526. Heat lingers as days are still long; early mornings are cool while autumn is still young. ~Po Chu-i, Chinese poet who lived from 772-864 during the Tang Dynasty

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

~Excerpt from i thank you God for most this amazing… (65)

by e.e. cummings, a poet whose peculiar syntax
and lack of or strange use of punctuation
conjures up as lasting and as memorable
images as this photo

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I think it curious when I read another’s perfect description of my current reality, especially when it is one like Po Chu-i’s that was written so long ago and so far away from where I am. When it happens, I can’t help but wonder what the writer was like, what he was doing when not writing poetry, and what the landscape looked like that inspired his thoughts and rhymes. Was he young like the autumn of which he spoke, or was he like me, one who has weathered many an autumn. I also  wonder if in China today the heat lingers again in Lady Autumn’s infancy. It’s certainly lingering hear in Texas in the 21st century. However, I’m not complaining because for some time now our early morns have been deliciously cool as have been the evenings that draw the days to an end. So cool in fact was it again this morning that after last night’s watering, droplets yet bejeweled the rose in the photo. That in and of itself is cause for thanksgiving since it wasn’t too long ago that all such surface water would have evaporated before dawn’s first light brushed away night’s obscurity. Actually, despite the lingering heat, this fall has been filled with more than a fair measure of splendor, a smattering of its usual intimations of holy mysteries, and now the first expected touches of nature’s autumnal poetry have been penned. Speaking of poetry, some poets like e.e. cummings write lines that challenge easy interpretation, but often poetry which defies easy understanding endures through the ages because the words and thoughts resonate in the deepest chambers of the human heart. Perhaps that’s why today I’m captivated by cumming’s poetic imagination as well as nature’s magical images and the Lord’s amazing genius.

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4   ✝

484. Flowers are those little colorful beacons of the sun from which we get sunshine when dark, somber skies blanket our thoughts. ~Dodinsky

The earth has received the embrace of the sun
and we shall see the result of that love.
~Hunkesni (Sitting Bull)

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The flowers in these photos are the result of another year’s embrace of the sun. It will be the remembrance of them and the haunting songs of their colors, separately and collectively, that will lift my spirits when in the months to come we traverse winter’s “vale of grief.” If my memory of them should grow dim, I’ll have but to look heavenward and watch for them in the rising and the setting of the sun on days when a window in the gloom has been opened. In those moments when they streak the eastern or western horizon in a blaze of glory I’ll remember that as the earth tilts back toward the sun, the sun’s embrace will bring the flowers, their lovely colors, and their songs back to life. When they return and the air is filled with the music of many rhymes, my prayer is. . .

That the morning sun stir us with gladness from ours bed,
That the winds of March move us happily along the new year’s road,
That the rains of April renew our strength,
That the flowers and colors of May captivate our sight,
That the summer inflame our zeal,
That autumn’s colors stimulate our dreams,
That the silver moon make us wiser yet,
That the Lord keep us young at heart so that
we are full of life, laughter, song, and gratitude
for the holiness and goodness in all that the sun and His love embraces.
~Edited and adapted from a blessing by Fr. Andrew Greeley

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. ~Psalm 19:1-5    ✝

** I made the collage of flowers from images found on PInterest.

402. Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. ~Jeffrey Glassberg

Given wings, where might you fly?
In what sweet heaven might you find your love?
Unwilling to be bound, where might you move,
Lost between the wonder and the why?
~Nicholas Gordon


A caterpillar eats voraciously until it’s time to make a button of silk in order to fasten its body to a leaf or a twig. Later, when it emerges from its chrysalis, its wings are wet and wrinkled. To expand and dry them it uses its body as a pump and forces fluid through a series of tube-like veins. As the veins fill with fluid, the wrinkled surface of its wings is stretched out. And what beautifully striking wings are those of swallowtail butterflies!


