Having the Nerve to Bloom

March 20 2012 tulip tree msm1 (1)

Some of us call it a Magnolia, and some call it a Tulip Tree, but whatever we call it,

this tree has the nerve to bloom

when a hard frost could arrive at any time

and blacken all those blossoms.


Somewhere I have a poem about this time of the year, but I can’t find it.

Will add it to the post later if I do.


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/nerve/”>Nerve</a&gt;


The Price of Admission

Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania  USA

formal fountains longwood


How much it cost in 1966:  $  0.00

How much it costs in 2016:  $20.00

Longwood Conservatory

Hymn to Longwood Gardens


How is it that I was born five miles from you,

born to walk your three hundred acres for twelve years?


Now, thirty years later,

In the satiny iced lawns of February,

I dream of your sumptuous beds

of lavender

luminous in the summer twilight,

your solitary fountain

stumbled upon in the deep shade,

of thrush revealing her speckled breast in the mulch

behind the Italian water gardens.


I dream of my first love

plucking my hand into his,

a young, thin, fine, freckled hand,

the first holding of hands

as we entered the garden

for a fountain display

on a starlit July evening.


In those days, you were free.

Now, you have flourished,

and your entrance fee is costly.

 gazebo longwood

 Longwood annual garden

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/price/”>Price</a&gt;





The Eye of the Wind

the window 1924  Marc ChagallThe Window  1924    Marc Chagall


I wrote this poem last year just at this time last year:


Good Friday Morning in Maryland


Birdsong courses through the eye

That I call window

The wind’s eye , gritty with winter dust

And Spring beginning .


The Spanish call it Ventana

Which also sounds like wind

To me.

The Danish call it Vindue,

Which sounds to me like Vishnu,

Preserver of the Universe.


Italians call it Finestra,

The end of the stars,

The end of the stratosphere.


The French call it fenetre

The Germans call it fenster

In which I see fences,

In which I hear excited air

Flying through the fens,

Licking the marshy grasses.


dali  figure at a window

Figure at a Window     Salvador Dali


the-human-condition  magritte

The Human Condition      Rene Magritte


goldfish window    childe hassam

The Goldfish Window         Hassam Childe



<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/window/”>Window</a&gt;

Late Have I Loved You

I have long loved, and related to, this declaration of love for God by St. Augustine:

XHC173406 The Conversion of St. Augustine (tempera on panel) by Angelico, Fra (Guido di Pietro) (c.1387-1455); 22.5×34.5 cm; Musee d’Art Thomas Henry, Cherbourg, France; (add. info.: conversion from a former life of loose living; one of the four latin Fathers of the Church); Giraudon; Italian, out of copyright


Augustine Confessions X.27

Late have I loved you,

Beauty so ancient and so new,

late have I loved you!

Lo, you were within,

but I outside, seeking there for you,

and upon the shapely things you have made

I rushed headlong,

I, misshapen

You were with me but I was not with you

They held me back far from you,

those things which would have no being

were they not in you.

You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;

you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;

you lavished your fragrance,

I gasped, and now I pant for you;

I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst;

you touched me, and I burned for your peace.

Christian Schloe   woman on fire

Christian Schloe, Woman on Fire




<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/one-love/”>One Love</a>

Elephant Ear Sponge

elephant ear sponge

Here is a potter using an Elephant Ear sponge:

Emily Judem using elephant ear sponge
She uses a scouring pad, an elephant ear sponge, and other tools to perfect the mug before it gets bisqued.


I found pictures of this object because of this poem that I love.  It’s by Marvin Bell:


Drawn by Stones, by Earth, by Things that Have Been in the Fire


I can tell you about this because I have held in my hand

the little potter’s sponge called an “elephant ear.”

Naturally, it’s only a tiny version of an ear,

but its the thing you want to pick up out of the toolbox

when you wander into the deserted ceramics shop

down the street from the cave where the fortune-teller works.

Drawn by stones, by earth, by things that have been in the fire.


The elephant ear listens to the side of the vase

as it is pulled upwards from a dome of muddy clay.

The ear listens to the outside wall of the pot

and the hand listens to the inside wall of the pot,

and between them a city rises out of dirt and water.

Inside this city live the remains of animals,

animals who prepared two hundred years to be clay.


Rodents make clay, and men wearing spectacles make clay,

though the papers they were signing go up in flames

and nothing more is known of these long documents

except by those angels who devine in our ashes.

Kings and queens of the jungle make clay

and royalty and politicians make clay although

their innocence stays with their clothes until unravelled.


There is a lost soldier in every ceramic bowl.

The face on the dinner plate breaks when the dish does

and lies for centuries unassembled in the soil.

These things that have the right substance to begin with,

put into the fire at temperatures that melt glass,

keep their fingerprints forever, it is said,

like inky sponges that walk away in the deep water.

– Marvin Bell




<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/object/”>Object</a&gt;


Do you want to know a secret?

Do you promise not to tell?

As a teacher, I am not supposed to like, or dislike, one student more than another.

But I do –  not very often, but I do.

On Leap Day, yesterday, the president of the university where I teach resigned.  This is a long story that I just don’t feel like telling here.

I think his resignation is for the best, but I still have mixed feelings about the way it came about.

Today I was really enraged by some of the remarks of one of the young alums on Facebook.   I taught this fellow when he was a freshman, and he graduated about ten years ago. I remember him in class and on campus as he still is:  self-righteous, bombastic, and obnoxious. There: I’ve said it.

These photos and memes express my opinion of my former student:

Arrogant man

Google image of an  arrogant  self-important uppity stuck up man

to whom I would say:

self righteous meme

and also

smug self congratulatory


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/secret/”>Secret</a&gt;