we mortals love, or if we sing, We count our joys not by what we have, But by what kept us from that perfect thing.
The Passing of the Year
By Robert W Service
My glass is filled, my pipe is lit, My den is all a cosy glow; And snug before the fire I sit, And wait to feel the old year go. I dedicate to solemn thought Amid my too-unthinking days, This sober moment, sadly fraught With much of blame, with little praise.
Old Year! upon the Stage of Time You stand to bow your last adieu; A moment, and the prompter's chime Will ring the curtain down on you. Your mien is sad, your step is slow; You falter as a Sage in pain; Yet turn, Old Year, before you go, And face your audience again.
That sphinx-like face, remote, austere, Let us all read, what're the cost: O maiden! why that bitter tear? Is it for dear one you have lost? Is it for fond illusion gone? For trusted lover proved untrue? O sweet girl-face, so sad, so wan, What hath the Old Year meant to you?
'And you, O neighbour on my right, So sleek, so prosperously clad! What see you in that aged wight That makes your smile so gay and glad? What opportunity unmissed? What golden gain, what pride of place? What splendid hope" O Optimist! What read you in that withered face?
And you, deep shrinking in the gloom, What find you in that filmy gaze? What menace of a tragic doom? What dark, condemning yesterdays? What urge to crime, what evil done? What cold, confronting shape of fear? O haggard, haunted, hidden One, What see you in the dying year?
And so from face to face I flit, The countless eyes that stare and stare; Some are with approbation lit, And some are shadowed with despair. Some show a smile and some a frown; Some joy and hope, some pain and woe: Enough! Oh, ring that curtain down! Old weary year! it's time to go.
My pipe is out, my glass is dry; My fire is almost ashes too; But once again, before you go; And I prepare to meet the New: Old year! a parting word that's true, For we've been comrades, you and I - I thank God for each day of you; There! bless you now! Old Year, goodbye!
Poem: "There came a Wind like a Bugle," by Emily Dickinson.
There came a Wind like a Bugle
There came a Wind like a Bugle- It quivered through the Grass And a Green Chill upon the Heat So ominous did pass We barred the Windows and the Doors As from an Emerald Ghost- The Doom's electric Moccasin That very instant passed- On a strange Mob of panting Trees And Fences fled away And Rivers where the Houses ran Those looked that lived-that Day- The Bell within the steeple wild The flying tidings told- How much can come And much can go, And yet abide the World!
I feel there is an echo of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in this poem. The happiness of the holiday makers at the sea side Inn, suddenly ceasing and the torrents of water replacing all that joy of living. Or so it seems to me. Am I too fanciful, do you think? --- Trevor
New Year's by Dana Gioia
Let other mornings honor the miraculous. Eternity has festivals enough. This is feast of our mortality, The most mundane and human holiday.
On other days we misinterpret time, Pretending that we live the present moment. But can this blur, this smudgy in-between, This tiny fissure where the future drips
Into the past, this flyspeck we call now Be our true habitat? The present is The leaky palm of water that we skim From the swift, silent river slipping by.
The new year always brings us what we want Simply by bring us along—to see A calendar with every day uncrossed, A field of snow without a single footprint.
Auld Lang Syne
SHOULD auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to min'? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And days o' lang syne?
We twa hae rin about the braes, And pu'd the gowans fine; But we've wander'd monie a weary fit Sin' auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl't i' the burn, Frae mornin' sun till dine; But seas between us braid hae roar'd Sin' auld lang syne.
And here 's a hand, my trusty fiere, And gie's a hand o' thine; And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught For auld lang syne.
And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp, And surely I'll be mine; And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet For auld lang syne!
For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet For auld lang syne.
GLOSS: gowans] daisies. fit] foot. dine] dinner-time. fiere] partner. guid-willie waught] friendly draught.
I intended Never to grow old -- But the New years bell sounds!
"The Meaning of Life"
My heart is heavy and I grieve on this, the start of New Year's Eve. We've had a calamity so vast it can't compare with Christmas past and the words "Thy kingdom come" will not appeal to everyone. So I wonder while I strive "Why is it I am still alive?"
I can but try to quell my fears while weeping in this vale of tears and it's amazing still to me this all comes from an angry sea.
Our future lies before us now and we must learn to cope somehow; again seek Churchill's finest hour. but first we must restore the power.
While we know there's thousands dead, disease now rears it's ugly head. Essential aid must now arrive so this world can still survive, and people we have never known will bless us for the love we've shown.
Now I'm involved in all of this strife I ponder on the meaning of life. Am I at the mercy of some monstrous sea or are life lessons awaiting me? At 71, I have not long to wait, I'll know when I pass thru God's pearly gate.
And it was at that age ... Poetry arrived in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where it came from, from winter or a river. I don't know how or when, no they were not voices, they were not words, nor silence, but from a street I was summoned, from the branches of night, abruptly from the others, among violent fires or returning alone, there I was without a face and it touched me.
I did not know what to say, my mouth had no way with names, my eyes were blind, and something started in my soul, fever or forgotten wings, and I made my own way, deciphering that fire, and I wrote the first faint line, faint, without substance, pure nonsense, pure wisdom of someone who knows nothing, and suddenly I saw the heavens unfastened and open, planets, palpitating plantations, shadow perforated, riddled with arrows, fire and flowers, the winding night, the universe.
And I, infinitesimal being, drunk with the great starry void, likeness, image of mystery, felt myself a pure part of the abyss, I wheeled with the stars, my heart broke loose on the wind.
Mark Strand - Lines For Winter
Tell yourself as it gets cold and gray falls from the air that you will go on walking, hearing the same tune no matter where you find yourself -- inside the dome of dark or under the cracking white of the moon's gaze in a valley of snow. Tonight as it gets cold tell yourself what you know which is nothing but the tune your bones play as you keep going. And you will be able for once to lie down under the small fire of winter stars. And if it happens that you cannot go on or turn back and you find yourself where you will be at the end, tell yourself in that final flowing of cold through your limbs that you love what you are.
"beauty is beauty twice over and good things are doubly good when you're talking about a pair of wool socks in the dead of winter." Ode to a pair of socks
Maru Mori brought me a pair of socks that she knit with her shepherd's hands. Two socks as soft as rabbit fur. I thrust my feet inside them as if they were two little boxes knit from threads of sunset and sheepskin.
My feet were two woolen fish in those outrageous socks, two gangly, navy-blue sharks impaled on a golden thread, two giant blackbirds, two cannons: thus were my feet honored by those heavenly socks. They were so beautiful I found my feet unlovable for the very first time, like two crusty old firemen, firemen unworthy of that embroidered fire, those incandescent socks.
Nevertheless I fought the sharp temptation to put them away the way schoolboys put fireflies in a bottle, the way scholars hoard holy writ. I fought the mad urge to lock them in a golden cage and feed them birdseed and morsels of pink melon every day. Like jungle explorers who deliver a young deer of the rarest species to the roasting spit then wolf it down in shame, I stretched my feet forward and pulled on those gorgeous socks, and over them my shoes.
So this is the moral of my ode: beauty is beauty twice over and good things are doubly good when you're talking about a pair of wool socks in the dead of winter.
Through the murk the moon is veering, Ghost-accompanist of night, On the melancholy clearings Pouring melancholy light.
Runs the troika with its dreary Toneless jangling sleigh-bell on Over dismal snow' I'm weary, Hungry, frozen to the bone.
Coachman in a homely fashion's Singing as we flash along; Now a snatch of mournful passion, Now a foulmouthed drinking-song.
Not a light shines, not a lonely Dusky cabin. . . Snow and hush. . . Streaming past the troika only Mileposts, striped and motley, rush.
Dismal, dreary. . . But returning Homewards! And tomorrow, through Pleasant crackles of the burning Pine-logs, I shall gaze at you:
Dream, and go on gazing, Nina, One whole circle of the clock; Midnight will not come between us, When we gently turn the lock
On our callers. . . Drowsing maybe, Coachman's faded, lost the tune; Toneless, dreary, goes the sleigh-bell; Nina, clouds blot out the moon.
Robert Frost - Good Hours
I had for my winter evening walk-- No one at all with whom to talk, But I had the cottages in a row Up to their shining eyes in snow.
And I thought I had the folk within: I had the sound of a violin; I had a glimpse through curtain laces Of youthful forms and youthful faces.
I had such company outward bound. I went till there were no cottages found. I turned and repented, but coming back I saw no window but that was black.
Over the snow my creaking feet Disturbed the slumbering village street Like profanation, by your leave, At ten o'clock of a winter eve.
In the winter things are reduced to essentials. We see the bones of the land, the bones of trees, the stark elegance of the underlying structure of life. And we see the frailty of our own soft flesh, the brittle, yet lasting structure
of our own bones - our bid for eternity.
