Give one yielding hour,
All forgot in the moment.
Pretend to care not, if you must.
But you may be believed not.
In that hour, completely.
Then turn away,
Step again onto the twisting path.
Choice is loss.
Give one yielding hour,
All forgot in the moment.
Pretend to care not, if you must.
But you may be believed not.
In that hour, completely.
Then turn away,
Step again onto the twisting path.
Choice is loss.
by William Butler Yeats
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 morning 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.
Note: The nice people @Spill_words have republished this today.
When you’ve been together as long as we have—
the grown children are off making their own mistakes,
and careers have been dropped like bad habits—
the arguments tend to be about basic things.
We no longer tolerate easy answers.
Just the hard ones, such as those about walnuts and flowers.
One of you wants to plant the trees everywhere,
Knowing they’ll grow 100 feet high, and three across.
Their fruit is good, and their wood makes sublime furniture.
This all comes with foresight and patience.
Remembering a father saying one day, a few years before he died,
“Plant a walnut tree and generations will thank you.”
And that one comment opened things up
Far beyond the narrow view of a child, and ever after,
You see them in the woods differently, craning your neck up 100 feet,
Overwhelmed with the spirits of things that will outlive you.
And the other one doesn’t know where your walnut fixation comes from
because you never told her. She just knows that the walnut tree
drops chemicals in the dirt to poison the competition.
Ruthless Mother Nature at work.
But she’s on a mission to protect every living thing she can,
and to her, the walnut’s natural tendencies have to be balanced.
She prefers to see flowers grow, and bees and butterflies,
Because she luxuriates in life’s tendency to flourish, given a chance.
She’s a chance-giver.
Fundamental differences. Irreconcilable, yet both perfectly valid.
So, as you can see,
We’re down to the nitty-gritty questions that really have no easy answer.
Not the trivial stuff, such as who’s God is right.
No. Important ones, such as whether our being here has changed
In even the slightest, the speed of the Earth’s rotation,
Or how much more time we have,
Or what people will say of us.
Or how the world can have both walnuts and roses.
A piece from a few months ago is up on Poetry Breakfast.
North of Tombstone, 3 am
Shadows and silhouettes, backed by a waning moon,
Slide past like California’s fading promises,
Distant and confusing.
Off to the south, somewhere over the sand and arroyos and cacti
Is Old Mexico.
A few miles, no more.
A small town slips into view,
Safeway. Ace Hardware. The usual.
A Benson Fuel glares at a Shell station on the other corner.
Ten-thousand tons glide to a stop so softly it would not wake a baby with colic.
An old woman with a bonnet lifts a travel bag over the curb,
Joining our travels. Where can she be going before dawn, alone? El Paso?
Chemo, hoping it works this time?
Or just to visit their daughter and the new grand-baby?
Her husband watches as she climbs on board,
His hands shoved in jeans pockets, looking dried out like the land…
When the train accepts her he turns…
View original post 266 more words
Do Not Go Where The Path May Lead, Go Instead Where There Is No Path And Leave A Trail
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
by Linda Pastan
it rained in my sleep
and in the morning the fields were wet
I dreamed of artillery
of the thunder of horses
in the morning the fields were strewn
with twigs and leaves
as if after a battle
or a sudden journey
I went to sleep in the summer
I dreamed of rain
in the morning the fields were wet
and it was autumn
“September” by Linda Pastan from Carnival Evening. © W.W. Norton & Company, 2009.
Let’s talk “Poetry” for a moment, if you don’t mind.
Some things have been bugging me. I’ve been reading…
So many lost lusts,
So many ‘why doesn’t he love me’s’
So many sacrifices of dignity,
Conflations of attraction and connection,
So many confusions of sex and love
So many dear diary’s, soulful sobs, self-pity,
So many anguished tears on so many pillows.
So many tearful gazes over the waters,
Like so many before, like your great-great-grandparents,
As though tears alone justify, define poetry.
As though that’s enough.
So many odes to aimlessness,
So much self-indulgence,
So much teenager-like angst,
So many assumptions that
The most common feelings in the
History of the planet… the galaxy, maybe…
Are at all insightful, fresh, helpful.
I’m sorry for your pain.
I am. It’s real.
But you’ll also have more. Lots more.
And you will survive.
Because you’re tougher than you know.
Welcome it. Use it.
Grow from it.
My right leg hurts. Nothing new there.
I need coffee, soulful kisses, and more…so much more….
I’m getting old and that pisses me off.
I’ve loved deeply and lost, have known death,
You will do both, maybe already have.
I’ve held my babies, watched them grow,
I’ve seen mothers lose theirs.
We win and we lose, sometimes more loss than gain.
