Tuesday, December 28, 2010

listen

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Death stands above me, whispering low
I know not what into my ear:

Of his strange language all I know
Is, there is not a word of fear.


~ Walter Savage Landor
(1775-1864)


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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Glass Microbiology

 

HIV sculpture


Editions of this work are on display in The Wellcome Collection, London,  Bristol City Museum and the Corning Museum, New York. One edition was auctioned for the HIV/Aids Charity AVERT, raising money for victims in South Africa.

A letter from a stranger received Sept '09.......

Dear Luke,
I just saw a photo of your glass sculpture of HIV.
I can't stop looking at it. Knowing that millions of those guys are in me, and will be a part of me for the rest of my life. Your sculpture, even as a photo, has made HIV much more real for me than any photo or illustration I've ever seen. It's a very odd feeling seeing my enemy, and the eventual likely cause of my death, and finding it so beautiful.
Thankyou.
 
read full article at:


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Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Deer



You never know.
The body of night opens
like a river, it drifts upward like white smoke,

like so many wrappings of mist.
And on the hillside two deer are walking along
just as though this wasn't

the owned, tilled earth of today
but the past.
I did not see them the next day, or the next,

but in my mind's eye -
there they are, in the long grass,
like two sisters.

This is the earnest work. Each of us is given
only so many mornings to do it -
to look around and love

the oily fur of our lives,
the hoof and the grass-stained muzzle.
Days I don't do this

I feel the terror of idleness,
like a red thirst.
Death isn't just an idea.

When we die the body breaks open
like a river;
the old body goes on, climbing the hill.


~ Mary Oliver



image: Bart Elder


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


 



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Life is a great sunrise.

I do not see why death should not be
an even greater one.



–Vladimir Nabokov





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Monday, November 22, 2010

Courage



Give us courage, gaiety and the quiet mind.

Spare us to our friends, soften to us our enemies.

Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavors.

If it may not, give us the strength to encounter
that which is to come, that we be brave in peril,
constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath,

and in all changes of fortune and down to the gates
of death, loyal and loving to one another.


~ Robert Louis Stevenson

(Prayers Written At Vailima)



image: Gregory Colbert, Ashes and Snow


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Friday, November 12, 2010

November



After three days of steady rain -
over two inches said the radio -
I follow the example of monks
who write by a window, sunlight on the page.

Five times this morning,
I loaded a wheelbarrow with wood
and steered it down the hill to the house,
and later I will cut down the dead garden

with a clippers and haul the soft pulp
to a grave in the woods,
but now there is only
my sunny page which is like a poem

I am covering with another poem
and the dog asleep on the tiles,
her head in her paws,
her hind legs played out like a frog.

How foolish it is to long for childhood,
to want to run in circles in the yard again,
arms outstretched,
pretending to be an airplane.

How senseless to dread whatever lies before us
when, night and day, the boats,
strong as horses in the wind,
come and go,

bringing in the tiny infants
and carrying away the bodies of the dead.

~ Billy Collins 






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Thursday, November 11, 2010

blessing

 
 
I pray that you will have the blessing of being consoled and
sure about your own death.

 
May you know in your soul that there is no need to be afraid.
 
When your time comes, may you be given every blessing
and shelter that you need.

 
May there be a beautiful welcome for you in the
home that you are going to.

 
You are not going somewhere strange.
You are going back to the home that you never left.

 
May you have a wonderful urgency to live your life to the full.
 
May you live compassionately and creatively and transfigure
everything that is negative within you and about you.

 
When you come to die may it be after a long life.

May you be peaceful and happy and in the presence of
those who really care for you.

 
May your going be sheltered and your welcome assured.

May your soul smile in the embrace of your anam cara.


  
~ John O’Donohue
 
 
(© John O'Donohue. All rights reserved.)

for more: johnodonohue.com


via: sacred graffiti
 
 
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

sorrow

 

 

Live with the beetle, and the wind

 

When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world.
Notice something you have never noticed before,

like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.

Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water-sparks from its wings.

Let grief be your sister, she will whether or not.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.

A lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.

Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.

In the glare of your mind, be modest.
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.

Live with the beetle, and the wind.


~ Mary Oliver
(excerpt from The Leaf and the Cloud: A Poem)



sculpture: Antony Gormley

Photographer’s Note

It must first be said that this shot was taken at the Sydney biennale, an art festival held yearly.
One of the works of art was this one from the Artist Antony Gormley (antonygormley.com)
It is called Asien fields and was made by 500 Assitants in the Xianxian village, Guangzhou in January 2003. 

