1404. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. ~Carl Sandburg

The world is full of poetry.
The air is living with spirit; 
and
the waves dance to the music of its melodies,
and sparkle in its brightness
.
~James Gates Percival

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Sometime between the 8th and 9th grade in school, I decided that I didn’t like poetry at all and that I would never be a teacher, especially NOT an English teacher. All three pronouncements eventually became lies however as I spenr 31 years as a public school educator, half of which were spent teaching English. And I also came to truly love poetry. So I’ve questioned over the years the wisdom of teaching to young teenages works like the epic poem Beowulf, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the longest poem ever written by Coleridge, and Poe’s The Raven which has been called an allegory or a work that falls into didacticism. It does seem to be a bit over the top for 13, 14, and 15 year olds even very intelligent ones, don’t you think? And how many others, like me, who, as a result of similar early encounters with such challenging pieces of literature, really began detesting poetry and subsequently never came into an appreciation of it? Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for challenging learners at any age, but there is just something about poetry, at least the kinds that I mentioned, that teenagers are not quite able to truly understand and/or appreciate. Of course there are a few who could or would maybe, but I’ve often thought that perhaps most, when faced with such daunting literary works, never learned to love poetry or find inspiration in it. Then there was the fact that back in the dark ages when I was in school, not only did we have to read those “thorny” poems, but we also had to memorize passages from them and eventually stand up in front of class and recite the lines for a grade. I don’t know about the rest of you, but that strikes terror in the hearts of many a student at that age including myself on occasion. However, now some 50+ decades later, I enjoy being able to yet quote some of those lines. In addition I love the genre of poetry, a large and growing number of poems, and the poets who crafted them, even if they are or were individuals who lived less than stellar or troubled lives. For example, I recently read The Raven for the first time in forever, and although Poe led a fairly sordid life filled with ordeals, I couldn’t help but be awestruck by the beauty and musicality of the poem as well as by the bits of great wisdom I found either in some of the lines themselves or between them. After all life has always been made up of “the good, the bad, and the ugly,” hasn’t it? So I’ve decided today to share a poem I like once a week in hopes that it will speak to you as many have spoken to me. After all we bloggers are writers of sorts and some are even poets so I think most of us appreciate the beauty of poetic words, rhyming or not. Thus I hope you enjoy poetic Wordy Wednesday postings in addition to pictographic Wordless Wednesday posts.

The Wishing Fish
BY THOMAS VORCE

What if you could be a trout
And splash and flip And flop about.
Amidst the river’s ripples you
Would catch sun shimmers
And renew the summer wind.
You’d stop to chat With trouty friends
And make amends.
Or discourse on the willow’s bend.
The gala of the water’s course,
Like laughter of a child,
Would run along your gullet
With the mystery of the wild.
And every wish you ever heard
Would be in chorus with the birds.
As palettes made of rainbows play,
You’d flap your fins
To greet the day.
Along the banks you’d rest at night
And fire flies like lamps would light
The glowing of the August Moon,
Where fish make wishes of their own
And all the best remains unknown.

The person without the Spirit does not accept things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. ~1 Corinthians 2:14 ✝

**Image found on Pinterest

 

1250. A vignette-a small illustration or photograph that fades into its background without a definite border. ~New Oxford American Dictionary

For summer there, bear in mind, is a
loitering gossip, that only begins to talk
of leaving when September rises to go.
~George Washington Cable

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Ah summer, barbarous in the sun’s rays,
the sands in your hourglass remain but few
and yet your closing hours have not cooled.
Days now shorter still bring too large a measure
of treacherous heat amid high levels of humidity.
What once were colorful, flowery arrays fade
more and more into backgrounds blurred by eyes
weary of squinting from the blinding rays of sunlight.
There is only a mere tidbit of vignettes of what
once was the garden’s grandeur on an unequaled scale.
So, Rilke, I pray your prayer, and may the Lord
hear my pleas for summer’s heat to come to an end.
~Natalie Scarberry

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Lord, it is time.
The summer was very big.
Lay thy shadow on the sundials, and
on the meadows let the winds go loose.
Command the last fruits that they shall be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them on to fulfillment and drive
the last sweetness into the heavenly wine.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. ~Isaiah 40:29  ✝

**All photos taken by me in yard; collages by me; and I deliberately blurred the edges of them. 

1222. We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves. ~Leonora Carrington

From within and from behind, a
light shines through us upon things,
and makes us aware that we
are nothing, the but light is all.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I was up early this morning and so went wandering around the yard looking for something picture worthy. As I took these photos, I decided that they were more spectacular because of the play of early morning light on them. I saw only a portion of the flower as I rounded the corner, and even so the light shining through the leaves and the small portion of this flower’s filaments was both magical and mystical. And I’m always struck by how much holiness I sense in the light, even small pieces of it. It’s like God’s radiance falls on things in the garden as well as the sunlight. When it was all said and done, I couldn’t decided which was more stunning, the fragment of the flower or in the whole thing.

