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Saturday, 16 June 2012

White birds over the grey river. Scarlet flowers on the green hills...

...I watch the spring go by and wonder
If I shall ever return home.

- Tu Fu

Chinese flute

The days grow long, the mountains beautiful...

...The south wind blows
Over blossoming meadows.
Newly arrived swallows dart
Over the streaming marshes.
Ducks in pairs drowse on the warm sand.

- Tu Fu, 713-770



Sunday, 10 June 2012

...How will it be to lie in the sky...

...without roof or door
and wind for an eye
With cloud for shift
how will I hide?

- May Swenson

Wind sound

Friday, 8 June 2012

In this dark I rest, unready for the light which dawns day after day...

...eager to be shared.
Black silk, shelter me.
I need
more of the night before I open
eyes and heart
to illumination.  I must still
grow in the dark like a root
not ready, not ready at all.

- Denise Levertov


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo...

You might say, "The world outside is vast and intricate.
There are wheatfields and mountain passes, and orchards in bloom.

At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight
the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding."

You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up
in the dark with eyes closed.

         Listen to the answer.

There is no "other world."
I only know what I've experienced.
You must be hallucinating.

- Jelaluddin Rumi 1207- 1273



Hibernation

Stella Maris...



A Mhaighdeann as gile Oh purest of creatures
A Mhoire mhìn mhàthair Sweet Mother, sweet Maid
Nad chomsa na aonar The one spotless womb
Bha 'n Slànair a' tamh Wherein Jesus was laid
Tha 'n oidhche, a Mhoire Dark night, mother
Air tuiteam mun cuairt Hath come down on us
Nach nochd thu do shoillse And we look out for thy shining
Reul àlainn a' Chuain? Sweet Star of the Sea
Reul àlainn a' Chuain Sweet Star of the Sea
Reul àlainn a' Chuain Sweet Star of the Sea
Nach nochd thu do shoillse And we look out for thy shining
Reul àlainn a' Chuain? Sweet Star of the Sea
Tha 'n oidhche le neulaibh Deep night hath come down
A' còmhdach an t-saoghail On this rough-spoken world
Tha bratach an dorchadais And the banners of darkness
Sgaoilt' anns a' ghaoith Are boldly unfurled
Tha 'n Eaglais ga buaireadh And the tempest-tossed Church
'S tha sùil coimhead suas All her eyes are on thee
Nach nochd thu do shoillse They look to thy shining
Reul àlainn a' Chuain? Sweet Star of the Sea
Reul àlainn a' Chuain Sweet Star of the Sea
Reul àlainn a' Chuain Sweet Star of the Sea
Nach nochd thu do shoillse They look to thy shining
Reul àlainn a' Chuain? Sweet Star of the Sea
Bu lèir do Mhac Dè d'anam He gazed on thy soul
Geal 's e gun bheud It was spotless and fair
'S nach tàinig am peacadh For the empire of sin
Na chòir ghabhail seilbh It had never been there
Cha d' bhuin e bho thùs None had e'er owned thee
Ach don Tighearna 's uaisl' Dear Mother, but He
Is choisrig e d' shoillse And He blessed thy clear shining
Reul àlainn a' Chuain Sweet Star of the Sea
Reul àlainn a' Chuain Sweet Star of the Sea
Reul àlainn a' Chuain Sweet Star of the Sea
Is choisrig e d' shoillse And He blessed thy clear shining
Reul àlainn a' Chuain Sweet Star of the Sea
An talamh cha tug Earth gave Him one lodging
Ach aon fhasgadh do Dhia 'Twas deep in thy breast
Am fasgadh sin crìdh' And God found a home
Na h-Òigh' beannaichte, fial Where the sinner finds rest
Bha fàrdach Mhic Dhè His home and His hiding place
Agus fasgadh nan truagh Both were in thee
An soillse do chrìdh'sa He was won by thy shining
Reul àlainn a' Chuain Sweet Star of the Sea
Reul àlainn a' Chuain Sweet Star of the Sea
Reul àlainn a' Chuain Sweet Star of the Sea
Nach nochd thu do shoillse And we look out for thy shining
Reul àlainn a' Chuain? Sweet Star of the Sea
(2x) (2x)
Sweet Star of the Sea

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Ohoho- the father of laughter...

...His eye is full of joy.
He rests in the sky like a swarm of bees.

Obatala- who turns blood into children.

- Yoruba tribe



Yoruba

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing....

...there is a field.  I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.