I’ve been around the track more than once, but in the end
It, writing, boils down to answering this question:
That’s the question I put to us all.
So fucking what? Everyone has a sad story.
Answer “so what” and make me care. That’s the job. That’s what I want.
That’s the reason for poetry.
I want more than the lazy, the easy; more than the ordinary,
I want more than common oatmeal,
(With or without raisins and sprinkles).
I want to know how those oats grew, and where,
What they felt when they were harvested,
I want to know if they screamed, or just magically
Floated into your bowl, mere reflections of your sadness.
I want to see why I should care about your oatmeal.
It isn’t all about you, you see, but about all of us,
And I’d like to know whether you can see beyond–
I want you to show what’s beyond the
Rustling of your jimmies, beyond being sexy,
Beyond, beyond, beyond.
Jesus H.! I want you to stop settling for less.
Less than you can do. Less than you will do.
I want you to get knocked down, get up, and get to work
Over and over and over.
To show what it meant. Show me the answer to: So what?
There’s no time to waste, you know,
Less than you think; no one knows the future.
Youth is wasted on the young,
Which I know now, and pass it along.
Maybe you’ll listen, but if you’re like I was,
You won’t get it and will go on
Thinking the world is here just for you,
Thinking that mere deep feeling is enough.
I have a newsflash from the other side, y’all:
It’s not enough. Not by a country mile.
(And stop rolling your eyes).
I want to feel you turning lead into gold,
I want to you show me– not tell me about– a growing soul,
I want to taste, to see, to feel what you do,
I want you to hunger for something always out of reach
I want you to tap the universal, to move us forward,
I want us all to connect the dots, do the hard work of humanity.
For our own precious humanity, to do the hard work.
I want your poetry to do the heavy lifting
That cannot be found in modern addictions,
I want you to read the best, and emulate them.
Then be better than them.
I want us all to do hard and holy things.
Hard and holy things.
That’s what we signed up for, you know.
Not the ordinary. Fuck the ordinary.
But most of all, right now,
I want coffee.
So much more.
The sound of a train’s horn somewhere in the valley at night
Creamy thighs flashing under a summer dress, cool and molten at the same time
The smell of coffee when the sun is just over the mountain
A robin hatched by the kitchen door, back in the yard, hunting, says ‘hello’
The look of an old door, the view out a window, an old house that shelters me
Fireflies in June that send me back to a more innocent time
Old places, ancient sorrows, hot winds across a desert far away
The way a tree moves under the hand of an invisible thing
The way the sun sometimes comes up like thunder,
The cacophony of voices– lonely, lusting, lost– thinking they’re the only ones
A dream, impossible, conjures up a past life, of running in the jungle to simplicity
Good times, lifelong loves, the joy of hearts connecting,
Seeing the ordinary for the first time, realizing it is extraordinary…..
Breadcrumbs cast out on a moving stream, shining for a moment, floating on…
The rider and horse moved onto the narrow path into the wilderness, to Cloud Peak,
In the mountains of the Big Horn sheep, to where the Old Ones hold council.
Her hooves were sure–More sure than his heart. This
She sensed, so the big brown mare gave him loan of hers.
Her breath blew in gusts as the path steepened and the air thinned.
The shadows of the pines grew darker, the air chilled.
The day sank into the west behind the peaks, hour on hour, step by step,
Into the camp of tomorrows, into the undiscovered country.
Up through tendrils of mist that writhed around the trees as though alive.
The spirits of the ancestors hovered at the edge of sight and climbed with them,
The mare seemed to see them, at times. She nickered, and tossed her head.
The rider knew she saw what he could not, so he called out as though to friends.
“Where have you come from?” the rider called out in the old tongue.
“Where are you going?”
The only answer was a whisper and a disturbance in the mist,
A rushing of invisible things upwards, toward the peaks in twilight.
The word had been passed, as things are in the spirit world.
The rider was moving up and into the past,
And the trees, the tall trees, seemed wreathed in phantoms,
As though time travelers growing up from the millennial ooze.
In those times, counted in the many hundreds of centuries.
To when the People first stood here, and up there, upon the sacred mountain,
Made sacred because of the soul-work of climbing into the clouds,
Sacred because small men yearned to rise above the world below,
To stand under the Hanging Road with all pride left along the way,
To learn if the owls carried messages from the Camp of the Dead.
The rhythmic metallic thump of shod hooves on granite and dirt
Was now echoing, very faintly, with the distant sound of drums.
Soft at first, the drumming grew in time and harmony,
And the rider heard the singing, the ancient, lilting songs of the Old Ones
Rising and falling in penetrating tenor tones, but always in time
With the steady sounds of the hooves on rock, and of the drums.
