Friday, April 3, 2015

" But when I came to stop
Below a hill that marked one end of the valley
That had pierced my heart with terror, I looked up

Toward the crest and saw its shoulders already
Mantled in rays of that bright planet that shows
The road to everyone, whatever our journey.

Then I could feel the terror begin to ease
That churned in my heart's lake all through the night.
As one still panting, ashore from dangerous seas,

Looks back a the deep he has escaped,"

                       Inferno from Canto 1
                                    Dante Pinsky trans.

 Our weather which has been unseasonably warm was 
interrupted by a skiff of winter snow last night. So I took 
these photos while out in the yard with the dogs on the
morning of Good Friday. My poetry selections are made
because I remember something that seems apt or because
I am reading some particular work at the time. Today
it is both, I have several translation, courses etc of Dante's
Divine Comedy and have been collecting
materials on him for years. So this afternoon while 
looking through Pinsky's translation I found a passage
 that seemed to fit my present mood. Eventually
it occurred to me that Dante sets the first Canto of the 
Inferno  on Good Friday of the year 1300. These connections
are one of the great joys that literature can bring to my life.
It was while looking through Longfellow's note to his translation
that I found the passage below on one of the end pages of my  
Routledge edition.

"How strange the sculptures that adorn these towers!
This crowd of statues, in whose folded sleeves
Birds build their nests; while canopied with leaves
Parvis and portal bloom like trellised bowers,
And the vast minster seems a cross of flowers!"

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Sunday, March 29, 2015

"When you wake to the dream of now
from night and its other dream,
you carry day out of the dark
like a flame."

                      from The Dream of Now
                             by William Stafford

Still no current photos so I found some from a
Sept. walk to the pond in the Research Park. 
Leaves on water, a theme I have loved since I
received Eliot Porter's book In Wildness is the
Preservation of the World.

There have been evenings when the light
has turning everything silver, and like you
I have stopped at a corner and suddenly
staggered with the grace if it all.

                        from Waiting in Line
                           by William Stafford

And every walk, a happy dog.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

"Even in a country you know by heart
it's hard to go the same way twice.
The life of the going changes.
The chances change and make a new way.
Any tree or stone or bird
can be the bud of a new direction."

from Traveling at Home
by Wendell Berry

I have not been taking a lot of pictures lately so I decided to
finish off the photos for our trip to visit friends in Oct.
 I guess I have sort of missed winter this year. I find 
preparing to retire a bit more complex and stressful
than I expected. But all change is that way and by the 
end of April it will be time for new adventures and I 
have to say I am ready.

Again I love the rolling hills and the sky.

A prairie town in autumn, it's history, one snapshot 
in the life of the region, commemorated in a 
few iconic building and some lovely murals.

Looking forward to being an old dog in the sun.

" I know what I valued.
Last night I heard a coyote howling off the ridge
and went to the window.
In the darkness behind the glass
I saw myself, and behind my eyes the stars flew
into the pines."

                              from Last Nickle Ranch: Plains, Montana
                                           by David Bottoms

Friday, February 20, 2015

"Which of the horses
we passed yesterday whinnied
all night in my dreams?
I want that one."

from Stories from Kansas

More photos from our trip in Oct. these are our friends horses.
 All the quotes are from William Stafford's
Stories That Could Be True New and Collected Poems.


"While the earth breaks the soft horizon
eastward, we study how to deserve
what has already been given us."

from Love in the County

"The wild keeps telling us something 
we want to pass on to the world:
Even far things are real.

from Whispered into the Ground

Friday, February 13, 2015

“Trees were so rare in that country, and they had to make such a hard fight to grow, 

that we used to feel anxious about them, and visit them as if they were persons.” 

from My Antonia

 by Willa Cather

My latest photos are from a trip to visit our friends that live in Southern 
Alberta. They live in the true prairie in an area fringed by the nearby 
Drumheller Badlands. And while I love the Aspen Parkland where we 
have built our cabin among the sloughs and the poplars. I will always
 love watching the movement of the clouds, the wind, the shadows,  
the seasons and the migrations that move across the endless sky and 
the vast fields of the open prairie. These photo stem from 
a trip to explore a road cut on the edge of the Badlands.

I am bound to the earth by a web of stories,
just as I am bound to the creation by the very substance and
rhythms of my flesh. By keeping the stories fresh, I keep the places
themselves alive in my imagination. Living in me, borne in mind, these
places make up the landscape on which I stand with familiiarity and 
pleasure, the landscape over which I walk even when my feet are still."

 from Telling the Holy
    by Scott Russell Saunders

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"His beak could open a bottle,
and his eyes - when he lifts their soft lids -
go on reading something
just beyond your shoulder -
Blake, maybe,
or the Book of Revelation.

Never mind that he eats only
the black-smocked crickets,
and the dragonflies if they happen
to be out late over the ponds, and of course
the occasional festal mouse.
Never mind that he is only a memo
from the offices of fear -"

from The Little Owl Who Lives in the Orchard
Mary Oliver

Not so little Great Horned Owl
Hand Hills Alberta Oct 2014

"Where it not for the way you taught me to look
at the world, to see the life at play in everything, 
I would have to be lonely forever.”

from Lights on a Ground of Darkness
Ted Kooser

Thanks Tim

Saturday, February 7, 2015

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

from Burnt Norton
             T.S. Eliot

somewhere in the Hand Hills area, Southern Alberta