Something about these images of rabbits.... something magical
Here's a wonderful winter poem by Robert Penn Warren
Robert Penn Warren - 1905-1989
From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through
Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds,
Out of the peak's black angularity of shadow, riding
The last tumultuous avalanche of
Light above pines and the guttural gorge,
The hawk comes.
Scythes down another day, his motion
Is that of the honed steel-edge, we hear
The crashless fall of stalks of Time.
The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error.
Look! Look! he is climbing the last light
Who knows neither Time nor error, and under
Whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings
The last thrush is still, the last bat
Now cruises in his sharp hieroglyphics. His wisdom
Is ancient, too, and immense. The star
Is steady, like Plato, over the mountain.
If there were no wind we might, we think, hear
The earth grind on its axis, or history
Drip in darkness like a leaking pipe in the cellar.
From New and Selected Poems 1923-1985 by Robert Penn Warren,
It's December first at last.
Here's a poem from Rowan Williams that I especially love:
by Rowan Williams
He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.
He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.
He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.
He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.
Last chance to post this poignant poem by Lisel Mueller:
By Lisel Mueller
Outside the house the wind is howling
and the trees are creaking horribly.
This is an old story
with its old beginning,
as I lay me down to sleep.
But when I wake up, sunlight
has taken over the room.
You have already made the coffee
and the radio brings us music
from a confident age. In the paper
bad news is set in distant places.
Whatever was bound to happen
in my story did not happen.
But I know there are rules that cannot be broken.
Perhaps a name was changed.
A small mistake. Perhaps
a woman I do not know
is facing the day with the heavy heart
that, by all rights, should have been mine.
Reprinted from Alive Together: New and Selected Poems, Louisiana State University Press, 1996, by permission of the author. Poem copyright © 1996 by Lisel Mueller.
The following is a poem about reading, and not just books. I feel that I have been illiterate for many years.
Here's an enigmatic poem by William Stafford:
If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dike.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
This poem by Joy Harjo seems appropriate for this strange Thanksgiving Day:
Perhaps the World Ends Here
BY JOY HARJO
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.
"Perhaps the World Ends Here" from The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Joy Harjo. Copyright © 1994 by Joy Harjo. Used by permission of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., www.wwnorton.com.
Source: The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1994)
On Monday, November 23, I had Mohs Micrographic surgery to remove a basal cell carcinoma from the tip of my nose. Basal cell is not deadly, but it is invasive and destructive. So I also have a skin graft from the side of my face onto my nose. Am swathed in bandages now. Won't know what this looks like until next Monday,
This is the third "mohs" I've had: a very large one in 2000, a smaller one on my left temple in 2015, and this one now. All those years of sunburn combined with Irish/German skin have done their damage.
Here 's a poem I wrote about this a few years ago:
Although the rain ran like a canal
in the creases of the windowsill,
more of it pouring in, filling every crevice
of the screen,
dripping down the lip’s ledge to the floor,
the woman welcomed the wet of it
to her house.
She said, There’s too much danger in the sun.
It’s lied to me for years, she said,
while it crept up and turned its key in my face.
The Barn Owl.
By Lindsay Waddell.
A ghostly figure floating to and fro
When the dawn comes, where does it go?
Back and forth across the rough grass
Searching for rodents on every pass.
Years gone by they were nearly lost
Had they gone ‘twould have been to our cost
We’d poisoned our land, the owls as well
Had it not stopped we’d all be in hell.
Now thirty years on and they have returned
The sight of one hunting is not to be spurned
Many a rat has gone to his doom
‘Cos a barn owl appeared from the gloom.
From dusk to dawn they quarter the ground
On light feathered wings there’s nary a sound
And when the chance comes, there is no mistake,
The barn owl another meal it does make.
For the farmer, and keeper alike
The sight of one hunting’s a lovely sight
And for those who think we’d kill these things-
I could do no harm to those fine feathered wings.
It can nest in my shed as long as it likes
Taking those mice to feed its chicks
Who sit in a row with so solemn faces
Won’t be long before they’re put through their paces.
And off they will go out into the Dale.
I love this poem by Patrick Kavanagh:
By Patrick W Kavanagh.
The trees whisper gently, “The Raven’s at rest”.
The chicks are all safely tucked up in their nests.
The green grass is sleepy as light slowly fades.
The sheep are all dozing on hills and in glades.
The faeries arise as the moon lights the sky.
If you quietly peek you can see them fly by.
They fish in the pond and they play in the trees.
You can hear their soft laughter float by in the breeze.
They love making stories and puzzles and rhymes.
That’s mostly how wee folk love spending their time.
They hear all your wishes. They know all your dreams.
But nothing they tell you may be what it seems.
I spoke to a seanchaí who once raised a stone.
He told me a story that’s second to none.
It’s really a puzzle, that almost got lost.
The puzzle is this, - that a swan is a ghost.
He gave me this puzzle as day turned to night.
I pondered and wondered ‘til dawns early light.
The clue was a duckling who grew into a swan.
The answer was, - sometimes that story is wrong.
A duckling’s a duckling – a child is a child.
And each should be cherished and cheerful and wild.
Each duckling is perfect in their special way.
There’s no need to wish to be swans some fine day.
I spoke to the Faeries, and they all agreed,
That swan-dom could just be an unhappy seed.
Much better to be the best duck you can be,
Than to swan around posing for people to see.
I know it’s a story that’s strange and bizarre.
But the moral is easy – just be who you are.
No need to pretend or to put on a show.
Being happy as you is the best way to go.
(seanchaí pronounced Shaun-chy. (Gaelic storyteller)
I love this poem by Wislawa Szymborska
by Wislawa Szymborska
Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.
Even if there is no one dumber,
if you're the planet's biggest dunce,
you can't repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.
No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.
One day, perhaps some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.
The next day, though you're here with me,
I can't help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock?
Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It's in its nature not to stay:
Today is always gone tomorrow.
With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we're different (we concur)
just as two drops of water are.
Here's an encouraging poem from Patrick Kavanagh:
Help in Troubled Times.
By Patrick W Kavanagh
Did you ever want to fly away from sorrowful and troubled times?
Have you ever wished that somehow you could soar above life’s cares?
The world is such a lovely place when seen from far above the clouds.
Drawing strength from stillness as you gaze down on the worried crowds.
There is peace in silence. There is joy and beauty in a cloudy day.
Laying in a quiet place to watch the mist-made dragons play.
Our imagination can build castles made for heroes in the sky.
Just as we build the future; although no one knows exactly how, or why.
When your life is too intense and you’re too tired to dream.
We will dream your dreams for you until your dreams come true.
Lay your head upon your hand and let us take you far away,
Into a wondrous world where angels sing, and laughing children play.
Our world is just as real as any world that fills your weary mind.
Close your eyes and take our hand to seek what you may find.
The taste of salt - the cold, wet, smoothness of a pebble from a childhood sunny beach.
The sound of autumn leaves that crinkle in your hand, and other memories beyond your worried reach.
We can take you to that long-forgotten world where everyone can live without a care.
We can raise your spirits with our laughter – we can take you far beyond illusion and despair.
Choose a world of mystery and magic – let imagination build a world that’s full of joy for all.
Trust in Love- for love is all we have to give to you, and love will never let you fall.
Close your eyes and breathe out all the worries and the troubles from your mind.
As you breathe back in – remember all those times when everything worked out just fine.
Every breath you take is victory, and life can be a battle – but a battle you have won a million times.
And, when the time to go has finally arrived, we’ll dance with you until the end of time.