Here are some hopeful lines:
Here are some hopeful lines:
“Urban Renewal” by Cardiff artist Jo Whitby
Here’s a poem by contemporary American poet Yusef Konumyakaa:
The sun slides down behind brick dust,
today’s angle of life. Everything
melts, even when backbones
are I-beams braced for impact.
Sequential sledgehammers fall, stone
shaped into dry air
white soundsystem of loose metal
under every footstep. Wrecking crews,
men unable to catch sparrows without breaking
wings into splinters. Blues-horn
mercy. Bloodlines. Nothing
but the white odor of absence.
The big iron ball
swings, keeping time
to pigeons cooing in eaves
as black feathers
float on to blueprint
Peter Bruegel the Elder, “Dulle Griet” 1562
Here are the last seven stanzas of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Arsenal at Springfield” written in 1843:
The tumult of each sacked and burning village;
The shout that every prayer for mercy drowns;
The soldiers’ revels in the midst of pillage;
The wail of famine in beleaguered towns;
The bursting shell, the gateway wrenched asunder,
The rattling musketry, the clashing blade;
And ever and anon, in tones of thunder
The diapason of the cannonade.
Is it, O man, with such discordant noises,
With such accursed instruments as these,
Thou drownest Nature’s sweet and kindly voices,
And jarrest the celestial harmonies?
Were half the power, that fills the world with terror,
Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts,
Given to redeem the human mind from error,
There were no need of arsenals or forts:
The warrior’s name would be a name abhorred!
And every nation, that should lift again
Its hand against a brother, on its forehead
Would wear forevermore the curse of Cain!
Down the dark future, through long generations,
The echoing sounds grow fainter and then cease;
And like a bell, with solemn, sweet vibrations,
I hear once more the voice of Christ say, “Peace!”
Peace! and no longer from its brazen portals
The blast of War’s great organ shakes the skies!
But beautiful as songs of the immortals,
The holy melodies of love arise.
I was looking for something that contained the word “ovation” and came across this quote. The quote from the poet Marilyn Nelson, describing the poetry of John Drury:
“Fiercely intelligent, carefully honed, Drury’s poems trust in the myth of the way things are, singing of memory and loss to our sad world of ovation and applause.”
Then I went to Drury’s poems and found this gem:
How to Stay Awake
Late at night on the interstate, driving
while drowsy, you crank
open the window
so the wind starts shoving
with its cold fingers.
But even with coffee, the sedative is silence,
a calm that lingers
in the slow drone of tires on the highway,
like the hushed waves
against a hull that’s rocking on the bay.
In any car,
the wind, however loud, is still a murmur.
What’s a sure
way to keep yourself awake? Just click
the radio on
to something loud enough, not talk but rock,
and don’t just listen—
that’s how a siren lures you to slip under,
and merge into a gulf of harmonies.
You have to sing,
open your mouth wide, belt it out, and praise
the means you have
for rescuing your own self from yourself,
to stay alive
by keeping the muscles moving in your mouth,
so your eyes can’t close,
so the song becomes a counter-spell to death.
Here’s a poem by Luci Shaw:
New Camaldoli Hermitage, Big Sur
This early morning, in the chill before light,
I lie open, face upward on the little bed,
a supplicant, body reflecting soul,ready
for something I cannot see, but crave.
I’m waiting, like any fern in a garden,
to be rained on, or sun-drenched.
Oh, I am little, little.
The day lifts its face over the Pacific
and a corner of sun touches the thin pillow.
I shift my head under its warm hand;
it moves across my face as I lie quite still.
It blesses my forehead with its holy oil.
What is blessing but a largeness
so immense it crowds out
everything but itself?
Woman inside Bird by Yuko Hosaka
Here is a wonderful poem by Jane Kenyon:
Notes from the Other Side
By Jane Kenyon, 1947 – 1995
I divested myself of despair
and fear when I came here.
Now there is no more catching
one’s own eye in the mirror,
there are no bad books, no plastic,
no insurance premiums, and of course
no illness. Contrition
does not exist, nor gnashing
of teeth. No one howls as the first
clod of earth hits the casket.
The poor we no longer have with us.
Our calm hearts strike only the hour,
and God, as promised, proves
to be mercy clothed in light.
Here’s a poem by A. E. Stallings:
The two of them stood in the middle water,
The current slipping away, quick and cold,
The sun slow at his zenith, sweating gold,
Once, in some sullen summer of father and daughter.
Maybe he regretted he had brought her—
She’d rather have been elsewhere, her look told—
Perhaps a year ago, but now too old.
Still, she remembered lessons he had taught her:
To cast towards shadows, where the sunlight fails
And fishes shelter in the undergrowth.
And when the unseen strikes, how all else pales
Beside the bright-dark struggle, the rainbow wroth,
Life and death weighed in the shining scales,
The invisible line pulled taut that links them both.
To Everything There Is A Season
.....and nurturing my soul
Reading, writing, and ruling on the written word
Recipes for Success
food for the body; food for the soul
connecting the dots of my life
The Greater Garden of Nature
About fantastical places and other stuff
Consult the genius of the place
Enjoy the good things in life ~ you can always clean tomorrow!
Living the second part of the sentence
Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams
capturing pictures & words
we do what we like and we like what we do
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. - Saint Augustine
Life in progress