Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Journey

Magic Sprinkles by Donna Black

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.
Mary Oliver

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Composed on Westminster Bridge

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

William Wordsworth

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer's Rain

The dusty, cracked earth cried out
for mercy from the blazing sun.
The cicadas song rose repeatedly,
a prayer for relief from the endless, arid days.
The garden flowers bowed low in the withering grass
Grateful for a drink from the hand of man.   
Suddenly, a soft breeze stirred.
Dark, moisture laden clouds gathered
And soft rain fell from heaven
Preparing the thirsty ground for more.
It drenched the leaves of the forest and the mist rose.
It washed away the white hot heat
And bathed the world in joy.

Donna Black

Sunday, August 7, 2011

By An Inland Lake

In the Andes/Frederic Edwin Church
LONG drawn, the cool, green shadows
Steal o'er the lake's warm breast,
And the ancient silence follows
The burning sun to rest.

The calm of a thousand summers,
And dreams of countless Junes,
Return when the lake-wind murmurs
Thro' golden, August

William Stanley Braithwaite

Friday, June 3, 2011

Inscription for the Entrance to a Wood

      Solitude/Thomas Moran

      STRANGER, if thou hast learned a truth which needs
      No school of long experience, that the world
      Is full of guilt and misery, and hast seen
      Enough of all its sorrows, crimes, and cares,
      To tire thee of it, enter this wild wood
      And view the haunts of nature. The calm shade
      Shall bring a kindred calm, and the sweet breeze
      That makes the green leaves dance, shall waft a balm
      To thy sick heart. Thou wilt find nothing here
      Of all that pained thee in the haunts of men,
      And made thee loathe thy life. The primal curse
      Fell, it is true, upon the unsinning earth,
      But not in vengance. God hath yoked to guilt
      Her pale tormentor, Misery. Hence these shades
      Are still the abode of gladness; the thick roof
      Of green and stirring branches is alive
      And musical with birds, that sing and sport
      In wantonness of spirit; while below
      The squirrel, with raised paws and form erect,
      Chirps merrily. Throngs of insects in the shade
      Try their thin wings and dance in the warm beam.
      That waked them into life. Even the green trees
      Partake the deep contentment; as they bend
      To the soft winds, the sun from the blue sky
      Looks in and sheds a blessing on the scene.
      Scarce less the cleft-born wildflower seems to enjoy
      Existence, than the winged plunderer
      That sucks its sweets. The mossy rocks themselves,
      And the old and ponderous trunks of prostrate trees
      That lead from knoll to knoll a causeway rude,
      Or bridge the sunken brook, and their dark roots,
      With all their roots upon them, twisting high,
      Breathe fixed tranquility. The rivulet
      Sends forth glad sounds, and tripping o'er its bed
      Of pebbly sands, or leaping down the rocks
      Seems, with continuous laughter, to rejoice
      In its own being. Softly tread the marge,
      Lest from her midway perch thou scare the wren
      That dips her bill in water. The cool wind,
      That stirs the stream in play, shall come to thee,
      Like one that loves thee nor will let thee pass
      Ungreeted, and shall give its light embrace.

      William Cullen Bryant

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My April Lady

On the Terrace/ Pierre-Auguste Renoir
When down the stair at morning 
The sunbeams round her float, 
Sweet rivulets of laughter
Are bubbling in her throat;
The gladness of her greeting
Is gold without alloy;
And in the morning sunlight
I think her name is Joy. 

When in the evening twilight
The quiet book-room lies, 
We read the sad old ballads,
While from her hidden eyes 
The tears are falling, falling,
That give her heart relief; 
And in the evening twilight,
I think her name is Grief. 

My little April lady,
Of sunshine and of showers, 
She weaves the old spring magic,
And breaks my heart in flowers! 
But when her moods are ended,
She nestles like a dove;
Then, by the pain and rapture,
I know her name is Love.

Henry Van Dyke

Monday, March 14, 2011

Earth Voices

William Henry Hunt/Bird's Nest and Primrose

I heard the spring wind whisper
Above the brushwood fire,
"The world is made forever
Of transport and desire.
I am the breath of being,
The primal urge of things;
I am the whirl of star dust,
I am the lift of wings.
"I am the splendid impulse
That comes before the thought,
The joy and exaltation
Wherein the life is caught.
"Across the sleeping furrows
I call the buried seed,
And blade and bud and blossom
Awaken at my need.
"Within the dying ashes
I blow the sacred spark,
And make the hearts of lovers
To leap against the dark."

I heard the spring light whisper
Above the dancing stream,
"The world is made forever
In likeness of a dream.
"I am the law of planets,
I am the guide of man;
The evening and the morning
Are fashioned to my plan.
"I tint the dawn with crimson,
I tinge the sea with blue;
My track is in the desert,
My trail is in the dew.
"I paint the hills with color,
And in my magic dome
I light the star of evening
To steer the traveller home.
"Within the house of being,
I feed the lamp of truth
With tales of ancient wisdom
And prophecies of youth."

I heard the spring rain murmur
Above the roadside flower,
"The world is made forever
In melody and power.
"I keep the rhythmic measure
That marks the steps of time,
And all my toil is fashioned
To symmetry and rhyme.
"I plow the untilled upland,
I ripe the seeding grass,
And fill the leafy forest
With music as I pass.
"I hew the raw, rough granite
To loveliness of line,
And when my work is finished,
Behold, it is divine!
"I am the master-builder
In whom the ages trust.
I lift the lost perfection
To blossom from the dust."

Then Earth to them made answer,
As with a slow refrain
Born of the blended voices
Of wind and sun and rain,
"This is the law of being
That links the threefold chain:
The life we give to beauty
Returns to us again."

Carman Bliss