Thursday, October 30, 2014

An Evening Thought

- Jupiter Hammon

Salvation comes by Jesus Christ alone,
The only Son of God;
Redemption now to every one,
That love his holy Word.
Dear Jesus we would fly to Thee,
And leave off every Sin,
Thy tender Mercy well agree;
Salvation from our King.
Salvation comes now from the Lord,
Our victorious King;
His holy Name be well ador'd,
Salvation surely bring.
Dear Jesus give thy Spirit now,
Thy Grace to every Nation,
That han't the Lord to whom we bow,
The Author of Salvation.
Dear Jesus unto Thee we cry,
Give us thy Preparation;
Turn not away thy tender Eye;
We seek thy true Salvation.
Salvation comes from God we know,
The true and only One;
It's well agreed and certain true,
He gave his only Son.
Lord hear our penetential Cry:
Salvation from above;
It is the Lord that doth supply,
With his Redeeming Love.
Dear Jesus by thy precious Blood,
The World Redemption have:
Salvation comes now from the Lord,
He being thy captive Slave.
Dear Jesus let the Nations cry,
And all the People say,
Salvation comes from Christ on high,
Haste on Tribunal Day.
We cry as Sinners to the Lord,
Salvation to obtain;
It is firmly fixt his holy Word,
Ye shall not cry in vain.
Dear Jesus unto Thee we cry,
And make our Lamentation:
O let our Prayers ascend on high;
We felt thy Salvation.
Lord turn our dark benighted Souls;
Give us a true Motion,
And let the Hearts of all the World,
Make Christ their Salvation.
Ten Thousand Angels cry to Thee,
Yea louder than the Ocean.
Thou art the Lord, we plainly see;
Thou art the true Salvation.
Now is the Day, excepted Time;
The Day of Salvation;
Increase your Faith, do not repine:
Awake ye every Nation.
Lord unto whom now shall we go,
Or seek a safe Abode;
Thou hast the Word Salvation too
The only Son of God.
Ho! every one that hunger hath,
Or pineth after me,
Salvation be thy leading Staff,
To set the Sinner free.
Dear Jesus unto Thee we fly;
Depart, depart from Sin,
Salvation doth at length supply,
The Glory of our King.
Come ye Blessed of the Lord,
Salvation gently given;
O turn your Hearts, accept the Word,
Your Souls are fit for Heaven.
Dear Jesus we now turn to Thee,
Salvation to obtain;
Our Hearts and Souls do meet again,
To magnify thy Name.
Come holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove,
The Object of our Care;
Salvation doth increase our Love;
Our Hearts hath felt thy fear.
Now Glory be to God on High,
Salvation high and low;
And thus the Soul on Christ rely,
To Heaven surely go.
Come Blessed Jesus, Heavenly Dove,
Accept Repentance here;
Salvation give, with tender Love;
Let us with Angels share.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to Get Riches

- Benjamin Franklin
In Things of moment, on thy self depend,
Nor trust too far thy Servant or thy Friend:
With private Views, thy Friend may promise fair,
And Servants very seldom prove sincere.
What can be done, with Care perform to Day,
Dangers unthought-of will attend Delay;
Your distant Prospects all precarious are,
And Fortune is as fickle as she’s fair.
Nor trivial Loss, nor trivial Gain despise;
Molehills, if often heap’d, to Mountains rise:
Weigh every small Expence, and nothing waste,
Farthings long sav’d, amount to Pounds at last.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kilt Monday!

'Cause let's face it,
Mondays can be so rough, hard, difficult.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

BOOK REVIEWS. Sort Of. (Poetry Edition)


A note about BOOK REVIEWS. Sort Of.:

These are not, in any way, meant to be comprehensive reviews. They are intended to acknowledge that I have read the book, and give my honest core impressions.

If a real review is what you wish, there are many wonderful book blogs available, and I have provided some tools to find them under the tab marked "Useful Stuff."

Why I Wake Early (ebook) - Mary Oliver

I borrowed this book from the library, but I will be purchasing it as a permanent addition to my own library.

The title poem struck me and still echoes in my mind. As a former night owl, I view the fact that I am now usually awake long before my alarm goes off in the morning as something of a mystery. When did this change happen? And why?