MENDING WALL .....Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun, And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made, But at spring mending-time we find them there. I let my neighbor know beyond the hill; And on a day we meet to walk the line And set the wall between us once again. We keep the wall between us as we go. To each the boulders that have fallen to each. And some are loaves and some so nearly balls We have to use a spell to make them balance: 'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!' We wear our fingers rough with handling them. Oh, just another kind of out-door game, One on a side. It comes to little more: There where it is we do not need the wall: He is all pine and I am apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'. Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder If I could put a notion in his head: 'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it Where there are cows? But here there are no cows. Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offense. Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down.' I could say '.Elves' to him, But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather He said it for himself. I see him there Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed. He moves in darkness as it seems to me Not of woods only and the shade of trees. He will not go behind his father's saying, And he likes having thought of it so well He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."
of course he's in Finland and snow begins early there.
October lays its snows In a temporary way Like children in an attic Donning adult clothes in play, Trying on maturity For an hour or a day. But soon the snows are gone, The grass beneath still green, And Winter waits to grow a bit To get serious and mean.
I Saw in Louisiana a Live-oak Growing
I saw in Louisiana a live oak growing, All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches, Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark greenAnd its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself, But I wondered how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for I knew I could not,And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and twined around it a little moss, And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends, (For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,) Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana solitary in a wide flat space, Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near, I know very well I could not.
The Force That Through The Green Fuse Drives The Flower The force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees Is my destroyer. And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose My youth is bent by the same wintry fever. The force that drives the water through the rocks Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams Turns mine to wax. And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.
The hand that whirls the water in the pool Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind Hauls my shroud sail. And I am dumb to tell the hanging man How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.
The lips of time leech to the fountain head; Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood Shall calm her sores. And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.
And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.
Early Morning, January
By Robert Hogg
Though it's totally
barren as death
the tree is the tree
and the birds
(chickadee & gross-
beak & several
dust back &
forth among the
& the three
By Mary Darby Robinson
Pavement slipp'ry, people sneezing, Lords in ermine, beggars freezing ; Titled gluttons dainties carving, Genius in a garret starving.
Lofty mansions, warm and spacious ; Courtiers clinging and voracious ; Misers scarce the wretched heeding ; Gallant soldiers fighting, bleeding.
Wives who laugh at passive spouses ; Theatres, and meeting-houses ; Balls, where simp'ring misses languish ; Hospitals, and groans of anguish.
Arts and sciences bewailing ; Commerce drooping, credit failing ; Placemen mocking subjects loyal ; Separations, weddings royal.
Authors who can't earn a dinner ; Many a subtle rogue a winner ; Fugitives for shelter seeking ; Misers hoarding, tradesmen breaking.
Taste and talents quite deserted ; All the laws of truth perverted ; Arrogance o'er merit soaring ; Merit silently deploring.
Ladies gambling night and morning ; Fools the works of genius scorning ; Ancient dames for girls mistaken, Youthful damsels quite forsaken.
Some in luxury delighting ; More in talking than in fighting ; Lovers old, and beaux decrepid ; Lordlings empty and insipid.
Poets, painters, and musicians ; Lawyers, doctors, politicians : Pamphlets, newspapers, and odes, Seeking fame by diff'rent roads.
Gallant souls with empty purses ; Gen'rals only fit for nurses ; School-boys, smit with martial spirit, Taking place of vet'ran merit.
Honest men who can't get places, Knaves who shew unblushing faces ; Ruin hasten'd, peace retarded ; Candour spurn'd, and art rewarded.
poem describes the cycle of life and death, noting that creation and destruction are part of the same process, both for man and for nature. Each stanza presents the flow of time moving to its inexorable conclusion.
Constantine P. Cavafy - Candles
The days of our future stand in front of us like a row of little lit candles -- golden, warm, and lively little candles.
The days past remain behind us, a mournful line of extinguished candles; the ones nearest are still smoking, cold candles, melted, and bent.
I do not want to look at them; their form saddens me, and it saddens me to recall their first light. I look ahead at my lit candles.
I do not want to turn back, lest I see and shudder at how fast the dark line lengthens, at how fast the extinguished candles multiply.
Spring that capricious lass, With tentative toe touched the dry brown grass. Finding no one to stop her path Trailing gossamer garments filled with southern breezes She skipped North with winter still upon us. Seducing trees in winter garb. Confused, they brought forth buds Swollen by her siren’s touch. Proudly displayed before their time, In January when the earth was cold and still, The beauty meant for March or May.
Alas she led them all astray! Danced among them, teased their branches bare. Whispered promises she could not keep. When Winter shook his frigid fist She shook her golden head of hair Scampered South to hide her face. Now when she should be here She loiters on southern beaches. The early buds wither and die, Shiver in the frosted air. Wonder what happened to that sassy lass Whose guile their best efforts failed To captivate,Whose smile they welcomed. Where is she now ? That False Spring? When March has almost gone away ? Will April bring her back to stay Or will Winter linger still awhile?
anna alexander 3/27/99 all rights reserved
Miss you, miss you, miss you; Everything I do Echoes with the laughter And the voice of You. You're on every corner Every turn and twist, Every old familiar spot Whispers how you're missed. Miss you, miss you, miss you! Everywhere I go There are poignant memories Dancing in a row. Silhouette and shadow Of your form and face Substance and reality Everywhere displace.
Oh, I miss you, miss you! God! I miss you, Girl! There's a strange silence 'Mid the busy whirl Just as tho' the ordinary Daily things I do Wait with me, expectant For a word from You.
Miss you, miss you, miss you! Nothing now seem true Only that 'twas heaven Just to be with You.
Miss You, David Cory
plastic flowers row on row a garden in December grow they do not wilt in summer sun nor droop in autumn’s windplastic or silk these sentinels keep watch for those that do not sleep I beg when my time has come and beneath the earth I’m placed do not bring flowers of molded silk or plastic shaped like baby’s breath
if you must .....lay a single rose upon my resting place and when its petals fade and lay silent there above my grave their perfume sinking into the ground will tell you were there
anna alexander © modified 7/23/2004
Following some links I found a page on Tagore.
And a few of his Fireflies which are like Haiku to me. Here is one.
The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.
Robert Frost - A Hillside Thaw
To think to know the country and now know The hillside on the day the sun lets go Ten million silver lizards out of snow! As often as I've seen it done before I can't pretend to tell the way it's done. It looks as if some magic of the sun Lifted the rug that bred them on the floor And the light breaking on them made them run. But if I though to stop the wet stampede, And caught one silver lizard by the tail, And put my foot on one without avail, And threw myself wet-elbowed and wet-kneed In front of twenty others' wriggling speed,-- In the confusion of them all aglitter, And birds that joined in the excited fun By doubling and redoubling song and twitter, I have no doubt I'd end by holding none.
It takes the moon for this. The sun's a wizard By all I tell; but so's the moon a witch. From the high west she makes a gentle cast And suddenly, without a jerk or twitch, She has her speel on every single lizard. I fancied when I looked at six o'clock The swarm still ran and scuttled just as fast. The moon was waiting for her chill effect. I looked at nine: the swarm was turned to rock In every lifelike posture of the swarm, Transfixed on mountain slopes almost erect. Across each other and side by side they lay. The spell that so could hold them as they were Was wrought through trees without a breath of storm To make a leaf, if there had been one, stir. One lizard at the end of every ray. The thought of my attempting such a stray!
An Untitled Poem on Winter by George W. Mindling
There’s a certain old question the Weather Man hears; In the fall of the year it gets into his ears. And whenever they ask him, when does winter begin?” He will tell them naively, “When cold weather sets in.”
There are some who insist on a calendar date, And they want it the same for every State, From the northernmost plain in a terrible blizzard To the southernmost shore warm enough for a lizard.
Now the Weather Man thinks that it does not make sense In Duluth and Miami on the same day to commence To declare that it’s winter and that winter will stay Till the day off in March called the equinox day.
While the almanac makers do state in their ways That the length of the winter is just ninety days, Up in Maine I have heard in the best Yankee style That it’s winter nine months and it’s cold all the while.
In Miami, however, or down at Saint Pete, They assume that your house never needs any heat. If you speak about winter, they warmly reply, “Such a thing is unknown under our friendly sky.”
So the Weather Man says you can not fix a date That is true in each year and is true in each State. And to each one that asks, “When does winter begin?” He will answer naively, “When cold weather sets in.”
Winter wind scours frozen frigid frosted land Spring cringesanna alexander 2/1/98 all rights reserved
Snowflakes spill from heaven's hand Lovely and chaste like smooth white sand. A veil of wonder laced in light Falling Gently on a winters night. Graceful beauty raining down Giving magic to the lifeless ground. Each snowflake like a falling star Smiling beauty that's spun afar. Till earth is dressed in a robe of white Unspoken poem the hush of night. by Linda A. Copp
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know, His house is in the village though. He will not see me stopping here, To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer, To stop without a farmhouse near, Between the woods and frozen lake, The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake, To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep, Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
-- Robert Frost
Billy Collins - Snow Day
Today we woke up to a revolution of snow, its white flag waving over everything, the landscape vanished, not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness, and beyond these windows
the government buildings smothered, schools and libraries buried, the post office lost under the noiseless drift, the paths of trains softly blocked, the world fallen under this falling.
In a while I will put on some boots and step out like someone walking in water, and the dog will porpoise through the drifts, and I will shake a laden branch, sending a cold shower down on us both.
