Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Nature is Never Spent (*)

"For all this, nature is never spent."*
As unto urban wastelands sent
Was this poetic English gent
Ourselves are now to parched lands lent,
Absorbing well what Hopkins meant.

I see no British Isles lush~
I look on desert city rush~
Adapting as that orange-breast thrush**
I find my own internal hush.  

"There lives the dearest freshness deep-down things,"*
As I admire our flowerings
And still the robin gamely sings.**

"For all this, nature is never spent."
On earth, this comes as form of rent
Until we dwell in Christ's new tent.***
--C. Marie Byars, 2020 (c) 
[during covid and unrest times, but not in direct response] 

*From Gerard Manley Hopkins', SJ, 1877 poem
Pied Beauty

**A robin is a type of thrush. Its wide range suggests it's adaptable.

***Tent/tabernacle/dwelling.  The Old Testament Tabernacle was a durable, highly ornate tent with a special purpose for worship. There, God's visible presence on earth could be found.  In John 1: 14, "The Word [Christ] became flesh and 'tabernacled' among us."  The Greek word for 'dwelling' means more literally 'tented.'

Monday, June 29, 2020

Interesting Art

Check out this interesting religious art on my other blog:

The Right Heart


Friday, June 26, 2020

July 4th, 2020

There will be no special patriotic posting for the American 4th of July holiday.  Since this blog never really gets "dated", you can find posts that suit you by searching through old ones.  There are the July postings of almost any year in the past, found at lower left. See the menu to lower right.  You may also want to click the "summer" or "society" label at left or below.  Thank you for your on-going reading of this blog.  Marie

Thursday, June 25, 2020

You Have Searched Me

(Psalm 139:1-10; 14. An original translation.)

Yahweh, You searched me;
Thus You know me.
My sitting down and my rising up You know.
My disposition You discern from a distance.
My path and lying down you sort out,
And my entire way You make useful.
A word is not yet formed on my tongue,
And, yet You, O Yahweh, already know it.
Behind me and in front of me You close me in,
And upon me have You placed the palm of Your Hand.
Too wonderful for me is this Knowledge!
She is high: I cannot reach her!
Where could I go from Your Spirit?
And where might I flee from Your Face?
Were I to ascend to the skies,
You would be there.
And were I to make my bed in the depths of the earth,
Indeed, You would be there.
Were I to rise on the wings of the dawn
And were I to dwell at the edge of the sea,
Even there your Hand would hold and guide me,
And your strength would sustain me. . .
I praise You,
For I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
How rightly I realize this!

Friday, June 5, 2020

Black-eyed Susans

These are my favorite flowers.  They are not native to the part of the U.S. I live in. While they have been grown outside their natural range, it's so hot here that doesn't always happen.  It's taken me a few years, but I got some of my favorite flowers to grow!

      A poem I wrote last year about my favorite flowers:

Black-Eyed Susan

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.
--Robert Frost, 1923 (1924 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner)

Ferreting out exactly what Robert Frost's religious beliefs were are difficult. Things are compounded by the losses in his life. However, as this poem alludes to the Garden of Eden, the first creation by God, and how it was sunk by the first sin (Genesis 3), it is being incorporated on this Christian site.
Although this poem seems bleak, it does speak of cycles of life that will continue to come about in this imperfect world: there will be new flowers or leaves on the tree next year; there will be a dawn tomorrow; people will die but leave their descendants after them.

Friday, May 1, 2020

In May

The time that hints the coming leaf, 
 When buds are dropping chaff and scale,  
And, wafted from the greening vale,
Are pungent odors, keen as grief.

Now shad-bush wears a robe of white,  
And orchards hint a leafy screen; 
 While willows drop their veils of green
Above the limpid waters bright.

New songsters come with every morn, 
 And whippoorwill is overdue, 
 While spice bush gold is coined anew
Before her tardy leaves are born.

The cowslip now with radiant face  
Makes mimic sunshine in the shade, 
 Anemone is not afraid,
Although she trembles in her place.

Now adder's-tongue new gilds the mould*,
The ferns unroll their woolly coils,
And honey-bee begins her toils
Where maple trees their fringe unfold.

The goldfinch dons his summer coat,  
The wild bee drones her mellow bass, 
 And butterflies of hardy race
In genial sunshine bask and float.

The Artist now is sketching in 
 The outlines of his broad design  
So soon to deepen line on line,
Till June and summer days begin.
Now Shadow soon will pitch her tent
Beneath the trees in grove and field,
And all the wounds of life be healed,
By orchard bloom and lilac scent.

--John Burroughs, 1837-1921

*"Mold" in British English.  Flowers are now adorning the ground, where before moldy leaf remnants lay