1395. As a writer you have a duty to be a messenger. ~Jay Griffiths

We all serve as a vessel to be
messengers for one another.
Are you sharing the messages
you’re inspired to speak?
Someone is waiting to hear your words.
~Nanette MathewsScreen Shot 2017-07-22 at 8.11.38 PM.pngMy work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam…
~Excerpted lines from The Messenger,
a poem by Mary OliverScreen Shot 2017-07-22 at 8.22.59 PM.pngWe often see ourselves as small, insignificant citizens,
but God sees in us as His messengers.
~Sunday AdelajaScreen Shot 2017-07-22 at 8.22.12 PM.png

“ ‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’ ” ~Daniel 4:17  ✝

**Sunflowers images taken by Natalie; hummingbird images via Pinterest

1199.The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. ~Norbert Platt

The ablest writer is only a gardener first,
and then a cook: his tasks are, carefully to select
and cultivate his strongest and most nutritive thoughts;
and when they are ripe, to dress them, wholesomely,
and yet so that they may have a relish.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare

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I would like to write a poem about the world that has in it
nothing fancy.
But it seems impossible.
Whatever the subject, the morning sun
glimmers it.
The tulip feels the heat and flaps its petals open and becomes a star.
The ants bore into the peony bud and there is a dark
pinprick well of sweetness.
As for the stones on the beach, forget it.
Each one could be set in gold.
So I tried with my eyes shut, but of course the birds
were singing.
And the aspen trees were shaking the sweetest music
out of their leaves.
And that was followed by, guess what, a momentous and
beautiful silence as comes to all of us, in little earfuls, if we’re not too
hurried to hear it.
As for spiders, how the dew hangs in their webs
even if they say nothing, or seem to say nothing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe they sing.
So fancy is the world, who knows, maybe the stars sing too,
and the ants, and the peonies, and the warm stones,
so happy to be where they are, on the beach, instead of being
locked up in gold.
~Mary Oliver

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. ~Psalm 45:1  ✝

**All images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

914. The damp of the night drives me deeper into my soul. ~Walt Whitman

The rain is alive with songs
it has penned 
for thousands years,
and my heart is blessed
by the sound of its music.
~Idea for above by Natalie Scarberry inspired
by a song in the SOUND OF MUSIC

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The Voice of the Rain
And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:

I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form’d,
altogether changed, and yet the same,
I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin,
and make pure and beautify it;
(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering,
Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns.)
~Walt Whitman

“He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams…” ~Job 36:27  ✝

**The poet Walt Whitman writes of a conversation he once had with the rain as it dropped gently from the heavens. “Who are you?” the poet asked. Strangely, the raindrops replied and the poet translates its answer for the readers. “I am the poem of the earth,” said the rain. The rain adds that it is born in the form of invisible and intangible vapors that rise eternally from the earth’s land and deep water bodies. It then reaches heaven (the sky) and changes its appearance complete to form clouds of abstract, changeable shapes. Yet, at its core, it remains the same as it was at birth. It then returns to earth as little droplets which wash away the dust and rejuvenate the drought-ridden, dry land. New plants find life which would have otherwise remained hidden and unborn inside the land as mere seeds. Thus, this perpetual cyclic lifestyle ensures that the rain retunes to its origin, the earth, giving it life, and making it pure and beautiful. The poet realizes that the rain’s life is similar to that of any song. A song’s birth place is the poet’s heart. Once complete, it is passed on (wanders) from one person to another. It may change (reck’d) or remain the same (unreck’d) as it travels, but one day, it returns to the poet with all due love of the listeners. The poem is written from the point of view of someone who asked the rain who it was and was answered, it saying “I am the poem of the Earth”, then proceeding to tell how it comes from the earth, only to return once again to wash it and nourish it…that if it were not for the rain, seeds would remain seeds and not flower into their full potential…giving back life to its origin. Then the poem’s “turn” uses this story as a segway to show how “song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfillment, wandering, Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns.” Meaning that songs come from the soul and after they’ve been heard, and thought good or bad, return with love. Just as rain rises and falls back again, so do poems, songs and other forms of beauty from the soul. (In the photo on the left side of the collage, the artist penned the words to Whitman’s song as the drops of rain.)

