Tuesday, September 24, 2013

breathe on the world

Please think about this as you go on. Breathe on the world.
Hold out your hands to it. When morning and evenings
roll along, watch how they open and close, how they
invite you to the long party that your life is.

- William Stafford

The poem is not the world.
It isn’t even the first page of the world.

But the poem wants to flower, like a flower.
It knows that much.

It wants to open itself,
like the door of a little temple,
so that you might step inside and be cooled and refreshed,
and less yourself than part of everything.

- Mary Oliver, from “Flare” in The Leaf and the Cloud

Rummaging the internet this morning, came across the Hoagland poem again, which I posted here some time ago. A simple enough poem, but one that resonates. Reminding me that even the word, sunlight, is beautiful. That even if others don't put such things on their to do list, it's okay if I do.

The Word

by Tony Hoagland

Down near the bottom
of the crossed-out list
of things you have to do today,

between "green thread"
and "broccoli," you find
that you have penciled "sunlight."

Resting on the page, the word
is beautiful. It touches you
as if you had a friend

and sunlight were a present
he had sent from someplace distant
as this morning—to cheer you up,

and to remind you that,
among your duties, pleasure
is a thing

that also needs accomplishing.
Do you remember?
that time and light are kinds

of love, and love
is no less practical
than a coffee grinder

or a safe spare tire?
Tomorrow you may be utterly
without a clue,

but today you get a telegram
from the heart in exile,
proclaiming that the kingdom

still exists,
the king and queen alive,
still speaking to their children,

—to any one among them
who can find the time
to sit out in the sun and listen.

Yesterday I picked some of the last of the roses. There are still a few out in the front yard which I'll leave for the neighbour's to look at. (I'm not sure if the neighbours care about such things, but perhaps).

My usual props - the stone bowls, the books. But the light is always different. And it was on my to do list. And there was pleasure in it, the photographing. It was a way of holding my hands out to the world. Which some days seems a reasonable thing to do, though others think you're wasting your time.


  1. Beautiful earthy simplicity to your images- I leave a few roses for my neighbors too :)

  2. A beautiful, beautiful blog! A treasure-trove of image and words. Thank you so much for posting,and I'm so glad I stumbled upon here today, it has provided exactly the illumination & inspiration I was in search of! Wonderful.

    1. Glad you found CT :) Thanks for stopping by Siobhán!


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