But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house, a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow. I will make a pot of tea and listen to the plastic radio on the counter, as glad as anyone to hear the news
that the Kiddie Corner School is closed, the Ding-Dong School, closed, the All Aboard Children's School, closed, the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed, along with -- some will be delighted to hear --
the Toadstool School, the Little School, Little Sparrows Nursery School, Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School, the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed, and -- clap your hands -- the Peanuts Play School.
So this is where the children hide all day, These are the nests where they letter and draw, where they put on their bright miniature jackets, all darting and climbing and sliding, all but the few girls whispering by the fence.
And now I am listening hard in the grandiose silence of the snow, trying to hear what those three girls are plotting, what riot is afoot, which small queen is about to be brought down.
Like white butterflies flying in the cold winter air, The snowflakes fall so gently upon the ground, Making a clean unblemished blanket on the earth Later the snow chrystals will glisten like diamonds in the sun without a sound.
I have often described certain snows as looking like white bflys. And today it is in the single digits temps & the sparkles are all over the place.
O flock of ducks in the wind in winter, The wine of flight inspires your wings! Ecstatic with dreams of remoteness, Drunk with the sky’s blueness, Tell me, how can I fill my songs With that same liquor?
In beauty may I walk All day long may I walk Through the returning seasons may I walk Beautifully I will possess again Beautifully birds Beautifully joyful birds On the trail marked with pollen may I walk With grasshoppers about my feet may I walk With dew about my feet may I walk With beauty may I walk With beauty before me may I walk With beauty behind me may I walk With beauty above me may I walk With beauty all around me may I walk In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk It is finished in beauty It is finished in beauty
-- Anon. (Navajo)
I totally fell in love with this when I came upon it so I am sharing. It was just on a page by itself- there was no other info. ~Marj
READIN' THE RUG
By Holman F. Day
Take a chair by the fireplace, mister. Pull up, s'r, pull up to the blaze!
Cheerfuler some than an air-tight, hey? Too many air-tights these days!
But that ain't a matter to harp on--complainin' isn't my style:
Do you notice that rug where ye're sittin? Let me tell ye 'bout that
for a while.
That's an old hooked rug; just burlap with snippin's o' rags looped through-
A hit-or-miss pattern they call it; it looked pretty smart when t'was new.
Some fami'lies have his'ries about 'em an' docyments filed away,
But ourn hain't ever done nothin' that his'rys can find to say,
Yet next to my Bible, mister, the readin' I like the best
I find right there in that old hooked rug, when there's ary a minit to rest.
I come an's read it o' daytimes, but the readin' goes best at night
With the wind and the rain at the winder an' the hearth flames burnins' bright.
They are all there, all of them, in the tapestries of my lovely Irish kin, aunts, uncles, grandfolks, cousins galore, and me, too, sometimes me, from the right side of the blanket, wrong side of acceptance for some Their stories and mine are there in the quilts and the rag rugs If there is anyone to read them. That orange print from the missionary bag... I wore it when I came to her. It was ugly, but they said it was good enough. I was so happy to see her cutting it into tiny pieces to change it into something beautiful. I thought Grandma would say "It's still serviceable," But she looked into my heart instead. She declared it worn out and took it apart, made me something new, plain and serviceable, but it wasn't orange or ugly. Daddy's soft blue shirt is there, too, But Daddy is far away. Sometimes I could lay my head on his shoulder Now I pretend. Mama's green dress is in there, too, She threw it away when she ran off with that lawyer man. It was Daddy's favorite. I don't know how to find her and I can't go where she is. I hope she can find her way. Pieces of Uncle Jim's uniform wind through the rag rug. He died, you know. Defending his country, they said. He was gone somewhere I could not go, too, Hard truths And his uniform helped soften the hard floor. Auntie Awful's purple skirt got shiny on the back, So I got a little skirt out of the good parts and Grandma used up the rest for the quilt and the rug. Waste not, want not. The strands of the dark navy gabardine that Grandma wore to Grandpa's funeral because she hadn't anything in black. "James wouldn't have wanted me to wear black," she said. And held her head up. She took me along and held her head up. Grandpa went to heaven and they laughed at the wake. No more candy, no more songs. They told funny stories and laughed and cried and ate. I never saw her cry, but I heard her in the night. I think she cried for all of us. I know she cried for me when they took me away again. I saw her. If I had that purple skirt, I could make a quilt. A quilt to remember all of them, But mostly in memory of Grandma Who taught me to hold my head up.
by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let me go where'er I will I hear a skyborn music still: It sounds from all things old, It sounds from all things young, From all that's fair, from all that's foul, Peals out a cheerful song.
It is not only in the rose, It is not only in the bird, Not only where the rainbow glows, Nor in the song of woman heard, But in the darkest, meanest things There alway, alway something sings.
'Tis not in the high stars alone, Nor in the cup of budding flowers, Nor in the red-breast's mellow tone, Nor in the bow that smiles in showers. But in the mud and scum of things There alway, alway something sings
Winter is still here but…..
I know it is early February Winter is still here The trees are bare and stark No leaf shows against the weathered bark My yard is covered with withered grass The color of old and ancient brass Yet my daffodils are giving birth Above the old and darkened earth They have announced there presence Pushing upward from the sod Five inches of bright green stems Promises from a benevolent God That even in the darkest days When winter lays cold and still HE is there and Spring lies… Just beyond the hills
Anna Alexander 2/8/05©
Scrawler- I'll take a kitty haiku or poem any day!!!!
These lines in the Emerson poem are just right- remembering them is just like reminding us to look. Often there is more than what we see or feel as horrible.
"But in the mud and scum of things There alway, alway something sings"
Bourdillon, Francis William, 1852-1921
Bourdillon, Francis William, 1852-1921: A VALENTINE [from Ailes d'Alouette (1890)]
WHAT is my wish for thee, sweet Valentine? A song of Spring, while Winter yet is here, Heralding Summer in the silent year, Be thine!
And for myself canst thou my wish divine? To think my greeting may be in thy sight Welcome as Summer's heralds,---this delight Be mine!
She Walks In Beauty by George Gordon, Lord Byron
She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; And all that's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes: Thus mellow'd to that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impair'd the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o'er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!
When You and I behind the Veil are past, Oh, but the long, long while the World shall last, Which of our Coming and Departure heeds As the Sea's self should heed a pebble-cast.
A Moment's Halt--a momentary taste Of BEING from the Well amid the Waste-- And Lo!--the phantom Caravan has reach'd The NOTHING it set out from--Oh, make haste!
Would you that spangle of Existence spend About THE SECRET--quick about it, Friend! A Hair perhaps divides the False from True-- And upon what, prithee, may life depend?
Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton. 1808–1876
I do not love Thee
I DO not love thee!—no! I do not love thee! And yet when thou art absent I am sad; And envy even the bright blue sky above thee, Whose quiet stars may see thee and be glad.
I do not love thee!—yet, I know not why, Whate'er thou dost seems still well done, to me: And often in my solitude I sigh That those I do love are not more like thee!
I do not love thee!—yet, when thou art gone, I hate the sound (though those who speak be dear) Which breaks the lingering echo of the tone Thy voice of music leaves upon my ear.
I do not love thee!—yet thy speaking eyes, With their deep, bright, and most expressive blue, Between me and the midnight heaven arise, Oftener than any eyes I ever knew.
I know I do not love thee! yet, alas! Others will scarcely trust my candid heart; And oft I catch them smiling as they pass, Because they see me gazing where thou art.
The years have stolen
all her loveliness,
Her days are fallen
in the long wet grass
like petals broken
from the lilac blossom,
when the winds have shaken
its tangled bosom
Her youth like a dim
under the seas
of her life's long dream,
yet she hears still
in her heart, sometimes,
the far, sweet chimes
of a sunken bell.
He made a place in his dream for the pines to grow,
He saw the shadows lengthening, as now
In the slanting sun they lengthen, the house absorbing
This still coolness; he saw the dogs asleep
Each in the shade of its kennel; weathered shafts
Slanted to the ground, and big wheels resting.
These giant trees he saw spring from his hand,
And made a place in the air for them to grow,
A place for the low white house in their deep shelter;
But now if he could enter as once he entered
This cool yard, the dogs would suddenly rise,
Their barking shatter the dream and the sleepy stillness.
Nobody remembers him, the woman
Swinging her pail as she walks beneath great branches,
Going down through the shade to the cool swept cowshed,
The man on the dusty roadside bringing the cows;
They do not know they follow the paths he made
In a dream once for a man and a woman to follow.
