Saturday, October 1, 2016

Poem in October

It was my thirtieth year to heaven*
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heronPriested shore
The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
Myself to set foot
That second
In the still sleeping town and set forth.

My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
Above the farms and the white horses
And I rose
In rainy autumnAnd walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
Over the border
And the gates
Of the town closed as the town awoke.

A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
Blackbirds and the sun of October
On the hill's shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
To the rain wringing
Wind blow cold
In the wood faraway under me.

Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
With its horns through mist and the castle
Brown as owls
But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
There could I marvel
My birthday
Away but the weather turned around.

It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
Streamed again a wonder of summer
With apples
Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child's
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
Through the parables
Of sun light
And the legends of the green chapels

And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
These were the woods the river and seaWhere a boy
In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
And the mystery
Sang alive
Still in the water and singingbirds.

And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
Joy of the long dead child sang burning
In the sun.
It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven* stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
O may my heart's truth
Still be sung
On this high hill in a year's turning.                         

---Dylan Thomas, 1944 (Welsh)   

*A person alive 30 years, that far along his journey to heaven.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Rio Grande (Albuquerque) Botanical Garden

Black-Eyed Susans

Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea)

Yellow Coneflowers

Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot)
Notice tiny red flower in center cluster

Yellow Columbine

"The wilderness and parched land will be glad;
And the desert-plain will rejoice and blossom;
Like the crocus it will bloom profusely
And rejoice greatly and shout for joy
[because of Messiah]."  Isaiah 35: 1-2a

Black-Eyed Susans redux
(personal faves)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

God Bless Our Native Land

God bless our native land;
Firm may she ever stand
Through storm and night:
When the wild tempests rave,
Ruler of wind and wave,
Do Thou our country save

By thy great might.

For her our prayers shall rise
To God, above the skies;
On Him we wait.

Thou who art ever nigh,
Guarding with watchful eye,

To Thee aloud we cry,
God save the state!

And not to us alone, 
But be Thy mercies known
From shore to shore.




  Lord, make the nations see
That men should brothers be
And form one family
The wide world o'er.

Verses 1-2, Siegfried A. Mahlmann, 1815;
Verse 3, William E. Hickson, 1835

(sung to the tune "America")

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Picture This

This month, I am posting sketches, rather than a poem.  This was from a era in my life when I first pushed myself to become an amateur naturalist.  (Before, I'd just sort of roamed, mostly in New Mexico where I was raised, without really knowing what I was looking at.)  This, along with star-gazing, is one hobby I've definitely kept alive.

This was also when I was most prolific in writing my own poetry, which dwindled after that, then practically dried up (except for writing a few songs to existing hymn meters and the poem I wrote last October... see the sidebar).

I observed many of these where I was attending college, in south central Kansas.  (NOT in a botany, biology or other science field, though.  Just my new hobby then.)  Others were sketched out of books, due to personal interest.  A few years later, when I was stationed in coastal Georgia with the Army, I saw others of these up close and personal!   Some years later, when I returned to the West, I saw yet a few more up close and personal.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Repeat Hopkins

Family needs keep me from finding the right "new" thing for this May.  But, then again, this blog seldom specializes in the "new."  So I'm posting the link to something suitable for May.

May Magnificat

Also, "Happy Mother's Day".  Blessings to you all.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Mountain Music

   [with photos from a recent western trip]

Grand Teton National Park*, Wyoming

I will lift up my eyes unto the hills
From whence comes my help.
My help comes from Yahweh
Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121: 1-2)

Chapel of the Transfiguration (Episcopal)
Grand Teton National Park*
Great is Yahweh
And greatly to be praised
In the city of our God,
The mountain of His holiness.  (Psalm 48:1)

In whose Hand are the depths of the earth;
And the heights of the hills are His, also. (Psalm 95:4)

Thermal Pool.
Yellowstone National Park*, Wyoming

Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the hills shout together with joy.  (Psalm 98:8) 

Yellowstone River, Yellowstone N.P.*

[Jesus tells us]:
'"You are the light of the world.
A city which has been set upon a hill
cannot be hidden."  (Matthew 5:14)

Wasatch Mountains, as viewed from Bryce Canyon National Park*, Utah

All the things which happened upon mountains:  Moses was given the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai; Satan took Jesus to a really high mountain to show Him the kingdoms of the world and tempt Him with power;  being more isolated in Jesus's day, He often went there alone (or with a small group of three) to pray; He was "transfigured" (changed, shining bright with glory) on a mountain; the Sermon on the Mount was given in a natural mountain amphitheater; the night before His death, after celebrating Passover and the First Communion, Jesus and the disciples went out to the Mount of Olives; the place where Jesus died is called Mount Calvary; forty days after He rose from the dead, he ascended into heaven from a mountain.  Mountains join all creation (Revelation 5:13) in praising God.  Remembering Israel's flight from Egypt and entry into the Promise Land, the psalmist wrote:

The mountains skipped as rams,
The little hills as lambs.
What happened, O Sea, that you fled,
O Jordan, that you turned back?
You mountains skipped as rams,
You little hills as lambs. (Psalm 114: 4-6)

Wasatch Mountains, Utah,
with Grand Escalante National Monument* in front

I will lift up my eyes unto the hills
From whence comes my help.
My help comes from Yahweh
Who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121: 1-2)

    ---translations by C. Marie Byars

*This is the 100th birthday of America's National Park Service!  (A few individual parks were established even before this.)