What a gift: being able to disappear without going anywhere at all.

Jones-Saeed-headshot

The process of writing poems felt like a reprieve. Concentrating so intensely on one word and then another and another took me away; so far away, in fact, that sometimes after I finished a poem, I’d sit up at my desk, a bit dizzy. It’d been a blur. What a gift: being able to disappear without going anywhere at all.

~ Saeed Jones, A Poet’s Boyhood at the Burning Crossroads


Saeed Jones was born in Memphis, TN and raised in Lewisville, Texas. He received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University – Newark. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Western Kentucky University where he won the Jim Wayne Miller Award for Poetry. Recently, his poems “Body & Kentucky Bourbon” and “After the First Shot” were nominated for Pushcart Prizes. His chapbook When the Only Light is Fire is available from Sibling Rivalry Press. He has studied with writers like Tom Hunley, Dale Rigby, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Rachel Hadas, and Tayari Jones. He currently lives and writes in New York City. (Source: For Southern Boy Who Consider Poetry)


Notes: photo credit.  Quote – Boston Poetry Slam

Sunday Morning

bird-hand-gentle

It is one of the perils of our so-called civilized age that we do not yet acknowledge enough, or cherish enough, this connection between soul and landscape — between our own best possibilities, and the view from our own windows. We need the world as much as it needs us, and we need it in privacy, intimacy, and surety. We need the field from which the lark rises — bird that is more than itself, that is the voice of the universe: vigorous, godly joy. Without the physical world such hope is: hacked off. Is: dried up. Without wilderness no fish could leap and flash, no deer could bound soft as eternal waters over the field; no bird could open its wings and become buoyant, adventurous, valorous beyond even the plan of nature. Nor could we.

~ Mary Oliver, Home from Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Credits: Photo - The Lilac Road

A perpetual astonishment

first-day-of-spring-march-21-2015

Every spring
is the only spring —
a perpetual astonishment

~ Ellis Peters


Second day of Spring 2015. March 21, 2015. Picture taken outside the front door. 4:55 am. 27° F.


Credits: Poem – Assorted

 

How could I have looked him in the face?

art-face-awake-sleep

The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?

~ Henry David Thoreau, Where I Lived, and What I Lived For


Sources: Quote – Brainpickings. Art: Distant Passion

Lightly child, lightly

bubble-pop-gif

To rise,
I must have a field to rise from.
To deepen,
I must have a bedrock from which to descend.

~ Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings

 


Notes:

  • Image Source: goatboy.
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

The second half of my life will be ice breaking up on the river, rain soaking the fields

middle age,

The second half of my life will be black
to the white rind of the old and fading moon.
The second half of my life will be water
over the cracked floor of these desert years.
I will land on my feet this time,
knowing at least two languages and who
my friends are. I will dress for the
occasion, and my hair shall be
whatever color I please.
Everyone will go on celebrating the old
birthday, counting the years as usual,
but I will count myself new from this
inception, this imprint of my own desire.

The second half of my life will be swift,
past leaning fenceposts, a gravel shoulder,
asphalt tickets, the beckon of open road.
The second half of my life will be wide-eyed,
fingers shifting through fine sands,
arms loose at my sides, wandering feet.
There will be new dreams every night,
and the drapes will never be closed.
I will toss my string of keys into a deep
well and old letters into the grate.

The second half of my life will be ice
breaking up on the river,
rain soaking the fields,
a hand held out,
a fire,
and smoke going upward,
always up.

Joyce Sutphen, “Crossroads” from Straight Out of View


Notes: a) Poem Source: Poem Hunter. b) Image Source: Audrey Nizen. c) Inspired by: Your Eyes Blaze Out

 

Lightly child, lightly

skydiving-skydive-aerial-wingsuit-wingsuiting


Notes:

  • Image Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out.
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

holding it at arm’s length, clutching its shoulders

photography,black and white

You’ve seen the way in which a woman chooses a dress from her closet, then stands before a mirror, holding it at arm’s length, clutching its shoulders as if it were a son she is sending to war, looking him up and down and then drawing him close and pressing him against her breast. And then she sees herself embracing him, and smiles, the two of them looking so perfect together, full of such hope, facing the future.

~ Ted Kooser, The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book


Photograph:  Drowned in Daydreams

It is no small gift

vizsla-black-white

Thunder that is still too far away for us to hear presses down on Ben’s ears and he wakes us and leans hot and chesty first against M., then against me, and listens to our slow, warm words that mean we love him. But when the storm has passed, he is brave again and wants to go out. We open the door and he glides away without a backward glance. It is early, in the blue and grainy air we can just see him running along the edge of the water, into the first pink suggestion of sunrise. And we are caught by the old affinity, a joyfulness — his great and seemly pleasure in the physical world. Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?

~ Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Photograph: Gary Choronzy at Pooch Doogie Photography

For years we grasp and grasp

fist-bump-baby-father

In the baby’s fist is the first thing he owns, a little ball of air, but soon he tires of this and grabs another, then another after that. So early in life we learn about more, and having more. In more it seems we have eternity, and for years we grasp and grasp, until one day we find that we have less. And then life goes and goes, it floats away, and at the end we find our hand is empty, but for one small ball of air.

~ Ted Kooser, The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book


Photograph: John Mueller