As Long as we have Beauty

Today is the penultimate eve of the new presidency. Like many, I have great fears for our future. Not only does idea of a horrible world leader terrify me, but the new reign of greed, well, that terrifies me as well.

These are scary times.

Yes, it is also a time of action.

Many are drawn to march and serve in public office, which is awesome.

There are other ways to fight against the hate.

As long as we can create, we can move forward.

We can create beauty, and as long as we have beauty, we have hope.

As long as we appreciate the beauty, we have hope.

And I hope to create beauty in truth through the characters and worlds I create.

Here’s something beautiful from one of my favorite composers. It’s worth a listen when the news is getting you down.

 

From “The Infinite”

From “The Infinite”


So with my mind I encompass an eternity,
And the seasons die, and the present lives
In that sound. And in the middle of all that
Immensity, my thought drowns itself:
Sweet to me, to be shipwrecked in this sea.

—Giacamo Leopardi, translated by Richard Jackson

Darkness and Light

This is the time of year where the sun sits low in the sky and rain falls sometimes ceaselessly.

So much bad news in recent weeks and too many deaths.

It’s easy to fall into the darkness.

Yet, it’s not my nature to do so.

I find light in unusual places.

img_5286

Moments of sunshine

img_5263

and comfort when everything else feels chaotic and unsure.

img_5334

 

“Yet the lilac with mastering odor holds me”

Wait!

The lilacs are blooming!

It seems to early, but we had a mild winter.

IMG_4951I want time to stop. With the cherry tree blossoms just about to drop and the lilacs just opening, this phase of spring sings perfection.

In an American literature course a million years ago we read poetry. When we analyzed Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” we discussed the theme of grief and considered the pastoral elements in the poem.

What about the lilacs?

“Have you ever smelled lilacs?” Dr. Chianese, our professor, asked us.

Most of us had not. We were Los Angeles types moved by scent of jasmine and orange blossoms. We had no source of reference.

I now understand Dr. Chianese’s question, for the scent of a lilac is truly exquisite, ephemeral, and unique. The short space of time when Whitman contemplated the death of President Lincoln, and I rejoice in the rebirth of the garden.

 

IMG_4952

 

Spring Poem

I don’t remember a time when the daffodils have bloomed this early, yet they are are blooming now on Orcas.

In honor of my favorite season, here’s a poem I wrote a couple of years ago.

 

Daffodils

 

Destiny

is when the muddy yard turns from the snap of winter

Green fingers push through, reaching with fat thumbs

of promised golden blossom.

 

How does the green know?

Like actors waiting in the wing for the cue

of sunlight cast on mud

the volume of birdsong crescendo

the fingers open

cups to hold

the first sleepy bees of the year.

 

REMINDERS about WEEKLY POEMS: If you decide to use my poem somewhere, please let me know, credit the author, and link it back to my website. Thank you!

Weekly Poem 12-22-15 The Black Forest

The Black Forest

 

Birds speak like children eager to be heard

Louder and louder until one dominates the conversation

Where water rushes, eager

to reach the end.

 

Here, where a woman is digging

her old body heaving shovels

of cow scent earth. She

pauses looking at her black land

her house, the upper level a barn

to keep her warm.

 

Nearby, a chapel sits, the

doll’s house model of the baroque

twin towers in the village.

A crucifix hangs on the door

White against the trees

Rangy pines, darken

into shadows.

 

And I think of the person

who planted these,

I imagine it was you

who crept between

the logging machines,

pushing seeds down with your thumb.

 

I try to remember when

these forests touched

in every walking place.

I close my eyes

And you are not here,

 

Yet I know,

I know the sky’s color

Would race down

and embrace us

like it has for us

in spaces before.

(from 1988)

This is a poem I wrote while in the Black Forest in Germany. The speaker is an immortal being returning to place of significance. It’s also a poem about missing someone I wanted with me on my travels.

REMINDERS about WEEKLY POEMS: If you decide to use my poem somewhere, please let me know, credit the author, and link it back to my website. Thank you!