This is the resting centre, leaf and flower
Have budded from the dream, the roots have grown,
The earth has accepted the roots and the burden of wheels,
All is fulfilled; only the man who saw
In seedings in his hand this quiet hour,
Has passed from the dream, passed from the trees long shadows
Here is a poem about tampa robins
The robin laughed in the orange-tree: "Ho, windy North, a fig for thee: While breasts are red and wings are bold And green trees wave us globes of gold, Time's scythe shall reap but bliss for me -- Sunlight, song, and the orange-tree. Burn, golden globes in leafy sky, My orange-planets: crimson I Will shine and shoot among the spheres (Blithe meteor that no mortal fears) And thrid the heavenly orange-tree With orbits bright of minstrelsy. If that I hate wild winter's spite -- The gibbet trees, the world in white, The sky but gray wind over a grave -- Why should I ache, the season's slave? I'll sing from the top of the orange-tree `Gramercy, winter's tyranny.' I'll south with the sun, and keep my clime; My wing is king of the summer-time; My breast to the sun his torch shall hold; And I'll call down through the green and gold `Time, take thy scythe, reap bliss for me, Bestir thee under the orange-tree.'"
I Meant to Do My Work Today
I meant to do my work today— But a brown bird sang in the apple-tree, And a butterfly flitted across a field, And all the leaves were calling me.
And the wind went sighing over the land, Tossing the grasses to and fro, And a rainbow held out its shining hand— So what could I do but laugh and go?
Richard LeGallienne (1866-1947)
That's cute, Anna.I came across this. I love it on the day after our blizzard. .
by Sara TeasdaleThere will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;And frogs in the pools singing at night, And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;Robins will wear their feathery fire Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;And not one will know of the war, not one Will care at last when it done.Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree If mankind perished utterly;And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn, Would scarcely know that we were gone.
These pools that, though,in forests, still reflect The total sky almost without defect, And like the flowers beside them chill and shiver, Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone, And yet not out by any brook or river, But up by roots to bring dark foliage on. The trees that have it in their pent-up buds To darken nature and be summer woods - Let them think twice before they use their powers To blot out and drink up and sweep away These flowery waters and these watery flowers From snow that melted only yesterday.
The way a crow Shook down on me The dust of snow From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart A change of mood And saved some part Of a day I had rued.
I have done mostly what most men do, And pushed it out of my mind; But I can't forget, if I wanted to, Four-Feet trotting behind.
Day after day, the whole day through -- Wherever my road inclined -- Four-feet said, "I am coming with you!" And trotted along behind.
Now I must go by some other round, -- Which I shall never find -- Somewhere that does not carry the sound Of Four-Feet trotting behind.
I like you cat,
My wild cat.
Or am I just imagining that?
Perhaps I'm yours-
I'm your what?
Your friend? Your foe?
You do not like your food too hot,
Nor do you like it cold
You don't need words
To tell me so
You tell me this,
You tell me that,
You are in fact
A clever cat.
Your body language is sublime
You act, I talk
And all is fine.
Please try to be a patient cat,
I'm busy, doing this and that.
I'll let you have my summer hat
To sleep in.
Malwina Z. Schwieters.
Master, this is Thy Servant. He is rising eight weeks old. He is mainly Head and Tummy. His legs are uncontrolled. But Thou hast forgiven his ugliness, and settled him on Thy knee... Art Thou content with Thy Servant? He is very comfy with Thee.
Master, behold a Sinner! He hath committed a wrong. He hath defiled Thy Premises through being kept in too long. Wherefore his nose has been rubbed in the dirt, and his self-respect has been bruised. Master, pardon Thy Sinner, and see he is properly loosed.
Master-again Thy Sinner! This that was once Thy Shoe, He has found and taken and carried aside, as fitting matter to chew. Now there is neither blacking nor tongue, and the Housemaid has us in tow. Master, remember Thy Servant is young, and tell her to let him go!
Master, extol Thy Servant, he has met a most Worthy Foe! There has been fighting all over the Shop – and into the Shop also! Till cruel umbrellas parted the strife (or I might have been chok- ing him yet), But Thy Servant has had the Time of his Life – and now shall we call on the vet?
Master, behold Thy Servant! Strange children came to play, And because they fought to caress him, Thy Servant wentedst away. But now that the Little Beasts have gone, he has returned to see (Brushed – with his Sunday collar on) what they left over from tea.
. . . . . .
Master, pity Thy Servant! He is deaf and three parts blind. He cannot catch Thy Commandments. He cannot read Thy Mind. Oh, leave him not to his loneliness; nor make him that kitten's scorn. He hath had none other God than Thee since the year that he was born.
Lord, look down on Thy Servant! Bad things have come to pass. There is no heat in the midday sun, nor health in the wayside grass. His bones are full of an old disease – his torments run and increase. Lord, make haste with Thy Lightnings and grant him a quick release!
- Rudyard Kipling, 1932
Goodbye to Katie-Star
It was hard to say goodbye For you were my ears that Could no longer hear The announcer that said Someone was at the door The nodding toward the Ringing phone so I knew Someone was calling too The companion in my walks My protector when alone You were so intelligent Understanding a vocabulary Of words like ride, car, outside The night you told me you Needed to leave I saw Your shadow leaving in my dreams And when the vet agreed you Wanted to go , you looked at me And said goodbye Now in dreams I see you Your tail a golden plume Waving and saying thank you But it is I who thank for your time For your gift of love And whisper in my heart A sad goodbye..
Anna Alexander 3/6/05 ©
Grief comes in little bits And eats away the day I am weighed by all the grief That life displays Can one grief be deeper Can one equate A love lost and gone away Whose voice is dead To all the world But still resounds Within my head ? Does each new grief Push you back to A loss that was so deep I think it does Even when a beloved pet Leaves you now to weep It adds to the loss of When you left me in your sleep And forlorn I lay My heart feels strange And burdened by that ancient grief. Again I weep.
Anna Alexander 3/7/05©
THE snow-flakes fall in showers,
The time is absent still, When all Spring's beauteous flowers, When all Spring's beauteous flowers
Our hearts with joy shall fill.
With lustre false and fleeting
The sun's bright rays are thrown; The swallow's self is cheating: The swallow's self is cheating,
And why? He comes alone!
Can I e'er feel delighted
Alone, though Spring is near? Yet when we are united, Yet when we are united,
The Summer will be here.
If sunlight fell like snowflakes gleaming yellow and so bright we could build a sunman we could have a sunball fight. We could watch the sunflakes drifting in the sky We could go sleighing in the middle of July through sundrifts and sunbanks we could ride a sunmobile and we could touch sunflakes- I wonder how they'd feel.
The Song of Wandering Aengus
I WENT out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor I went to blow the fire a-flame, But something rustled on the floor, And someone called me by my name: It had become a glimmering girl With apple blossom in her hair Who called me by my name and ran And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
Four Leaf Clover by Ella Higginson (born in 1861)
I know a place where the sun is like gold and the cherries bloom forth in the snow; And down underneath is the loveliest place, Where the four-leaf clovers grow.
One leaf is for FAITH, And one is for HOPE, And one is for LOVE you know; And GOD put another in for LUCK: If you search you will find where they grow.
But you must have FAITH, And you must have HOPE, You must LOVE and be strong and so... If you work and you wait, You will find the place Where the FOUR-LEAF CLOVERS grow!
Sorry but it leaves out her age .Back later with that ...
May you always have Walls for the winds, A roof for the rain, Tea beside the fire, Laughter to cheer you, Those you love near you, And all your heart might desire!
The kids are out-of-doors once more; The heavy leggins that they wore, The winter caps that covered ears Are put away, and no more tears Are shed because they cannot go Until they're bundled up just so. No more she wonders when they're gone If they have put their rubbers on; No longer are they hourly told To guard themselves against a cold; Bareheaded now they romp and run Warmed only by the kindly sun. She's put their heavy clothes away And turned the children out to play, And all the morning long they race Like madcaps round about the place. The robins on the fences sing A gayer song of welcoming, And seems as though they had a share In all the fun they're having there. The wrens and sparrows twitter, too, A louder and a noisier crew, As though it pleased them all to see The youngsters out of doors and free. Outdoors they scamper to their play With merry din the livelong day, And hungrily they jostle in The favor of the maid to win; Then, armed with cookies or with cake, Their way into the yard they make, And every feathered playmate comes To gather up his share of crumbs. The finest garden that I know Is one where little children grow, Where cheeks turn brown and eyes are bright, And all is laughter and delight. Oh, you may brag of gardens fine, But let the children race in mine; And let the roses, white and red, Make gay the ground whereon they tread. And who for bloom perfection seeks, Should mark the color on their cheeks; No music that the robin spouts Is equal to their merry shouts; There is no foliage to compare With youngsters' sun-kissed, tousled hair: Spring's greatest joy beyond a doubt Is when it brings the children out.
Author: Edgar Guest
By William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed - and gazed - but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.
by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Now fades the last long streak of snow, Now burgeons every maze of quick About the flowering squares, and thick By ashen roots the violets blow.
Now rings the woodland loud and long, The distance takes a lovelier hue, And drown'd in yonder living blue The lark becomes a sightless song.
Now dance the lights on lawn and lea, The flocks are whiter down the vale, And milkier every milky sail, On winding stream of distant sea;
Where now the seamew pipes, or dives In yonder greening gleam, and fly The happy birds, that change their sky To build and brood, that live their lives.
From land to land; and in my breast Spring wakens too; and my regret Becomes an April violet, And buds and blossoms like the rest.