He inhaled the drumming, let the singing weave itself into his chest,
Feeling them pull on deep parts of himself, speak peace to his wounded heart.
Through half-closed eyes shadowy forms walked in and among the
Lodgepole pines that crowded the path. They were in their
Summer loincloths and low moccasins, and the drumming
Seemed to both come from them and yet also from the very air.
The mists swirled thick and thin, formed into the shapes of warriors,
And dissolved, the air pulsing softly to the singing, to the rhythms of the drums.
A figure with jet-black hair long down its back, separated from the others and came close.
A scabbard of intricate bead work crossed the chest, a buffalo skull on its head.
They locked eyes and he saw that the other’s were empty sockets, black
As the night sky, but as he looked they filled with stars.
The stars of the Hanging Road, this messenger’s eyes,
Two black portals that grew and merged with the vastness above.
The singing and the chanting swelled. He let his body roll with the rhythm of
The drums and voices, and with the undulation of the horse’s back under him.
Then they escaped the tree line, into a meadow broad and dark, shining
Under the whirling cold light of a billion-billion stars,
Stretching away in all directions, the infinity of heaven displayed
In all its awful and humbling glory. The night was absolutely
Clear and pure, clean and still, the isolation absolute, yet
He entered into the solitude and felt his soul soaring up,
Freed at last from earthly things, flying up into the infinite
Oneness below and around, under the Hanging Road.
The mare stopped on her own, perhaps feeling the faintest
Lightening of her burden, knowing she had come to the end.
The drums stopped, too, and the absolute silence calmed her,
She sniffed the air, her ears twitched and listened, and she bent to the sweet grass to eat.
Above, a messenger streaked across the face of the Deep, rejoicing.
A lost soul had been on a long journey, but was finally home.
*An experiment in a new form for me, inspired by a visit to the Cloud Peak Wilderness in Wyoming, and exposure to the land and the old spirits of the Cheyenne.
“I know men who are healthier at fifty than they’ve ever been before, because a lot of their fear is gone.”
“Tonight the first fall rain washes away my sly distance.
I have decided to blame no one for my life.
This water falls like a great privacy.
Letters sink into the desk,
The desk sinks away, leaving an intelligence
Slowly learning to talk of its own suffering.
The muttering of thunder is a gift
That reverberates in the roof of the mouth.
Another gift is a child’s face in a dark room
I see as I check the house during the storm.
My life is a blessing, a triumph, a car racing through the rain.
“What does it mean when a man falls in love with a radiant face across the room? It may mean that he has some soul work to do. His soul is the issue. Instead of pursuing the woman and trying to get her alone, away from her husband, he needs to go alone himself, perhaps to a mountain cabin, for three months, write poetry, canoe down a river, and dream. That would save some women a lot of trouble.”
“A lazy part of us is like a tumbleweed.
It doesn’t move on its own. Sometimes it takes
A lot of Depression to get tumbleweeds moving.”
“Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think… and think… while you are alive.
What you call “salvation” belongs to the time
If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?
The idea that the soul will rejoin with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten–
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment in the
City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now, in the next
life you will have the face of satisfied desire.
So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
Believe in the Great Sound!
Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that
does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.”
― Robert Bly
I just happened on this quote this morning, and thought it summed up the sometimes-aimless nature of my writing the past couple of years, wherein I fail to hit what I’m aiming at more often than not. But this defines my goals:
–to pare the words down to the minimum
–to find the balance point in any thought or situation
–to make my peace with the nature of things.
“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
― Laozi, Tao Te Ching
What if we weren’t the responsible ones, for a change?
What if we weren’t the ones who let someone else screw up and
Kept on doing the right things?
What if we … could just run away for a while—just for a while—
To some anonymous, peaceful place where email was banned, the phone
Didn’t ring, the air was warm and we were all alone for an afternoon?
Where my heart didn’t ache,
Where there weren’t the old problems and worries,
Where we could be carefree children again, with no grownup cares?
What if the passage of time had not stolen things from us,
What would it be like to melt into each other, to
Give the comfort we each so desperately need?
What would it be like to forget, for a few hours,
The problems, the people, the obligations, the doubts, the fears…
Where caresses last for hours, if we want them to,
And knowing nothing was too sad, or frightening or too hard to share?
What would it be like to simply have fun, to do things, goof off?
What would it be like to act as though this were normal,
Instead of something rare and scary?
What would it be like to steal some time,
Where the most natural of paths leads to soft words, whispered in the night:
And shouts from the bottom of desire, pleas for more, faces buried in flesh and cries and tears;
Hidden things shared, precious, lonely secrets held inside too long
Laid out in the light, trembling, but embraced with a healing grace.
