Wednesday, August 27, 2008

quote, unquote

"Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail." -Theodore Dreiser

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Week in the 'Dacks

Some shots from this week in the Adirondacks. Yes, there were a couple of nice sunsets. More to come...

Midday sun

Obligatory self-portrait


Kent & canoe

Jason & Heath

Sunset story time

Friday, August 15, 2008

Forcing forsythia (revised)

An earlier draft can be found here. I'm interested in hearing from anyone who is unfamiliar with "forcing" flowering shrubs in the springtime. Is there confusion?

Forcing Forsythia

After so many years
I finally reply.

Barren seasons stretched
across all those snowy
New England winters,
hushed and swathed thick
in white and ice.
Our first words
flared fast
until I hardly remember
what cooled them.

Though I prune
short slips
carried in from the cold,
when I finally write you,
my words
are narrow gnarled stubs,
tight fists,
hardly budded.
after so much
raw rain.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Great blue heron, Montezuma Wildlife Refuge

Late Afternoon, St. John
by Linda Pastan

A little blue heron has landed
on the roof.
It is as if a small angel had parked
in our lives, shielding us
briefly with its wings.
In the cove the old turtle
surfaces again; shadows
of reef fish shiver by.
On the stones chameleons
go through their wheel of colors.
Rustle of coconut fronds
combing the soft air...glitter
of passing raindrops.
Let go. Let go.
Soon the sun will plunge
into the sea dragging its plumage
of pinks and purples.
I can almost taste
the oleander, smell
the salt on your skin.
Soon we will drown
in our five exploding senses.
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Monday, August 11, 2008

a good hiking poem . . . to placate me as I nurse a sprained ankle

by Billy Collins

You know the brick path in the back of the house,
the one you see from the kitchen window,
the one that bends around the far end of the garden
where all the yellow primroses are?
And you know how if you leave the path
and walk into the woods you come
to a heap of rocks, probably pushed
down during the horrors of the Ice Age,
and a grove of tall hemlocks, dark green now
against the light-brown fallen leaves?
And farther on, you know
the small footbridge with the broken railing
and if you go beyond the you arrive
at the bottom of sheep's head hill?
Well, if you start climbing, and you
might have to grab on to a sapling
when the going gets steep,
you will eventually come to a long stone
ridge with a border of pine trees
which is a high as you can go
and a good enough place to stop.

The best time for this is late afternoon
en the sun strobes through
the columns of trees as you are hiking up,
and when you find an agreeable rock
to sit on, you will be able to see
the light pouring down into the woods
and breaking into the shapes and tones
of things and you will hear nothing
but a sprig of a birdsong or leafy
falling of a cone or t through the trees,
and if this is your day you might even
spot a hare or feel the wing-beats of geese
driving overhead toward some destination.

But it is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against
ts breast made of humus and brambles
how we will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves.

Still, let me know before you set out.
Come knock on my door
and I will walk with you as far as the garden
with one hand on your shoulder.
I will even watch after you and not turn back
to the house until you disappear
into the crowd of maple and ash,
heading up toward the hill,
percing the ground with your stick.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Unexpected Action at Eve of Destruction*

*Eve of Destruction was a demolition derby night with all kinds of crazy races such as the backwards race, a school bus race, a race with campers & trailers and so on. Many things were set aflame & crushed, to the cheers of the crowd.

The sun sets on Eve of Destruction

happy birthday to poet Wendell Berry

The Peace of Wild Things

by Wendell Berry

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.