We may believe
in the souls continuance
the creative mind's
long term effects
But the flesh has its own immortality
our bodies share
the elements and chemicals
that brought about
the genesis of stars;
how can such celestial matter
be destroyed in death?
imagine if you can
our dust our ashes
gathered up from earth and air
into the universe itself
and there united with
our cosmic ancestors
light years from now
you my dear, and I could meet
as molecules of stellar dust;
although we would not know it
and parts of me will merge
where white hot stars
in galactic fields.
O wind, where have you been, That you blow so sweet? Among the violets Which blossom at your feet.Christina (Georgina) Rossetti (1830--94)
The honeysuckle waits For Summer and for heat But violets in the chilly Spring Make the turf so sweet.
Dancing with the wind
The leaves beckon to participate,
Join the whirling company
And fly with them to levitate
Up through the branches,
In between the the shaking twigs
And into chill, clear, free blue air,
Tumbling up and down in zigs
And zags, competing with the kites and crows,
Touching heights no more earthbound to astound
The sleepy passengers on silver jets
Who stare at me with open mouths and eyes all round.
A.A. Milne - Wind on the Hill
No one can tell me, Nobody knows, Where the wind comes from, Where the wind goes.
It's flying from somewhere As fast as it can, I couldn't keep up with it, Not if I ran.
But if I stopped holding The string of my kite, It would blow with the wind For a day and a night.
And then when I found it, Wherever it blew, I should know that the wind Had been going there too.
So then I could tell them Where the wind goes... But where the wind comes from Nobody knows.
This I saw on an April day: Warm rain spilt from a sun-lined cloud, A sky-flung wave of gold at evening, And a cock pheasant treading a dusty path Shy and proud.
And this I found in an April field: A new white calf in the sun at noon, A flash of blue in a cool moss bank, And tips of tulips promising flowers To a blue-winged loon.
And this I tried to understand As I scrubbed the rust from my brightening plow: The movement of seed in furrowed earth, And a blackbird whistling sweet and clear From a green-sprayed bough.
Carman, Bliss, (1861-1929) I know a shining meadow stream That winds beneath an Eastern hill, And all year long in sun or gloom Its murmuring voice is never still.
The summer dies more gently there, The April flowers are earlier,-- The first warm rain-wind from the Sound Sets all their eager hearts astir.
And there when lengthening twilights fall As softly as a wild bird's wing, Across the valley in the dusk I hear the silver flute of spring
Jesse StuartSpring in Kentucky Hills (1934)
Spring in Kentucky hills will soon awaken; The sap will run every vein of tree. Green will come to the land bleak and forsaken; Warm silver wind will catch the honey bee. Blood-root will whiten on the barren hill; Wind-flowers will grow beneath the oaks and nod To silver April wind against their will. Bitterns will break the silence of the hills And meadow's grass sup dew under the moons, Pastures will green and bring back whippoorwills And butterflies that break from stout cocoons. Spring in Kentucky hills and I shall be A free-soil man to talk beneath the trees And listen to the wind among the leaves And count the stars and do as I damn please.
Excerpts from Two Tramps in MudtimeRobert Frost
The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day When the sun is out and the wind is still, You're one month on in the middle of May. But if you so much as dare to speak, A cloud comes over the sunlit arch, A wind comes off a frozen peak, And you're two months back in the middle of March.
A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight And turns to the wind to unruffle a plume, His song so pitched as not to excite A single flower as yet to bloom. It is snowing a flake; and he half knew Winter was only playing possum. Except in color he isn't blue, But he wouldn't advise a thing to blossom.
The water for which we may have to look In summertime with a witching wand, In every wheelrut's now a brook, In every print of a hoof a pond. Be glad of water, but don't forget The lurking frost in the earth beneath That will steal forth after the sun is set And show on the water its crystal teeth.
By Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Once more the changed year's turning wheel returns: And as a girl sails balanced in the wind, And now before and now again behindStoops as it swoops, with cheek that laughs and burns, - So Spring comes merry towards me here, but earns No answering smile from me, whose life is twin'd With the dead boughs that winter still must bind, And whom today the Spring no more concerns.
Behold, this crocus is a withering flame; This snowdrop, snow; this apple-blossom's part To breed the fruit that breeds the serpent's art. Nay, for these Spring-flowers, turn thy face from them, Nor stay till on the year's last lily-stem The white cup shrivels round the golden heart.
WE are here and not there Why
ARE we in this situation?
SUCH a statement makes you
STUFF your hands in your pockets & shrug
AS you consider the philosophical implications;
DREAMS have no place in your life. You
ARE reality itself. You argue. again you have
MADE me smile. I watch you, thinking
OF our times together
AND the inevitability of change.
OUR Bodies have aged; ambitions have
LITTLE significance in the general scheme
LIFE is the present; death plays a waiting game there
IS no future to concern us but today is a
ROUNDED spoon of honey waiting to be sipped
WITH a prospect of delight even the old may know
A lifetime of hours before we welcome the long
I know it is spring
Not because the light sifting through the new born leaves is softer Not because my daffodils bloomed last week and now are gone Not because my plum tree in its lacy gown dropped its buds like snow upon the greening lawn Not because the lilacs await their turn and the iris green swards heralds the coming of the Empress in her royal gown Not because the birds are searching for just the place to build their nests Always it seems in some tree I had Hoped to remove or vines that need tearing down Not because the world looks cleaner washed by warmer rains instead of snow Not because the earth smells new and robins pull worms from newly turned sod No all these things tell me it is here BUT still … it is the sound this Saturday morning Of my neighbors gasoline mower Being pushed in precision across his lawn The first of many Saturday forays Until once again Autumn sings her song.
anna Alexander 4/9/05©
April 26, 1781. No. 816.
The APRIL MORNING. A POEM.
“SOFT as the dew from heaven descends,” Has dropt the nightly shower, With ductile earth it kindly blends, And wakes the sleeping flower. The tree, the plant, the herb conspire, Their gratitude to show, And proudly lift their branches higher, Exulting as they grow. The doubting sun, behind the cloud, Emits a fainter ray; Till if his native radiance proud, He bursts at once to day. Now vegetative life is warm, And springs at every pore; While Nature wonders at the charm That Winter had before: Wonders that northern winds should bind While western breezes warm; But triumphs now—for heaven is kind, And past the wintry storm. Then let the vegetable tribe, With force emphatic preach; While mortals chearfully imbibe The doctrines that they teach. For all that's great, and good, and wise, Successive seasons prove: —Then with each season, let us rise In gratitude and love.
I love ice cream, o' yes I do! I love ice cream, and so should you!
And remember the kiddy ditty: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream
The winds pasture in the clouds; The earth breathes: Spring earth soft with water, Dense with leaf, And a duck puddles in the water In the ditch by the motorway, And the broad bank is vivid with flowers, Gloss buttercup and the dandilion flare; The young oak flourishes leaf And the beercan rusts at its roots. Cars scythe past and echo in the stone: Square buildings where the night survives, Where winter lingers. Sun bakes the clay; Stone postures in the sky: The great bridge arcs the gully Across the tar and dust Where engines churn and iron moves To satisfy the lust Of oil dreams and senile hands, Grey plans of steel and power. The grass cradles my body: I lie in the shade of the cloud, In the cirrus hours, And listen to the earth inhale the sun.Isn't that last line something!!!Publication details: "Grafton in Spring" was published in "City News", a giveaway newspaper in Auckland, New Zealand. Publication date: 1975 October 29. It was posted on the Internet by Hugh Cook on 2003 February 16 Sunday. Copyright © 1975, 2003 Hugh Cook. All rights reserved. http://zenvirus.com/poems/grafton.html
Sailing through summer
On a film of sweat,
On a sheet of shaking heat.
Trees applaud the faintest breeze.
Small birds drill whistle holes in thick air,
Letting lassitude drip out the atmosphere.
Deep in the grass
I watch haytips seek the angry eye of summer
In cybernetic arcs.
Alto-cumulus steams off the land,
Mutters with small lighting spits
To build a final hissing piss of rain
And a goodbye garish yellow glare
Before the day destructs into a night
Of galactic blurs and planetary disks
There is something visceral
In the sound of distant thunder
From the roiling underbelly
Of a pregnant summer sky.
At first, a gentle knocking,
A cautious testing, tapping
On the roof and on the windows
As the trees begin to sigh.
Suddenly there's silence,
A still anticipation,
A waiting and a watching
With an apprehensive eye.
Now flash! A whip of lightning
With its bang-snap-crack of thunder
Stampedes the herds across the roof.
The streets all start to fry.
The trees are writhing now
In waves of throbbing rain
That mist and bend the twisting shapes.
All solids liquify.
The sky is firing salvoes
Of stroboscopic glare
While an avalanche of monsters
Reverberates the sky.
The cavalcade of noise and blaze
Subsides to glows and grumbles.
Downpour inundates the streets.
It's Venice in July.
Barefoot kids race gutter boats
To seas of clogged up drains.
Their matchstick ships do flops and flips
And spin and sink awry.
