The perfect fertile soil for my 2012 resolutions to blossom…
Thank you, Abba.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
~Joyce Kilmer, “Trees,” 1914
Above the water and against the mountain the geese fly through the brushed darkness of the early morning and out into the light, they travel over my immovable house with such unison of faith and with such assurance toward the south cresting the mountains and the long coast of a continent as they move each year toward a horizon they have learned to call their own.
I know this house, and this horizon, and this world I have made. I know this silence and the particular treasures and terrors of this belonging but I cannot know the world to which I am going. I have only this breath and this presence for my wings and they carry me in my body whatever I do from one hushed moment to another.
I know my innocence and I know my unknowing but for all my successes I go through life like a blind child who cannot see, arms outstretched trying to put together a world. And the world works on my behalf catching me in its arms when I go too far. I don’t know what I could have done to have earned such faith.
But what of all the others and the bitter lovers and the ones who were not held? Life turns like a slow river and suddenly you are there at the edge of the water with all the rest and the fire carries the feast and the laughter and in the darkness away from the fire the unspoken griefs that still make togetherness but then just as suddenly it has become a fireless friendless night again and you find yourself alone and you must speak to the stars or the rain-filled clouds or anything at hand to find your place.
When you are alone you must do anything to believe and when you are abandoned you must speak with everything you know and everything you are in order to belong. If I have no one to turn to I must claim my aloneness. If I cannot speak I must reclaim the prison of my body. If I have only darkness I must claim the night.
And then, even in the closest dark the world can find me and if I have honor enough for the place in which it finds me I will know it is speaking to me and where I must go.
Watching the geese go south I find that even in silence and even in stillness and even in my home alone without a thought or a movement I am part of a great migration that will take me to another place. And though all the things I love may pass away and the great family of things and people I have made around me will see me go, I feel them living in me like a great gathering ready to reach a greater home.
When one thing dies all things die together, and must live again in a different way, when one thing is missing everything is missing, and must be found again in a new whole and everything wants to be complete, everything wants to go home and the geese traveling south are like the shadow of my breath flying into the darkness on great heart-beats to an unknown land where I belong. This morning they have found me, full of faith, like a blind child, nestled in their feathers, following the great coast of the wind to a home I cannot see.
~David Whyte from his book of poems the “House of Belonging”
“The Mending Wall” – Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)