Monday, September 29, 2014

am i dying?


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jesus answered ...


Truly, truly I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat goes into the ground and dies, it remains nothing but a grain of wheat.

—John 12:24

Friday, September 26, 2014



If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness,
then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.

Our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits.

Tractatus, 6.431


Sunday, September 21, 2014

when i talk to you, excerpt


When the heart
Is cut or cracked or broken
Do not clutch it
Let the wound lie open
Let the wind
From the good old sea blow in
To bathe the wound with salt
And let it sting

Let a stray dog lick it
Let a bird lean in the hole and sing
A simple song like a tiny bell
And let it ring

–Michael Leunig


Saturday, September 20, 2014



Everything needs it: bone, muscles, and even,
while it calls the earth its home, the soul.
So the merciful, noisy machine
stands in our house working away in its
lung-like voice.  I hear it as I kneel
before the fire, stirring with a
stick of iron, letting the logs
lie more loosely.  You, in the upstairs room,
are in your usual position, leaning on your
right shoulder which aches
all day.  You are breathing
patiently; it is a
beautiful sound.  It is
your life, which is so close
to my own that I would not know
where to drop the knife of
separation.  And what does this have to do
with love, except
everything?  Now the fire rises
and offers a dozen, singing, deep-red
roses of flame.  Then it settles
to quietude, or maybe gratitude, as it feeds
as we all do, as we must, upon the invisible gift:
our purest, sweet necessity: the air.

–Mary Oliver


Friday, September 19, 2014

Straight Talk From Fox



Listen says fox it is music to run
over the hills to lick
dew from the leaves to nose along
the edges of the ponds to smell the fat
ducks in their bright feathers but
far out, safe in their rafts of
sleep. It is like
music to visit the orchard, to find
the vole sucking the sweet of the apple, or the
rabbit with his fast-beating heart. Death itself
is a music. Nobody has ever come close to
writing it down, awake or in a dream. It cannot
be told. It is flesh and bones
changing shape and with good cause, mercy
is a little child beside such an invention. It is
music to wander the black back roads
outside of town no one awake or wondering
if anything miraculous is ever going to
happen, totally dumb to the fact of every
moment's miracle. Don't think I haven't
peeked into windows. I see you in all your seasons
making love, arguing, talking about God
as if he were an idea instead of the grass,
instead of the stars, the rabbit caught
in one good teeth-whacking hit and brought
home to the den. What I am, and I know it, is
responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not
give my life for a thousand of yours.

–Mary Oliver


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On The Anniversary of My Death


Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what

–W.S. Merwin


Tuesday, September 16, 2014



I part the out thrusting branches
and come in beneath
the blessed and the blessing trees. 
Though I am silent
there is singing around me. 

Though I am dark
there is vision around me. 

Though I am heavy
there is flight around me.

–Wendell Berry


Saturday, September 13, 2014

from The Story of a Mother


Death walks faster than the wind and never returns what he has taken.

—Hans Christian Andersen


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Death, Leaving the Stream



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

why do we not despair?


Everything is plundered, betrayed, sold,
Death's great black wing scrapes the air,
Misery gnaws to the bone.
Why then do we not despair?

By day, from the surrounding woods,
cherries blow summer into town;
at night the deep transparent skies
glitter with new galaxies.

And the miraculous comes so close
to the ruined, dirty houses --
something not known to anyone at all,
but wild in our breast for centuries.

–Anna Akhmatova
Poems of Akhmatova,
edited and translated by Stanley Kunitz
with Max Hayward


Saturday, September 6, 2014



It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.

Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.
I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
When it comes to dying even.

Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its
celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell.

And of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.

So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.

That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage,
not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered.

–Aldous Huxley

Thursday, September 4, 2014

At a Certain Age


We wanted to confess our sins but there were no takers.
White clouds refused to accept them, and the wind
Was too busy visiting sea after sea.
We did not succeed in interesting the animals.
Dogs, disappointed, expected an order,
A cat, as always immortal, was falling asleep.
A person seemingly very close
Did not care to hear of things long past.
Conversations with friends over vodka or coffee
Ought not to be prolonged beyond the first sign of boredom.
It would be humiliating to pay by the hour
A man with a diploma, just for listening.
Churches. Perhaps churches. But to confess there what?
That we used to see ourselves as handsome and noble
Yet later in our place an ugly toad
Half-opens its thick eyelid
And one sees clearly: “That’s me."

–Czeslaw Milosz