Sunlight shimmered through the branches of the spruce
dappling the lawn, still sparkling with dew. The air
was thick and damp, but the temperature was cool
and the songs of birds rode on it as if it they were sailing
on some clear, calm lake. Beyond the spruce, the leaves
of the maples and walnut trees waltzed in the low breeze,
their lime and emerald hues coloring the light. Suddenly
a movement above me caught my eye, a wee bird
perched on a branch, a drop of moisture clinging to its beak.
It was one of those insignificant moments that etches
Itself into your memory, the bird, the light, the dew.
I felt it register, and knew it would return to me when
I was remembering summer and the mornings
that sang in the key of emerald green.
Keep your heads high, my children.
Remember who you are:
Noble and brave, conforming
only to your inner laws, in calm
and in storm. Hold the form
of your lineage, and in time
you will soar, lifting one another,
your loyalty setting you free.
And today, as you paddle
and float and grow, revel
in the life’s joy; swim in
its sheer, liquid wonder.
Twenty minutes ago, the day was bright,
the fields a radiant green, lush and singing
with insects and bird calls, with the purr
of a tractor mowing the early hay.
Only a slight shift of fragrance in the air
hinted of the coming rain. The winds
were too far above us even to ruffle
the grasses, their might focused
on carrying in the massive cloudbank
that swiftly sailed from the western horizon
darkening the sky and sending great shafts
of sunlight across the entire landscape
as if to bless and reassure us before
the coming of the storm. The winds
kept on, and the bank of clouds traveled
past without touching our fields at all.
It was nightfall before the true storm came,
and by then we were safely sheltered.
We slept well, breathing the scent of summer rain,
dreaming of the light that had blessed us
and blesses us still.
I see you, Daddy Long Legs,
giving those berries the eye,
the red ones ripening to black,
the green ones turning red.
It’s kind of wondrous, don’t
you think, how everything
doesn’t happen at once?
How the details are arranged
There is no because for flowers.
Maybe some theories about their hows,
and even a guess at their when. But
as to the way they sing their songs
so that only our hearts can hear–
you know: that little rush of gladness,
or the way that we’re deeply moved,
or comforted, or thrilled—there is
no because. It is enough that they are.
Take it as a token, a bursting through
the veil, the wholly inevitable overflow
of a boundless sea of love.
A moment comes as the season turns to summer
when you can almost feel the creek relax.
Spring’s giddy rush of waters is past and the flow
finds its pace and rhythm. It settles in, breathing
peace, feeling the colored kisses of light
from the trees and sky, and the smooth
swimming of fishes inside its liquid body.
It welcomes, now, all that comes. The rain,
the breeze, the bare, splashing feet of children,
the feathered bodies of birds, the random landing
of a leaf, the boots of fishermen. All are welcomed
and wonderful, each in its own way. And through
it all, the summer air and the easiness of flowing,
down, down, over the singing rocks and waving sands,
free, and homebound.
The air is thick, as only summer air can be,
its heat wrapping around my bare arms
like wet towels. I love it. I love way
I can’t escape knowing that it’s there,
And I love how its green perfume
washes against my body.
I haven’t been to the field for weeks.
Today, being the first day of summer,
I decide to go see what it’s up to,
and head out beneath the milky sky.
When it comes into view as I take
the turn on the path through
the green, breathing brush that rises
above my head, I gasp with delight.
The daisies are back! The daisies!
Last year they were plowed under
in early spring to make way for freakish
pesticide-coated soybeans that chased
every living thing away—the wildflowers,
the singing insects and butterflies, the
birds. I grieved all summer, and begged
my friend, who owns the field, not
to rent it out again. And bless him,
he found an excuse to let it go wild.
So it was no small thing to find the daisies
covering the field, thick as snow,
and the red grasses, finer than hairs,
that billowed up like smoke between them,
and the clovers and buttercups
and yarrow and ferns. And it seemed
to me as if the field was singing in praise
for the life that had been restored to it,
lush and abundant, and so joyously
Every now and then the Yes sounds
a note of such high brilliance
that it stops you in your tracks,
makes you catch your breath,
wakes you right up to the sheer
amazing wonder that such a thing
can be at all, let alone here
on this tiny little speck of a faltering
globe. Imagine! All this dazzle,
just so you’ll remember
that you are not alone, and never
have been, after all.
You can make up any story you want.
Or you can remember one told to you
back in your childhood. Maybe the one
about the ugly duckling who grew
into a beautiful swan. That one
hits home. Few of us hold
to the clear vision we had before
we branded ourselves or bought
into the labels some other blind mind
offered. But if you stand here
at the edge of the lake on a clear
late-spring day, free of judgment,
watching the family of swans,
you might be lucky enough to see
that it’s all grace, all balance,
enough, and enough, and far more.
Some beauty is beyond words,
beyond the capacity of a lens
to capture, a brush to paint.
You can only, filled with awe,
stand in its presence and barely
even that. I think that if I were
to see, even for one second,
into the core of your soul,
I would die.