T.G.I.F. I want our summers…

…So be it. Maybe all this baking will quiet
the angry voices next door, if only

for a brief whiff. I want our summers

to always be like this—a kitchen wrecked with love,
a table overflowing with baked goods
warming the already warm air. After all the pots

are stacked, the goodies cooled, and all the counters
wiped clean—let us never be rescued from this mess.


Photo: Louis Hansel (via Unsplash)

T.G.I.F. a little sunshine…


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 5:15, 5:25 am, July 22, 2022. 73° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. A few more pictures from this morning here and here.
  • Poem Source: liriostigre

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

It’s impossible to be lonely
when you’re zesting an orange.
Scrape the soft rind once
and the whole room
fills with fruit.
Look around: you have
more than enough. Always have.
You just didn’t notice
until now.

— Amy Schmidt, Abundance (in memory of Mary Oliver) (Rattle.com, January 20, 2019)


Notes

Monday Morning

The plan is obvious. Earth will become more and more beautiful until I can’t stand it. Then I will vanish.

—  D. Nurkse, from his poem ‘A Clearing on Ruth Island’, published in Sangam House, March 2022


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Cove Island Park @ Daybreak. 5:03 am. 59° F. May 30, 2022.  See more photos from today’s glorious morning here.
  • Poem Source: indeskidgepoetry
  • And a final thought…the biggest thought fluttering around (more like cutting) —  today being Memorial Day, a day we remember and honor those who sacrificed everything for our freedoms – – those Patriots who vanished before they were able to see another moment of our Earth’s beauty.  I am grateful for them and honor them today. And perhaps there is a bigger, grander plan, for the wars, for the children slaughtered at elementary schools, for the incomprehensible racist killings at our neighborhood grocery stores – – because I can’t see any plan that includes killing fields in schools and grocery stores.  Thomas Friedman: “But with every passing day, every mass shooting, every racist dog whistle, every defund-the-police initiative, every nation-sundering Supreme Court ruling, every speaker run off a campus, every bogus claim of election fraud, I wonder if he can bring us back together. I wonder if it’s too late. I fear that we’re going to break something very valuable very soon. And once we break it, it will be gone — and we may never be able to get it back…We are staring into that abyss right now.”

do not walk by without pausing to attend to this rather ridiculous performance

Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
melodiously
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.

—  Mary Oliver, “Invitation” in  A Thousand Mornings (New York: Penguin Books, 2013).


Photo by Joshua J. Cotten of male goldfinch, Backyard, Cordova, TN, USA in October 2021 via unsplash

And then, there was Snow.

Come to my quietness I shall cover you with it,

like a white sheet that has blown all day in the sun,

like a mountain lake filled with spring,

it shall slip over you…

—  Diane di Prima, Selected Poems, 1956-1975


Notes:

  • Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 6:30 to 6:50 am, Feb 13, 2022. Snow & Snowing. 29° F, feels like 22° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.
  • Poem, Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels.

I touch her (them) with the eyes of my skin


  • Photo: Backyard Visitors. DK  @ Daybreak. 7:35 a.m. this morning.
  • Post Title & Inspiration:
    The way a deer emerges from a thicket
    is the opposite of a wound.

    Like the moon in the morning —
    all firmament, beautiful, about to vanish.

    Each morning I walk out my apartment
    & wonder what is going to become of me.

    —  Devin Kelly, “Deer on the Side of an American Highway,” published in drDOCTOR (via bostonpoetryslam)

  • And also inspired by:

    We move within the snow-chromed world—: Like-animal. Like-deer. An alphabet. Along a street white as lamp light into the winter, walking—: like language, a new text. I touch her with the eyes of my skin.

    ~ Natalie Diaz, from ‘Between the Palm and the Ear” (Boston Review)

Monday Morning

The slow overture of rain,
each drop breaking
without breaking into
the next, describes
the unrelenting, syncopated
mind. Not unlike
the hummingbirds
imagining their wings
to be their heart, and swallows
believing the horizon
to be a line they lift
and drop.

Jorie Graham, from “Mind,” in Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts.


Notes: Poem via The Vale of Soul-Making. Photo: pan xiaozhen @zhenhappy via Unsplash

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

The part of life
devoted to contemplation
was at odds with the part
committed to action…

Life, my sister said,
is like a torch passed now
from the body to the mind.
Sadly, she went on, the mind is not
there to receive it.

Louise Glück, from “Autumn” in “Winter Recipes from the Collective: Poems” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 26, 2021)


Portrait: Louise Gluck via The Atlantic

Lightly Child, Lightly.