- Jelaluddin Rumi, 1207-1273


The Day We Die

The day we die
the wind comes down
to take away
our footprints.

The wind makes dust
to cover up
the marks we left
while walking.

For otherwise
the thing would seem
as if we were
still living.

Therefore the wind
is he who comes
to blow away
our footprints.

- Southern Bushmen


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

...I ask my house to exist...

...amazed and icy in the white light,
as one bird halts the silence
and the spent night
stays on in the eyes of the blind.

- J L Borges, Break of Day


Sunday, 15 April 2012

There is no golden afternoon next to the cliff. When the sun went over it at about two o'clock a whispering shade came to the beach. The sycamores rustled in the afternoon breeze...

...Little water snakes slipped down to the rocks and then gently entered the water and swam along through the pool, their heads held up like little periscopes and a tiny wake spreading behind them.  A bog trout jumped in the pool.  The gnats and mosquiotoes which avoid the sun came out and buzzed over the water.  All of the sun bugs, the flies, the dragonflies, the wasps, the hornets, went home.  And as the shadow came to the beach, as the first quail began to call, Mack and the boys awakened...

- John Steinbeck, Cannery Row


Friday, 13 April 2012

In the winter it becomes a torrent, a mean little fierce river, and in summer it is a place for children to wade in and for fishermen to wander in...

...Frogs blink from its banks and the deep ferns grow beside it.   Deer and foxes come to drink from it, secretly in the morning and evening, and now and then a mountain lion crouched flat laps its water...The quail call beside it and the wild doves come whistling in at dusk.  Raccoons pace at its edges looking for frogs.  It's everything a river should be.

- John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

The Carmel is a lovely little river. It isn't very long but in its course it has everything a river should have...

...It rises in the mountains, and tumbles down a while, runs through shallows, is dammed to make a lake, spills over the dam, crackles among round boulders, wanders lazily under sycamores, spills into pools where trout live, drops in against banks where crayfish live...

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row


Friday, 6 April 2012

"Don't you remember what night it is?" he asked. "No. What is it?" "It is St Andrew's Eve..."

...Then the Portagee knew; for this was the night when every paisano who wasn't in jail wandered restlessly through the forest.  This was the night when all buried treasure sent up a faint phosphoresent glow through the ground.  There was plenty of treasure in the woods, too...

- John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flat




Monday, 2 April 2012

"Our Father is in the evening," he thought. "These birds are flying across the forehead of the Father..."

"...Dear birds, dear seagulls, how I love you all.  Your slow wings stroke my heart as the hand of a gentle master strokes the full stomach of a sleeping dog, as the hand of Christ stroked the heads of little children. Dear birds," he thought, "fly to to Our Lady of Sweet Sorrows with my open heart." And then he said the loveliest words he knew: 'Ave Maria, gratia plena-'

- John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flat


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Pilon was a lover of beauty and a mystic. He raised his face into the sky and his soul arose out of him into the sun's afterglow...

...That not too perfect Pilon, who plotted and fought, who drank and cursed, trudged slowly on; but a wistful and shining Pilon went up to the seagulls where they bathed on sensitive wings in the evening.  That Pilon was beautiful, and his thoughts were unstained with selfishness and lust.  And his thoughts are good to know...

- John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flat

It was purple dusk, that sweet time when the day's sleeping is over, and the evening of pleasure and conversation has not begun...

...The pine trees were very black against the sky, and all objects on the ground were obscured with dark; but the sky was as mournfully bright as memory.  The gulls flew lazily home to the sea rocks after a day's visit to the fish canaries of Monterey...

- John Steinbeck, Tortilla Flat


Friday, 30 March 2012

...What is the earth for them? A lake of darkness. It has been swallowed by the night forever...

- Czeslaw Milosz, The Bird Kingdom



...Jugs of gold, red wine is being poured in aspen copper. And an airborne coach carries gifts for the invisible kings or for the bears...

- Czeslaw Milosz, The Excursion to the Forest

Hope is with you when you believe the earth is not a dream but living flesh...

...That sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all things you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate

You cannot enter...

- Czeslaw Milosz, Hope


Ralph Vaughan Williams

See the long shadow that is cast by the tree? We and the flowers throw shadows on the earth. What has no shadow has no strength to live...

- Czeslaw Milosz, Faith

On a poppy seed is a tiny house, dogs bark at the poppy-seed moon, and never, never do those poppy-seed dogs imagine that somewhere there is a world much larger...

- Czeslaw Milosz, A Parable of the Poppy