Posts Tagged ‘words are pretty’

  • April 15, 2014

    a poem…

    spring14

    …for a day that is almost spring but isn’t quite yet.

    here in the time between by jack ridl

    here in the time between snow
    and the bud of the rhododendron,
    we watch the robins, look into

    the gray, and narrow our view
    to the patches of wild grasses
    coming green. the pile of ashes

    in the fireplace, haphazard sticks
    on the paths and gardens, leaves
    tangled in the ivy and periwinkle

    lie in wait against our will. this
    drawing near of renewal, of stems
    and blossoms, the hesitant return

    of the anarchy of mud and seed
    says not yet to the blood’s crawl.
    when the deer along the stream

    look back at us, we know again
    we have left them. We pull
    a blanket over us when we sleep.

    as if living in a prayer, we say
    amen to the late arrival of red,
    the stun of green, the muted yellow

    at the end of every twig. we will
    lift up our eyes unto the trees hoping
    to discover a gnarled nest within

    the branches’ negative space. and
    we will watch for a fox sparrow
    rustling in the dead leaves underneath.

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  • December 16, 2013

    satisfied with the fancy

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    “in matters of love, it takes no time at all to become deceived. it is so easy to get a quick, fanciful picture of what love is and then to be satisfied with the fancy. it is still easier to get a few people to associate together in self-love, to be sought after and admired by them till the end…

    [love of your neighbor], however, is self-renunciation’s love and therefore trusts in the you shall…this you shall, means equality.

    in this sense love is blind. perfection in the object has nothing to do with perfection in love.

    to love one’s neighbor, therefore, means essentially to will to exist equally for every human being without exception.”

    -evening thoughts from kierkegaard (and one of my favorites from the library of congress)

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  • December 4, 2013

    a poem…

    img007

    …for a day in december that feels like a day in may.

    autumn day by rainer maria rilke

    lord: it is time. your summer was superb.

    lay your shadows on the sundials,

    and in the meadows let the winds go free.

    command the last fruits to be full;

    give them only two more southern days,

    urge them to completion and chase

    the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

    whoever has no house will never build one now.

    whoever is alone now will long remain so,

    will stay awake, read books, write long letters

    and wander restless back and forth

    along the tree-lined streets, as the leaves drift down.

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  • May 24, 2013

    photo friday :: 1

    let’s just be clear here – this is not a photography blog. as much as I would love to say that I am well-versed in exposure and aperture and all things manual, I most certainly am not. and don’t even get me started on how poorly I operate in photoshop. that said, I think a good picture is worth celebrating. the way one frame can betray so much of the human condition. the way it can contain emotion that evokes emotion and commentary that evokes action. photos invite us into experiences different from our own. they take us out of our comfort zone and the immediate communities we inhabit. and they force us to acknowledge the connectedness of the world and life on it.

    also. I think good words are worth celebrating. I have books and books of collected quotes that astonish me in their ability to fit so much meaning into so few words. I have far too many poetry anthologies that, regardless of what language or time they were written in, reveal universal truths and emotions common across all genders, ages, and cultures. I have multiple books on every surface I occupy (right now, at the desk I am typing on, there are six) that tell of life in all its brokenness and hope and pain and humor. of all that I lost in that fire of 2007, words on paper were the loss I felt the most.

    but what I love most about good photos and good words is this – their ability to transcend all our expectations and to tell a story that is at once beautiful and poetic and true and demanding of our attention. I may not be vivian maier. I may not be annie dillard. but I hope that, in my own way, I can turn out to be an okay storyteller.

    so, with hope of using photos and words to tell a good story, I’ve decided to start a series. every friday I will post one photo and one word (well really, one set of words) for the week. whether or not they will be of my own making or by someone much more qualified than myself will be a surprise.

    for today, it’s this photo (by me) from a few weeks ago. and these words (by e.e. cummings) from a bit further back.

    original

    maggie and milly and molly and may

    maggie and millie and molly and may
    went down to the beach (to play one day)

    and maggie discovered a shell that sang
    so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles, and

    milly befriended a stranded star
    whose rays five languid fingers were;

    and molly was chased by a horrible thing
    which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and

    may came home with a smooth round stone
    as small as a world and as large as alone.

    for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
    it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

    — e.e. cummings

    {okay friends this is the last reminder you get! the GIVEAWAY ends tonight at 12:00 midnight (CST)!
    get over there and enter to win!}

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  • January 12, 2012

    czeslaw milosz

    love means to learn to look at yourself
    the way one looks at distant things,
    for you are only one thing among many.
    and whoever sees that way heals his heart,
    without knowing it, from various ills –
    a bird and a tree say to him: friend.

    then he wants to use himself and things
    so that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
    it doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
    who serves best does not always understand.

    I could write pages and pages about how this changes the way I think about love. the way I think about the world. the way I think about myself. but for now, I’ll just read it over and over again. and hope that you will too. and hope that you will tell me how it changes the way you think.

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  • November 7, 2011

    waiting

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    “you can be in no circumstance in which the Lord cannot help you, in which he will not help you, if you look simply to him, rest on him, and wait for him. for every condition in which you may be placed, there is a promise; by that promise, the Lord stands, pledged to appear for you and help you; he is ever ready to deliver you; only he will have you believe his word, exercise confidence in him, plead the promise at his throne, and wait for its fulfillment. wait, then on the Lord at all times. times will change, creatures will vary, but the Lord remains always the same. in your youth and health, in manhood and prosperity, in old age and its infirmities, we should wait on the Lord. he will adapt his mercies to us, make all his goodness pass before us, and cause all things to work together for our good. he will never leave us, change his views of us, or withhold his tender mercies from us. he is faithful to his word, true to his character, and full of love to his people.

    whatever change there may be in creatures, there is no change in him. health may give way to sickness, plenty to poverty, strength to weakness, and life to death, but he is the same. with him there is no variableness, neither shadow of a turn. therefore, “wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart; wait, I saw, on the Lord.”

    – from “wait on the Lord” sermon by rev. james smith of cheltenham, new york, 1869

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  • November 26, 2010

    wild things

    for the most auspicious of holidays – black friday. when I miss home and its hiking and cross-country skiing and general lack of malls and traffic.

    the peace of wild things – 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.

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  • November 23, 2010

    one art. elizabeth bishop.

    how much do I love this poem? a whole lot.

    the art of losing isn’t hard to master;
    so many things seem filled with the intent
    to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

    lose something every day. accept the fluster
    of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
    the art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    then practice losing farther, losing faster:
    places, and names, and where it was you meant
    to travel. none of these will bring disaster.

    I lost my mother’s watch. and look! my last, or
    next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
    the art of losing isn’t hard to master.

    I lost two cities, lovely ones. and, vaster,
    some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
    I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

    –even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
    I love) I shan’t have lied. it’s evident
    the art of losing’s not too hard to master
    though it may look like (write it!) like disaster.

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  • February 17, 2009

    Echoes – Roy Conant

    What I said
    Rebounds,
    Resounds
    In ways
    I did not say

    My words
    Return in fractals
    I do not comprehend
    Less than ever said
    But more than I
    Intend

    Words live
    Forever
    In the ether.
    Spirit voices
    Once raised
    Transcend,
    Weave rounds,
    Viral wreaths and
    Endless fugues of
    Arial arrays

    The life of the word
    Is unbroken
    The speaker hears
    Only a token
    Of what anyone
    Has ever
    Spoken.

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