Tag Archives: poetry

We Two, How Long We Were Fool’d – Walt Whitman

Grass at Sunset ~ oscote365 77

Image by dj @ oxherder arts via Flickr

We two, how long we were fool’d,
Now transmuted, we swiftly escape as Nature escapes,
We are Nature, long have we been absent, but now we return,
We become plants, trunks, foliage, roots, bark,
We are bedded in the ground, we are rocks,
We are oaks, we grow in the openings side by side,
We browse, we are two among the wild herds spontaneous as any,
We are two fishes swimming in the sea together,
We are what locust blossoms are, we drop scent around lanes mornings and evenings,
We are also the coarse smut of beasts, vegetables, minerals,
We are two predatory hawks, we soar above and look down,
We are two resplendent suns, we it is who balance ourselves orbic and stellar, we are as two comets,
We prowl fang’d and four-footed in the woods, we spring on prey,
We are two clouds forenoons and afternoons driving overhead,
We are seas mingling, we are two of those cheerful waves rolling over each other and interwetting each other,
We are what the atmosphere is, transparent, receptive, pervious, impervious,
We are snow, rain, cold, darkness, we are each product and influence of the globe,
We have circled and circled till we have arrived home again, we two,
We have voided all but freedom and all but our own joy.

Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892)


Pan Narrans

Vitruvian Man, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Image via Wikipedia

Jim Tait contributed this poem to Prairie Pagan.

Pan Narrans

‘Tis clever, using what we have at hand
to get ourselves what we and ours desire.
‘Tis wisdom, taking time to understand
our lusts and dreams and what these both require.

Our spirits tell us we are life inspired-
set up above the crawling beasts, we claim.
No heights for us to climb or to aspire.
“Wise human” is already in our name.

Our factions show us to be apes untamed.
Our stories tell us of our human race.
We run together, scattered, to our aim,
and live our stories out in time and space.

We clever apes may say that we are wise,
then use this tale to help achieve our lies.

— Jim Tait (2011)

A blessing in disguise – John Ashbery

Yes, they are alive and can have those colors,
But I, in my soul, am alive too.
I feel I must sing and dance, to tell
Of this in a way, that knowing you may be drawn to me.

And I sing amid despair and isolation
Of the chance to know you, to sing of me
Which are you. You see,
You hold me up to the light in a way

I should never have expected, or suspected, perhaps
Because you always tell me I am you,
And right. The great spruces loom.
I am yours to die with, to desire.

I cannot ever think of me, I desire you
For a room in which the chairs ever
Have their backs turned to the light
Inflicted on the stone and paths, the real trees

That seem to shine at me through a lattice toward you.
If the wild light of this January day is true
I pledge me to be truthful unto you
Whom I cannot ever stop remembering.

Remembering to forgive. Remember to pass beyond you into the day
On the wings of the secret you will never know.
Taking me from myself, in the path
Which the pastel girth of the day has assigned to me.

I prefer “you” in the plural, I want “you”
You must come to me, all golden and pale
Like the dew and the air.
And then I start getting this feeling of exaltation.

John Ashbery

Silence sounds not


Image via Wikipedia

Silence sounds not
Silence speaks not
Yet silence speaks a thousand words.

Souls speak silence
Hearts speak silence
But silent sounds are oft not heard.

Your heart knows the answers.
Listen to the silence.
Silence sings the song unheard.

– Kestrel (1995)

How do you grow a prairie town? – Robert Kroetsch

attack of the ground squirels

Image by chrisad1973 via Flickr

How do you grow a prairie town?

The gopher was the model.
Stand up straight:
telephone poles
grain elevators
church steeples.
Vanish suddenly: the
gopher was the model.

Robert Kroetsch, Seed Catalogue (1977)

What do you dream about?

Green leaf-blue butterfly

Image via Wikipedia

I am the Blue Butterfly.
Dream about me.

Let me into your mind.
Don’t be afraid.

We are all only human.
Who are you?

What do you dream about?
What would you change if you could turn back time?

My eyes are my wings
Drowning in wings
as blue as the sea
as brown as the earth
as green as the land

I am the Blue Butterfly,
dream about me.

– Kestrel (1995)

The Windhover – Gerard Manley Hopkins


Image via Wikipedia

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1877)

The Circle

Six Blue Circles

Image by qthomasbower via Flickr

The Circle has been drawn
All that is left is to step inside.
Cast away your worries
The sunlight will burn away your fears.
The  moonlight will diffuse  your hate.
Enter infinity.
The orbit of the plants.
The changing of the seasons.
The smooth round stone.

Take the knife and cut yourself
Free from all pretensions
Of time and space.
Inside the circling womb
You are united with the Mother.
Born into her circling arms.
Nursed from her round breast.

-Erin {Kestrel} (2001)

Participate in the 2011 Brigid Poetry Festival by sharing a poem.

Only Breath – Rumi

“I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
Worlds as one and that one call to and know,

First, last, outer, inner, only that
Breath breathing human being.”


The Climb

Mountain Path. On the ascent of the Corbett Sg...

Image via Wikipedia

Standing at the top of the rock
Unknown Gods
How can I reach you?
Can I walk to the place
No Mortal has trod?
Though so many paths
Lead to grace
How do I find
The one to embrace?
Which path do I plod?

Follow knowledge,
Nature and Truth,
Let these be your guide.
Learn to be patient
In your youth,
And keep your eyes open wide.
Your path will be a personal one,
Each step forward
Will be hard-won.
Don’t quit untried.

Stone by stone
I travel upward.
Gods help me!
I fear the journey
will be too hard
And that the climb
Will leave me empty.
Gods, please take me
By the hand and
Guide me through
Your earthly land
I pray to thee.

We can’t make
The journey for you.
Go alone, for now.
The things you learn,
The things you do
Are lessons
To show you how
To be happy
Brave and wise
For it’s on these wings
You will rise.
This we avow!

I climb the rock
Of many way
Toiling upward
To the land where
The Divine lays.
Shining Ones
be my guard.
Though I have
No wings for flight
I have the strength
Of Will to fight
Ever upward.

-Erin {Kestrel} (1999)