What would it be like,
To be revealed in body and mind— and forgiven,
Each standing innocent before the other;
To taste the kisses, follow the flow, feel your arms around my neck,
Feel your body engulf mine, become one,
Embracing the passion that
Would affirm a new-yet-ancient joy,
Something powerful and permanent in the world,
The first sunrise on the first morning over the first mountain?
What would it be like, after all, to love,
long and slow; soft and urgent; hard and fast—whatever we desired—
And then, at the end of it all, with whispers and cries,
Our limbs entwined and fitted as they were made to be,
To slip into dreamless sleep?
What would it be like, do you suppose,
if all pretenses were gone,
All fears laid to rest, all worries answered;
The deepest losses felt, blessed and buried;
Bleeding souls, wounds, and the daily bruises,
From years ago—and yesterday—soothed,
bathed in acceptance and compassion, and healed, at long last?
What would it mean to be secure in the feeling
that all of the rest of the world,
all of the care and worries—all disappointments and anger and pain and regret —
were gone, like a summer storm on the mountain,
That would sweep it all aside like a sudden breath of God through the wildwood,
In that sweet and peaceful and distant place?
What would it be like, if, someday,
We sat side by side in the morning on a beach somewhere,
And looked out over the waves and saw only the future, instead of the past?
The nice people at Spillwords (and I know some of you are published there, too) have published “The Tunes of Life”, this morning. The link is below, and a visit and a vote would be awesome! (I’m offering a bucket of half-tone dots in a drawing later–and that will only make sense to those who served time as ink-stained wretches in the past.)
Meanwhile, “The Swan” was voted poem of the month recently, so I’m having a little trouble being my normal humble self. I’m sure I’ll get a flat tire or bounce a check or something today to bring me back to reality any minute now. But at the moment…..🙂
I was tired from the trip back to the East a few weeks ago, and fell asleep in a chair while watching a movie about Earnest Hemingway. “Hemingway and Gellhorn.”
My brain kept listening, though. It switched on replay in that weird way dreams have of flipping certainties around but still, somehow, making a kind of insane sense.
In a black and white 30’s newsreel way, a group of people is looking at a movie of the Spanish Civil War.
“The Spanish War is just the warmup act for the next Word War,” Nicole Kidman/Martha Gellhorn says to Clive Owen/Earnest Hemingway. And she was right.
Then, later, there’s a bar scene. Three young men are arguing about how to win the war, in a bar in Spain somewhere.
The first man says, “To beat the fascists, you have to win the propaganda war.”
The second man, in a soldier’s uniform and smoking a cigarette, says “to beat the fascists you have to kill them.”
The third man says, “You’re both wrong. You have to win over the peasants. Give them irrigation…”
The other two men turn away, bored. He’s apparently said this before.
Then something rippled and the scene changed.
To CNN. A panel discussion.
One panelist, a woman from a DC think tank who’d been in the CIA: “To beat ISIS you have to win the propaganda war.”
A second panelist, a former general, said: “To beat ISIS, you have to kill them.”
And the third, a man who was from an NGO that wanted to get funding for rebuilding projects in Syria, said: “You’re both wrong. You have to win over the villagers and the ordinary people. Give them schools and roads and food.”
And the other two sneer, and start talking over each other. Apparently, they’ve all heard this before.
This old house is made of wood and paint and memories, but
Lately, the sense that our time here will end has hovered on my shoulder,
A faint melancholy of knowing that one day I will walk out one last time,
Hand the keys to someone who won’t know any of it.
That spot in the dining room wall where a teenage
Tantrum left a divot in the plaster from a chair tossed in anger.
Where the same child discovered the internet, found a girl
In California and talked up a huge long-distance phone bill.
Where B&B guests gathered from around the world
To chat at the table over Bismarks and sausages and coffee on
Their brief swing through this old house, and our lives.
Where twice we buried old dogs who were family,
Who stayed close when we were sick, who protected the boys,
Who were always ready to go, go, go, into the woods,
Anywhere, as long as they were with us,
Until they could not go any more.
Where five times we lay awake, staring at the ceiling filled with dread,
While death passed close enough to feel the foul wind from its wings,
Where we discovered what we were made of, finally.
Where the clatter and tumult of children filled us with their growing up
Practicing the tuba,
Taking karate lessons, staying out later than we wanted,
Falling in and out of love, suffering through high school and college,
Facing serious things, then more, and learning how to survive and thrive.
This old house may be just wood and paint and memories, but
We’re also merely the most recent caretakers, and our time will end.
It held us close, demanded our devotion, shared its secrets, kept some hidden,
Let us walk the rocky, unpaved path to the future, and still kept us
Grounded in the paint and the wood and the past
Of others who came before.
