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Geoff Oelsner’s PONderings
Poems of Regenerative Oneness with the Earth
For the Coming Summer
A pause can be a portal
to an open moment,
an open invitation
to rest and resonate
with what you’ve read.
Here are some summer poems.
When one touches you,
take time to pause and bask
in your bodily experience.
Let its word-music stir you.
Let these poems serve
as possible prompts
to inspire your own poems.
Let them be portals
We’ll return to them
on June 13 when we meet
and write some more,
and celebrate together
the coming of summer.
~ Geoff Oelsner
(The Summer Solstice arrives on Tuesday, June 21st at 2:14 AM PST)
How again today our patron star
whose ancient vista is the long view
turns its wide brightness now and here:
Below, we loll outdoors, sing & make fire.
We build no henge
but after our swim, linger
by the pond. Dapples flicker
pine trunks by the water.
Buzz & hum & wing & song combine.
Light builds a monument to its passing.
Frogs content themselves in bullish chirps,
on thimbleberries fall, peeper toads
Apex. The throaty world sings: Ripen
Our grove slips past the sun’s long kiss.
We head home in other starlight.
Our earthly time is sweetening from this.
~ Tess Taylor.
* * *
By the Peonies
The peonies bloom, white and pink.
And inside each, as in a fragrant bowl,
A swarm of tiny beetles have their conversation,
For the flower is given to them as their home.
Mother stands by the peony bed,
Reaches for one bloom, opens its petals,
And looks for a long time into peony lands,
Where one short instant equals a whole year.
Then lets the flower go. And what she thinks
She repeats aloud to the children and herself.
The wind sways the green leaves gently
And speckles of light flick across their faces.
~ Czeslaw Milosz
* * *
An excerpt from:
What wond’rous life in this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Ensnar’d with flow’rs, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find,
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that’s made
To a green thought in a green shade.
Here at the fountain’s sliding foot,
Or at some fruit tree’s mossy root,
Casting the body’s vest aside,
My soul into the boughs does glide;
There like a bird it sits and sings,
Then whets, and combs its silver wings;
And, till prepar’d for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.
~ Andrew Marvell
* * *
On the Hill Late at Night
The ripe grassheads bend in the starlight
in the soft wind, beneath them the darkness
of the grass, fathomless, the long blades
rising out of the well of time. Cars
travel the valley roads below me, their lights
finding the dark, and racing on. Above
their roar is a silence I have suddenly heard,
and felt the country turn under the stars
toward dawn. I am wholly willing to be here
between the bright silent thousands of stars
and the life of the grass pouring out of the ground.
The hill has grown to me like a foot.
Until I lift the earth I cannot move.
~ Wendell Berry
* * *
in the fields
I lay down in the darkness
to think about death,
but instead I fell asleep,
as if in a vast and sloping room
filled with those white flowers
that open all summer,
sticky and untidy,
in the warm fields.
When I woke
the morning light was just slipping
in front of the stars,
and I was covered
I don’t know
how it happened—
I don’t know
if my body went diving down
under the sugary vines
in some sleep-sharpened affinity
with the depths, or whether
that green energy
rose like a wave
and curled over me, claiming me
in its husky arms.
I pushed them away, but I didn’t rise.
Never in my life had I felt so plush,
or so slippery,
or so resplendently empty.
Never in my life
had I felt myself so near
that porous line
where my own body was done with
and the roots and the stems and the flowers
~ Mary Oliver
* * *
One more poem to share.
It’s about time:
Not Mine the Years Time Took Away
Not mine the years time took away,
not mine the years that might yet be.
Time’s wink is mine, and if I tend it, then
the maker of years and eternity is mine.
~ Andreas Gryphius (1616-1664)
translation by John Peck
* * *
Yes, our pauses can be portals
to an open moment
to an open meadow
to an open me
What will you find?
Where will you pause?
What might you write?
I look forward to being, pausing, writing and sharing with you on June 13!
With Summer Love,
"Each moment of the year has its own beauty."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Dove parents with their three fledglings