I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence.
Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,
the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back
from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere
except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle
of unobservable mysteries – – -roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This
I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn
flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay – – – how everything lives, shifting
from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
All the kings of the earth sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, and robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules. ~2 Chronicles 9:23-24 ✝
To sit with a dog on a hillside
on a glorious afternoon is to be
back in Eden, where doing nothing
was not boring – it was peace.
The Old Poets of China
Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains,
then crept into the pale mist.
When Mozart was composing at the end of the eighteenth century, the city of Vienna was so quiet that fire alarms could be given verbally, by a shouting watchman mounted on top of St. Stefan’s Cathedral. In twenty-first-century society, the noise level is such that it keeps knocking our bodies out of tune and out of their natural rhythms. This ever-increasing assault of sound upon our ears, minds, and bodies adds to the stress load of civilized beings trying to live in a highly complex environment. ~Edited comment by Steven Halpern
He (the Lord) makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. ~Psalm 23:2-3 ✝
Today I saw the dragonfly
Come from the wells where he did lie.
An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
His dried wings: like gauze they grew;
Through crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light he flew.
~Lord Alfred Tennyson
What an absolutely exquisite creature! Such as this winged beauty are so stunningly wondrous that I’m almost left speechless when I see them. Not only are they breathtaking in form and beauty but they are also valued predators in controlling populations of harmful insects. And the fact that their oldest known relatives date back over 300 million years ago seldom fails to bring forward for me images of what earth’s pristine splendor must have been like in the beginning. In addition I find it fascinating that they have been a subject of intrigue on every continent in which they’ve been found and with each civilization that has encountered them. Because of the dragonfly’s unique characteristics such as their agile flight and ability to move in all six directions; their ability to move at an amazing 45 miles per hour, hover like a helicopter, fly backwards like a hummingbird, fly straight up, down and on either side; their ability to exhibit iridescence both on their wings and their bodies to show themselves in different colors; the reality that almost 80% of their brain power is dedicated to sight; and the fact that they are able see in all 360 degrees around them, these ethereal, flying wonders have been the topic of legends as well as symbols for various emotions and physical or spiritual traits down through the ages. What a phenomenal Creator is Yahweh that He brought into being all that dwells here on planet Earth!
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings… ~Psalm 17:8 ✝