Renewal of Fountains

Bright universe unseen, yet seen awhile
Precious and brief as a tree bathed in light,
And in shy sudden flowers
In rain, in hasty storm.

Or where the air is moist in trancèd heat
Under the noonday sun remote and high,
We wander and are lost
In golden shadowy lanes.

Or in the hyacinth shadows of the night,
Where the black hill’s immaculate warm lines
Meet with translucent blue,
And dark waters run.

With silver-pointed stars for company,
Light-tipped, soft-shaded, deep the world revolves.
Oh eloquent bright eyes
That pierce through shade.

All this endures, revives and calms the heart
When the harsh day is done, the bitter wars;
And winter’s icy voice
Chills sky and air.

Here, waiting for renewal, fountains play,
Sparkling, inviting, dancing, and withdrawn,
Hope withers and is green
Destroyed, restored.

Wanderer in intricate paths, bewildered soul,
When all that pleased you once shall please no more,
Rest, and desire no rest
Under the common grass.

— Marya Zaturenska,
born this day in 1902

 

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What’s it like to be a human?

Funny
What’s it like to be a human
the bird asked
I myself don’t know
it’s being held prisoner by your skin
while reaching infinity
being a captive of your scrap of time
while touching eternity
being hopelessly uncertain
and helplessly hopeful
being a needle of frost
and a handful of heat
breathing in the air
and choking wordlessly
it’s being on fire
with a nest made of ashes
eating bread
while filling up on hunger
it’s dying without love
it’s loving through death
That’s funny said the bird
and flew effortlessly up into the air
~ Anna Kamienska ~
(with thanks to Joe Riley at Panhala)

It may be so

XI

It may be so with us, that in the dark,
When we have done with Time and wander Space,
Some meeting of the blind may strike a spark,
And to Death’s empty mansion give a grace,
It may be, that the loosened soul may find
Some new delight of living without limbs,
Bodiless joy of flesh-untrammelled mind,
Peace like a sky where starlike spirit swims.
It may be, that the million cells of sense,
Loosed from their seventy years adhesion, pass
Each to some joy of changed experience,
Weight in the earth or glory in the grass.
It may be, that we cease; we cannot tell.
Even if we cease, life is a miracle.

— John Masefield

Street with a Pink Corner Store

Gone into night are all the eyes from every intersection
and it’s like a drought anticipating rain.
Now all roads are near,
even the road of miracles.
The wind brings with it a slow, befuddled dawn.
Dawn is our fear of doing different things and it comes over us.
All the blessed night I have been walking
and its restlessness has left me
on this street, which could be any street.
Here again the certainty of the plains
on the horizon
and the barren terrain that fades into weeds and wire
and the store as bright as last night’s new moon.
The corner is familiar like a memory
with those spacious squares and the promise of a courtyard.
How lovely to attest to you, street of forever, since my own days have
witnessed so few things!
Light draws streaks in the air.
My years have run down roads of earth and water
and you are all I feel, strong rosy street.
I think it is your walls that conceived sunrise,
store so bright in the depth of night.
I think, and the confession of my poverty
is given voice before these houses:
I have seen nothing of mountain ranges, rivers, or the sea,
but the light of Buenos Aires made itself my friend
and I shape the lines of my life and my death with that light of the street.
Big long-suffering street,
you are the only music my life has understood.

— J.L. Borges  translator=S.K. ?

Happier

  • Lots of truisms don’t have to be repeated but there is one that has got to be,
  • Which is that it is much nicer to be happy than it is not to be,
  • And I shall even add to it by stating unequivocally and without restraint
  • That you are much happier when you are happy than when you ain’t.
  • Some people are just naturally Pollyanna,
  • While others call for sugar and cream and strawberries on their manna.
  • Now, I think we all ought to say a fig for the happiness that comes of thinking helpful thoughts and searching your soul,
  • The most exciting happiness is the happiness generated by forces beyond your control,
  • Because if you just depend on your helpful thoughts for your happiness and would just as soon drink buttermilk as champagne, and if mink is no better than lapin to you,
  • Why you don’t even deserve to have anything nice and exciting happen to you.
  • If you are really Master of your Fate,
  • It shouldn’t make any difference to you whether Cleopatra or the Bearded Lady is your mate,
  • So I hold no brief for the kind of happiness or the kind of unhappiness that some people constantly carry around in their breast,
  • Because that kind of happiness simply consists of being resigned to the worst just as that kind of unhappiness consists of being resentful of the best.
  • No, there is only one kind of happiness that I take the stump for,
  • Which is the kind that comes when something so wonderful falls in your lap that joy is what you jump for,
  • Something not of your own doing,
  • When the blue sky opens and out pops a refund from the Government or an invitation to a terrapin dinner or an unhoped-for Yes from the lovely creature you have been disconsolately wooing.
  • And obviously such miracles don’t happen every day,
  • But here’s hoping they may,
  • Because then everybody would be happy except the people who pride themselves on creating their own happiness who as soon as they saw everybody who didn’t create their own happiness happy they would probably grieve over sharing their own heretofore private sublimity,
  • A condition which I could face with equanimity.

— The Anatomy of Happiness
Ogden Nash was born this day in 1902

Ernie

 

 

Sometimes

Manchmal

Manchmal, wenn ein Vogel ruft
Oder ein Wind geht in den Zweigen
Oder ein Hund bellt im fernsten Gehöft,
Dann muß ich lange lauschen und schweigen.

Meine Seele flieht zuruck,
Bis wo vor tausend vergessenen Jahren
Der Vogel und der wehende Wind
Mir ähnlich und meine Bruder waren.

Meine Seele wird ein Baum
Und ein Tier und ein Wolkenweben.
Verwandelt und fremd kehrt sie zuruck
Und fragt mich. Wie soll ich Antwort geben?

–Hermann Hesse

From flickr.com: Primeval (4) | Old-growth forest, Columbia County, within th | Flickr1024 Ã-- 683 - 446k -

Sometimes

Sometimes the call of a bird
Or the rustle of wind-blown leaf,
Or the yelp of a dog, barely heard…
I am taken by laughter, then grief.

My soul flies back, aeons past
This life and so many others,
To a time when we all clove fast;
This bird and the wind were my brothers.

My soul becomes the tree,
A wisp of cloud, then a pond…
When, transformed, it comes back to me
Ripe with questions, how should I respond?

— translation by JJM