Swift Autumn

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photo by Nate Gibson
photo by Nate Gibson

 

Down to the Puritan marrow of my bones
There’s something in this richness that I hate.
I love the look, austere, immaculate,
Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones.
There’s something in my very blood that owns
Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate,
A thread of water, churned to milky spate
Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones.
I love those skies, thin blue or snowy gray,
Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meagre sheaves;
That spring, briefer than apple-blossom’s breath,
Summer, so much too beautiful to stay,
Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves,
And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.
~Elinor Wylie from “Wild Peaches”
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What I Nearly Said

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‘Hold on,’ she said, ‘I’ll just run out and get him.
The weather here’s so good, he took the chance
To do a bit of weeding.’

                                               So I saw him
Down on his hands and knees beside the leek rig,
Touching, inspecting, separating one
Stalk from the other, gently pulling up
Everything not tapered, frail and leafless,
Pleased to feel each little weed-root break,
But rueful also…

                                         Then found myself listening to
The amplified grave ticking of hall clocks
Where the phone lay unattended in a calm
Of mirror glass and sunstruck pendulums…

And found myself then thinking: if it were nowadays,
This is how Death would summon Everyman.

Next thing he spoke and I nearly said I loved him.
~Seamus Heaney  “A Call”

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The Things in My Pocket

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We are about to celebrate the marriage of these two precious people this coming weekend
May they always share the poetry in their pockets.

 

Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pocket.  But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past.
~G.K. Chesterton from “A Piece of Chalk”

The waves haven’t come for my smooth glass yet (polished from the sea).  In the meantime, it is right here in the front pocket of the jeans I am wearing now.  I reach into my pocket for it a lot; it helps me write in some mysterious way…
~Anne Lamott from Traveling Mercies

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