Sunday Morning

No opera, no gilded columns, no wine-dark seats…
no altos, no basses
and violins sobbing as one; no opera house,
no museum, no actual theatre, no civic center–
and what else? Only the huge doors of clouds
with the setting disc through which we leave and enter…
No masterpieces in huge frames to worship,
on such banalities has life been spent
in brightness, and yet there are the days
when every street corner rounds itself into
a sunlit surprise, a painting or a phrase,
canoes drawn up by the market, the harbour’s blue…
So much to do still, all of it praise.

~ Derek Walcott, from “No Opera” in White Egrets


Notes:

  • Poem Source – Cha Journal Blog. Image: Via Mennyfox55
  • Excerpt from “‘White Egrets” book review by Tom Payne in The Telegraph: “But some poems startle with their directness and truth; the images connect, and the ebbing tide leaves some real treasure on the beach. Among a handful of pearls is a love letter to his home, modest as Ithaca, with resonances of the poet’s life.”

Lightly child, lightly

Why is it you can have that extraordinary experience of falling violently in love with great poetry … where you are moved by its power before you comprehend it?

~ Harold Bloom, from “Harold Bloom, The Art of Criticism No. 1″ in The Paris Review (Issue 118, Spring 1991)


Notes

  • Photo: landa grazioli with poetry. Quote: Thank you Hammock Papers
  • 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

Just when the worst bears down
You find a pretty bubble in your soup at noon
And outside a bird says “hi”
Slowly the sun creeps along the floor;
It is coming your way. It touches your shoe.

~ William Stafford, from “It’s all Right” in The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy by John Brehm


Notes:

  • Poem: Thank you Karl Duffy @ Mindfulbalance. Photo: Hache with “my life plans” (via Mennyfox55)
  • 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.”

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

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


Photo: Fredrik Stige with “White Tailed Deer, Montana

My brother was birthed a soft whistle

Although Twin is older by almost an hour—
of course the birth got complicated when it was my turn—
he doesn’t act older. He is years softer than I will ever be.

When we were little, I would come home
with bleeding knuckles and Mami would gasp
and shake me: “¡Muchacha, siempre peleando!
Why can’t you be a lady? Or like your brother?
He never fights. This is not God’s way.”

And Twin’s eyes would meet mine
across the room. I never told her
he didn’t fight because my hands
became fists for him. My hands learned
how to bleed when other kids
tried to make him into a wound.

My brother was birthed a soft whistle:
quiet, barely stirring the air, a gentle sound.
But I was born all the hurricane he needed
to lift—and drop—those that hurt him to the ground.

~ Elizabeth Acevedo, “More about Twin” in The Poet X (HarperTeen, March 6, 2018)

The Poet X, highly recommended.

 


Notes:

  • Elizabeth Acevedo is a Dominican-American poet and author.  Her critically-acclaimed debut novel and NY Times Bestseller, The Poet X, won the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
  • Portrait of Elizabeth Acevedo via wbur.com

Go ahead — you first

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes…
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.”

Danusha Laméris, from “Small Kindnesses” (NY Times Magazine, September 19, 2019)


Photo: agent j loves nyc with Crowded Car

Lightly child, lightly

The leaves are turning,
one by one carried away in the crisp wind […]
Away, away, says the blue and gold day,
and no one hears it but the wind…
Sit here —…
This is heaven.
Sit. Stay.

~ Margaret Gibson, from “Heaven“ in Broken Cup: Poems


Notes:

How many moons have I been too busy to notice?


Notes:

  • Photograph of Hunter’s Moon: By Eric Kanigan, from our front yard on October 14, 2019
  • Inspired by: “How many moons have I been too busy to notice? Full moons, half moons, quarter moons facing those thousands of suns, watching them bringing the years up, one piece at a time. Even the dark phases of moon after moon, gray stoppers plugged into a starry sky, letting a little light leak out around the edges. By my reckoning, almost a thousand full moons have passed above me know, and I have been too busy and self-absorbed to be thankful for more than a few, though month after month they have patiently laid out my shadow, that velvety cloak that in the moonlit evenings waits for me.” ~ Ted Kooser, January. The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book (UNP – Nebraska, 2014).

Sunday Morning

October.  Its brilliant festival of dry
and moist decay.  Its spicy, musky scent.
The church’s parking lot deserted
except for this one witness,
myself, just resting there.

Somewhere a radio plays Flamenco.
A spotlight of sunshine falls on the scattered debris.
Blood-red and gold, a perfect circle of leaves
begins to whirl,
slowly at first, keeping the pattern,
clicking against the blacktop
like heels and  castanets,
then faster, faster, faster. . .
round as a ruffle, as the swirling
skirts of an invisible dancer.
Swept off into the tangled woods
by the muscular breeze.
The hoarse cheering of crows.

Inside the dark empty church,
long cool shadows, white-painted wood,
austere Protestant candles thriftily snuffed,
Perhaps a note on the altar,
Gone dancing. Back on Sunday

~ Dolores Stewart, “Outside” from The Nature of Things 


Notes: Poem, Thank you Beyond The Fields We Know. Photo: Pixaby

Miracle. All of it.

All I can tell you is what I know.

Look, and look again.
This world is not just a little thrill for the eyes.

It’s more than bones.
It’s more than the delicate wrist with its personal pulse.
It’s more than the beating of the single heart.
It’s praising.
It’s giving until the giving feels like receiving.
You have a life – just imagine that
You have this day, and maybe another, and maybe
still another.

– Mary Oliver, from “To Begin With, the Sweet Grass” in Evidence: Poems


Notes:

  • Poem – Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels. Art print: Heart of Aspens by Michael Zheng
  • Post title Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
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