Hey, I’m not dead, I’m just crazy busy settling into Oregon plus I lost my laptop power cord which throws an additional wrench into things. (A new one is on its way, don’t worry.) Regular blogging will resume eventually. In the meantime, enjoy my favorite Walt Whitman poem.
by Walt Whitman
Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?
I wrote this a while ago and, in light of the fact that the theme for next month’s edition of Festival of the Trees is “the magic of faerie trees,” decided to share it. Context about what led me to write this poem can be found in this post.
“Mature cypress are seldom seen seen on St. Simons and Sapelo Islands because the few remaining stands are isolated to remote areas and none, to my knowledge, remain on Jekyll.”
-Taylor Schoettle, A Guide to a Georgia Barrier Island, 1996
Around a bend in the trail,
a row of cypress trees.
frozen in mid-step,
marching without motion,
trolls made stone
by sunrise, unaware
that they defy the printed word.
Limbs lift delicate
green glory above
Roots rise forsaking their
dark hidden homes,
and ignoring the call of gravity,
standing like the skyline
of an elvish city:
for trees to breathe with
when water rises at their feet.
Trees, like skinks and spiders, care nothing for words in books
or for any words at all.
Recently the subject of poetry, particularly poetry about science, came up in a conversation with one of my coworkers. Two of my favorite poems I’ve read are science-related, and today I tried to find both of them again online. One of them, about the Archaeopteryx, I couldn’t turn up, but here is the other for anyone who’s interested.
by Richard Fein
In the grand composition from amoeba to man,
Mother Nature is not one for revising,
no crumpled sheet music surrounds her feet.
Mother Nature improvises like a jazzman playing his riff,
not thinking of the coda, not wanting one,
wanting only to flow with the unfolding notes,
swinging with the rhythm, moving with the theme,
blowing a horn, fingering a keyboard, strumming on strings,
composing on the fly, not needing rehearsal.
Jazzman and Nature in a forever present tense,
recalling only enough past to continue the current theme,
and without wondering where the melody leads them.