Monthly Archives: April 2016

Honoring the trees today (Arbor Day, April 29, 2016)

Optimism

More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another.  A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs–all this resinous, unretractable earth.

–Jane Hirshfield, American poet, born 1953

From: http://www.poetseers.org/contemporary-poets/jane-hirshfield/janep/optimism/index.html

What did the tree learn from the earth to be able to talk with the sky?
~ Pablo Neruda

treesArborDayApril2016

He who plants a tree
Plants a hope.
~ Lucy Larcom

tree-trunkArborDayApril2016

Earth, Earth, Earth Day ~ April 22, 2016

Living_on_the_Earth

Morning Song

Day breaks open artlessly

across a field of switchgrass tossing

wild and easy in the windswell.

The weedy fastness gives way to a widening

brim of eastlight blazing the mist.

Spring is the dangerous season, awakening

this bee-crazed meadow to overgrowing—

and in me awe, and ache, avid to begin

like birds and the earth all over.

— Don Colburn, poet and journalist

 

For more about Don Colburn go to: http://doncolburn.net/

 

 

William Stafford

 WilliamStaffordPhotoWilliamStaffordPoet&Bks

Poet William Stafford (1914-1993) was born and raised in the American Midwest (Kansas) and in his adult life lived in the American West (Oregon).  Reflecting an awareness of where he lived, his first book of poetry is entitled West of Your City (1960). Stafford’s mode of language is considered, for the most part, straightforward and his poems readable.

It was only recently that I was introduced to Stafford and his work.  To critics and those knowledgeable about literary culture, he has the distinction of being one of the more widely known poets in the U.S., having had his poems appear over the years in popular magazines (Reader’s Digest, for example).  While Stafford often focuses on nature and this is why it is believed his poems are considered accessible, his imagination and mystical views also give his work a deeper context.

 Climbing Along the River

Willows never forget how it feels
to be young.

Do you remember where you came from?
Gravel remembers.

Even the upper end of the river
Believes in the ocean.

Exactly at midnight
Yesterday signs away.

What I believe is,
All animals have one soul.

Over the land they love
They crisscross forever.

— William Stafford (from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems, 1998)

Simple Talk

Spilling themselves in the sun bluebirds

wing-mention their names all day.  If everything

told so clear a life, maybe the sky would

come, maybe heaven; maybe appearance and

truth would be the same.  Maybe whatever seems

to be so, we should speak so from our souls,

never afraid, “Light” when it comes,

“Dark” when it goes away.

–William Stafford (An Oregon Message, 1987)

WilliamStaffordQuote

 

 

A Sense of Place…the Lone Star State

First Saturday Morning: Beaumont, Texas                                            

On oyster shell and palm tree lanes,
our new neighbors’ trailers, humpbacked

mildew-streaked beached wanderers,
surround ours, muddy with road-splash.

Sunlight bright on ocean air, mid-morning,
country music blares through screen doors.

Mama, in pink curlers, hums along,
sets terra-cotta pots of peppermint

carnations on our trailer hitch.
Daddy with long-handled scrub brush

hoses down the roof.  From above,
his footsteps’ hollow thrum,

swish, splash of brush and water.
My sister rides bikes with her new friend,

singing her way toward seesaw and swings.
In the space between friends,

I sit in black walnut tree shade,
bark scratching through my shirt,

drone of heavy-winged bee, black-striped
yellow fur against blue hydrangea,

damp earth cool brown, smooth
under saw-toothed leaves, remember

last Saturday’s desert-dust front yard,
my best friend’s laughter out her kitchen window,

West Texas sunset-streaked sky, turquoise,
one silver star rising from evening’s deep horizon.

–Sharon Darrow, American poet & author

SabalPalmTreeTexasGalvestonWestIslandSandCastle

April is here and this man in the suit is a poet…

NationalPoetryMonthSign

Not Ideas About the Thing
But the Thing Itself

At the earliest ending of winter,
In March, a scrawny cry from outside
Seemed like a sound in his mind.

He knew that he heard it,
A bird’s cry, at daylight or before,
In the early March wind.

The sun was rising at six,
No longer a battered panache above snow . . .
It would have been outside.

It was not from the vast ventriloquism
Of sleep’s faded papier-mache . . .
The sun was coming from outside.

That scrawny cry—it was
A chorister whose c preceded the choir.
It was part of the colossal sun,

Surrounded by its choral rings,
Still far away. It was like
A new knowledge of reality.

–Wallace Stevens, American poet (1879 – 1955) from “The Collected Poems” (published 1954)

TheCollectedPoemsofWallaceStevens