Joy Harjo

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All Day I Was With Trees

Across wild country on solitary roads
Within a fugue of parting, I was consoled
By birches sovereign whiteness in sad woods,
Dark glow of pines, a single elm's distinction -
I was consoled by trees.

In February we see the structure change -
Or the light change, and so the way we see it.
Tensile and delicate, the trees stand now
Against the early skies, the frail fresh blue,
In an attentive stillness.

Naked, the trees are singularly present,
Although their secret force is locked in
Who could believe that the new sap is rising
And soon we shall draw up amazing sweetness
From stark maples??

All day I was with trees, a fugue of parting,
All day I lived in long cycles, not brief hours.
A tenderness of light before new falls of snow
Lay on the barren landscape like a new promise.
Love nourished every vein.

May Sarton

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Starlings in Winter

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can't imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

Mary Oliver

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Winter Twilight

On a clear winter's evening
The crescent moon

And the round squirrels' nest
In the bare oak

Are equal planets.

Anne Porter