662. The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only. ~Joseph Wood Krutch

Out of the bosom of the air
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.
This is the poem of the air.
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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Snow again? Unfreakingbelievable! I’d been waiting and watching the skies all winter for signs of snow and when did it finally come? Three weeks, more or less, before the arrival of the vernal equinox and at the time of my knee surgery. Not only that but before the snow fell last week you’d have thought spring was springing up and out all over my neck of the woods.  Why so?  The neighboring Bradford pear trees were budding out, my redbud tree was budding out, the willow at the back was leafing out, the roses were also leafing out, some even had buds, hyacinth were blooming, daffodils were flowering, and an assortment of green things were sprouting up and out of the ground. But then and in the twinkling of an eye– wham, bam, boom, the temps plummeted, the rains came, and as February’s doors closed the “poetry” of snow fell. Go figure! But then since our last average freeze date is March 15th, silly old me thought perhaps the sun would be back this week and we’d start warming up. But oh no! Sunday, on the way home from the hospital I heard forecasters predict more below freezing temps for the week as well as additional rain, sleet, or snow. And wouldn’t you know, the weather gurus who are often wrong when it comes to Texas weather were 100% right this time because once more as this week progressed the temps plummeted, the rains came, and then last night out of the “bosom of the air” fell the “poetry of snow” for the second time in less than a week! My oh my oh my, but Mother Nature can be quite the fickle and cruel old gal at times, can’t she?!
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Throughout the evening I watched the snow fairies
As they were falling, falling from the sky, and
Whirling willy-nilly about in the misty air while
Contending fiercely for space supremacy.
Then as the night deepened they flew down mightily,
As though in heaven there had been a revolt or a riot
Which drove the frail things into a panicked flight
Down to the calm earth in search of peace and quiet.
Finally I went on to bed but rose early at dawn
And saw myriads of them huddled together in heaps,
Each merged into the other upon any and all surfaces,
Fast asleep, worn out by their sharp struggle.
~Edited and adapted lines by Claude McKay
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. ~Psalm 4:8   ✝

656. Have you ever noticed a tree standing naked against the sky? ~J. Krishnamurti

Last night the rain spoke to me slowly, saying,
what joy to come falling out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again in a new way on the earth!
That’s what it said as it dropped, smelling of iron,
and vanished like a dream of the ocean
into the branches and the grass below.
Then it was over. The sky cleared.
I was standing under a tree.
The tree was a tree with happy leaves…
~Excerpted lines from a poem by Mary Oliver

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Have you ever noticed a tree
standing naked against the sky.
How beautiful it is!
All its branches are outlined,
and in its nakedness
there is a poem, there is a song.
Every leaf is gone
and it is waiting for the spring.
When the spring comes,
it again fills the tree with
the music of many leaves,
which in due season 
fall
and are blown away.
And this is the way of life.
~J. Krishnamurti

I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. ~Leviticus 26:4   ✝

** Image via Pinterest

645. And if tonight my soul may find her peace in sleep, and sink in good oblivion, and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower then I have been dipped again in God, new created. ~D. H. Lawrence

In slumber we fall into the deep, silent waters of consciousness, and then something, somewhere beneath the surface stirs us back to wakefulness. The same thing is happening now in my slumbering, wintry garden. A divine force or spark is stirring life back into seemingly lifelessness.

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A spark.  A flame.  A fire. A seed.  A plant.  A flower.  An egg.  An embryo.  A life. What is it that stirs matter and spirit?  What is it that stirs us?  What moves us?  What is it that makes life taste bitter or sweet upon the tongue?  What things do we feel that can’t quite be put into words?

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The following poem was written by Wallace Stevens. In it, his is the voice of questioning meant to refute religion/Christianity, and yet his images are the kinds of things that stir me in the opposite direction by rousing and impassioning my faith and belief in Christ. So it seems to me that Stevens, even in his attempt at denial, was himself somehow stirred by things in nature not wholly of this world, And I also have to wonder what exactly he thinks a soul is? Is not the soul that which connects mortal man to the Holy One who made us? Isn’t it the piece of God in us?

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Sunday Morning

What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch,
These are the measures destined for her soul.
~Wallace Stevens

For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. ~Job 33:14-16   ✝

504. O suns and skies and clouds of June, and flowers of June together, ye cannot rival for one hour October’s bright blue weather. ~Helen Hunt Jackson

 

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Delightful candy apples,
A red carmel coating,
Sticky with each bite you take.
making faces red.
~Sylvia

Sylvia’s poem above is Dodoitsu which is a form of Japanese poetry developed towards the end of the Edo Period. Dodoitsu poems consist of four lines with the syllabic structure 7-7-7-5, no rhyme or metre is used, and any subject is acceptable.

Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings. ~Psalm 17:8   ✝

**Candy Apple Image found on Pinterest