my birthday present

my birthday present
My awesome birthday present 1/26/11 (see story under my first post)

Sunday, October 30, 2011


     Kay Ryan

As neatly as peas
in their green canoe,
as discreetly as beads
strung in a row,
sit drops of dew
along a blade of grass.
But unattached and
subject to their weight,
they slip if they accumulate.
Down the green tongue
out of the morning sun
into the general damp,
they're gone.

Yeah, humectation  is the fancy word for dew. 
I enjoy comparing poems on the same topic.


by Robert Morgan

It's something of a mystery,
this minute rain downloading from
the sky so slowly and invisibly
you don't know when it came except
at dusk the grass is suddenly wet,
a visitation from the air,
precipitant from spirit world
of whitest incarnation or
reverse transfiguration, herald
of river, swamp and ocean breath
sent heavenward, released to earth
again to water weed and stone,
and shatter rainbows in the sun,
the purest liquid that exists,
too fine to slake our human thirst.

"Dew" by Robert Morgan, from Terroir
© Penguin Poets, 2011.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Did I Miss Anything?

As a teacher it is so tempting to answer the question “What did I miss?”with one end or the other of these sarcastic replies, but one must show professional restraint.It is fun to imagine though.

Did I Miss Anything?
Tom Wayman

Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

     Everything. I gave an exam worth
     40 percent of the grade for this term
     and assigned some reading due today
     on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
     worth 50 percent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

     Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
     a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
     or other heavenly being appeared
     and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
     to attain divine wisdom in this life and
     the hereafter
     This is the last time the class will meet
     before we disperse to bring the good news to all people
          on earth.

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

     Everything. Contained in this classroom
     is a microcosm of human experience
     assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
     This is not the only place such an opportunity has been
     but it was one place
     And you weren’t here

From Did I Miss Anything? Selected Poems 1973-1993, 1993
Harbour Publishing     

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Mary Oliver

Rain, and then
the cool pursed
lips of the wind
draw them
out of the ground—
red and yellow skulls
pummeling upward
through leaves,
through grasses,
through sand; astonishing
in their suddenness,
their quietude,
their wetness, they appear
on fall mornings, some
balancing in the earth
on one hoof
packed with poison,
others billowing
chunkily, and delicious—
those who know
walk out to gather, choosing
the benign from flocks
of glitterers, sorcerers,
panther caps,
shark-white death angels
in their torn veils
looking innocent as sugar
but full of paralysis:
to eat
is to stagger down
fast as mushrooms themselves
when they are done being perfect
and overnight
slide back under the shining
field of rain.

Mary Oliver, "Mushrooms" from New and Selected Poems, 
Beacon Press 2005

Alan King has a web site    in which he posits that this poem is about racial profiling. I think this is a stretch... but I can see his point. I always find it interesting to see how people interpret poems to fit their view of the world. That is what makes poetry so cool. Here is his quote:

On the surface, “Mushrooms” is a praise poem for the different species of mushrooms the speaker finds “astonishing”. But underneath the “leaves,/ […] grasses,/ […and] sand,” this could be a poem about racial profiling. The mushrooms “packed with poison” are metaphors for people who show aggression. Looking at that metaphor in the context of slavery, the slave owner would’ve considered the rebellious slaves as poisonous mushrooms.

I found dozens of mushrooms popping up through my yard.  I was fascinated to see the forcefulness with which they came up through the ground. Notice the dirt clinging to their "skulls."  


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stand Still

David Wagoneer

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost.  Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
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.        

I took this photo on my property on Friday. We have been so blessed by this week's weather.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Why We Look Into Pools

Why We Look Into Pools
 Lisa Lepovetsky

To reverse the world and sky
in water so clear, so fragile
it lingers on the mossy floor like
smoke before a midwinter moon.
To see depths to the day that
never existed before this moment
ruby and topaz in the afternoon,
glass waiting for you to dive in -
shatter the depths of its silence.

To know something about night in day
and water's thirst and a hunger
so rich and necessary it remains
through the illusion of abundance.
To want to live eternal and green
though the sun curls our edges

and wind blows through our veins.
To drink life deeply into ourselves
deep enough to keep us through winter
and thrust us gasping into spring.

This poem was written by a follower of this blog and a dear friend to many of us. I love Lisa's words because she speaks so beautifully of living life to the fullest. The photos are of Kelly's pond; many of you have been there too.

Notice the new link I've added  about forgiveness. It is a ten minute video, well worth your time! Also I've added two blogs I find very interesting.