The thick damp smell of hot concrete
Yields its wet in steam
Which rises up like streaming ghosts
Who flee back to the sky.
"Courage !' he said, and pointed toward the land,
'This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.'
In the afternoon they came unto a land,
In which it seemed always afternoon.
All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
and like a downward smoke, the slender stream
along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.
A land of streams ! some, like a downward smoke,
Slow-dropping veils of thinnest lawn, did go;
And some thro' wavering lights and shadows broke,
Rolling a slumbrous sheet of foam below.
They saw the gleaming river seaward flow
From the inner land: far off, three mountain-tops,
Three silent pinacles of aged snow,
Stood sunset-flush'd: and, dew'd with showery drops,
Up-clomb the shadowy pine above the woven copse.
The charmed sunset linger'd low adown
In the red West: thro' the mountain clefts the dale
Was seen far inland, and the yellow down
Border'd with palm, and many a winding vale
And meadow, set with slender galingale;
A land where all things always seem'd the same !
And round about the keel with faces pale,
Dark faces pale against that rosy flame,
The mild-eyed melancholy Lotus-eaters came.
There is sweet music here that softer falls
than petals from blown roses on the grass,
Or night dews on still waters between walls
of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
Than tir'd eyelids upon tir'd eyes;
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Here are cool mosses deep,
And thro' the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.
The roofs are shining from the rain. The sparrows tritter as they fly, And with a windy April grace The little clouds go by.
Yet the back-yards are bare and brown With only one unchanging tree-- I could not be so sure of Spring Save that it sings in me.
LINES WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING
I HEARD a thousand blended notes, While in a grove I sate reclined, In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower, The periwinkle trailed its wreaths; And 'tis my faith that every flower Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played, Their thoughts I cannot measure:-- But the least motion which they made It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan, To catch the breezy air; And I must think, do all I can, That there was pleasurethere.
If this belief from heaven be sent, If such be Nature's holy plan, Have I not reason to lament What man has made of man?
The spring is fresh and fearless And every leaf is new, The world is brimmed with moonlight, The lilac brimmed with dew.
Here in the moving shadows I catch my breath and sing-- My heart is fresh and fearless And over-brimmed with spring.
Stillness: The sound of the petals Sifting down together -- Chora
The wild duck swims, Parting with her breast The cherry petals -- Roka
Evening cherry blossoms: Today also now belongs To the past -- Issa
A Wanderer's Song
A WIND'S in the heart of me, a fire's in my heels, I am tired of brick and stone and rumbling wagon-wheels; I hunger for the sea's edge, the limit of the land, Where the wild old Atlantic is shouting on the sand.
Oh I'll be going, leaving the noises of the street, To where a lifting foresail-foot is yanking at the sheet; To a windy, tossing anchorage where yawls and ketches ride, Oh I'l be going, going, until I meet the tide.
And first I'll hear the sea-wind, the mewing of the gulls, The clucking, sucking of the sea about the rusty hulls, The songs at the capstan at the hooker warping out, And then the heart of me'll know I'm there or thereabout.
Oh I am sick of brick and stone, the heart of me is sick, For windy green, unquiet sea, the realm of Moby Dick; And I'll be going, going, from the roaring of the wheels, For a wind's in the heart of me, a fire's in my heels.
Let me ride the tail
Of the blue-eyed whale,
Use the ocean for a pillow,
While the cobalt sea
On waves that hiss and billow.
Oh, the world heaves up
And the world falls down
While the waves rise up so high -
From their knife edged tip
Green teeth flip
Diamonds into the sky.
The sapphire wind
Herds ragged clouds
To the line at the end of it all,
While the pale moon floats
O'er the wind's wild goats
With a bounce like a ghostly ball.
Deep down below
Where shadows go
With thick snaky arms and teeth.
Great black things
On leathery wings
Move in waters as deadly as Lethe.
But the top of the sea
Makes me see, makes me free
Where the air stings my throat like a blade.
All the gulls tumble by
Through the eye of the sky
In a circus cavalcade.
. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad. 1896. Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
LOVELIEST of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough, And stands about the woodland ride Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten, Twenty will not come again, And take from seventy springs a score, It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom Fifty springs are little room, About the woodlands I will go To see the cherry hung with snow.
The sea in its seasons
Need not supply reasons
For flipping and slopping,
For wetness and swish,
For frothing and chopping,
And swirling its fish,
For rising and falling
And endlessly calling
In tones most appealing
Or groans quite appalling
Which scatter its gulls
And shatter ship hulls
Through wild windy air.
For, whatever might be,
The sea is the sea
Which gives not a damn
About beauty or fear,
About life, about death,
About wonder or fizz.
The sea merely is.
The patterns of the world wash in
Across the sands of mind
And ripple through the thoughts which drift
And scatter unaligned
'Til gently rocking back and forth
Their edges catch and bind.
They bind and mat in patterns that
Echo those outside
To map the weavings of the world
That glisten, slip and slide
And change in forms extremely strange
Which shatter and collide.
We construct ourselves upon
These waves of sight and sound
Collecting from these drifting thoughts
An entity that's bound
To shifting inside structures
And whatever runs aground
Corinna's Going A-Maying
Get up, get up for shame, the blooming Morn Upon her wings presents the god unshorn. See how Aurora throws her fair Fresh-quilted colours through the air; Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see The dew bespangling herb and tree. Each flower has wept, and bow'd toward the east, Above an hour since; yet you not drest, Nay! not so much as out of bed? When all the birds have matins said, And sung their thankful hymns, 'tis sin, Nay, profanation, to keep in, Whenas a thousand virgins on this day Spring, sooner than the lark, to fetch in May.
Rise; and put on your foliage, and be seen To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and green; And sweet as Flora. Take no care For jewels for your gown, or hair; Fear not, the leaves will strew Gems in abundance upon you; Besides, the childhood of the day has kept, Against you come, some orient pearls unwept; Come and receive them while the light Hangs on the dew-locks of the night; And Titan on the eastern hill Retires himself, or else stands still Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in praying; Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying.
Come, my Corinna, come; and, coming, mark How each field turns a street, each street a park Made green and trimm'd with trees; see how Devotion gives each house a bough Or branch; each porch, each door ere this An ark, a tabernacle is, Made up of white-thorn, neatly interwove; As if here were those cooler shades of love. Can such delights be in the street And open fields and we not see't? Come, we'll abroad; and let's obey The proclamation made for May, And sin no more, as we have done, by staying; But my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying.
There's not a budding boy, or girl, this day, But is got up, and gone to bring in May. A deal of youth, ere this, is come Back, and with white-thorn laden, home. Some have despatch'd their cakes and cream, Before that we have left to dream; And some have wept, and woo'd, and plighted troth, And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth; Many a green-gown has been given; Many a kiss, both odd and even; Many a glance too has been sent From out the eye, love's firmament; Many a jest told of the keys betraying This night, and locks pick'd, yet we're not a-Maying.
Come, let us go, while we are in our prime; And take the harmless folly of the time. We shall grow old apace, and die Before we know our liberty. Our life is short, and our days run As fast away as does the sun; And as a vapour, or a drop of rain, Once lost, can ne'er be found again, So when or you or I are made A fable, song, or fleeting shade, All love, all liking, all delight Lies drown'd with us in endless night. Then while time serves, and we are but decaying, Come, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying.
Robert Herrick :
A Life Well Lived
It's a blessin' and a curse to always be the restless one Never knowin' where to bed down with the setting of the sun. A tumbleweed keeps rollin', and a cowboy does the same, 'Cause a drifter don't take roots just by the changin' of his name.
And the long days stretch to longer nights, with just the lonesome breeze That stirs the dust in faded tracks and ripples through the trees Where the line shack stands a beacon and the distant memories roam, And a cowhand's restless slumber takes him back again to home,
Where his mama waits with patient smile to greet her wayward boy. And though her heart is aching, still she claims her greatest joy Is the knowing that her ramblin' son is running strong and free. And this, my friends, is what my gentle mother gave to me.
The strength and pluck to face the trials that make a boy a man, The pride I've known from never quittin' any race I ran. The grit and gravel in my craw when luck is hard to find, And grace and heart and charity towards all humankind.
In the ovens of the tropics where the Devil bakes his prey, I've stood the test and took his best and never backed away. Tied hard to the bad ones, and I've rode the hurricane On pitchin' beasts no man would ride if he had half a brain.
I've stood upon the bowsprit, and I've braved the Arctic gales, And tripped the long-eared outlaw bull on rocky canyon trails, Where a stumble is a lifetime flashing swift before your eyes, And the brave men and the foolish know the truth and tell their lies.
I've trod this whole world over, and I've sailed the bounding main, Broke my bread with strong and true, in desert sun and rain. And every grand adventure, born of Bible or of sword, Is a tribute to my mother, who lies sleeping with the Lord.
A tomboy who was more at home in jeans than in a skirt, And she worked beside her daddy in that red West Texas dirt. A true born native daughter of a hardy Texas line That helped to build this rugged state; I'm proud to call them mine.