Others who, when their time came, reluctantly handed the keys
To us, letting go, realizing we would never know it all,
But trusting this old house would take us in
For our all-too-brief time to live in the mysteries of
Wood, and paint.
The election in the US has brought attention to a part of the people that has been misunderstood, and looked down upon — sometimes with justification — since the very beginning. I am talking about the relatively poor, non-college educated white class, predominantly of Scots-Irish ancestry, that’s spent most of the past 250 years in the mountains and hollers of Appalachia. This is a huge area that stretches from Maine to Georgia, and culturally influences even more territory.
We modern Americans like to sort of gloss over our origins, sometimes. I know enough about my own family history to smile at the old joke, that Americans “have been thrown out of some of the best countries in the world.”
My ancestors were non-conformist religious refugees, Quakers, from England and then Ireland, who took advantage of William Penn’s offer of refuge in Pennsylvania. They fled civil war, after 100 years of the beatings and trials and property confiscations and, in the case of at least two of them I know about, a mother and son, execution at the hands of the Crown at York Castle for refusing to bend a knee to a magistrate.
So I have a sympathy for the people who are still stiff-necked and proud and poor, those who get stomped on by the elites on either coast. At the same time, it’s fair to judge that culture as inferior in some ways, and to realize that they’ve learned how to be poor, stay poor, and resist any outside ways. [Note: my wife, who is of Scots-Irish ancestry, objects to the term ‘inferior’. I don’t mean it in the moral sense, or in the sense of not “being as good as everyone else.” I believe that all cultures have good and bad traits, in the sense of how well they work as adaptations to life’s circumstances. As admirable as Scots-Irish culture is in most ways, it doesn’t work as well as some others, such as Jewish or Indian, to drive young people toward academic and financial achievement. Sorry dear.🙂 ) The very traits that make them who they are, the good things, also make them keep doing things that mire them in poverty.
But let’s give them a little slack, too, and remember that a lot of us are here because our ancestors were too damn hardheaded to adapt, to assimilate. We are here because someone with a name very much like mine, or Ferguson or O’Farrell or MacDonald or Sandburg picked a fight with the King of England or France, and the Church of Rome or the Church of England.
That’s who we are, too. Stubborn and tough and not partial to anyone telling us what to do or how to live. And, yes, frequently dumb.
And the people walk out of the grocery store
Carrying tons of food away in plastic bags every day,
While bean counters pronounce this as a good thing.
But the people say, loading bags into the back of
The minivan, trying to keep the milk jug from tipping over,
“Well, we have to eat, don’t we? I hate the bean counters,
Because I haven’t noticed them offering to pay for the milk,
Or even to load the bags in the minivan. But we have to eat.”
There used to be highschool boys and girls who would help, but the bean counters
Decided we wouldn’t care if they cut them out, and they needed the profit.
Then they decided we could load our own carts, so they could
Have more beans to count. And jobs for high-school kids went away.
Then they figured they’d save even more beans
By making us check out our own groceries, with machines
That never really work all that well.
But the joke’s on them, as they’re finding out too late
That the machines make it easy to slip extra stuff in the bag,
Skipping the scanner, in those bags we pack ourselves and load ourselves–
Since we can count beans, too. And there’s no kid to tell a joke to any more,
Or ask how the football team will do this year.
And so we wonder, making sure the milk doesn’t tip,
What has happened to those kids who aren’t learning
How to work and be useful and to have some spending money?
Who won’t realize that adults care what they’re up to?
But the bean counters can’t be bothered with such unimportant questions.
“Do you solemnly swear before the everliving God
that the testimony you
are about to give in this cause shall
be the truth, the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth?”
“No, I don’t. I can tell you what I saw
and what I heard and I’ll swear to
that by the everliving God but the
more I study about it the more sure
I am that nobody but the everliving
God knows the whole truth and if
you summoned Christ as a witness
in this case what He would tell you
would burn your insides with the
pity and the mystery of it.”
In the poem of collections, “The People, Yes”. 1936, Harcourt & Brace; 1990 First Harvest Edition.
“…And may you lie in a bed of white clouds.”
The white clouds float over the mountains of Chu–
As over the mountains of Chin.
Everywhere the white clouds will follow you on.
They will follow you on everywhere–
With you they will enter the Chu mountains,
And cross the waters of the Hsiang.
Yonder across the waters of the Hsiang,
There is a cloak of ivy to wear,
And you may lie in a bed of white clouds.
Go swiftly home, O my friend!
translated by Shigeyoshi Obata
Happy birthday, Bill.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Cicadas, and the birds that hunt them.
A neighbor’s lawnmower.
The whisper of the maple leaves in a cool morning breeze.
A dog, barking for show somewhere over there.
A catch in the air, ever so faint, a momentary pause.
