Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Sowing of Meanings

by Thomas Merton

See the high birds! Is theirs the song
That flies among the wood-light
Wounding the listener with such bright arrows?
Or do they play in wheeling silences
Defining in the perfect sky
The bounds of (here below) our solitude,

Where spring has generated lights of green
To glow in clouds upon the sombre branches?
Ponds full of sky and stillness
What heavy summer songs still sleep
Under the tawny rushes at your brim?

More than a season will be born here, nature,
In your world of gravid mirrors!
The quiet air awaits one note,
One light, one ray and it will be the angels' spring:
One flash, one glance upon the shiny pond, and then
Asperges me! sweet wilderness, and lo! we are redeemed!

For, like a grain of fire
Smouldering in the heart of every living essence
God plants His undivided power--
Buries His thoughts too vast for worlds
In seed and root and blade and flower.

Until, in the amazing light of April,
Surcharging the religious silence of the spring,
Creation finds the pressure of His everlasting secret
Too terrible to bear.

Then every way we look, lo! rocks and trees
Pastures and hills and streams and birds and firmament
And our own souls within us flash, and shower us with light,
While the wild countryside, unknown, unvisited of men,
Bears sheaves of clean, transforming fire.

And then, oh then the written image, schooled in sacrifice,
The deep united threeness printed in our being,
Shot by the brilliant syllable of such an institution, turns within,
And plants that light far down into the heart of darkness and oblivion,
Dives after, and discovers flame.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Peace of Wild Things

by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Thought of Something Else

by Wendell Berry

A spring wind blowing
the smell of the ground
through the intersections of traffic,
the mind turn, seeks a new
nativity--another place,
simpler, less weighted
by what has already been.

Another place!
it's enough to grieve me--
that old dream of going,
of becoming a better man
just by getting up and going to a better place.

The mystery. The old
unaccountable folding.
The iron trees in the park
suddenly remember forests.
It becomes possible to think of going.

--a place where thought
can take its shape
as quietly in the mind
as water in a pitcher,

or a man can be
safely without thought
--see the day begin
and lean back,
a simple wakefulness filling
the spaces among the leaves.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


by Luci Shaw

God dug his seed
into dry dark earth.
After a pushing up
in hopeful birth
and healing bloom
and garland grace
he buried it again
in a darker place

Twice rudely-planted seed,
root, rise in me
and grow your green again,
your fruited tree

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

by William Wordsworth

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:
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,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.