But, oh, I've heard the stories of my mother's sassy ways, For it's said she was a beauty in her young and fancy days. And she tantalized the schoolboys with her crinolines and lace, But she remained a lady, walking hand-in-arm with grace.
When country called, she never shirked; she served this nation well. She was proud to wear the uniform, and I am proud to tell Anyone who'd care to listen that my mother did her duty, And placed all others first. My friends, that was her greatest beauty.
She raised four sons and raised them well, and sacrificed her dreams, Her hopes of grand adventure giving way to common themes, Of home and church and school and toil with every breaking dawn, And a husband who was always there, but just as quickly gone.
But never did she break her stride; she ran the worthy race Through years of work and worry, and she kept a steady pace And sweat and prayed and cried to keep her precious family fed, Then pawned the heirloom silverware to buy our milk and bread.
She paid the fiddler when he played, and gave me every chance, And when her heart had sung its tune, too quickly left the dance. She left no strife or enemy upon this mortal sod. And I am sure she's resting in the tender arms of God.
A cowhand is a lonesome critter, born and bred to roam, Though a cowboy with a loving mother always has a home. But it's a long trail and a hard one; it's a sweet and bitter story, When a cowboy keeps on ridin' . . . and his mother's gone to glory.
Dedicated with love to the memory of my mother, Betty Lou Caton Gaines, a true daughter of West Texas
used with permission from the author You can check his bio by using the link.
Their tousled blond heads explode into existence
In rowdy mobs on bland green lawns
Evoking fury at their persistence,
Violating urban strictures, evenings and dawn
And in the blast of noonday light
Where their glowing yellow swarm
Is condemned as hoodlum blight
To the serenity, the tame verdant norm
So treasured in the mindless blank conformity
That paves the outer reaches of the metropol.
The inhabitants, enraged at the enormity
Of this yellow peril produce the spinning knives that roll
To hum and whirl and sever, to guillotine
The festive heads, flick them in a golden shower
In fierce dispatch from the scene.
But the yellow crowd will have its hour.
Stealthily it creeps in again,
Blooms to produce its ghostly spheres
To dissipate in fertility, when
A mobile misty fog appears,
Aeronauts in multiforce
To invade new territory
A lawn perhaps, a golf course,
Distributing new golden glory
Launched to live and fight again
The sterility of men.
The dandelion Doesnt know it is a weed It just breeds.
A Noon Song
THERE are songs for the morning and songs for the night, For sunrise and sunset, the stars and the moon; But who will give praise to the fulness of light, And sing us a song of the glory of noon? Oh, the high noon, the clear noon, The noon with golden crest; When the blue sky burns, and the great sun turns With his face to the way of the west!
How swiftly he rose in the dawn of his strength; How slowly he crept as the morning wore by; Ah, steep was the climbing that led him at length To the height of his throne in the wide summer sky. Oh, the long toil, the slow toil, The toil that may not rest, Till the sun looks down from his journey's crown, To the wonderful way of the west!
Then a quietness falls over meadow and hill, The wings of the wind in the forest are furled, The river runs softly, the birds are all still, The workers are resting all over the world. Oh, the good hour, the kind hour, The hour that calms the breast! Little inn half-way on the road of the day, Where it follows the turn to the west!
There's a plentiful feast in the maple-tree shade, The lilt of a song to an old-fashioned tune, The talk of a friend, or the kiss of a maid, To sweeten the cup that we drink to the noon. Oh, the deep noon, the full noon, Of all the day the best! When the blue sky burns, and the great sun turns To his home by the way of the west.
Henry Van Dyke
[One day I wrote her name upon the strand]
One day I wrote her name upon the strand, But came the waves and washed it away: Again I wrote it with a second hand, But came the tide, and made my pains his prey. Vain man, said she, that dost in vain assay A mortal thing so to immortalize! For I myself shall like to this decay, And eek my name be wiped out likewise. Not so (quoth I), let baser things devise To die in dust, but you shall live by fame: My verse your virtues rare shall eternize, And in the heavens write your glorious name; Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue, Our love shall live, and later life renew.
Look off, dear Love, across the sallow sands, And mark yon meeting of the sun and sea; How long they kiss in sight of all the lands, Ah! longer, longer we.
Now, in the sea's red vintage melts the sun As Egypt's pearl dissolved in rosy wine And Cleopatra night drinks all. 'Tis done, Love, lay thine hand in mine.
Come forth, sweet stars, and comfort heaven's heart, Glimmer, ye waves, 'round else unlighted sands; Oh night! divorce our sun and sky apart Never our lips, our hands.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If ought but death part thee and me.
Forum friends, IMHO, "love poetry" don't get much better than these two "oldies"!
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
2. Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
3. If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
4. If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
5. I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
6. But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
7. And in some perfumes is there more delight
8. Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
9. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
10. That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
11. I grant I never saw a goddess go,
12. My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
13. And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,
14. As any she belied with false compare.
The Sunday News
Looking for something in the Sunday paper, I flipped by accident through Local Weddings, Yet missed the photograph until I saw your name among the headings.
And there you were, looking almost unchanged, Your hair still long, though now long out of style, And you still wore that stiff and serious look You called a smile.
I felt as though we sat there face to face. My stomach tightened. I read the item through. It said too much about both families, Too little about you.
Finished at last, I threw the paper down, Stung by jealousy, my mind aflame, Hating this man, this stranger whom you loved, This printed name.
And yet I clipped it out to put away Inside a book like something I might use, A scrap I knew I wouldn't read again But couldn't bear to lose.
And now you're mine. Rest with your dream in my dream. Love and pain and work should all sleep, now. The night turns on its invisible wheels, and you are pure beside me as a sleeping amber.
No one else, Love, will sleep in my dreams. You will go, we will go together, over the waters of time. No one else will travel through the shadows with me, only you, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon.
Your hands have already opened their delicate fists and let their soft drifting signs drop away; your eyes closed like two gray wings, and I move
after, following the folding water you carry, that carries me away. The night, the world, the wind spin out their destiny. Without you, I am your dream, only that, and that is all.
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII) Edna St. Vincent MillayWhat lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why, I have forgotten, and what arms have lain Under my head till morning; but the rain Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh Upon the glass and listen for reply, And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain For unremembered lads that not again Will turn to me at midnight with a cry. Thus in winter stands the lonely tree, Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one, Yet knows its boughs more silent than before: I cannot say what loves have come and gone, I only know that summer sang in me A little while, that in me sings no more.
Thought I'd throw this one in the love pot!
- William Shakespeare.
JENNY kiss'd me when we met, Jumping from the chair she sat in; Time, you thief, who love to get Sweets into your list, put that in! Say I'm weary, say I'm sad, Say that health and wealth have miss'd me, Say I'm growing old, but add, Jenny kiss'd me.
b> Jim posted: But Shakespeare's words often inspire us to re-examine our lives. In this case, are we living primarily a facade? I trow not! But his warnings are well-taken
When You Are Old
WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face; And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
William Butler Yeats
You gave me strength
To stand alone again
To face the world
Out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity
You needed me
You needed me.
And I can't believe it's you
I can't believe it's true
I needed you and you were there
And I'll never leave,
Why should I leave.
I'd be a fool
'Cause I've finally found
Someone who really cares.
You held my hand
When it was cold
When I was lost
You took me home
You gave me hope
When I was at the end
And turned my lies
Back into truth again
You even called me friend.
(Repeat Chorus); then:
You needed me
You needed me.
Scrawler, thanks for taking time to info us that the "Alter" poem was Emily. No wonder, I'd earlier liked it!
There Will Come Soft RainsSara Teasdale
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night, And wild plum-trees in tremulous white.
Robins will wear their feathery fire Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn Would scarcely know that we were gone.
The world is old, is old, is old,
Of broken stones
And splintered bones
And shattered shells
The rivers clog with silted hopes
And fractured dreams
And stunted thoughts
And dated gods
The fragments churn and drift to sea,
If I should learn, in
some quite casual way,
That you were gone, not to return again --
Read from the back-page of a paper, say,
Held by a neighbor in a subway train,
How at the corner of this avenue
And such a street (so are the papers filled)
A hurrying man -- who happened to be you --
At noon to-day had happened to be killed,
I should not cry aloud -- I could not cry
Aloud, or wring my hands in such a place --
I should but watch the station lights rush by
With a more careful interest on my face,
Or raise my eyes and read with greater care
Where to store furs and how to treat the hair
O world, I cannot hold thee close enough! Thy winds, thy wide grey skies! Thy mists, that roll and rise! Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff! World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Long have I known a glory in it all, But never knew I this: Here such a passion is As stretcheth me apart. --Lord, I do fear Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year; My soul is all but out of me, --let fall No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
Hymn To The Night
I Heard the trailing garments of the Night
Sweep through her marble halls!
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light
From the celestial walls!
I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
Stoop o'er me from above;
The calm, majestic presence of the Night,
As of the one I Love.
I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
The manifold, soft chimes,
That fill the haunted chambers of the Night,
Like some old poet's rhymes.
From the cool cisterns of the midnight air
My spirit drank repose;
The fountains of perpetual peace flows there, --
From those deep cisterns flows.