News of the first real cold front coming down out of Canada.
The fat rump of late summer has settled in, humid and hot.
But if you listen–and if you tend to see the rain cloud in every silver lining, like me,
You sip your morning coffee and listen harder, feel the breezes more,
Because we know in our bones that everything moves on,
That only a fool would have lived his life in hard pursuits
Without realizing that all those moments, like this fleeting one,
Only come once and are gone, as surely as heavy ol’ Summer
Will rise one day soon and move on south, making room
For other precious and holy moments that need attention, as this one does.
The sea moves always, the wind moves always,
They want and they want and there is no end to their wanting.
What they sing is the song of the people.
Man will never arrive. Man will always be on the way.
It is written he shall rest, but never for long.
The sea and the wind tell him he shall be lonely, meet love,
Be shaken with struggle and go on wanting.
‘I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.
Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”
~ Brené Brown
On Spillwords.com. (@Spill_words) If you visit, please leave a vote. It’s moving up in the rankings!.
Original post: http://wp.me/p2Dfus-1eT
The dead need light,
As much as the living need music.
They crave the kind of light
That brings babies’ faces to mind again, and
Spring blooms, and waves dancing on a beach they once knew.
Eternity is a long, long time,
The darkness is all.
But still… they remember
The way the stars sweep across
the sky on a clear night,
the way a bumblebee looks as it
lumbers around, amazingly.
They need the lights of Paris,
twinkling with promise
drawing a halo of innocence around
young lovers by the river.
The dead crave to see, again,
your two eyes, open, soft and
moist with tears, catching the light
of a streetlight in
breathtaking flecks of gold and green.
The dead remember, with a hopeless ache, the way
moonlight played on the lover’s
hip as you slept, a fleeting memory of touch
burned forever in light,
of no more than a hand lightly stroking
just to make sure you were real.
(Posting again. We seem to need this…)
“Fair goes the dancing when the Sitar is tuned.
Tune us the Sitar neither high nor low,
And we will dance away the hearts of men.
But the string too tight breaks, and the music dies.
The string too slack has no sound, and the music dies.
There is a middle way.
Tune us the Sitar neither low nor high.
And we will dance away the hearts of men.”
—Sir Edwin Arnold, “The Light of Asia” (often misattributed to a saying of Buddha)
It’s not Friday, but feels like it should be.
Maybe its the wine. Always blame the wine when you’re feeling low.
Get a little drunk and go off and read your favorites,
And thank the good Lord that there’s video.
Enjoy this little offering. And have some wine.
By Jim Harrison
I believe in steep drop-offs, the thunderstorm across the lake
in 1949, cold winds, empty swimming pools,
the overgrown path to the creek, raw garlic,
used tires, taverns, saloons, bars, gallons of red wine,
abandoned farmhouses, stunted lilac groves,
gravel roads that end, brush piles, thickets, girls
who haven’t quite gone totally wild, river eddies,
leaky wooden boats, the smell of used engine oil,
turbulent rivers, lakes without cottages lost in the woods,
the primrose growing out of a cow skull, the thousands
of birds I’ve talked to all of my life, the dogs
that talked back, the Chihuahuan ravens that follow
me on long walks. The rattler escaping the cold hose,
the fluttering unknown gods that I nearly see
from the left corner of my blind eye, struggling
to stay alive in a world that grinds them underfoot.
Because you can never get too much Carl. #Sandburgforpresident
“There is a wolf in me . . . fangs pointed for tearing gashes . . . a red tongue for raw meat . . . and the hot lapping of blood—I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.
There is a hog in me . . . a snout and a belly . . . a machinery for eating and grunting . . . a machinery for sleeping satisfied in the sun—I got this too from the wilderness and the wilderness will not let it go.
There is a fish in me . . . I know I came from salt-blue water-gates . . . I scurried with shoals of herring . . . I blew waterspouts with porpoises . . . before land was . . . before the water went down . . . before Noah . . . before the first chapter of Genesis.
There is a baboon in me . . . clambering-clawed . . . dog-faced . . . yawping a galoot’s hunger . . . hairy under the armpits . . . here are the hawk-eyed hankering men . . . here are the blonde and blue-eyed women . . . here they hide curled asleep waiting . . . ready to snarl and kill . . . ready to sing and give milk . . . waiting—I keep the baboon because the wilderness says so.
There is an eagle in me and a mockingbird . . . and the eagle flies among the Rocky Mountains of my dreams and fights among the Sierra crags of what I want . . . and the mockingbird warbles in the early forenoon before the dew is gone, warbles in the underbrush of my Chattanoogas of hope, gushes over the blue Ozark foothills of my wishes—And I got the eagle and the mockingbird from the wilderness.
