Lightly Child, Lightly

Maybe there is a word in it somewhere
to describe the world this morning,
a word for the way the early light
takes delight in chasing the darkness
out of store windows and doorways.

Another word for the way it lingers
over a pair of wire-rimmed glasses
someone let drop on the sidewalk
last night and staggered off blindly
talking to himself or breaking into song.

~ Charles Simić, “The Dictionary” (The New Yorker)


Notes:

  • Photo –Sona Maletz with House of the Rising Sun (via Newthom). Poem: via See More
  • 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.”

It’s been a long day

i am
allowing i am
wanting
another place to live
until this body calms down

Rachel Alexandra Kass, from “A Lone


Notes:

Lightly Child, Lightly.

“I can tell you that solitude
Is not all exaltation, inner space
Where the soul breathes and work can be done.
Solitude exposes the nerve,
Raises up ghosts.
The past, never at rest, flows through it.”

May Sarton, from “Gestalt at Sixty: Part 1″, in A Durable Fire: Poems

 


Notes:

  • Photo: (via Your Eyes Blaze Out) Poem: Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels
  • 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.”

 

Saturday Morning

hammock-gif

To rise early, reconsider, rise again later
to papers and the news…
Another day of what we bring to it-
matters unfinished from days before,
regret over matters we’ve finished poorly.
Just once you’d like to start out early,
free from memory and lighter for it…
nothing
to shrink from, nothing to shirk,
no lot to carry that wasn’t by choice.
And at night, no voice to keep him awake,
no hurry to rise, no hurry not to.

Tracy K. Smith, from “The Ordinary Life


He sees that this emptiness of self—that this alone—makes a life worth living, a life worth writing. He has been rinsed of ambition, of pride in himself, rinsed of shame over his failures, emptied of his grudges. He has even let go of time, of history—the sources of our regret, our sense that we have done it all wrong. Once reality has stabbed you in the heart like this, you are indeed free—or, when that sweet pain does leave you …the realization remains, a sure memory. This realization, not your ego, is your true self. Alone, outside time, but paradoxically within the moment. There he is, a poet suspended on planet earth in that most ephemeral piece of furniture, the hammock, swinging in the eternity of the moment, and he is empty of himself—at last. The whole world rushes in.

~ Patricia Hampl, The Art of the Wasted Day (Penguin Publishing Group. April 17, 2018)

 

How to Build an Owl

1.) Decide you must.

2.) Develop deep respect
for feather, bone, claw.

3.) Place your trembling thumb
where the heart will be:
for one hundred hours watch
so you will know
where to put the first feather.

4.) Stay awake forever.
When the bird takes shape
gently pry open its beak
and whisper into it: mouse.

5.) Let it go.

~ Kathleen Lynch, “How to Build an Owl” from How to Build an Owl and other poems


Notes: Poem, thank you Hammock Papers. Photo: “White-faced Owl“ by | Patrick Monatsberger

Sunday Morning

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house
and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,
a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies
seemed so etched in sunlight…
so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting
into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

– Billy Collins, from “Today” in Poetry Magazine,  April 2000


Notes: Photo: Kittux with Canary. Quote: Thank you Whiskey River

It’s been a long day

Be like the bird, who
Halting in his flight
On limb too slight
Feels it give way beneath him,
Yet sings
Knowing he hath wings.

— Victor Hugo, “The Bird,” Twilight Songs (Les Chants du crépuscule), published in 1835.


Notes:

Everyone sees, feels, responds…every day

Everyone sees, feels, responds to the poetry of the world every day. In a sunrise over rooftops, a dogwood in bloom, a child’s bike leaning against a fence, a pair of tennis shoes hanging by their laces from a telephone wire, a moth’s wings spread on the screen door, the sound of a train in the distance, the smell of fresh bread. Everyone falls in love with the world daily and we have no words for what spellbinds us. Poems need to be made to recognize that sense of wordless awe.

~ Dorianne Laux, 5 Questions with Dorianne Laux (Mass Poetry, April 2018)


Notes:

  • My favorite Laux poem:

    How many losses does it take to stop a heart,
    to lay waste to the vocabularies of desire?
    Each one came rushing through the rooms he left.
    Mouths open. Words flown up into the trees.

    — Dorianne Laux, closing lines to “Last Words,” in Smoke (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2000)

  • Laux Fun Fact: Laux worked as a sanatorium cook, a gas station manager, and a maid before receiving a B.A. in English from Mills College in 1988 and went on to her distinguished career.
  • Poem Source: Lines We Live By. Portrait and Interview of Laux: Divedapper (2014)

Monday Morning


Notes: Photo: Toshiyasu Morita, Toshi Studios (via Your Eyes Blaze Out). Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) and honey bees.

T.G.I.F.

As he grew older, his life turned into an agreeable routine, with enough human contact to sustain and divert, but not disturb, him. He knew the contentment of feeling less. His emotional life was recast as a social life. He was on nodding and smiling terms with many… He prized stoicism and calm, which he had achieved less through some exercise of philosophy, more from a slow growth within him; a growth like coral, which in most weathers was strong enough to keep out the ocean breakers. Except when it wasn’t.

~ Julian Barnes, The Only Story (Alfred A. Knopf, April 17, 2018)


Art: Phenomenon no. 1 by WanJim Gim (Seoul, Korea)

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