Morning Light

The tricoloured beech under the oak tree

Takes the light and spins it pink

Through soft, blistered leaves

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And I wish

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That I could spin life into words

Through my blistered, wounded soul

As delicately as the trees spin air, light, and water into cotton

And the weaver spins wool into yarn

Through calloused fingers

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The morning light through a leaded window is a hand-held rainbow

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Around the Corner

Norman’s Plumbing

Comes smoking a cigarette

Up from the old folks’ circle

And I wonder

If an accident isn’t just waiting to happen

If death sits around every corner

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Sea Memories

Sea Memories – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Often I think of the beautiful town

That is seated by the sea;

Often in thought go up and down

The pleasant streets of that dear old town,

And my youth comes back to me.

And a verse of a Lapland song

Is haunting my memory still:

“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

 

I can see the shadowy lines of its trees,

And catch, in sudden gleams,

The sheen of the far-surrounding seas,

And islands that were the Hesperides

Of all my boyish dreams.

And the burden of that old song,

It murmurs and whispers still:

“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

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I remember the black wharves and the ships,

And the sea tides tossing free;

And the Spanish sailors with bearded lips,

And the beauty and mystery of the ships,

And the magic of the sea.

And the voice of that wayward song

Is singing and saying still:

“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,

And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

 

Longfellow has been for some time one of my favourite poets, but I just found these verses a day or two ago in my copy of Favorite Poems Old and New.  The book was a Christmas gift seven years ago from my grandparents, and quickly landed on my short list of books that will go with me everywhere.  (My father took both the images of the bay of Kinsale in Ireland during our visit of Christmas 2014.)

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Mid-Winter Thaw

Walnuts lie in leaves

Much like the mud-caked golf balls

Replete in these woods

(In the spirit of Lemony Snicket: “woods”, a word which here means “a grouping of more than a dozen trees”, as in “Nebraska woods”. Similar to “Nebraska lake: a body of water big enough to turn a boat around in”.)

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To my sister, about the house we grew up driving by

Remember that test house? The one with the fire department and the FBI bomb squad and the whole town on edge? It’s gone now. There’s a crater of dirt instead and one of those double-wide houses that they build then plant and expect it to grow a family like so many wildflowers on a bare green hill.

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Mid-Winter Moon

With 19 days left of being 19, I’m feeling terribly nostalgic, so here’s a poem I wrote on my 17th birthday nearly 3 years ago.

Mid-Winter Moon

 

Did you see her tonight?

She was huge – bigger than I’ve ever seen her—

And I’ve seen her many times.

She took up the sky

And shown off the snow

A honey-gold colour, like Paradise.

 

Maybe the trees,

Maybe the snow,

Maybe our vantage point from the top of the hill

.     Looking down at her.

 

I’m 17 today—

Do you think she knows?

Maybe that’s why she filled the sky with the face I love best.

Maybe that’s why the fanfare, the gold colour, great size,

Maybe that’s why she’s larger than life.

 

Dearest Moon, come down tonight.

Sing me to sleep – my head aches with tears.

Be the solace I long for, the one I don’t fake for:

Be my comfort, my peace, and my joy.

 

Did you see her tonight?

She was RADIANT

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Sea-Fever

Sea-Fever – by John Masefield

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I must down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a gray mist on the sea’s face and a gray dawn breaking.

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I must down to the sea again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied ;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

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I must down to the sea again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife ;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

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Oh, how I miss the sea!  The quiet hours spent with my feet in the cold, moody Atlantic (O kindred spirit!), watching the tide drain from the sand between Gola and the shore of Gaoth Dobhair, my only company the shrimp dancing on my feet—never has my soul felt so at home than on those faerie shores.  Yes, I probably romanticise it, but I am, after all, a decided romantic.  (On a less poetic note, my TOMS still have sand from those shores imbedded in the soles.)dsc_0451

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