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Later in the day during a Bible Study I found myself surrounded by people who like these leaves and flowers were filled with notable and holy spiritual light. In the course of our discussion we talked about the fact that we are all made in the image of God. And so it occurred to me that whenever we look in a mirror we are actually seeing the face of God, coming face to face, as it were, with the very one who breathed life into us. And when you think of it that way, you realize that we are never separated from the Lord, no matter where life takes us or what we do or don’t do. He is always there behind the face, behind the light. Notice in the lines below how the First Nation’s people also connected life with light and breath.

What is life? It is the flash
of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo
in the wintertime. It is
the little shadow which runs
across the grass and loses
itself in the sunset.
~Crowfoot

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. ~Matthew 6:22  ✝

1188. Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. ~Chief Seattle

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across
the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
~Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator

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Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
~A Ute Prayer

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Oh Lord, whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath I feel moving in and out of me,
the very breath that gives life to me and all living things.
I come before you, as one of your children to ask that
You continue to reveal Yourself through Creation’s beauty.
May my hands always respect the things you’ve created;
May my ears be ever sharp to hear your voice; and
May I be wise enough to perceive the lessons
hidden in all things made of Your hands.
~My prayer based on one by
Chief Yellow Lark of the Lakota Sioux

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

**Three images via Pinterest; the bottom picture of the granite boulders taken by me on what were once First Nation’s lands at Medicine Park, Oklahoma

875. The foliage began losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many. ~Adapted quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Lord, it is time.
Summer has been very big.
Lay thy shadow on the sundials,
and on the meadows let the winds go loose.
Command the last fruits that they shall be full;
give them only a few more southerly days,
~Adapted quote by Rainer Maria Rilke

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September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours but in their lengthening evenings a prophetic breath of autumn.  The cricket chirps in the noontide, making the most of what remains of his brief life.  The bumblebee is busy among the blossoms of the aftermath, and their shrill and dreamy hum hold the outdoor world above the voices of the songbirds, now silent or departed. ~Rowland E. Robinson

Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. ~Song of Songs 4:16  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

859. Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us. ~Boris Pasternak

I’m a great believer in the
beauty and power of surprise.
~Mark Gatiss

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Even the dullest bird or face or object becomes interesting when you give it a good look in the wild/flesh. The way the shadow drops across the cheek, the light hits an eyebrow, and so on. There are many more angles and positions than you can ever imagine. My heart always makes a little jump when I see things in birds or faces or bits of nature that surprise me. ~Edited quote by Siegfried Woldhek

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. ~Psalm 29:8  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

486. The windows of my soul I throw wide open to the sun. ~John Greenleaf Whittier

Light gives of itself freely,
filling all available space.
It does not seek anything in return;
it asks not whether you are friend or foe.
It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.
~Michael Strassfeld

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All things in the natural world drink in sunlight, and they are affected by it a number of ways. When the sun’s warmth touches the skin on coolish days like today, it creates a pleasant sensation, and that pleasurable feeling seems to me to sink down into the depths of my being. Flesh and spirit drink in other light too, for they take in “the light of God and energy itself.” That’s why in an often cold, lonely, and dark world the inner flame of humanity’s sacred origin warms us and keeps the glow of the eternal alive.

In the temple of my inner being,
in the temple of my body,
in the temple of earth, sea, and sky,
in the great temple of the universe
I look for the light that was in the beginning,
the mighty fire that blazes still from the heart of life,
glowing in the whiteness of the moon,
glistening in night stars,
hidden in the black earth,
concealed in unknown depths of my soul.
In the darkness of the night,
in the shadow of my being, O God,
let me glimpse the eternal.
In both the light and the shadows of my being
let me glimpse the glow of the eternal.

~From SOUNDS OF THE ETERNAL
by J. Philip Newell

For God who said, “ Let light shine out of the darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. ~2 Corinthians 4:6    ✝

** Image via Pinterest