I have no regret, though, as the wonders of early mornings in the garden are soul nurturing.

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

I was captivated by the love of nature in this collection. It both soothed my heart and validated my own feelings. Sometimes the desire to cut ties and run with the deer is strong. (Well, we don't have deer where I am. Maybe I could run with the squirrels. No?)

The Poet Goes to Indiana

I'll tell you a half-dozen things
that happened to me
in Indiana
when I went that far west to teach.
You tell me if it was worth it.

I lived in the country
with my dog—
part of the bargain of coming.
And there was a pond
with fish from, I think, China.
I felt them sometimes against my feet.
Also, they crept out of the pond, along its edges,
to eat the grass.
I'm not lying.
And I saw coyotes,
two of them, at dawn, running over the seemingly
unenclosed fields.
And once a deer, but a buck, thick-necked, leaped
into the road just-oh, I mean just, in front of my car—
and we both made it home safe.
And once the blacksmith came to care for the four horses,
or the three horses that belonged to the owner of the house,
and I bargained with him, if I could catch the fourth,
he, too, would have hooves trimmed
for the Indiana winter,
and apples did it,
and a rope over the neck did it,
so I won something wonderful;
and there was, one morning,
an owl
flying, oh pale angel, into
the hay loft of a barn,
I see it still;
and there was once, oh wonderful,
a new horse in the pasture,
a tall, slim being-a neighbor was keeping her there—
and she put her face against my face,
put her muzzle, her nostrils, soft as violets,
against my mouth and my nose, and breathed me,
to see who I was,
a long quiet minute-minutes—
then she stamped feet and whisked tail
and danced deliciously into the grass away, and came back.
She was saying, so plainly, that I was good, or good enough.
Such a fine time I had teaching in Indiana.

Another poem grabbed my heart and doesn't seem inclined to let it go. (Sometimes it's easier to ache for broken land and lost flowers, than face the pain of lives crushed in the name of greed or political expediency.)

What Was Once the Largest Shopping Center in Northern Ohio
Was Built Where There Had Been a Pond 
I Used to Visit Every Summer Afternoon

Loving the earth, seeing what had been done to it,
I grow sharp, I grow cold.
Where will the trilliums go, and the coltsfoot?
Where will the pond lilies go to continue living
their simple, penniless lives, lifting
their faces of gold?
Impossible to believe we  need so much
as the world wants us to buy.
I have more clothes, lamps, dishes, paper clips
than I could possibly use before I die.
Oh, I would like to live in an empty house,
with vines for walls, and a carpet of grass.
No planks, no plastic, no fiberglass.

And I suppose sometime I will.
Old and cold I will lie apart
from all this buying and selling, with only
the beautiful earth in  my heart.

And I'm sure most everyone can relate to this last one.

The Old Poets of China

Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.


And it's Poetry journal time! I finally had time to sit down and enjoy the two journals that came in the mail last month.

srpr (Spoon River Poetry Review)
Summer 2014 Vol. 39.1

This journal publishes a nice variety of poetry, essays, and interviews. There is sure to be something that appeals to just about everyone. There is an on line version, accessible by clicking the title above. In the meantime, here is a taste:

The Old House
- Patsy Kisner

The old house
Lies in a heap
They left everything
Of his inside
For trespassers
To ramble by
And see
Even his coat
Hangs on the parlor wall
With a bird nest
In the pocket

Asking Her Father Where Her Mother Went
- Christina Lutz

is she waiting for us in Ohio
is she waiting in these boxes
       cobwebbing around and around
all my things

       did you know there's a spider
who eats her babies        they call it a wolf

i bet it howls as it spins
       shifting its paws in the air

frogpond (Haiku Society of America)
2014 Volume 37 Number 2

This journal is dedicated to Haiku, Senryu and related forms. Since I have a soft spot in my heart for these little gems, I always enjoy reading the latest issue. Here, have a couple:

forgetting myself . . .
cherry blossoms
in the wind

Anna Cates, Wilmington. OH

origami birds
some of my childhood
in the folds

Stephen A. Peters, Bellingham, WA

the basso profundo
of bullfrogs

Ellen Compton, Washington, D.C.

spider's silk
the tensile strength
of dreams

Beverly Acuff Momoi, Mountain View, CA

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Farmer's Market - And the Garden Hangs On . . .

