I’m sorry I have been slacking on this blog recently, it has been a crazy couple of weeks. Here are my excuses:
First- we went on vacation to New Mexico where I had very little access to the internet.
Second- mr. mraynes graduated and so now he is dr. mraynes.
Third- we had all sorts of family in town and my attention was diverted.
Fourth- the IT department blocked most of the internet so I can’t update or even read from
Fifth- I have had writer’s block.
Sixth- and anxiety.
Are those good enough? Am I forgiven? I promise that I have a couple of really great posts floating around in my mind, including a suprising weekly wacko. Just bear with me until I get my act together. Until then, here’s a poem that I love.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
(My father recited this poem at our wedding and I have loved it ever since. This has been a crazy week for me; I am in the process of hiring a new employee and I was asked to give a lecture about empowerment that I spent the week preparing for. I’m done with the interviews and the lecture went great so I can think about this blog again. I have a really great weekly wacko that I’ll try to get up tomorrow. Till then, here’s a little love.)
Give me hunger,
O you godes that sit and give
The World its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and want,
Shut me out with shame and failure
From your doors of gold and fame,
Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger!
But leave me a little love,
A voice to speak to me in the day end,
A hand to touch me in the dark room
Breaking the long loneliness.
In the dusk of day-shapes
Blurring the sunset,
One little wandering, western star
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.
Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.
I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes
(Thanks to Caroline for bringing this fantastatic poem to my attention!)
A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here
A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.
It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.
Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay —
A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.
~ The Gift Outright ~
The land was ours before we were the land’s.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people.
She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia.
But we were England’s, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed.
Something we were withholding made us weak.
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
(The deed of gift was many deeds of war)
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.
~ Robert Frost; 1874-1963 ~
Thanksgiving, dark of the moon.
Nothing down here in the underworld but vague shapes and black holes,
Heaven resplendent but virtual
trees stripped and triple-wired like Irish harps.
Lights on Pantops and Free Bridge mirror the eastern sky.
Under the bridge is the river,
the red Rivanna.
Under the river’s redemption, it says in the book,
It says in the book,
Through water and fire the whole place becomes purified,
The visible by the visible, the hidden by what is hidden.
Each word, as someone once wrote, contains the universe.
The visible carries all the invisible on its back.
Tonight, in the unconditional, what moves in the long-limbed grasses,
what touches me
As though I didn’t exist?
What is it that keeps on moving,
a tiny pillar of smoke
Erect on its hind legs,
loose in the hollow grasses?
A word I don’t know yet, a little word, containing infinity,
Noiseless and unrepentant, in sift through the dry grass.
Under the tongue is the utterance.
Under the utterance is the fire, and then the only end of fire.
Only Dante, in Purgatory, casts a shadow,
L’ombra della carne, the shadow of flesh—
everyone else is one.
The darkness that flows from the world’s body, gloomy spot,
Pre-dogs our footsteps, and follows us,
Watching the nouns circle, and watching the verbs circle,
Till one of them enters the left ear and becomes a shadow
Itself, sweet word in the unwaxed ear.
This is a short history of the shadow, one part of us that’s real.
This is the way the world looks
In late November,
no leaves on the trees, no ledge to foil the lightfall.
No ledge in early December either, and no ice,
La Niña unhosing the heat pump
up from the Gulf,
Orange Crush sunset over the Blue Ridge,
No shadow from anything as evening gathers its objects
And eases into earshot.
Under the influx the outtake,
Leon Battista Alberti says,
Some lights are from stars, some from the sun
And moon, and other lights are from fires.
The light from the stars makes the shadow equal to the body.
Light from fire makes it greater,
there, under the tongue, there, under the utterance.
Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair’d in the adamant of Time.
One week is not too soon to learn a very
early language; for your spine to be aware
that a rocking chair means comfort and your wary
nerves want sleep. Nothing will disappear,
forsaking you to vast, fluorescent air
your fists and feet can’t pummel. You shudder
at my kiss, a random bother in your hair.
I tell you this, my loud and little daughter,
you have now all there is: familiar dark,
a blanket’s wings without, warm milk within,
balanced with your head in my hand’s cup
in a second cradle of flesh and sound. We rock
and still you rage. I kiss your hair again.
All right, I whisper, accept, accept and sleep.