A Good Worm

caterpillarweb

Under this loop of honeysuckle,
A creeping, coloured caterpillar,
I gnaw the fresh green hawthorn spray,
I nibble it leaf by leaf away.

Down beneath grow dandelions,
Daisies, old-man’s-looking-glasses;
Rooks flap croaking across the lane.
I eat and swallow and eat again.

Here come raindrops helter-skelter;
I munch and nibble unregarding:
Hawthorn leaves are juicy and firm.
I’ll mind my business: I’m a good worm.

When I’m old, tired, melancholy,
I’ll build a leaf-green mausoleum
Close by, here on this lovely spray,
And die and dream the ages away.

Some say worms win resurrection,
With white wings beating flitter-flutter,
But wings or a sound sleep, why should I care?
Either way I’ll miss my share.

Under this loop of honeysuckle,
A hungry, hairy caterpillar,
I crawl on my high and swinging seat,
And eat, eat, eat—as one ought to eat.
~Robert Graves

caterpillarweb2

Under this loop of honeysuckle, A creeping, coloured caterpillar, I gnaw the fresh green hawthorn spray, I nibble it leaf by leaf away. Down beneath grow dandelions, Daisies, old-man’s-looking-glasses; Rooks flap croaking across the lane. I eat and swallow and eat again. Here come raindrops helter-skelter; I munch and nibble unregarding: Hawthorn leaves are juicy and firm. I’ll mind my business: I’m a good worm. When I’m old, tired, melancholy, I’ll build a leaf-green mausoleum Close by, here on this lovely spray, And die and dream the ages away. Some say worms win resurrection, With white wings beating flitter-flutter, But wings or a sound sleep, why should I care? Either way I’ll miss my share. Under this loop of honeysuckle, A hungry, hairy caterpillar, I crawl on my high and swinging seat, And eat, eat, eat—as one ought to eat. – See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20235#sthash.TQPtnj5D.dpuf

Unsettled Petals

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Everyone feels grief
when cherry blossoms scatter.
Might they then be tears –
those drops of moisture falling
in the gentle rains of spring?
~Otomo no Juronushi (late 9th century)

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Thoughts still linger –
but will those who have parted
return once again?

Evening is deep in the hills
where cherry blossoms fall.
~Shinkei (1406-1475)

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If there were no cherry blossoms in the world,
My mind would be peaceful.
~ Fujiwara Norihira

 

A fallen blossom
Returning to the bough, I thought –
But no, a butterfly.
~Arakida Moritake (1473-1549)

Not One Would Mind

tiredtrillium

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools, singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
~Sara Teasdale “War Time  There will come soft rains”

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

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The Privilege of Silence

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We cannot find God in noise and restlessness.
Look at nature:
the trees, flowers, grasses all grow in silence;
the stars, the moon, the sun all move in silence.
The important thing is not what we are able to say
but what God says to us
and what he speaks to others through us.
In silence he listens to us;
in silence he speaks to our souls;
in silence we are granted the privilege of hearing his voice.
~Mother Teresa from “No Greater Love”

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Dripping Soft

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A soft day, thank God!
A wind from the south
With a honey’d mouth;
A scent of drenching leaves,
Briar and beech and lime,
White elderflower and thyme,
And the soaking grass smells sweet,
Crushed by my two bare feet,
While the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the eaves.

A soft day, thank God!
The hills wear a shroud
Of silver cloud;
The web the spider weaves
Is a glittering net;
The woodland path is wet,
And the soaking earth smells sweet
Under my two bare feet,
And the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the leaves.
~ Winifred M. Letts (1882-1972), English poet

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A Snail’s Eye

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…who still has a controlled sense of wonder before the universal mystery,
whether it hides in a snail’s eye
or within the light that impinges on that delicate organ.
~Loren Eiseley

A gastropod brave enough
to cross a busy sidewalk
appears in no particular rush,
no hurry toward the grassy expanse
on the other side.
The lawn will still be there
whether an hour from now
or tomorrow.
Its waving little snail eyes
see and smell the future.
To assure it will not be crushed underfoot
I decide to intervene in history
and give it a lift
as Someone did for me.

I came, I saw a snail in danger
and barely heard it huffle.
I didn’t need to hear
to do the right thing.

“James gave the huffle of a snail in danger. And nobody heard him at all.”
~A.A.Milne  “When We Were Very Young”

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