It consists of 125tonnes of gritty black clay.

It was one of the most astounding sights I have ever seen.
The top floor was filled with these small hand made figures, all of which only spanned 20cm in height.
I know it seems strange but I felt as if the figures saw some major fault in all of us that stood there... and they sympathized.

 

It was a great work and I wanted to share it with you.
Hope you enjoy:)

Cato



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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

death as a form of creation


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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

the way I go





3.

 
In a mist of light
falling with the rain
I walk this ground
of which dead men
and women I have loved
are part, as they
are part of me. 

In earth,
in blood, in mind,
the dead and living
into each other pass,
as the living pass
in and out of loves
as stepping to a song.
The way I go is
marriage to this place,
grace beyond chance,
love's braided dance
covering the world.



–Wendell Berry

The Wheel




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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Visiting the Graveyard



When I think of death
it is a bright enough city,
and every year more faces there
are familiar

but not a single one
notices me,
though I long for it,
and when they talk together,

which they do
very quietly,
it's in an unknowable language -
I can catch the tone

but understand not a single word -
and when I open my eyes
there's the mysterious field, the beautiful trees.
There are the stones.


- Mary Oliver
Red Bird 


via  whisky river



image
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Heron Rises



So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself--
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn't a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.


~ Mary Oliver



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Monday, September 20, 2010

my love is building a building





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my love is building a building
around you,a frail slippery
house,a strong fragile house
(beginning at the singular beginning

of your smile)a skilful uncouth
prison,a precise clumsy
prison(building thatandthis into Thus,
Around the reckless magic of your mouth)

my love is building a magic,a discrete
tower of magic and(as i guess)

when Farmer Death(whom fairies hate)shall

crumble the mouth-flower fleet
He’ll not my tower,
laborious, casual

where the surrounded smile
hangs

breathless


–E. E. Cummings




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image: Peter O'Malley,
www.ridgewoodcameraclub.org





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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Moonlight: Chickens On The Road


Called out of dream by the pitch and screech,   
I awoke to see my mother’s hair
set free of its pincurls, springing out
into the still and hurtling air
above the front seat and just as suddenly gone.   
The space around us twisted,
and in the instant before the crash
I heard the bubbling of the chickens,
the homely racket they make at all speeds,   
signifying calm, resignation, oblivion.

And I listened. All through the slash
and clatter, the rake of steel, shatter of glass,   
I listened, and what came
was a blizzard moan in the wind, a wail   
of wreckage, severed hoses and lives,
a storm of loose feathers, and in the final   
whirl approximating calm, the cluck   
and fracas of the birds. I crawled
on hands and knees where a window should   
have been and rose uneven

in November dusk. Wind blew
a snow of down, and rows of it quivered along   
the shoulder. One thin stream of blood
oozed, flocked in feathers.
This was in the Ozarks, on a road curving miles   
around Missouri, and as far as I could
see, no light flickered through the timber,   
no mail box leaned the flag
of itself toward pavement, no cars
seemed ever likely to come along.

So I walked, circled the darkening disaster   
my life had come to, and cried.
I cried for my family there,
knotted in the snarl of metal and glass;   
for the farmer, looking dead, half in
and half out of his windshield; and for myself,   
ambling barefoot through the jeweled debris,   
glass slitting little blood-stars in my soles,   
my arm hung loose at the elbow
and whispering its prophecies of pain.

Around and around the tilted car
and the steaming truck, around the heap
of exploded crates, the smears and small hunks   
of chicken and straw. Through
an hour of loneliness and fear
I walked, in the almost black of Ozark night,   
the moon just now burning into Missouri. Behind me,   
the chickens followed my lead,
some fully upright, pecking

the dim pavement for suet or seed,
some half-hobbled by their wounds, worthless wings   
fluttering in the effort. The faintest
light turned their feathers phosphorescent,
and as I watched they came on, as though they believed   
me some savior, some highwayman
or commando come to save them the last night   
of their clucking lives. This, they must have
believed, was the end they’d always heard of,
this the rendering more efficient than the axe,

the execution more anonymous than
a wringing arm. I walked on, no longer crying,
and soon the amiable and distracted chattering came   
again, a sound like chuckling, or the backward suck   
of hard laughter. And we walked   
to the cadence their clucking called,   
a small boy towing a cloud around a scene   
of death, coming round and round   
like a dream, or a mountain road,   
like a pincurl, like pulse, like life.


~ Robert Wrigley


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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hay for the Horses

 
 
He had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous Mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
behind the barn.
 

