home left forty years
ago re-visited in a
forty year old car
SRM – MM Haiku 103 Day 133
daily reflection led to
one hundred poems
SRM – MM Haiku 100 Day 130
how is this joy-filled
joy of a boy a year old
SRM – MM Haiku 86 Day 116
imagine time as
occasional harvest chime
and then before that
SRM – MM Haiku 77 Day 107
sometimes a poem
is mulled instantly and some
others at leisure
SRM – MM Haiku 55 Day 85
Looking at the sky
I never will have time
I never will have time enough
How beautiful it is
The way the moon
Floats in the air
And lightly as a bird
Although she is a world
Made all of stone.
I never will have time enough
The way the stars
Hang glittering in the dark
Of steepest heaven
Their dewy sparks
Their brimming drops of light
So fresh so clear
That when you look at them
It quenches thirst.
Living Things: Collected Poems, 2006
This lovely poem brings forth a question in me, perhaps intentionally. The poet writes ‘I never will have time enough to say …’ – and I understand the poetic gist readily enough. But is it true for me? Have I not time enough to say all that I need or want to say? So I follow Anne Porter’s example and head out for a few moments to look up at the night sky. And in my heart I find it is enough. Indeed it isn’t really necessary to say anything at all. Yes, enough. In this moment there is time. And perhaps tomorrow there’ll be some more.
The New Song
For some time I thought there was time
and that there would always be time
for what I had a mind to do
and what I could imagine
going back to and finding it
as I had found it the first time
but by this time I do not know
what I thought when I thought back then
there is no time yet it grows less
there is the sound of rain at night
arriving unknown in the leaves
once without before or after
then I hear the thrush waking
at daybreak singing the new song
W S Merwin
The Moon Before Morning
Our neighbour brought us a beautiful thrush, stunned after flying directly into her window. ‘You’re good with birds,’ she said.
And it’s true that, sometimes, after an hour or two of warmth and watching, breeze ruffling feathers revivifies, and we have known the joy of tentative flapping giving way again to flight.
But not this time ‘as I had found it the first time’. So there’s been another little burial.
And a flood of metaphors perennial.
And then this morning, at daybreak …
Photo at Pixabay
I am only beginning to know what I was taught
As a child about poetry, about life, about myself;
It takes a long time for words to become thought,
For thought, the slow burner, to burn through
Into life where it can scorch the palm of a hand,
When what was merely beautiful or strange
Suffers the metamorphosis, the blood-change,
Looks out of eyes or walks down the street,
All that was abstract become concrete,
Is part of you like an eyelash or your hair;
You say “Poetry” and mean you have been there.
You are just beginning to understand
What it is all about, the imaginary land,
Say, “I can’t possibly describe the weather.
It’s as if the sky burned, was all on fire,
Ecstasy that makes ash of bodily desire —
But all I have to show is a stone and a blue feather.”
My children, you with whom I have learned so much,
Do not turn back to these hours; go forward,
Look to the fertile days and years ahead
When all that meaning and its implication,
The full tone and the half-tone and the whisper
Will sound together and keep the mind awake,
As after hearing a difficult quartet
The theme comes clear and you listen again
Long after you had thought you heard;
So it is with the deep thought, the deep word.
Now we are able only to graph the flight;
For we never actually rose from the ground,
Imagine a moment when student and teacher
(Long after the day and the lesson are over)
Will soar together to the pure immortal air
And find Yeats, Hopkins, Eliot waiting there.
But you understand, it cannot happen yet.
It takes a long time to live what you learn:
I believe we shall meet again and show each other
These curious marvels, the stone and the blue feather;
And we shall meet again when your own children are
Taught what they will not know for many a year.
Collected Poems, 1930-1993
Long after you had thought you heard; / So it is with the deep thought, the deep word.
Yes. And here in cave-like depths of contemplative silence (all-beyond the initial verbosity) one catches momentary glimpses of invitation, like fireflies, eternally suspended in air: go forward, / look to the fertile days and years ahead.
Not much to report at the end of another day of domestic upheaval – save to say that the interior work is nearly complete. Tomorrow evening the library shelves can be ordered properly again and we’re very delighted that everywhere’s looking wonderfully clean and fresh.
Then again, on that very same domestic front there is some glad news to report. Many years ago we bought an already old marble chiming clock. Suffice to say that it is treasured and that we have been sad that, being much travelled, (an indignity for a venerable clock) it has not functioned beyond the occasional unexplained half-hour’s worth of tick-tocking for the past few years. I know, I know! We ought to have had it round to the horologist’s before now but, well, you know how it is.
Anyway, something about having its environment turned upside down in the name of interior decoration has agreed with our beloved clock. Presently resited, pride of place in our kitchen, I’m contentedly contemplating time’s gentle movement, minute by minute. Of course I can check my wristwatch, my iPhone too. But it’s not the same. I’m an old-fashioned stick-in-the-mud dotty about “proper” clocks since childhood. Thirty-six hours restored pendulum-swing to date, and counting. And to celebrate we’ve looked up a friendly home-based horologist to arrange a bit of interior redecoration for the grand old timepiece. About time.