O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear
What man has borne before!
Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care,
And they complain no more.
Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer!
Descend with broad-winged flight,
The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair,
The best-loved Night!
I do not sleep the long smooth sleeps of childhood now
Tight filled with wispy lights and gentle joys,
With black teeth dripping icy frights,
With colored flapping flying toys
And fields of copper glinting dragons
Lolling beneath purple suns
On downs of golden chest high grass
Which hang above a clear green sea
That foams at cliffs of tinted glass.
Still, some nights I launch myself from rooftops
Flying in a swift and silent glide
Above the tiny streets to land again and launch again
And feel the freedom and delight
Of soaring, floating through the night.
Mostly now I taste my sleeps in smaller bites.
I slide in short swift skirmishes
Between the long and lonely memories
And the desperations crystalized
On the velvet matrix of the night
And think the things
That could have been
And should have been
And might have been
Had my life gone glittering
Like my jewels of the night.
The sharp cold corners of the day
Deny the soft foundries where the I
Undoes all regulation. Not location
Nor chopping minutes’ disciplines
Can marshal marching corps from liquid instances
That infiltrate the secret places of the psyche.
Here an eyelash curl can twirl a galaxy.
Here the warm flesh of sex and ecstasy
Erects municipalities of rushing blood,
Of thick fluid smells and salty flavors
Which dissolve known pathways into broken chasms.
Landscapes out of continuities erupt, slide, and slump.
Sounds bark or tinkle into coruscating creatures
That dance or threaten, invite or pursue
Bedecked in pointed talons, needle teeth,
Enrobed in smoking clouds that twist and hiss.
The waking mind cannot confront quotidian cascades
From all the senses, pure and direct.
It must shunt the horrific flow to holding pits
Where trap doors creak wide only in the dark
Wherein the exploring eye may adventure
Safely cloaked in the insanity of sleep.
NOT QUITE SO BRIGHT;
I see the tiger in the zoo
With days and months and years
Of nothing to do.
His yellow eyes are filled
With infinities of tragedies.
This box of iron has willed
He must carry to and fro
His heavy yellow yearnings
Whose wish is just to go.
Some delinquent night I could try
To slip back here, when the moon,
Blindfolded by a cloud, its eye
Undiscerning to permit
The mice and me
A modicum of
I would find the tiger’s cage unlocked.
“Come!”, I would beckon with my finger
And, in delight and surprise,
He would arise.
At first, in haste, we would not linger.
A quiet thunder in his throat
Would reveal an urgent note
And we would quickly pace
To make ourselves remote.
Through the murky alleyways
And ill-lit streets we would flee.
I would scout ahead
And he would follow me
Until we reached the sanctuary of my place
Where the doorman, ever discrete,
Would let us in
And gaze politely at his feet.
Up the elevator we would ride,
My finger on the button to my floor
With the tiger, yawning, at my side.
And then to bed
Where I would snooze
With the tiger stretched upon the rug
Which he would choose.
Next morning, in the bright of day,
We would make our plans.
I would figure out a way,
While making scrambled eggs
In several frying pans,
How we would spend our day.
But first, I must teach him
To perambulate on two legs.
That done, he’d don a derby hat,
A cut down pair of jeans
And, above that,
A sweater, turtle neck
And running shoes.
And then, we’d hit the deck.
On our morning’s stroll
He’d twitch his ears
At the taxi hoots, the buses’ growl
And suppress his disconcerting thought
About the city traffic clatter.
He will wonder why I brought
Him from his sterile sanctum
Into the nerve-wracking panic.
But it really wouldn’t matter.
Offhandedly he’d gobble down
A dog or two,
Perhaps, a pigeon and a sparrow.
This would cause distress.
I cautioned his ability
To violate finesse
He must maintain civility,
Or we’d end up in a mess.
Back at home, we’d discourse on
I’d do the dishes while he’d dry
And juggle them for kicks.
Nietzsche was his man, of course,
While I inclined to Kant.
He’d speak incessantly with force
With a tendency to rant.
In the end, he’d do well.
His personality was strong.
Wall Street was his first aim
But he’d ended in Hong Kong.
He’d be successful, as things go,
Being so relentless,
Becoming a rich CEO
Theodore Roethke 1808-1963Night Journey
Now as the train bears west, Its rhythm rocks the earth, And from my Pullman berth I stare into the night While others take their rest. Bridges of iron lace, A suddenness of trees, A lap of mountain mist All cross my line of sight, Then a bleak wasted place, And a lake below my knees. Full on my neck I feel The straining at a curve; My muscles move with steel, I wake in every nerve. I watch a beacon swing From dark to blazing bright; We thunder through ravines And gullies washed with light. Beyond the mountain pass Mist deepens on the pane; We rush into a rain That rattles double glass. Wheels shake the roadbed stone, The pistons jerk and shove, I stay up half the night To see the land I love.
I walk the woods and death is in my stride.
Each branch and leaf I brush aside is bruised.
For smaller forms of life I’m genocide.
To move through life is other life abused.
The world has only so much room to give.
Each eye, each mind, each place in Time and Space
Is eager just to know, to see, to live;
Looks fearfully to not forfeit its trace.
But just to live, with or without its will,
It must, some other life consume.
I cannot live without the skill to kill.
So killing is inherent from the womb.
One cannot, this primal rule, defy.
It’s terrible to live, but worse to die.
They gave up all their tomorrow's, For the freedom we enjoy today. They gave up their hopes and dreams That we might have a better way.
They marched across this nation, With freedom in their breast. They sailed across the ocean To meet each and every test.
They fell at Valley Forge. They marched through Tennessee. They bled and died at Gettysburg, So that we might live free.
They fought oppression in the Forest of Argonne, Battled beneath the Verdun sky, As they fought the war of wars, Where so many were to die.
They stood on Iwo Jima And raised OLE Glory way up high. As cries of fallen comrades Reached far into the sky.
In the battle of the Bulge, Were young men, brave and true, They stubbled upon distant beach heads Trying to make it through.
They were there to aid Korea Some, not knowing why? Only knowing, that it was ordered, And some would surely die.
They fought in Vietnam, Not knowing friend or foe, With peers at home protesting, Wailing sad, sad songs of woe.
They showed up in Croatia, Were there in Desert Storm, Brought freedom to Afghanistan, Protecting Iraq was just the norm.
They had plans for the future, They had loved ones left behind, They were sacrificed for others Heroes....the very valiant kind!
Freda Fullerton, written 2004
There were violent storms
In the bedroom.
A cold affront
Resulted in precipitation.
And a quick retreat to the bathroom
Where pressures built up dangerously.
There was further movement to the kitchen
And a thick accumulation of clouds.
Tornado forces arose quickly
And dishes flew, causing some damage.
Opposing pressures blew hot and cold
But mainly hot air
Which resulted in extended temperatures.
There was a small release of destructive winds
With energy dissipation
Which had a calming effect.
It is difficult to make a secure prediction
As basic forces remain in stasis.
Until this is resolved,
Cold weather will continue.
A wayward ant meanders on my kitchen table
To savor ghosts of meals that passed this way.
An archaeologist of ketchup spots and gravy stains
To read the hieroglyphics of pate.
A great explorer is this little guy
To cross the huge expanse of asphalt tile
And climb the table leg to wooden sky,
Investigate eternal mysteries of kitchen,
Surmount a sugar bowl to answer why
And how the world is made and when, and who
Could fabricate infinity with staples
And wood and nails and paint and glue.
A National Moment of Remembrance On Memorial Day
That poem about where “poppies blow” And, “the crosses, row on row” Still rings true, these ninety years After written, still brings tears.
We still have Dead, “amid the guns” And lose our young and our loved ones Those who lived, “short days ago” Who, “felt dawn, saw sunset glow”.
In Flanders Fields, “the poppy red” Still grow near where the blood was bled They, “Take up our quarrel with the foe” And still die for Freedoms that we know.
They pass, “The torch” to, “hold it high” And not, “break the faith with us who die” For they, “shall not sleep, though poppies grow” Beneath all those, “crosses, row on row” In Flanders Fields.
Del “Abe” Jones 4-25-2005
even in the black of night the white crosses gleam, declare to all the place where the silenced heroes came.
heroic deeds are marked by some, praised, eulogized, revered what would the dead proclaim if they had our listening ear ?
would they weep that their blood in rivers ran and made dark spots upon the foreign land would they ask why they had to die ?
and what would be our reply ? we who still breathe the scented air, who feel the sun and rain, who lie next to warm flesh .
who lips are kissed and bodies hugged, do we thank them, tell them it was a job well done , do we tell them peace has come and their sacrifice won for us a future free of onslaughts ?
do we lie to them to ease our shame, that we let them go ,cheered them on, promised them if they did we would remember? vowed we would show we cared that they gave us a chance .
our lies flood the air , rise in dark clouds and hide the sun. oh the white crosses gleam even in the black of night , march forever across the tended green . be glad your eyes are closed , you do not see the mess we made. your pain was brief and ours prolonged ,
we should weep and gnash our teeth that we let you die believing the lie that your death would not be in vain that we would lear