With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the
sweaty shirt and shoes.
 

At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
---The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds---
"I'm sixty-eight" he said,
"I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
 

I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life.
And dammit, that's just what
I've gone and done."



~ Gary Snyder




image: Charles Draper, efn.org/~fotozone/pzcd.htm


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Friday, August 13, 2010

Father

 
 
Today you would be ninety-seven
if you had lived, and we would all be

miserable, you and your children,

driving from clinic to clinic,

an ancient fearful hypochondriac

and his fretful son and daughter,

asking directions, trying to read

the complicated, fading map of cures.


But with your dignity intact
you have been gone for twenty years,

and I am glad for all of us, although

I miss you every day—the heartbeat

under your necktie, the hand cupped

on the back of my neck, Old Spice

in the air, your voice delighted with stories.


On this day each year you loved to relate
that the moment of your birth

your mother glanced out the window

and saw lilacs in bloom. Well, today

lilacs are blooming in side yards

all over Iowa, still welcoming you.


 
~ Ted Kooser


 
image: helderweb.com


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Friday, August 6, 2010

one more day


 


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It is almost Spring again.

At the wood's edge the redbird
sings his happiest note: sweet,
sweet, sweet, sweet.

And you who have left this
world forever have been gone
one more day.


–Wendell Berry



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Wendy Vaugn
animal-art.com
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Journey

 

Above the mountains
the geese turn into
the light again
Painting their
black silhouettes
on an open sky.
 

Sometimes everything
has to be
enscribed across
the heavens
so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.
 

Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that
small, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.
 

Sometimes with
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out
someone has written
something new
in the ashes of your life.
 

You are not leaving
you are arriving.



~ David Whyte






image: www.panhala.net


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Saturday, July 3, 2010

if (and when)roses complain



i shall imagine life
is not worth dying,if

(and when)roses complain

their beauties are in vain

but though mankind persuades
itself that every weed's

a rose,roses(you feel

certain)will only smile



~ Edward Estlin Cummings


image: oppositerules.files.wordpress.com


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Saturday, June 26, 2010

mercy






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A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth.
A courageous man went and rescued the bear.
There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save
anyone who cries out. Like Mercy itself,
they run toward the screaming.

And they can't be bought off.
If you were to ask one of those, "Why did you come
so quickly?" he or she would say, "Because I heard
your helplessness."

Where lowland is,
that's where water goes. All medicine wants
is pain to cure.

And don't just ask for one mercy.
Let them flood in. Let the sky open under your feet.
Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton
of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music.

Push the hair out of your eyes.
Blow the phlegm from your nose,
and from your brain.

Let the wind breeze through.
Leave no residue in yourself from that bilious fever.
Take the cure for impotence,
that your manhood may shoot forth,
and a hundred new beings come of your coming.

Tear the binding from around the foot
of your soul, and let it race around the track
in front of the crowd. Loosen the knot of greed
so tight on your neck. Accept your new good luck.

Give your weakness
to one who helps.

Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.
A nursing mother, all she does
is wait to hear her child.

Just a little beginning-whimper,
and she's there.

God created the child, that is your wanting,
so that it might cry out, so that milk might come.

Cry out! Don't be stolid and silent
with your pain. Lament! And let the milk
of loving flow into you.

The hard rain and wind
are ways the cloud has
to take care of us.

Be patient.
Respond to every call
that excites your spirit.

Ignore those that make you fearful
and sad, that degrade you
back toward disease and death. 


–Rumi





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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sabbaths 1998, VI

 

By expenditure of hope,
Intelligence, and work,
You think you have it fixed.
It is unfixed by rule.
Within the darkness, all
Is being changed, and you
Also will be changed.

Now I recall to mind
A costly year: Jane Kenyon,
Bill Lippert, Philip Sherrard,
All in the same spring dead,
So much companionship
Gone as the river goes.

And my good workhorse Nick
Dead, who called out to me
In his conclusive pain
To ask my help. I had
No help to give. And flood
Covered the cropland twice.
By summer's end there are
No more perfect leaves.

But won't you be ashamed
To count the passing year
At its mere cost, your debt
Inevitably paid?
For every year is costly,
As you know well. Nothing
Is given that is not
Taken, and nothing taken
That was not first a gift.

The gift is balanced by
Its total loss, and yet,
And yet the light breaks in,
Heaven seizing its moments
That are at once its own
And yours. The day ends
And is unending where
The summer tanager,
Warbler, and vireo
Sing as they move among
Illuminated leaves.

~ Wendell Berry
(Given)


image tbradford, flickr.com

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