Talking Waters

A valued acquaintance sent me this link yesterday:


How does last night’s fallen snow
feel about the morning sun’s radiant touch?

Is there a deep yearning to be melted,
or is there a great fear of death?

I whisper:
“They can be one, the same.”

The sharp-shinned hawk throws himself,
like Cupid’s hell-bent arrow,
head on into the bough-damp cedars.

He has faith in a universal memory
that has never occupied him personally.

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Sonnet 116


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,

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Lovin' Spoonfuls

That's how I think of my tea in the morning, with its heaping spoonful of honey. A spoonful of (honey) makes the medicine go down. Not that I can't drink my tea straight, but the honey does its thing and I'm happier for it.

I think of poetry in much the same way. Every morning, after a few yoga stretches, I read a bit of it. Mornings when I feel too lazy or too hurried for yoga, I do it anyway, for the poetry. The poetry is part of the ritual now. It can't be done without yoga, and yoga can't be done without poetry. Read more about Lovin' Spoonfuls



President Barack Obama knew how to get my attention last night. Three times - at least - he used the words "built to last." So here is the poem for this week. Written by Robert Hunter. Set to music by Jerry Garcia. Performed by The Grateful Dead.

Built to Last

There are times when you can beckon
There are times when you must call
You can shake a lot of wrecking
But you can't take it all
There are times when I can help you out

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Crows and snow. And reading Robert Frost in January.

Dust of Snow

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued

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I spent some little time yesterday under the Prose column talking about Westerns - movies and TV, not books. In the interests of using the existing tabs on this page to best advantage, I have decided that movies and TV are appropriate for Prose. Music, when the muse alights, will be dealt with under Poetry.

That being said, today's offering, although entitled "Whistle," is actually a poem.

The Aim Was Song

Before man came to blow it right
The wind once blew itself untaught,
And did its loudest day and night
In any rough place where it caught.

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One Winter Day

It's been many long years since that day on my Wisconsin farm when I wrote this:

The winter trees are black as
Stove pipe on the winter blue sky

And mice, beneath the winter ice,
Are warmer than these January suns.

My snowshoes trace an odd duck's pace
Around the barn, then back

To where my crooked chunks of elm
Burn hot inside the stove.

I'll have a cup of tea now that I've
Mailed my letters.

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Year's End

Now winter downs the dying of the year,
And night is all a settlement of snow;
From the soft street the rooms of houses show
A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
And still allows some stirring down within.

I’ve known the wind by water banks to shake
The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
And held in ice as dancers in a spell
Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
They seemed their own most perfect monument.

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