woods have never seemed to me to be static things

forest

“In some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things. In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me.”

– John Fowles

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

robin

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops — at all –

And sweetest — in the Gale — is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb — of Me.

~ Emily Dickinson

Storm Ending

Watching the storm coming..
 

Thunder blossoms gorgeously above our heads,
Great, hollow, bell-like flowers,
Rumbling in the wind,
Stretching clappers to strike our ears . . .
Full-lipped flowers
Bitten by the sun
Bleeding rain
Dripping rain like golden honey—
And the sweet earth flying from the thunder.

Jean Toomer (1922)

I Would I Were a Careless Child

my boy

Place me among the rocks I love,
Which sound to Ocean’s wildest roar;
I ask but this — again to rove
Through scenes my youth hath known before.

(Lord Byron)

…the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief

“When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.

For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

~ Wendell Berry (Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community)

Work is love made visible

Work is love made visible – Khalil Gibran

a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky

“The tree is
more than
first a seed,
then a stem,
then a living trunk,
and then dead timber. 

The tree is a slow,
enduring force
straining to win the sky.”

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,
The Wisdom of the Sands,
translated from French by Stuart Gilbert

The Tyger


Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake, Songs of Experience (1794)

Autumn, outside my window

The squirrel, bobbing from the eye,
Is busy now about his hoard,
And in old nest of crow or pye
His winter-store is oft explor’d.

John Clare (Autumn, 1821)

Alone in the Rain


I am alone on my porch, in the rain.
Nightfall is closing in.
Now, the island is lonely.
The world is muffled.

The rain falls on the porch roof.
Two mourning doves twitter as
They go from tree to tree,
Branch to branch.
Now they coo and call
To their mate.

The water shimmers
As sheets of rain
Disturb its surface.
A small yellow warbler alights
On a branch before me,
Ready to add its cheerful song to the mix.

Rain now falls from the roof
The staccato of the heavy
Drops on the hard ground below.

A lone boat courses across the water,
Eager for home.
It leaves but a wake, lost on the rocks.
Mist obscures the shoreline.
Loons steer by me.

I am still, writing these lines.
But I am anxious.
How I long for the sun
For the warmth to join me again
In my rustic cabin in the lake.

~ Raymond A. Foss (June 2000)

most perfectly alive

For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.

D.H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930)

World Photography Day ~ August 19

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.

~ Ansel Adams

perfect idler, passionate observer

“For the perfect idler, for the passionate observer, it becomes an immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling in the throng, in the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel at home anywhere; to see the world, to be at the very center of the world, and yet to be unseen of the world, such are some of the minor pleasures of those independent, intense and impartial spirits, who do not lend themselves easily to linguistic definitions. The observer is a prince enjoying his incognito wherever he goes.”
~ Charles Baudelaire

Bee on Day Waterlily (Skukuza, Kruger Park, South Africa)

Bee on Day Waterlily (Skukuza, Kruger Park, South Africa)

When I add a spoon of honey to my tea, I give thanks to a dozen bees for the work of their whole lives.
When my finger sweeps the final drop of sweetness from the jar, I know we’ve enjoyed the nectar from over a million flowers.
This is what honey is: the souls of flowers, a food to please the gods.
Honeyeaters know that to have a joyful heart one must live life like the bees, sipping the sweet nectar from each moment as it blooms.
And Life, like the world of honey, has its enchantments and stings….

~ Ingrid Goff-Maidoff “The Honey Sutras”

Ah Sunflower

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go! 

~ William Blake, Songs of Experience (1794)

Bird

Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art.
~Izaak Walton

The Enkindled Spring

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up, and the flickering, watery rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, these sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.

~ D.H. Lawrence

Spring

Spring is a natural resurrection, an experience in immortality
~ Henry David Thoreau

Vain Strivings Tied


I am a parcel of vain strivings tied
By a chance bond together,
Dangling this way and that, their links
Were made so loose and wide,
Methinks,
For milder weather.

A bunch of violets without their roots,
And sorrel intermixed,
Encircled by a wisp of straw
Once coiled about their shoots,
The law
By which I’m fixed.

A nosegay which Time clutched from out
Those fair Elysian fields,
With weeds and broken stems, in haste,
Doth make the rabble rout
That waste
The day he yields.

And here I bloom for a short hour unseen,
Drinking my juices up,
With no root in the land
To keep my branches green,
But stand
In a bare cup.

Some tender buds were left upon my stem
In mimicry of life,
But ah! the children will not know,
Till time has withered them,
The woe
With which they’re rife.

But now I see I was not plucked for naught,
And after in life’s vase
Of glass set while I might survive,
But by a kind hand brought
Alive
To a strange place.

That stock thus thinned will soon redeem its hours,
And by another year,
Such as God knows, with freer air,
More fruits and fairer flowers
Will bear,
While I droop here.

~ HENRY DAVID THOREAU

the eternal seductiveness of life

The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life


Jean Giraudoux

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