Created by Heather at Capricious Reader, and now hosted by Chris at Stuff as Dreams are Made on.

The name of this lovely Rose is Strike it Rich.
(Wouldn't that be lovely?)

These are probably the most numerous Birds in my garden. 
This Lesser Goldfinch says, "Can I help you with something?"

This is the bed I always refer to as the Grass Bed
The original Grass didn't make it through last winter, but it didn't look bad so I left it in all Summer.
Big plant sales netted me a Bougainvillaea and some Iceland Poppies, so I finally pulled it out and replaced it.

The Lady Bugs are still working hard.
This little one is sitting on a Rose called Pillow Fight.

I have to say, "What is wrong with this picture?"
Irises and California Poppies - in the fall?

As I was watching out my front door, this Squirrel ran down the sidewalk and into the Crepe Myrtle,
where he sat watching the cat eat his breakfast.
(The cat was not the least bit interested.)




A Mourning Ringneck Dove eating homegrown Sunflower Seeds out of the newly revamped feeders.


Where there is one Mourning Ringneck Dove there is usually another. 
They always visit me as a pair.


The Cape Honeysuckle
has more flowers every day.
 And finally, we have a Rose known as Camelot.

Darwin’s Finches
- Deborah Digges

My mother always called it a nest,
the multi-colored mass harvested

from her six daughters’ brushes,
and handed it to one of us

after she had shaped it, as we sat in front
of the fire drying our hair.

She said some birds steal anything, a strand
of spider’s web, or horse’s mane,

the residue of sheep’s wool in the grasses
near a fold

where every summer of her girlhood
hundreds nested.

Since then I’ve seen it for myself, their genius—
how they transform the useless.

I’ve seen plastics stripped and whittled
into a brilliant straw,

and newspapers—the dates, the years—
supporting the underweavings.

As tonight in our bed by the window
you brush my hair to help me sleep, and clean

the brush as my mother did, offering
the nest to the updraft.

I’d like to think it will be lifted as far
as the river, and catch in some white sycamore,

or drift, too light to sink, into the shaded inlets,
the bank-moss, where small fish, frogs, and insects

lay their eggs.
Would this constitute an afterlife?

The story goes that sailors, moored for weeks
off islands they called paradise,

stood in the early sunlight
cutting their hair. And the rare

birds there, nameless, almost extinct,
came down around them

and cleaned the decks
and disappeared into the trees above the sea.

Friday, October 24, 2014

To the Fair Clarinda

- Aphra Behn

Who made love to me, Imagin'd more than woman.

Fair lovely Maid, or if that Title be
Too weak, too Feminine for Nobler thee,
Permit a Name that more Approaches Truth:
And let me call thee, Lovely Charming Youth.
This last will justifie my soft complaint,
While that may serve to lessen my constraint;
And without Blushes I the Youth persue,
When so much beauteous Woman is in view.
Against thy Charms we struggle but in vain
With thy deluding Form thou giv'st us pain,
While the bright Nymph betrays us to the Swain.
In pity to our Sex sure thou wer't sent,
That we might Love, and yet be Innocent:
For sure no Crime with thee we can commit;
Or if we shou'd - thy Form excuses it.
For who, that gathers fairest Flowers believes
A Snake lies hid beneath the Fragrant Leaves.
Though beauteous Wonder of a different kind,
Soft Cloris with the dear Alexis join'd;
When e'er the Manly part of thee, wou'd plead
Though tempts us with the Image of the Maid,
While we the noblest Passions do extend
The Love to Hermes, Aphrodite the Friend.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Weave in, My Hardy Life

 - Walt Whitman

Weave in, weave in, my hardy life,
Weave yet a soldier strong and full for great campaigns to come,
Weave in red blood, weave sinews in like ropes, the senses, sight weave in,
Weave lasting sure, weave day and night the weft, the warp, incessant weave, tire not,
(We know not what the use O life, nor know the aim, the end, nor really aught we know,
But know the work, the need goes on and shall go on, the death-envelop’d march of peace as
       well as war goes on,)
For great campaigns of peace the same the wiry threads to weave,
We know not why or what, yet weave, forever weave.