I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay: 10
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood, 20
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
eating rice crispies
an hour after graduating from high school
shouldn't i be
melancholy, excited, relieved, anxious...
but i am thinking about
a bad hair day,
and how none of this
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
off the pale blue walls of this room,
bouncing from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one more suddenly into the past --
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sickroom,
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
set cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift--not the archaic truth
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hands,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Not Yet My Mother
Saturday June 24, 2006
Yesterday I found a photo
of you at seventeen,
holding a horse and smiling,
not yet my mother.
The tight riding hat hid your hair,
and your legs were still the long shins of a boy's.
You held the horse by the halter,
your hand a fist under its huge jaw.
The blown trees were still in the background
and the sky was grained by the old film stock,
but what caught me was your face,
which was mine.
And I thought, just for a second, that you were me.
But then I saw the woman's jacket,
nipped at the waist, the ballooned jodhpurs,
and of course the date, scratched in the corner.
All of which told me again,
that this was you at seventeen, holding a horse
and smiling, not yet my mother,
although I was clearly already your child.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Last night, I felt rapture on the discovery of Richard Brautigan. Tonight, Brautigan's work appears rather ugly, frustrating almost. But, I still have a few of his I'd like to share as Brautigan shouldn't suffer because of my bad mood. And, it's pretty cool how well it fits recent situations.
Somebody else needs it
haunted by melancholy
that does not have a reflection
nor cast a shadow.
12,000,000 people live here in Tokyo.
I know I'm not alone.
Others must feel the way
May 26, 1976
"For Fear You Will Be Alone"
For fear you will be alone
you do so many things
that aren't you at all.
I found the word having written sideways,
all by itself
on a piece of notebook paper.
I have no idea why I wrote it
or what its ultimate destination was,
but I wrote the word having carefully
and then stopped
June perhaps, 1976
"I Don't Want To Know about It"
I don't want to know about it.
Tell it to somebody else.
They'll understand and make you
My faith in Brautigan is once again restored. But, due to his foul language, I must retire from the love affair. I need sleep. Good bye Brautigan. Thank you for two wonderful evenings.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
"We Stopped at Perfect Days"
We stopped at perfect days
and got out of the car.
The wind glanced at her hair.
It was as simple as that.
I turned to say something—
Do you think of me
as often as I think
"Critical Can Opener"
There is something wrong
with this poem. Can you
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I am currently reading Christ's Ideals For Living by Obert C. Tanner. I just finished the chapter "Beauty" and found some of the ideas expressed particularly striking. First, Tanner says of beauty, "God is the author of beauty, as He is of truth and goodness. Beauty is a revelation of Him." Then Tanner goes on to share a quote by the naturalist John Burroughs:
"... I am in love with this world ... I have climbed its mountains, roamed its forests, sailed its waters, crossed its deserts, felt the sting of its frost, the oppression of its heats, the drench of its rains, the fury of its winds, and always have beauty and joy waited upon my goings and comings."Tanner also shares Goethe's advice: "We ought to hear at least one little song every day, read a good poem, see a first-rate painting, and if possible, speak a few sensible words."
And if I may, I will share a few more quotes on beauty I have found in other works.
From Madeleine L'Engle's Meet The Austins:
"It was so beautiful that for a moment the beauty was all that mattered; it wasn't important that there were things we would never understand."And speaking of Laurie in Little Women, "he was quick to see and feel beauty of any kind." I think of all I can become, I would feel most accomplished if it is said of me that I am quick to perceive beauty.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
slow... possessing ... tender
buzzed hair, whispery at my fingertips
the hands of a man, comfortable at my waist
unheard music, alive, pulsing through my veins
fading sunlight, warm on my neck
scent of dusk, keen to my senses
no longer human
a compilation of cells
falling away into molecules
splintering into atoms
and entirely oblivious
slow... bewitching... tender
dissolving my existence
cell by cell...
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
A Man In His Life
A man doesn't have time in his life
to have time for everything.
He doesn't have seasons enough to have
a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes
Was wrong about that.
A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment,
to laugh and cry with the same eyes,
with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them,
to make love in war and war in love.
And to hate and forgive and remember and forget,
to arrange and confuse, to eat and to digest
takes years and years to do.
A man doesn't have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves
he begins to forget.
And his soul is seasoned, his soul
is very professional.
Only his body remains forever
an amateur. It tries and it misses,
gets muddled, doesn't learn a thing,
drunk and blind in its pleasures
and its pains.
He will die as figs die in autumn,
Shriveled and full of himself and sweet,
the leaves growing dry on the ground,
the bare branches pointing to the place
where there's time for everything.
Monday, May 5, 2008
The poem I post today, "64. George Gray," was one I first heard in English in eighth grade. The poem stuck with me and several years later I found the book the poem had been pulled from. The poem still strikes me powerfully. I hope you like it.
Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950). Spoon River Anthology. 1916.
64. George Gray
|I HAVE studied many times|
|The marble which was chiseled for me—|
|A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.|
|In truth it pictures not my destination|
|But my life.||5|
|For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;|
|Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;|
|Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.|
|Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.|
|And now I know that we must lift the sail||10|
|And catch the winds of destiny|
|Wherever they drive the boat.|
|To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,|
|But life without meaning is the torture|
|Of restlessness and vague desire—||15|
|It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.|