O, I got a zoo, I got a menagerie, inside my ribs, under my bony head, under my red-valve heart—and I got something else: it is a man-child heart, a woman-child heart: it is a father and mother and lover: it came from God-Knows-Where: it is going to God-Knows-Where—For I am the keeper of the zoo: I say yes and no: I sing and kill and work: I am a pal of the world: I came from the wilderness.
The eggs fry on the sidewalks Mother Nature has a fever Dismayed am I at the abyss That is my empty freezer On days like this when forecasts for The week just say ‘real hot!’ It seems a bit of ice cream would Be best to hit the spot So off in my jalopy I […]
I love this one. Part of my “quotes from better writers” group.
by Joyce Sutphen
When I was five, my father,
who loved me, ran me over
with a medium-sized farm tractor.
I was lucky though; I tripped
and slipped into a small depression,
which caused the wheels to tread
lightly on my leg, which had already
been broken (when I was three)
by a big dog, who liked to play rough,
and when I was nine, I fell
from the second-floor balcony
onto the cement by the back steps,
and as I went down I saw my life go by
and thought: “This is exactly how
Wiley Coyote feels, every time!”
Luckily, I mostly landed on my feet,
and only had to go on crutches
for a few months in the fifth grade—
and shortly after that, my father,
against his better judgment,
bought the horse I’d wanted for so long.
All the rest of my luck has to do
with highways and ice—things that
could have happened, but didn’t.
“My Luck” by Joyce Sutphen from First Words. © Red Dragonfly Press, 2010. (buy now)
Dusk in August under a crescent moon.
People in the neighborhood walk their dogs,
Hurrying, because they have work tomorrow.
But the air has that special kind of softness that
Makes people stir inside, think alarming thoughts.
Her house in the woods is empty tonight.
No kids, no neighbors, no husband, no plans.
So, after the dishes are put away, and a few emails read,
She looks out and sees the moon over the dark woods.
She steps out of her clothes and onto the deck,
Opens her arms and lets the pale light electrify her skin,
Feels a movement in her womb, just as in ancient times,
And she makes of herself an offering, in freedom—
An exhausted suburban wife with laundry to do—
To something primal that she had thought was dead.
I’ve cut back on posting a bit as I’m working on a longish piece and it’s a little out of my comfort zone, so I tried to write a Haiku to grease the chute and…. nothing happened. This from February sums it up.
So strange to hear that song again tonight
Traveling on business in a rented car
Miles from anywhere I’ve been before.
And now a tune I haven’t heard for years
Probably not since it last left the charts
Back in L.A. in 1969.
I can’t believe I know the words by heart
And can’t think of a girl to blame them on.
Every lovesick summer has its song,
And this one I pretended to despise,
But if I was alone when it came on,
I turned it up full-blast to sing along —
A primal scream in croaky baritone,
The notes all flat, the lyrics mostly slurred.
No wonder I spent so much time alone
Making the rounds in Dad’s old Thunderbird.
Some nights I drove down to the beach to park
And walk along the railings of the pier.
The water down below was cold and dark,
The waves monotonous against the shore.
The darkness and the mist, the sea,
The flickering lights reflected from the city —
A perfect setting for a boy like me,
The Cecil B. DeMille of my self-pity.
I thought by now I’d left those nights behind,
Lost like the girls that I could never get,
Gone with the years, junked with the old T-Bird.
But one old song, a stretch of empty road,
Can open up a door and let them fall
Tumbling like boxes from a dusty shelf,
Tightening my throat for no reason at all,
Bringing on tears shed only for myself.
“Cruising with the Beach Boys” by Dana Gioia from 99 Poems. © Graywolf Press, 2016.
It’s a glorious morning, sunny and not-too-hot. But you youngsters won’t get this one. You will, some day, if you’re lucky enough to survive your youth.🙂
When we are old
we begin to contemplate the future
something it would have been good
for us to do while we were young
But you know youth
It has no patience with contemplation
Everything is all about the moment
and when the moment is past
Well it’s already another moment
Yesterday is irrelevant
Now where was I
When we are old
we begin to contemplate the future
Weigh what we think our quality of life
will be in 10 years or 5 years or 6 months
Hell let’s be honest
Do you really want to end up in a
nursing home wearing diapers staring
out the window at passing cars waiting
for someone you can’t even remember
to come read to you about your options?
Heaven seems to…
View original post 75 more words
Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.
“Why won’t the saints look at us?”
“Even saints need a break sometimes, Honey.”
“That bad, huh?”
“Yeah. Try a long walk. They’re saints. They’ll be back.”
“I hope so. I’m not sure I would.”
“Me, neither. There’s always a first time, I suppose. Try not to think about that. That path through the woods to the lake is your best shot. Take your time.”
