Thursday, December 18, 2014

"He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls."
The Eagle
This eagle was was far from crags and oceans, actually it was
asleep in a pasture when we first saw it. Once I started siddling
up it gave me the fish eye. Then a huge flock of hundreds of starlings
appeared they did not mob it they just watched but the eagle had seen
enough and flew away.

"No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still.
The forest knows Where you are.
You must let it find you."
from Lost
By Mary Oliver

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Miraculous. It is as though the world
were a great writing. Having said so much,
let us allow there is more to the world
than writing: continental faults are not
bare convoluted fissures in the brain.
Not only must the skaters soon go home;
also the hard inscription of their skates
is scored across the open water, which long
remembers nothing, neither wind nor wake."

                                 from Writing
                                    by Howard Nemerov
Some photos of a fellow traveler I meet one morning as
I strolled along the lane at our cabin. Reptiles and Amphibians
have always had a fascination for me and in this area of
Saskatchewan the Garter Snake, the Plains Toad and the
Tiger Salamander are the species I am most likely to
encounter. I have meet Tiger Salamanders in some fairly 
dry windy areas of Alberta, which quite surprised me
and I am very happy to see them here. Hopefully I can get
to know them better when I can spend more time at the cabin.

"When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? "

                                     From The Tyger
                                       By William Blake

Monday, November 17, 2014

"I remember you. You're the one
who lifted your ancient bones
of fossil rock, pulled yourself free
of the strata like a plaster figure
rising from its own mold, became
flesh and feather, took wing,
arrested the sky."
from Stone Bird
by Patttiann Rogers

"here is nine o'clock, harbor-wide,
and a glinting code: promise and warning.
The morning's the size of heaven.

What will you do with it? "
from Long Point Light
Mark Doty                

Sunday, November 2, 2014

When I hear them call
in the morning, before
I am quite awake,
my bed is already traveling
the daily rainbow,
the arc toward evening;
and the birds, leading
their own discreet lives
of hunger and watchfulness,
are with me all the way,
always a little ahead of me
in the long-practiced manner
of unobtrusive guides.

from Why I Need Birds
 by Lisel Mueller


Enchanted is what they were
in the old stories, or if not that,
they were guides and rescuers of the lost,
the lonely, needy young men and women
in the forest we call the world.
That was back in a time
when we all had a common language.    

from   Animals Are Entering Our Lives
 by Lisel Mueller

Saturday, October 25, 2014

"Every morning
the world
is created. 
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---"

from Morning Poem
Mary Oliver

"Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside

this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope

it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe."
from Song of the Builders
by Mary Oliver

Sunday, October 19, 2014

William Stafford
from Youth

“Remember when shadows played
because there were leaves in the wind?
And people came to our door from a land
where stories were real?
Barefood we traveled the roads
all summer. At night we drew pictures
of home with smoke from the chimney.
And we frowned when we read,
so we could understand.”

A few nights ago paging between the Poems of William Stafford’s 
 the Way It Is;  Graywolf Press ( Stories That Could be True
Harpercollins is also excellent, there is some overlap of poems) 
and John Koethe’s North Point North; Harpercollins, some poems 
I love. some not so much, I found two the two accounts of childhood 
I have used in this post. I have been asked why I like poetry so much 
and while reflecting on these choices I came up with the following.

I enjoy the brevity of poems. the beautiful language and imagery, 
their ability to change direction, the freedom from the restrictions 
of (good) fiction like plot, continuity, characterization, point of view. 
Poetry on the other hand easily weaves together memory, sensory 
experience, moods, descriptions, sounds, disparate phrases, points 
of view, changes in tone, dialogue into an instrument that closely 
mimics the way our mind interacts with the world around it, with 
all our changing moods, flashes of memory or nostalgia, moments 
of despair or of epiphany. I see the best poems not as fictional 
narratives but as vessels in which the feelings, the memories, 
the observations and experiences of both the poet and the reader 
combine to allow the reader to examine the world and their
 experiences  within it with fresh insights and understanding.

from From the Porch
by John Koethe

“As though one’s childhood were a small midwestern town

Some forty years ago, before the elm trees died.
September was a modern classroom and the latest cars,
That made a sort of futuristic dream, circa 1955.
The earth was still uncircled. You could set your course
On the day after tomorrow. And children fell asleep
To the lullaby of people murmuring softly in the kitchen,
While a breeze rustled the pages of Life magazine,
And the wicker chairs stood empty on the screened-in porch.”

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"not half a mile from the nearest road,
a spot so hard to reach that no one comes–
a hiding place, a shrine for dragonflies
and nesting jays, a sign that there is still
one piece of property that won't be owned."

from Rough Country

by Dana Gioia 

I have been out of touch for some time. a lost internet connection
some work travel etc. I had hoped to share some photos of our big
Sept. snowstorm but they seem to be misplaced somewhere on the 
computer. So I  will start offering some thoughts and photos from 
our trip to  the cabin in Mid August. A trip across the prairie took 
use past some old farm buildings and a beautiful slough. 

When we finally left the grid road it was a steamy 30 plus Celsius and a
moose came out of the tiny slough next to our lane. 

"A moose has come out of
the impenetrable wood
and stands there, looms, rather,
in the middle of the road.
It approaches; it sniffs at
the bus's hot hood.

Towering, antlerless,
high as a church,
homely as a house
(or, safe as houses).
A man's voice assures us
"Perfectly harmless. . . ."

Some of the passengers
exclaim in whispers,
childishly, softly,
"Sure are big creatures."
"It's awful plain."
"Look! It's a she!"

Taking her time,
she looks the bus over,
grand, otherworldly.
Why, why do we feel
(we all feel) this sweet
sensation of joy?

"Curious creatures,"
says our quiet driver,
rolling his r's.
"Look at that, would you."
Then he shifts gears.
For a moment longer,

by craning backward,
the moose can be seen
on the moonlit macadam;
then there's a dim
smell of moose, an acrid
smell of gasoline. "

from The Moose

Elizabeth Bishop