note: Napa River at the Napa Riverfront
“Dragonflies have the largest eyes in the insect world, with up to 30,000 facets, and wrapping entirely around their head so that they can see in all directions at once. Close up, their eyes have multicolored iridescence, a little reminiscent of the colours on a compact disc, but with a three-dimensional, almost holographic, effect.”
note: taken from the book, A Buzz in the Meadow, The Natural History of a French Farm by Dave Goulson
“Craft and consciousness matter. But a poet’s attention must be open to what is not already understood, decided, weighed out. For a poem to be fully alive, the poet needs to surrender the protection of the known and venture into different relationship with the subject ⎯ or is it object? both words miss ⎯ of her attention. The poet must learn from what dwells outside of her conceptions, capacities, and even language: from exile and silence.”- Jane Hirshfield
note: the passage taken from: Nine Gates, Entering the Mind of Poetry by Jane Hirshfield
I rise early
believing morning will lift
veil of doubt left the night before.
Certain doors are for negotiations, others
open to a cathedral, I
follow a path to the river
along a street , a row of houses,
lawns, well kept, each
with personal signatures: a statue
of Buddha on a pedestal, a grotto
of Virgin Mary, surrounded
by flowers, a boy,looking
so real, playing with a dog,
a small garden of sand and stones,
each expression has its
own origin, own story, meaning.
Walking creates a clearing
“to engage inquiry with curiosity”
each step, a drop of wisdom,
leading to a place
not for a faint heart.
Will you come with me
visit the Tiger’s Nest
walking the path?
note: I just finished reading an exquisite book, The Hare With Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal.
Each day I choose
from among the steepening reminders
of all I have failed to finish, failed to begin.
I open a right-hand cover and read the last page.
Phrases severe and perfect rise before me,
wrung from every extremity of joy and sleek-limbed loss.
Borges, Sinyavsky, Hadewijch, Sappho, Li Po.
More arrive each week, ink sharp as new hunger.
And these are only the books:
the thing already ambered, capable of waiting, turned to words.
note: The poem, Each Day I Choose From Among The Steepening Reminders, is from the book of poems, Given Sugar, Given Salt by Jane Hirshfield
Cherry blossoms brought me to you
we shared umbrella in the rain
walking the same path.
We ran to the waterfalls.
You were listening to Beethoven’s piano sonatas
you called, wanting to share the enchantment
I was oblivious
charmed deep with projects, deadlines, work-frenzy.
Our dinner became hurried, rendevouz shortened
I deferred answers, evaded questions
I was neglecful, filled with busyness
your voice moved farther away and faded.
I didn’t regard “time as love”
I thought saints could listen to pleadings
but some things were irretrievable.
April returns in orbit
cherry blossoms are in bloom
I’m looking at an empty space.
what is in a name
“I love the French names for butterflies, compared to which many of the English names are a little unimaginative; for example the English orange tip is simply descriptive, while the French l’aurore-the dawn-is rather more poetic. What do we call speckled butterfly that lives in the wood? The speckled wood, of course, while to French it is le Tircis, named after a shepherd in a seventeenth-century fable by Jean de la Fontaine.”-Dave Goulson
note: taken from A Buzz in theMeadow, The Natural History of a French Farm by Dave Goulson
“I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.”
-Canto 52, Song of Myself, Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
“Worldly fame is nothing but a gust of wind,
first blowing from one quarter, then another,
changing name with every new direction.”
-Purgaturio XI:100-102, Divine Comedy by Dante Alghieri
note: quoted in How Dante Can Save Your Life by Rod Dreher which I’m currently reading.