Reposted. Just because…..🙂
I won’t lie.
We like the slope of a shoulder, the lips, the eyes, the breast, the neck, the legs. We like the way your hips flare and grab our attention as you walk away with that special, unconscious sway. The glance, the flush of emotion, including anger or pain, the smile, the look that says “You’re full of it,” but doesn’t wound.
The elegant, subtle variety of the female form is intoxicating. There is no one perfect one; each is her own expression of the grand design. And…. Ah, what a grand design it is, too.
But there is more, when you let us see it. It can be frustrating, or enchanting—or both. …That surprising way your mind works, the way you see things we don’t—which is sometimes inconvenient, sometimes infuriating, but never boring.
When you live from a confident core, when this is all natural and unforced, it is the most enchanting thing of all.
It is after the nights, a week, a month—sometimes—
After I flirt with silly half-assery and questions.
After I get lost, a little. Lose the plot, the scent, the signal…
(When you take the road less traveled—
Which is the only one that really interests me—
Sometimes you don’t know where the hell you are.
The street signs are all different.)
I stop, wait, put my good ear to the ground. Sniff the wind.
Maybe hitch a ride, hop a freight, wake up
In the damp air of new places, strange mountains, different accents,
Maybe it’ll be beignets and chicory coffee in N’awwlins; maybe
It’ll be the call of an elk, or the tang of the pines
In some high, wild place;
Maybe it’s a street under the clatter of the EL in Chicago, or maybe it’s
Feeling the sizzle of the naked sun on my back,
Building fence in the high desert in July.
After all this time I just know that I
Can only ride out the nonsense,
Embrace the nothingness, hug it tight
As the other half of meaning.
I’m impatient; I worry I’ll run out of time.
But this runs at its own pace.
For just as quickly, despite the trivia and side trips, and
Without warning, a sudden dawn will burst up like thunder,
And I’ll be back in tune, but maybe on a different road.
Hello, sweet August. You’re looking pretty good in that summer dress.
Let’s take a walk, talk a little. Maybe fool around like kids.
It looks like it’ll be a nice day.
What say we go get in a little trouble?
When we grow skeptical of the comfortable
And slip under the velvet ropes of fear
sliding out over darker waters,
But still afraid, that’s when we grow.
Three times three times three,
Nine times nine times nine,
These are the inexorable multipliers of change.
There is no way to connect the dots looking ahead.
We can only connect them by looking back
At our footsteps in the shifting sands.
Our timid selves, still digging their toes in the sand and calling to us,
Seem safe, but choosing safety only is always a kind of death.
But…. It looks so much better there on shore.
But those who stay on the shore will never know the thrill,
Out on the deep waters where there is no bottom,
Where we realize that we’re not sinking, even though
We cannot yet see a visible means of support.
This is such a good metaphor for the job of poets and writers generally: snorkeling between two tectonic plates. Speaks to the job of exploring places where big forces grind together, places where it’s sometimes hard to breathe.
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 mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired 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!
Everyone could use a little practice. Keeping it real between the pages
Poetry, free verse, haiku, senryu, photography, books, art, philosophy , nature.
Beginning March 20th, 2016 Poetry Breakfast will once again serve a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry related creative non-fiction such as letters to and from poets, essays on poetry, and anything else that might feed a poet and poetry lover’s soul.
harmonious volcabulary to substitute for the cacophony of life
Searching, settling, sauteeing and spritzing
thoughts from my mind to yours
Cover Designer & Author
Tales from the mouth of a wolf
Memoirs, Thoughts and Poetry on The Nature of Things.
Poetry/Flash Fiction/SVM/TB fanfiction (18+)
Welcome to Anna's Blog
Ideas and Insights from the Data Team at Automattic
exploring connections among all things
The Finest in Literate Snark
Sober girl, loopy world.
We offer online 24*7 Apple Technical Support service for Repair Macbook.
Thoughts From The Heartland
by Anna Trestain
This,that and the other in my everyday lifestyle
Aroused by Arête, provoking poems and ideas
Health, Baby Care, Art, Travelling & Historical Subjects
Erotica City of London Russia Confessions
body framework infrastructure of the whole
Hope in the goodness of Humanity.
"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." - Stanisław Jerzy Lec
Love and Life... the second time around
Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.” ― Gerard Manley Hopkins,
Life is make believe, fantasy given form
For the love of words and what they inspire.
Fragmented Thoughts & Flights Of Fantasy
The Society Blues in Poetry
The washed up corn from the midnight mayonaise
Words beyond the feelings.... ❤
The labyrinth of suffering is endless
poems. prose. thoughts.
All Excuses Welcome.
Contact me: email@example.com
Poetry, Fiction and Art