The Season

You puzzled me with refraction, your mysterious guise,

(bending your hair in light, like corn under windy skies).

A shimmering illusion, a trick of the dawn’s early gleam,

causing me to look the wrong way, lost in a dream.

Your essence, like an underground stream, flowed unseen,

for your root cause, I plowed the field, yet it remained pristine.

In earth’s quiet wisdom, the truth lay untold,

my furrowed brow mirrored the furrowed fold.

You spoke to me from heaven, from the vast cerulean expanse,

(and I looked down) in the soil, seeking your dance.

Your voice in the wind rustling the autumn leaves,

in the silence of the winter, in the spring that deceives.

In the bounty of summer, under the sun’s searing gaze,

your riddles whispered in the crackle of the maize.

You answered me in riddles and caused me to drive onto the rocks,

like a wayward vessel tossed by the unyielding equinox.

But in the turned earth, in the seed’s silent plea,

I found your truth, in the cycles of a bountiful tree.

Roots deep in the Pee Dee, branches reaching for the light,

You puzzled, spoke and answered, in the day and in the night.

In the seasons’ eternal riddle, in the plow’s steadfast toil,

I found you not in heaven, but in the humble soil.

Daffodils by Ted Hughes

Daffodils in Ted Hughes’ Birthday Letters is one of those poems that always cuts me deeply. The rusted cross at the end. Whew.

I once had a beloved Siberian Huskey I found on a hot summer morning while attempting to jog before the sun got too high in Columbia, SC. It is hot on the pavement in Columbia in the summer. This poor pup met me with her bright blue eyes and looked through me asking me to take her somewhere.

How could I resist?

She lived with me for years and became a trusted partner even on her three legs after her cancer forced an amputation. I named her Sylvia after Sylvia Plath. I still think of her often.

Hughes’ Birthday Letters is a collection of thoughts on his wife Sylvia who took her life in 1963. It’s a jarring and penetrating and altogether emotional collection. Daffodils here is one of my favorites.

Daffodils by Ted Hughes – The American Scholar

The World is Too Much With Us

Iambic pentameter courtesy of Petrarch still rings true…

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not.—Great God! I’d rather be

A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

William Wordsworth

Maya Angelou’s Partnership with Hallmark

I’d forgotten about this completely… fascinating read:

Billy Collins, then U.S. Poet Laureate and a fellow Random House writer, questioned Angelou’s partnership with Hallmark, the largest manufacturer of greeting cards in the United States and, among the literati, commonly associated with trite expressions.

“It lowers the understanding of what poetry actually can do,” Collins said to the Associated Press. “Hallmark cards has always been a common phrase to describe verse that is really less than poetry because it is sentimental and unoriginal.”

Source: Why Maya Angelou Partnered with Hallmark | The National Endowment for the Humanities


Crescendo of conspiracy until the mounting
Of evidence with harm accumulates on the back.

The Redbird creeks on a branch feeding
In the ice rain over a frozen land finished with white.

Glass covered floors in the palace of Ithaca wetting
The tile with a strange homecoming of fire and blood.

A nostos for the Cunning to a land forgetting
And has forgotten his words and deeds.

The one much prayed for by those in a sardonic mood smiling
The epithets of an ice-frozen heart and spear.

With Polyphemus as his guide and a bag of wind blowing
To take them home to a land for Nobody.

The Two-Headed Turtle resting
On the potions of Hermès to escape the magic of memory.

Only Argos remembers him and joins his standing
In the broken palace that brings libel to the song.

The Cunning beat their chest and sing songs while limping
Away on the promises of an afterlife inside the palace door.