You will live many more years. Many more, in fact, than anyone would have predicted for you. You will read—and sometimes even understand—Nietzsche and Heidegger and Aristotle and Confucius and a bunch of other great thinkers, trying to make some sense out of your world. But you often think that you have never heard a better philosophy than what Mary says that night, drunk on her back porch: It’s the bad parts that make you realize how good the great parts are.

Rob Roberge, Liar: A Memoir (Crown, February 9, 2016) 


Notes:

  • 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.”

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Why does this light force me back
to my childhood? I wore a yellow
summer dress, and the skirt
made a perfect circle.
Turning and turning
until it flared to the limit
was irresistible . . . . The grass and trees,
my outstretched arms, and the skirt
whirled in the ochre light
of any early June evening.
And I knew then
that I would live,
and go on living: what sorrow it was;
and still what sorrow ignites
but does not consume
my heart.

Jane Kenyon, from “The Evening Sun” in Collected Poems


Notes:

  • 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.”
  • Photo Credit

i am alive, and by god i’m tired of being awakened, but unlived. i step outside.


Notes:

 

 

Spring Night

The few minutes of a Spring night are worth ten thousand pieces of gold.

The perfume of the flowers is so pure.

The shadows of the moon are so black.

Su Dongpo, (1037-1101) from “Spring Night” in “One Hundred Poems from the Chinese.” Trans. Kenneth Rexroth.

 


Notes:

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Nothing but light —

scalding, aortal light —

in which we are washed and washed out of our bones.

—  Mary Oliver, from “White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field” in “House of Light

 


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 5:23 am, March 11, 2021. 40° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.
  • Poem via Poems That I Love
  • 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

Windowsills evenly welcome
both heat and cold.
Radiators speak or fall silent as they must.

Doors are not equivocal
floorboards do not hesitate or startle.
Impatience does not stir the curtains,
a bed is neither irritable nor rapacious.

Whatever disquiet we sense in a room
we have brought there.

And so I instruct my ribs each morning,
pointing to hinge and plaster and wood —

You are matter, as they are.
See how perfectly it can be done.
Hold, one day more, what is asked.

~ Jane Hirshfield, from “A Room” from “The Lives of the Heart: Poems

 


Painting, Poul Anker Bech (Danish, 1942-2009), “Sun Dreams”, 1973 via Huariqueje

i have been here before

I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound…

—  Dante Gabriel Rossetti, from “Sudden Light” in “The Complete Poetical Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Notes:

  • Photo: Dk @ Daybreak. Light Snow. 6:36 am to 7:07 am, February 9, 2021. 23° F, feels like 14° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.
  • Poem via Poetry Foundation

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Ono No Komachi, tr. by Jane Hirshfield and Mariko Oratani, from The Ink Dark Moon Love Poems by Ono No Komachi and Izumi Shikibu


Notes:

  • Photo: DK, Daybreak. 7:02 am. Jan 28, 2020.  26° F, feels like 15° F, wind gusts up to 26 mph. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.
  • Quote Source: Feral-ballad
  • 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.”

Happy New Year!

Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter…
I feel my boots trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart pumping hard…
I want to be light and frolicsome…
and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.

— Mary Oliver, “Starlings in Winter” in “Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays


Notes:

  • Photo: DK, Birds @ Daybreak. Jan 1, 2021. 6:45 to 7am. 30° F, feels like 23° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford CT. More amazing scenes from this morning here and here.
  • Mary Oliver’s poem “Starlings in Winter” was edited. Full poem here @Mindfulbalance.  Thank you Karl for sharing for the Mary Oliver poem and the inspiration.

Sunday Morning

[She] says Remember, you’re writing these poems for god.
I’m about to ask her what type of poems god likes
when the wind picks up, sending a flood of small, round leaves down the street. Got it, I say.

—  Chessy Normile, from “There Was a Forest of Pines I Loved for Years,” The American Poetry Review (vo. 49, no. 6, November/December 2020)

 


Notes: Poem Source – Memory’s Landscape. Photo: DK, Cove Island Park, Nov 12, 2020, 6:45 a.m.

The Sky Is Mine / Floating on like in a dream…


Notes:

    • Daybreak. December 12, 2020. 6:30 to 7:00 am. 39° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford CT
    • Post Title: “The Sky is Mine” by David N. Degnan – excerpt:  Head in the clouds, / Living without doubt. / That life is good and / Control is mine. / In that serenity, / That’s where I’d love to be. / Floating on like in a dream. / And in that peace, / I think I could see / Just what living truly means.
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