Do they ever meet out there,
The dolphins I counted,
The otter I wait for?
I should have spent my life
Listening to the waves.
Michael Longley, The Ghost Orchid (Jonathan Cape 1995).
I have no idea why this arrived when it did. But I was delighted. It was with me as I fell asleep, and it greeted me when I awoke this morning.
James McIntosh Patrick (1907-1998), "A City Garden" (1940)
Poems live on inside you. They accumulate. Over time, they establish ever-changing connections with you and with each other. One poem leads to another: they travel outward, then circle back again. This never stops. They become stepping stones as you make your way through the World. Yes, life is life, poetry is poetry, the World is the World. But these small daily journeys -- many-pathed, never the same -- all add up.
Like today, for instance. Five bright red tulips, the first of the year. Further on, an azalea bush, covered with white flowers that were not there a week ago. And, all around, unceasing birdsong, pink-white magnolia blossoms in the blue sky.
Do not also the petals flutter down,
Just like that?
Issa (1763-1828) (translated by R. H. Blyth), in R. H. Blyth, Haiku, Volume 2: Spring (Hokuseido Press 1950), page 363.
Stanley Spencer (1891-1959), "Scarecrow, Cookham" (1934)
Today I discovered that this is my thousandth post. Imagine that. All of these poems, paintings, and stray thoughts sent out into the ether for eleven years. To what end? The beautiful particulars of the World noted in passing, and with gratitude. And, speaking of gratitude: thank you, dear readers.
To a mountain village
at nightfall on a spring day
I came and saw this:
blossoms scattering on echoes
from the vespers bell.
Nōin (988-1050) (translated by Steven Carter), in Steven Carter, Traditional Japanese Poetry: An Anthology (Stanford University Press 1991), page 134.
Harold Jones (1904-1992), "The Black Door" (1935)