Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Another dVerse OpenLinkNight. Grace, host of tonight's event, has me thinking about spring. Write a few lines, send them in, and join the fun!


The storm, asking
no permission, broke

fiercely. Never one
to miss a good show,

I took a hard-backed chair
and cold beer out

on the front porch. How
long I sat

watching the water
thrash the trees and

tumble from the eaves,
I don’t know.

My reverie was broken
when I heard a voice

from the neighboring porch.
Hey there! Earl hollered out

over the storm noise.
Just watching it rain! I yelled back.

I hear you, brother!
The rain continued

to fall,
delicate drops

now, baptizing
the new grass.

We both went back
to watching.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Scott Russell Sanders: Not Our Rules

(Image Credit: scottrussellsanders.com)
In defining wilderness as an unruly place where shaggy creatures roam, our language betrays an uneasiness about our own hairy origins and a regret that the original world does not dance to our music. Beyond our campfires, beyond our tents, beyond our makeshift structures, the whole universe is wild, from quarks to quasars, from black bears to black holes, but far from being disorderly, it follows intricate, exquisite rules that we have only begun to decipher. They are not our rules, however, no matter who fervently we may desire to legislate, a fact that is dismaying only to those who believe that we should be running the show.

--Scott Russell Sanders, "Voyageurs"

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?

Very few could sing the sad songs like George Jones. Ol' Possum left us the other day, just thought I'd pay my respects by posting a video.

Emerson: On Thoreau

(Photo Credit: Catherine Hall, http://www.shepherd.edu/transweb/waldenpond.htm)
[One of the weapons] with which he conquered all obstacles in science was patience. He knew how to sit immovable, a part of the rock he rested on, until the bird, the reptile, the fish, which had retired from him, should come back, and resume its habits, nay, moved by curiosity, should come to him and watch him.                                        --R. W. Emerson, from "Thoreau"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Two Lines from Wiman's "One Time"

(Image credit: http://www.canyondechelly.net/)

To believe is to believe you have been torn
from the abyss, yet stand waveringly on its rim.

                                              --Christian Wiman, "One Time" from Every Riven Thing

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Holding Hand

Too many nights spent at work. Submitting this to dVerse Open Link Night, in the sincere hope that I'll have the leisure to read and comment this week. Come join us!

The Holding Hand

The holding hand
knows its happiness—
a woody bourbon;
a well-made tool;
or the warm secrets
of your body,
late at night.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

An Oldie but a Goodie: Joe Cocker

I told one of my daughters that I'd put this on my blog. Joe Cocker singing his heart out at Woodstock, and someone having fun with captions. Enjoy!


Another poem about birds. And common miracles. And other stuff. Submitted to dVerse OpenLinkNight.


And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning,
and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

Through the open window
I hear the titmice pecking
the seeds held firmly
in their feet, coat-button
eyes and electrified tuft
giving them the look
of habitual astonishment,
like old ladies who pluck
their eyebrows into
overturned vees.

Nothing really surprises them,
though, not even when I swing open
the storm door to take out
the trash; they drop
their meal and dart away, scolding
me from the top
of the crape myrtle, glad
for the chance to dramatize
a non-event.

Inverting the miracle
of Elijah’s food-bearing ravens,
they return a moment later
for a fresh seed.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

More Emerson: There Are Doubts

It stands in [the Sceptic's] mind that our life in the world is not of quite so easy interpretations as churches and schoolbooks say. He does not wish to take ground against these benevolences, to play the part of the devil's attorney, and blazon every doubt and sneer that darkens the sun for him. But he says, There are doubts.

--R. W. Emerson, from "Montaigne; or, the Sceptic"

Friday, April 12, 2013

John Keats: Trivia

My day off. Woke up late (didn't go to bed until 3:30 am, so it's excusable), read a little, installed a new light fixture in the dining room. The old one went out a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't been home much, so the wife and kids have been eating supper in the dark. Anyway, I've been reading some in Keats today, and found this little piece that I enjoyed much, published under the heading Trivia:
I am as brisk
As a bottle of Wisk-
Ey and as nimble
As a Milliner's thimble.

Emerson: Expecting Nothing

I compared notes with one of my friends who expects everything of the universe, and is disappointed when anything is less than the best, and I found that I begin at the other extreme, expecting nothing, and am always full of thanks for moderate goods. I accept the clangor and jangle of contrary tendencies. 

--R. W. Emerson, from "Experience"

Thursday, April 11, 2013

To Drive Us Mad--Candide


          "But what was this world created for?" asked Candide.
          "To drive us mad," replied Martin.
          "You remember that story I told you," continued Candide, "about the love of those two Oreillon girls for their monkeys. Doesn't that astonish you?"
          "Not at all," said Martin. "I don't see anything strange in an infatuation like that. I have seen so many extraordinary things, that nothing is extraordinary any longer."
          "Do you think," said Candide, "that men have always massacred each other, as they do to-day, that they have always been false, cozening, faithless, ungrateful, thieving, weak, inconstant, mean-spirited, envious, greedy, drunken, miserly, ambitious, bloody, slanderous, debauched, fanatic, hypocritical, and stupid?"
          "Do you think," said Martin, "that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they could find them?"
          "Of course I do," said Candide.
          "Well," said Martin, "if hawks have always had the same character, why should you suppose that men have changed theirs?"
          "Oh, but there's a great difference," said Candide; "for Free 
Will . . ."
          They were still talking when the ship reached Bordeaux.

--from Voltaire's Candide

Friday, April 5, 2013

Julie Fowlis: Blackbird (Lon-dubh)

Julie Fowlis. I could listen to her for hours--in fact, I admit that I have done such a thing. Here she sings a Scots Gaelic rendition of the Beatles song "Blackbird."