A butterfly’s life is all about flight and flying, and that takes a lot of energy so it drinks nectar from flowers to get the energy it needs. To find nectar it uses taste organs at the end of each of its six legs. When any or all of its legs touch a good food source, a reflex causes the proboscis to uncoil, and voilà, a delicious meal is had and the dance is on. As these two magnificent creatures danced this week, they wrote charming little couplets in my garden. As you can see by the blurry edges on the black one (I deliberately chose one of the blurrier shots because I love the image it made), it seldom stopped fluttering its wings; so its poetic ditties were penned with a bit of a stutter. The yellow one on the other hand stopped moving now and again maybe because it wanted to insert a pregnant pause between the lines of its clever rhymes.

I call on You, my God, for you will answer me: turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings… ~Psalm 17:6 and 8 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

355. Forget diamonds, wear a crown of daisies. ~Sandra O’Connell

… At my feet the white-petaled daisies display
the small suns of their center piece their–if you don’t mind
my saying so–their hearts. Of course
I could be wrong, perhaps their hearts are pale and
narrow and hidden in their roots. What do I know,
But this: it is heaven itself to take what is given,
to see what is plain;
what the sun lights up willingly…
~Excerpt from “Daisies” by Mary Oliver


He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me… It’s funny how some things, even those learned in early childhood, never fade from memory. I’ll bet most, if not all of you, remember pulling the petals off a daisy and reciting this ditty over and over again until the final petal gave up the supposed truth. Georgia O’Keefe, the American artist who painted those amazing, large-format pictures of enlarged blossoms, said of them, “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in a city rush around so they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” Why would she feel that way? I think it’s because there is just something in the “world of a flower” that exudes sanctitude and goodness, a revelation that sheds light into the mysteries of life. And its words seem to say over and over again, “I speak of a divine and devoted lover. I tell tales of a garden created in a faraway place, a long time ago. I describe a tragic fall therein from divine Grace. I relate attempts to redeem the lost children of subsequent generations. I narrate stories of a Savior who did His father’s bidding. I share the story of the Christ’s sacrifice and His magnanimous offer of redemption. I talk of holy men bound to spread the Messiah’s story who, as they moved from one monastery garden to another, spread species of my kind from place to place. I inspire men of rhymes to write poetry about me that speaks to human hearts. I sing hopeful, prophetic melodies of my faithful return year and year, millennia upon millennia. I whisper words from above of unending love into listening ears. Quite simply, if you look at me and hold me, cherish me and revere me, I will make known to you the Creator of heaven and earth, and you will forever bless His holy name for He is the One who answered once and for all your childhood query.

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. ~Psalm 52:8 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

40. Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world. ~Virgil Kraft

Awake, thou wintry earth –
fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth –
your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn


Leaf by leaf, bud by bud, and blossom by blossom the spring of the year advances.   On warmish days, earth casts off its wintry gloom, and breezes broadcast sweetly-scented aromas.  The first butterflies then dare to soar and the hungry bees hum amid the glad laughter issuing forth from flowering bulbs and trees.  As a result the year’s initial poetry of rebirth is penned by the pollinating, aerial whirring of dainty wings.  In the meantime as I hurry about trying to taking photos of the blossoming narratives and their paramours, I often find myself asking the same question Walt Whitman once did.  “Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?”  The answer I’ve decided is that the arms of trees reach towards the heavens to gather sacred messages meant to draw mankind near to “the living Word of God in nature” as well as what is read in Scripture.

In our area the first verses of  “tree” poetry come from Saucer Magnolias.  Their big, goblet-shaped flowers pen exquisite couplets in pink and white.  Soon to follow are the brilliant white blossoms of Star Magnolias.  Though not quite enough lines to form a fourteen-lined sonnet, their twelve exquisite, “petal-poesy” lines form rhyming schemes as lovely as any Shakespearean sonnet.  Next and in perfect rhyming sequences come the double samaras.  Samaras, the scarlet, dual winged fruits of the Red Maple, look like long, slender fairy wings as they dance choric rhymes writ by the winds.  Then come the Eastern Redbuds and Bradford Pears that compose stunning free-verse stanzas in purple and white, each resplendent branch, a psalm written in praise of its Maker.  For a pollinator now there’s no quandary about where sweet nectaries are to be found for stanza after stanza they and I are lead in springtime to earth’s most festive and delicious banquets.

He has taken me to the banquet hall, and His banner over me is love.  ~Song of Songs 2:4