~William Shakespeare — Sonnet 73
with each passing season,
as my outer self fades and fails,
wrinkles and withersI am consumed wholly
by glowing embers of love
received and thereby shared;
no warmth compares
to such a grace freely given.
This is the spot:—how mildly does the sun
Shine in between the fading leaves! The air
In the habitual silence of this wood
Is more than silent; and this bed of heath—
Where shall we find so sweet a resting-place?
Come, let me see thee sink into a dream
Of quiet thoughts protracted till thine eye
Be calm as water when the winds are gone
And no one can tell whither.
My sweet Friend,
We two have had such happy hours together
That my heart melts in me to think of it.
~ William Wordsworth, “Traveling” from The Collected Poems of William Wordsworth
Air so silent. Filtered sunlight on fading leaves.
So calmed with quieting thoughts and restfulness
that my eye is like still water:
within the daily barrage of headlines, broadcasts and opinion experts,
of threats and lies and redemption denied,
can I find calm and stillness?
Where are my sweet friends
for whom my heart melts in remembrance and gratitude?
This is the spot. This is our respite. This is where we find one another.
There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on,
and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.
The sunshine is peculiarly genial;
and in sheltered places, as on the side of a bank, or of a barn or house,
one becomes acquainted and friendly with the sunshine.
It seems to be of a kindly and homely nature.
And the green grass strewn with a few withered leaves looks the more green and beautiful for them.
If I were a month, I would prefer to be October…
A kindly and homely nature, with comfortable temperatures and just a hint of fogginess,
with flashes of burnt umber flashing misty gold in a relinquishing light.
Like a fading piece of cloth
I am a failure
No longer do I cover tables filled with food and laughter
My seams are frayed my hems falling my strength no longer able
To hold the hot and cold
I wish for those first days
When just woven I could keep water
From seeping through
Repelled stains with the tightness of my weave
Dazzled the sunlight with my
I grow old though pleased with my memories
The tasks I can no longer complete
Are balanced by the love of the tasks gone past
I offer no apology only
When I am frayed and strained and drizzle at the end
Please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt
That I might keep some child warm
And some old person with no one else to talk to
Will hear my whispers
~Nikki Giovanni “Quilts”
When I no longer have strength or the usefulness to perform my daily tasks,
piece me up and sew me into a greater whole along with pieces of others who are fading.
We are so much better together,
so much more colorful and bold,
becoming art and function in our fraying state.
Full of warmth and fun
covering all who are sick and sleep and love and cuddle,
and drift off to heaven as the last breath is breathed.
~~click each quilt to enlarge and admire the handiwork~~
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Wither me to within me:
Welt me to weal me common again:
Withdraw to wear me weary:
Over me to hover and lover again:
Before me to form and perform me:
Round me to rill me liquid incisions:
Behind me to hunt and haunt me:
Down me to drown indecision:
Bury me to seed me: bloom me
In loam me: grind me to meal me
Knead me to rise: raise me to your mouth
Rive me to river me:
End me to unmend me:
Rend me to render me:
~Philip Metres “Prayer”
The truth is:
though we prefer to gaze on fresh beauty,
to ponder smooth youthful perfection
rather than the pocked and wrinkled
the used-up and weary,
our prayer desires His everlasting love
even when we fall in frailty.
We wither from the first day,
readying for fruit to burst forth
as we, torn and buried,
are sown to rise again.
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”