Thursday, July 10, 2014

All things spare and strange

Pied Beauty

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things—
    For skies of cople-colour as a brindled cow;
        For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
    Landsape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
        And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
    Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
        With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
 Praise him.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Dreamer
by Djuna Barnes
The night comes down, in ever-darkening shapes that seem-- 
To grope, with eerie fingers for the window--then-- 
To rest to sleep, enfolding me, as in a dream 
Faith--might I awaken! 

And drips the rain with seeming sad, insistent beat. 
Shivering across the pane, drooping tear-wise, 
And softly patters by, like little fearing feet. 
Faith--this weather! 

The feathery ash is fluttered; there upon the pane,-- 
The dying fire casts a flickering ghostly beam,-- 
Then closes in the night and gently falling rain. 
Faith--what darkness!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Twilight--and you...

El Beso
by Angelina Weld Grimké

Twilight--and you 
Quiet--the stars; 
Snare of the shine of your teeth, 
Your provocative laughter, 
The gloom of your hair; 
Lure of you, eye and lip; 
Yearning, yearning, 
Languor, surrender; 
Your mouth, 
And madness, madness, 
Tremulous, breathless, flaming, 
The space of a sigh; 
Then awakening--remembrance, 
Pain, regret--your sobbing; 
And again, quiet--the stars, 
Twilight--and you.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


In This Season of Waiting

by Linda Pastan
Under certain conditions,
when the moon in the western sky
seems frozen there, for instance

even as the sun is rising in the east,
so that soon two sides of the coin
will be facing each other;

or when the snow
which is a stranger here
fills our trees with its cold flowers;

when the single
bluejay at the feeder
is so still

it could be enameled there,
then the earth becomes an emblem
for whatever we believe.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

singing sad and beautiful

Mountain Pines


In scornful upright loneliness they stand, 
Counting themselves no kin of anything 
Whether of earth or sky. Their gnarled roots cling 
Like wasted fingers of a clutching hand 
In the grim rock. A silent spectral band 
They watch the old sky, but hold no communing 
With aught. Only, when some lone eagle's wing 
Flaps past above their grey and desolate land, 
Or when the wind pants up a rough-hewn glen, 
Bending them down as with an age of thought, 
Or when, 'mid flying clouds that can not dull 
Her constant light, the moon shines silver, then 
They find a soul, and their dim moan is wrought 
Into a singing sad and beautiful.