Wednesday, May 14, 2014

to be quietly yourself

To That Which is Most Important

by Anna Swir

Were I able to shut
my eyes, ears, legs, hands
and walk into myself
for a thousand years,
perhaps I would reach
- I do not know its name -
what matters most.

How Wonderful

by Irving Feldman

How wonderful to be understood,
to just sit here while some kind person
relieves you of the awful burden
of having to explain yourself, of having
to find other words to say what you meant,
or what you think you thought you meant,
and of the worse burden of finding no words,
of being struck dumb . . . because some bright person
has found just the right words for you—and you
have only to sit here and be grateful
for words so quiet so discerning they seem
not words but literate light, in which
your merely lucid blossoming grows lustrous.
How wonderful that is!

And how altogether wonderful it is
not to be understood, not at all, to, well,
just sit here while someone not unkindly
is saying those impossibly wrong things,
or quite possibly they’re the right things
if you are, which you’re not, that someone
—a difference, finally, so indifferent
it would be conceit not to let it pass,
unkindness, really, to spoil someone’s fun.
And so you don’t mind, you welcome the umbrage
of those high murmurings over your head,
having found, after all, you are grateful
—and you understand this, how wonderful!—
that you’ve been led to be quietly yourself,
like a root growing wise in darkness
under the light litter, the falling words.

This is how it is. At times you will feel as though you've been perfectly understood - what a gift to have friends or to meet people with whom you connect. But you will also be misunderstood, not everyone will 'get' you. That's fine, too. Because this is how you come to understand yourself, as well.

We have so little time though, to walk into ourselves, as Anna Swir mentions. But how else to get at what really matters?

What happens when we're not allowed, or if we don't make time, for these sojourns into the self?

Perhaps I've greater need of such than some.

Another poem by Anna Swir:

There is a Light in Me

Whether in daytime or in nighttime
I always carry inside
a light.
In the middle of noise and turmoil
I carry silence.
I carry light and silence.

As you may have noticed I've been quietly obsessed all this spring with the "light litter," the bokeh, that may be found certain mornings, via my kitchen window. Also, some days, that's the only thing possible to photograph. Often, for me, it seems a source of magic. Magic because it's formed from the light on the fresh washed dishes and from whatever happens to be propped up in the windowsill. A few herbs, the dishwashing detergent.

Below are some flowers I received for my birthday a while back. The hydrangeas are Rob's - he's working on a painting right now of lighter blue ones, and had a hankering for the more purplish ones.

I amused myself by applying various filmy pre-sets to them.

It's the light, though, that calls me to myself.

If I need to find quiet, there it is.


  1. Your blog is just absolute perfection. I look forward to each and every post. As a lover of both poetry and photography, I am constantly in awe of what you create here. So lovely. Thank you.

  2. kelli ann wilson knows just what to say. she speaks here for me too about your blog.
    i love the art of phtotography. . . i have never quite loved poetry.
    because of you. . . that is changing.

    i suspect a misguided teacher long ago squelched the flame.
    why do they think they have to dissect every word every nuance ad infinitum ad nauseum? poems were butterflies to me. i did not want to see them killed and pinned and examined under a magnifying glass. i wanted them to touch me lightly and then let me feel their presence after they had flown. but teachers do not think like that i guess.

    it ruined it for me. i left and never have come back. i drank instead all the haiku i could.
    and left the other poetry like you share here . . . alone. unread.
    until now.
    thank you dear heart!

  3. It makes me happy to think that this blog brings people to love poetry again...thx so much Tammy....

    And thank you for the kind words, Kelli - means a lot.


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