Saturday, July 6, 2024

 "1383" by Emily Dickinson

Dickinson, Emily. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Boston, Mass., Little, Brown, 1960.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

“After School”

by W.S. Merwin

For a long time I wanted

to get out of that school

where I had been sent

for the best

I thought of climbing

down the vine

outside the window

at night

after the watchman

had turned the corner

to the boiler room

in the sweet autumn dark

I wanted to slip

through the still dining hall

and down the cellar stairs

in the girls’ wing

where I had set the waltzing

in the first book

of War and Peace

I would pass unseen in that crowd

into the cellar

and the secret door to the steam pipes

and under the street

to the swimming pool

I would have persuaded

a girl I liked

to meet me there

and we would swim whispering

because of the echoes

while the light from the street

shone through its frosted windows

like the light of the moon

all down the hot room

where the sound of the water

made the heart beat loud

to think of it

but I never

got away then

and when I think now

of following that tunnel

there is a black wolf

tied there waiting

a thin bitch

who snaps at my right hand

but I untie her

and we find our way

out of there as one

and down the street


nobody in sight at that hour

everything closed

behind us

Source: The Rain in the Trees (Alfred A. Knopf, 1988)

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

"The Wild Geese"

by Wendell Berry

Horseback on Sunday morning,

harvest over, we taste persimmon

and wild grape, sharp sweet

of summer’s end. In time’s maze

over fall fields, we name names

that went west from here, names

that rest on graves. We open

a persimmon seed to find the tree

that stands in promise,

pale, in the seed’s marrow.

Geese appear high over us,

pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,

as in love or sleep, holds

them to their way, clear,

in the ancient faith: what we need

is here. And we pray, not

for new earth or heaven, but to be

quiet in heart, and in eye

clear. What we need is here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Winslow Homer, Fox Hunt, 1893. Oil on canvas. 38 x 68.5 in. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

by W.S. Merwin

Comet of stillness princess of what is over
       high note held without trembling without voice without sound
aura of complete darkness keeper of the kept secrets
       of the destroyed stories the escaped dreams the sentences
never caught in words warden of where the river went
       touch of its surface sibyl of the extinguished
window onto the hidden place and the other time
       at the foot of the wall by the road patient without waiting
in the full moonlight of autumn at the hour when I was born
       you no longer go out like a flame at the sight of me
you are still warmer than the moonlight gleaming on you
       even now you are unharmed even now perfect
as you have always been now when your light paws are running
       on the breathless night on the bridge with one end I remember you
when I have heard you the soles of my feet have made answer
       when I have seen you I have waked and slipped from the calendars
from the creeds of difference and the contradictions
       that were my life and all the crumbling fabrications
as long as it lasted until something that we were
       had ended when you are no longer anything
let me catch sight of you again going over the wall
       and before the garden is extinct and the woods are figures
guttering on a screen let my words find their own
       places in the silence after the animals

Source: The Vixen (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996)

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Ko Aung Myo Min reps Things Is Cool. He's the Human Rights Minister in Myanmar's opposition National Unity Government. It works in exile or in hiding in response to the February 1, 2021, coup that deposed an elected civilian government and installed army leader Min Aung Hlaing.

Friday, November 13, 2020


As far as surfing edits go, it doesn't get better than this Sam Smith/Wade Carroll film. Style master Michael February's wave riding pairs brilliantly with the music of local musicians Stevo Atambire, Faso Folly Band, and Aborigines Band. Images and sound recorded in West Africa.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

"We can be severe judges of ourselves when it is in no way warranted. A misplaced sense of responsibility can be a debilitating thing. . . . You have a conscience, and a conscience is a valuable attribute, but not if it begins to make you think you're to blame for what is far beyond the scope of your responsibility" (Roth, 102-104).