Wednesday, October 1, 2014

pay attention to the patterns


by Margot Schilpp

I know that dying is how we escape
the rest of our lives. I think that trees
send us a message: do not believe

you are lucky. The skins of apples
and the peeler will marry; it's simply
a question of when. Believe

in mourning and carrion birds.
Look how their fleshy treasures
dissolve in the sun before their very eyes.

To love something
you must have considered what it means
to do without. You must have thought

about it - the coefficient of the body
is another body - but do not forget
that there are people who are willing

to staple your palm to your chest.
Know there are places it isn't wise to go.
Begin again if you must: there are ways

to make up for what you have been before,
the dust in the corners that collects you.
Sympathy is overrated.

Rethink how lack
becomes everyone's master, drives us
into town and spends our money.

Quiet: the trees are napping.
Water meets itself again.
We reach for the days that precede us

and the world keeps us from knowing
too much. The body loves music,
the abandoned road of it;

each day a peel
lengthens in the shadow of blossoms,
fabric weaves itself into light.

Pay attention to the patterns. They repeat -
terraces erode, groves lie fallow -
order is cognate of joy.

via Verse Daily

The above poem kind of knocked my socks off when I came across it. The forcefulness! And though the tone is one of confidence, it also seems written as a sort of 'note to self' poem.

Speaking for myself, I seem to need to learn and re-learn things, and so I have found that writing a daily manifesto, a manifesto for living, to be a useful thing. It doesn't have to be a poem, a diary entry will do. Remember, remember, remember, it begins. What is it that you know? What are the patterns?

Another walk around the suburbs, looking for beauty, for patterns.

There are so many stories in the suburbs, so many oddities, in the sameness of it all.

And I'm still obsessed with trying to catch the leaves dropping from the trees. Harder to do than it looks....


  1. The trees aren't the only ones sending us a message. You, dear Shawna, send us the most wise messages and for those we can consider ourselves lucky indeed. I am right with you on those words - learn, relearn, remember and thanks to your writings and sharing of them...I can do that much better. Every photo you take is stunning, but of course, the falling leaf is the heart stopping. ( edna from tx.)

    1. Beautiful of you to say, and something I really needed to hear today! xo

  2. A wonderful obsession and you made it look easy here...beautiful!

  3. You got it! Great last shot. I'm sure I had all the neighbours scratching their heads when I stood out there last week trying to do what you did. Not easy to catch the magical movement and grace of these leaves in the wind in a single snap. A wonderful manifesto, thank so much for sharing it with us :) xo


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