Monday, February 17, 2014

Meditation In The Arms Of Nature:Birds of Passage by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow*The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry*The Summer Day by Mary Oliver*What I Have Learned So Far by Mary Oliver


Birds of Passage
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Black shadows fall
From the lindens tall,
That lift aloft their massive wall
Against the southern sky;

And from the realms
Of the shadowy elms
A tide-like darkness overwhelms
The fields that round us lie.

But the night is fair,
And everywhere
A warm, soft vapor fills the air,
And distant sounds seem near,

And above,in the light
Of the star-lit night,
Swift birds of passage wing their flight
Through the dewy atmosphere.

I hear the beat
Of their pinions fleet,
As from the land of snow and sleet
They seek a southern lea.

I hear the cry
Of their voices high
Falling dreamily through the sky,
But their forms I cannot see.

Oh, say not so!
Those sounds that flow
In murmurs of delight and woe
Come not from wings of birds.

They are the throngs
Of the poet's songs,
Murmurs of pleasures,and pains, and wrongs,
The sound of winged words.

This is the cry
Of souls,that high
On toiling,beating pinions,fly,
Seeking a warmer clime,

From their distant flight
Through realms of light
It falls into our world of night,
With the murmuring sound of rhyme.

Atkinson Grimshaw Art

The Peace of Wild Things
Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water,and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light.For the time
I rest in the grace of the world,and am free.

The Summer Day
Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper,I mean-
the one who who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead
of up and down -
who is gazing around with her enormous and
complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly
washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last,and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

What I Have Learned So Far
Mary Oliver

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit,every morning of my life,on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because,properly
attended to,delight,as well as havoc,is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just,the
ideal,the sublime,and the holy,and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don't think so.

All summations have a beginning,all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance.The gospel of
light is the crossroads - of indolence, or action.
Be ignited, or be gone.

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