Thursday, November 28, 2013


As the sun rose this Thanksgiving morning, gradually warming the fields and woodlands that surround our new home in South Carolina, I remembered a Denise Levertov song of praise that I recently discovered.  It's an excerpt from Levertov's long poem, Mass For The Day of St. Thomas Didymus, and it expresses much of what I feel on this day — a deep sense of gratitude for the daily unfolding of life; for simple, overlooked things like light and shadow; and for the mysterious forces that continue to give meaning to our lives through "flow and change, night and the pulse of day."  Perhaps you, too, will be inspired by the poem.

                                                            ii Gloria

by Denise Levertov

                                Praise the wet snow
                                         falling early.
                                Praise the shadow
                                         my neighbor's chimney casts on the tile roof
                                even this gray October day that should, they say,
                                have been golden.
                                the invisible sun burning beyond
                                     the white cold sky, giving us
                                light and the chimney's shadow.
                                god or the gods, the unknown,
                                that which imagined us, which stays
                                our hand,
                                our murderous hand,
                                                     and gives us
                                in the shadow of death,
                                             our daily life,
                                             and the dream still
                                of goodwill, of peace on earth.
                                flow and change, night and 
                                the pulse of day.

                       HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE!

Monday, November 25, 2013



                            Leave the familiar for a while.  Let your senses 
                            and bodies stretch out

                             like a welcomed season onto meadows and
                             shores and hills.

                            Open up to the roof.  Make a new watermark 
                            on your excitement and love.

                             Like a blooming night flower, bestow your vital
                             fragrance of happiness and giving upon our 
                             intimate assembly.

                             Change rooms in your mind for a day.  All the 
                             hemispheres in existence lie beside an equator 
                             in your soul.

                             Greet yourself in your thousand other forms as 
                             you mount the hidden tide and travel back home.

                             All the hemispheres in heaven are sitting around 
                             a campfire chatting, while

                             stitching themselves together into the great circle
                             inside of you.

Translation by Daniel Ladinsky, A Year With Hafiz: Daily Contemplations

Monday, November 18, 2013


After seemingly endless months
of selling a house, buying a house, moving from one state to another, 
and trying to retain some measure of order in my life, 
I left the the household chaos early this morning and drove 
an hour northward to enjoy some of the myriad offerings of autumn
 in the Southern Appalachians.

My destination was Table Rock and Lake Pinnacle, 
a tranquil and pristine body of water that lies at the foot of the cliffs.
  When I arrived, the lake was just emerging from the morning fog. 
 In fifteen or twenty minutes, however, the skies began to clear . . . 

. . . and Table Rock greeted the morning sun with all of its glory.

Below the sheer cliffs of Table Rock, 
the trees seemed to create an impressionist painting of the fall colors . . .

Circling Lake Pinnacle, which was flat as a mirror,
 offered amazing views of the skies, mountains, and foliage
 being reflected in the still waters.

This was the finest day I've enjoyed in many months, 
and I'm truly excited about the infinite possibilities of exploring this part of my new world on foot.  There are trails in every direction and the scenery is nothing less than sensational!

These particular photos are best viewed at full screen (click on center of each photo).

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Moors in North York Moors National Park, North Yorkshire, England

                                                     The Moor
                                                    R.S. Thomas

                                       It was like a church to me.
                                       I entered it on soft foot,
                                       Breath held like a cap in the hand.
                                       It was quiet.
                                       What God was there made himself felt,
                                       Not listened to , in clean colors
                                       That brought a moistening of the eye,
                                       In movement of the wind over the grass.

                                       There were no prayers said.  But stillness
                                       Of the heart's passions — that was praise
                                       Enough; and the mind's cession
                                       Of its kingdom.  I walked on.
                                       Simple and poor, while the air crumbled
                                       and broke on me generously as bread.