Sunday, April 21, 2013

Some Can Sing

This spring has been absolutely glorious! Most springs are, but this one has been above average. And tramping through the woods and hopping over creeks with my friend Carrie I've been on site and in a mood to notice the glories. But few of us notice the wonders of nature with the clarity of the old Japanese poets. They noticed more because they took the time to sit and watch, to lie down and listen. We have a very hard time waiting for life and the world and glory to make themselves known to us. But when we do take time to notice, oh what an amazing creation meets us at every step!

Even with insects--
some can sing,
some can't.

old pond.....
a frog leaps in
water's sound      

White dew --
One drop
On each thorn


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Anything Except The Fiction

Today I began work on a novel tentatively titled "Seven." Most of my life I've wanted to write fiction, but instead I seem to have written almost exclusively poetry, essays, literary criticism, scholarly theological polemics, sermons, etc. Almost anything except the fiction that I've wanted to write. Why do we so often do that--pour ourselves into everything except that one thing we most want? Is it a fear of failure? It could just as well be a fear of succeeding. I am hoping to have a draft by Christmas. We will see.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Let Them Point

Dorothy Parker turned heads, and eyes were rolled at her, and tongues were clucked at the mention of her name. When Captain Jack Sparrow was told, "You are without doubt the worst pirate I've ever heard of," he retorted, "But you have heard of me." Dorothy Parker lived this retort out daily, for most of her life. Many in America were sure that she was the worst woman they'd ever heard of, but all must admit that they had heard of her.

And yet, while she was censured in public, she was paid grandly to perform on every stage in the country. Everyone wanted to see her and hear her mock her own indiscretions. They'd pay to come to her speeches, then go home and cluck their tongues that such a creature was allowed in decent society. But in the end her wit and candor were worth more to the world than were a thousand decent people's judgments.

Then let them point my every tear,
And let them mock and moan;
Another week, another year,
And I'll be with my own

Who slumber now by night and day
In fields of level brown;
Whose hearts within their breasts were clay
Before they laid them down.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Heart Lapped Strength

Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

He Giveth His Beloved Sleep

Be blessed, my beloved, and sleep.

It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Psalm 127:2

The Sleep
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Of all the thoughts of God that are
Borne inward unto souls afar,
Along the Psalmist's music deep,
Now tell me if that any is,
For gift or grace, surpassing this--
     "He giveth His beloved, sleep"?