Monday, December 14, 2020

a path in the woods

I don't trust the truth of memories
because what leaves us
departs forever
There's only one current of this sacred river
but I still want to remain faithful
to my first astonishments
to recognize as wisdom the child's wonder
and to carry in myself until the end a path
in the woods of my childhood
dappled with patches of sunlight
to search for it everywhere
in museums in the shade of churches
this path on which I ran unaware
a six-year old
toward my primary mysterious aloneness

Anna Kamienska
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

something that happens right now


I haven't told this before. By our house on the plains before I was born my father planted a maple. At night after bedtime when others were asleep I would go out and stand beside it and know all the way north and all the way south. Air from the fields wandered in. Stars waited with me. All of us ached with a silence, needing the next thing, but quiet. We leaned into midnight and then leaned back. On the rise to the west the radio tower blinked - so many messages pouring by. 
    A great surge came rushing from everywhere and wrapped all the land and sky. Where were we going? How soon would our house break loose and become a little speck lost in the vast night? My father and mother would die. The maple tree would stand right there. With my hand on that smooth bark we would watch it all. Then my feet would come loose from Earth and rise by the power of longing. I wouldn't let the others know about this, but I would be everywhere, as I am right now, a thin tone like the wind, a sip of blue light - no source, no end, no horizon. 

William Stafford
The Way It Is
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Sunday, December 6, 2020


What's it like to be human
asked the bird

I don't know really
It's to be prisoner in your own skin
but crave infinity
to be captive of a crumb of time
but reach for eternity
to be hopelessly uncertain
and a fool of hope
to be a crystal of frost
and a handful of heat
to breathe in air
to choke without words
to be on fire
and have a nest of ashes
to eat bread
but feast on hungers
to die without love
but love beyond death

That's funny said the bird
flying lightly up into the sky

Anna Kamienska
Photos:  Peter Bowers

Thursday, December 3, 2020



    Breath, you invisible poem! 
    Pure, continuous exchange
    with all that is, flow and counterflow
    where rhythmically I come to be.
    Each time a wave that occurs just once
    in a sea I discover I am.
    You, innermost of oceans,
    you, infinitude of space.
    How many far places were once
    within me. Some winds
    are like my own child.
    When I breathe them now, do they know me again?
    Air, you silken surround,
    completion and seed of my words.
    Rainer Maria Rilke
    Sonnets to Orpheus
    Part Two I
    Trans. Anita Barrows & Joanna Macy
    Photo:  Peter Bowers