A Smiling Understanding
by Stanley Moss
There is an understanding, a smiling understanding, between orchards and orchestras. Jazz and Bach are fertilizers, something extra. Trees are much older than music and poetry. They have bodies and souls, godlike identities. Trees are choirs, basso profundos, coloraturas, mezzo sopranos. I live with music and trees, orchards of music, woodwinds and sextets. I sing the "I don't lie to myself" blues. I learn from my suffering to understand the suffering of others. I climb musical scales. Trees have an embouchure. I'm a sapling. Breath and wind blow through me. This winter is a coda of falling leaves, sequoias and maples Louis Armstrong. I have a band of tree brothers and sisters, we are not melancholy babies. I age like a rock, not a rocking chair. A rock does not wear spectacles, hearing aids, or use a walking stick. It is dangerous for anyone to call me "young fellow."
by Lisa Jarnot
Lake of Fire
I will make you understand, I, being who I am will make you understand who I am, on a Sunday, in the rain, when the ice is melting on the stoop, beside the white water lily, having been made to understand that I will make you understand, making you this, the one who understands, having understood, standing by it, in the rain, understanding where I stand I stand near you, the stoop, in the rain, by the lily, who I am, making sense, understandable, and smart, and also lovely, that you understand that it is this, lovely, the truth, in understanding, having said it, having been understood, like the rest of the universe, stoop-like, egyptian, with a lake of fire and the lilies and the train, beautiful, happy, gleeful, joyed, and understood, this, I am, who am to you who understands.
From the book Ring of Fire
Today I read a poem by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer on her blog called…
Getting to I Don’t Know
Sometimes, too certain I know what love is, I miss love. It’s like thinking water is waves, not seeing water is also the depths of ocean, the muscle of river, the body, the air, ice, snow, fog, clouds, mist. Sometimes, longing to hear certain words, I neglect to hear the words that are spoken. Or craving a certain touch, I disregard all other touch, and my skin believes it is starving. There is beauty beyond beauty, love beyond love, opening beyond opening, an apple inside apple. Let my prayer be I don’t know. Let me find the door inside the door, the glimmer inside the glimmer, the human inside this woman. The god inside of god.
The deer mistook their reflections for deer and the deer mistook their reflections for other deer and the deer apparently mistook their reflections for sheep and what the deer mistook their reflections for isn't certain and the deer were removed from the scene, being deer, before being removed and mistaking reflections of the other deer for the sheep the deer were removed and the deer deciding to join them joined the deer having mistaken reflections of sheep for the deer in the plate glass window
by Lisa Jarnot (from her book Ring of Fire)
Today I heard Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer read Ugly Things by Teresita Fernández
In an old worn out basin I planted violets for you and down by the river with an empty seashell I found you a firefly. In a broken bottle I kept a seashell for you and coiled over that rusty fence the coral snake flowered just for you. Cockroach wing carried to the anthill: that's how I want them to take me to the cemetery when I die. Garbage dump, garbage dump where nobody wants to look but if the moon comes out your tin cans will shine. If you put a bit of love into ugly things you'll see that your sadness will begin to change colour.
Today I heard an amazing 2015 interview/conversation with Mary Oliver conducted by Krista Tippett.
read by the author, Billy Collins (purchased on Audible)
This morning as I walked along the lake shore, I fell in love with a wren and later in the day with a mouse the cat had dropped under the dining room table In the shadows of an autumn evening, I fell for a seamstress still at her machine in the tailor's window, and later for a bowl of broth, steam rising like smoke from a naval battle. This is the best kind of love, I thought, without recompense, without gifts, or unkind words, without suspicion, or silence on the telephone. The love of the chestnut, the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel. No lust, no slam of the door--- the love of the miniature orange tree, the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower, the highway that cuts across Florida. No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor--- just a twinge every now and then for the wren who had built her nest on a low branch overhanging the water and for the dead mouse, still dressed in its light brown suit. But my heart is always standing on its tripod, ready for the next arrow. After I carried the mouse by the tail to a pile of leaves in the woods, I found myself standing at the bathroom sink gazing down affectionately at the soap, so patient and soluble, so at home in its pale green soap dish. I could feel myself falling again as I felt its turning in my wet hands and caught the scent of lavender and stone.
by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you about mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--- over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Today I heard, again, what I heard on Oct 21, 2021: https://masterbias.wordpress.com/2021/10/28/today-i-heard-7/
If I were to hear this poem every 6 months for the rest of my life I doubt I’d be worse for the wear.