5.31.2022 – as mysterious

as mysterious
as great the perpetual
rhythm of the tides

In “Notes for a Preface“, an essay written by Carl Sandburg for the the book “Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg“, Mr. Sandburg wrote, “The Spanish poet Lorca saw one plain apple infinite as the sea. “The life of an apple when it is a delicate flower to the moment when, golden russet, it drops from the tree into the grass is as mysterious and as great as the perpetual rhythm of the tides . . .

According to Wikipedia: Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca (5 June 1898 – 19 August 1936), known as Federico García Lorca was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director.

García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of ’27, a group consisting of mostly poets who introduced the tenets of European movements (such as symbolism, futurism, and surrealism) into Spanish literature. He was murdered by Nationalist forces at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. His remains have never been found.

In the poem, Ballad of the Water of the Sea, Lorca writes:

The sea
smiles from far off.
Teeth of foam,
lips of sky.

Folly Field Beach at high tide – Hilton Head Island May 30, 2022

Murdered by the nationalistic or Franco’s forces during the Spanish Civil War, those types of fellers have always had it for the poets and artists and such.

The smart people I guess.

I am reminded of the story of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.

When they took over Cambodia they knew they had to cut off opposition and the best way to do that was get rid of the smart people, the people who could think, the people who would ask questions and start other people asking questions.

And so they did.

They soldiers of Pol Pot went from town to town and executed all the smart people.

They knew who to get.

They started with anyone wearing glasses.

5.23.2022 – the sky and the sea

the sky and the sea
put on a show, every day
they put on a show

Adapted from Carl Sandburg’s, Thimble Islands, which was published in “Good morning, America” by New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1928.

In searching for the full text of this poem to copy and paste into this essay, I came across a 269 page document from the Office of Education in Washington, DC that had been written by the University of Oregon, titled The Whole Poem Teacher.

The document was identified as a Poetry: Literature Curriculum – Teacher’s Guide.

Printed in 1971, the first two paragraphs of the introduction state:

In the lessons preceding this one, your class has concentrated on various poetic techniques, isolating them more or less from the total fabric of the poem for the purposes of examination and identification. Such a process is necessary, but it is a rather sterile exercise if it stops there. For the goal of all this investigation has been not the ability to identify poetic devices, but to enjoy more fully the experience of reading a poem. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to “put back” all the isolated elements into the whole poem.

To borrow a useful distinction made by the poet:-critic John Ciardi, we want our students to be able to answer not only the question, “What does this poem mean?” but also the question, “How does this poem mean?” Answering the first question only leads to bad paraphrase and moral- abstracting. Answering the first question in terms of the second, on the other hand, leads to close and intelligent reading, to appreciation of the internal dynamics of the poem, and consequently to a far more sensitive perception of the poem’s “meaning.” For in poetry the way something is said is part of what is being said.

Wanting to avoid the introduction tearing out scene of Dead Poets Society, I think this is rather good as it does not impose a scale but plays on the readers interpretation.

How does this poem mean?” and “… in poetry the way something is said is part of what is being said.” is good even as it brackets that oh so ponderous statement, “leads to close and intelligent reading, to appreciation of the internal dynamics of the poem, and consequently to a far more sensitive perception of the poem’s ‘meaning.‘”

The document was part of the Oregon Elementary English Project and according to the first line of the abstract, This curriculum guide is intended to introduce fifth and sixth grade children to the study of poetry.

Fifth and sixth grade children?

All I can say about that is to paraphrase the Book of Psalms, Lord Byron and Stephen Vincent Benét (all at the same time!), By the rivers of Babylon, There I sat down and wept, When I remembered Zion.

Here is the Sandburg poem:

THIMBLE ISLANDS

The sky and the sea put on a show
Every day they put on a show
There are dawn dress rehearsals
There are sweet monotonous evening monologues
The acrobatic lights of sunsets dwindle and darken
The stars step out one by one with a bimbo, bimbo.

The red ball of the sun hung a balloon in the west.
And there was half a balloon, then no balloon at all,
And ten stars marched out and ten thousand more,
And the fathoms of the sky far over met the fathoms of the sea far
under, among the thimble islands

In the clear green water of dawn came a float of silver filaments, feelers
circling a pink polyp’s mouth.
The feelers ran out, opened and closed, opened and closed, hungry and
searching, soft and incessant, floating the salt sea inlets sucking the
green sea water as land roses suck the land air

Frozen rock humps, smooth fire-rock humps –
Thimbles on the thumbs of the wives of prostrate sunken
giants –
God only knows how many sleep in the slack of the
seven seas

There in those places
under the sun balloons,
and fathoms, filaments, feelers –

The wind and the rain
sew the years
stitching one year into another

5.12.2022 – but the common thing

but the common thing
decision opening up
strive toward the wind

Based on the poem, Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond, by Mary Oliver.

Again, a big thank you to my sister Lisa, to telling me about Ms. Oliver.

(Feel free to touch base and tell me what to read.)

For me, herons, seeing a heron, has been and still is a harbinger of good fortune, a good omen.

Not that you saw herons all that often in West Michigan where I grew up but maybe that was part of it.

And not that I really believe in good omens but more in line that seeing one made me feel that, surely, this wasn’t as black a world as I made it out to be.

And I have had enough Latin and roman history to not think about omens and not smile inwardly.

It is in the movie Spartacus that Roman Senator Sempronius Gracchus, played by Charles Laughton, walks out of the Senate and buys a pigeon saying “Let’s make a good old-fashioned sacrifice.

Still I cannot see a heron and somehow, not feel better.

I also cannot see a heron that I do not think of the time that Doug, my college roommate, and I were driving back to Ann Arbor, Michigan on I-96 and a heron dove out of the sky and swooped low, just above the median between the two sides of the freeway in a glide..

As I remember it, we were going about 60 miles an hour.

This was way back in the ‘Drive 55’ era and it took forever to get to Ann Arbor.

The heron passed us.

Here is the poem.

Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond by Mary Oliver.

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself —
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

takes her in.

I took this photo of a heron on a dock on Pinckney Island in South Carolina during a day of dolphin counting.

The heron stood on the post with a look that told me I was standing on a dock that the heron owned and my presence wasn’t much more than tolerated.

There are a lot more heron’s down here than I have ever seen in my life.

Looking at the these birds standing still and I think how could anyone have made a bird like this?

Looking at these birds in flight and I think, how else could anyone have made a bird like this?

The phrase “have been fearfully and wonderfully made” from the book of Psalms comes to mind.

– – – – – – –

Readers of this blog may remember that from time to time I struggle with the weight of effort of producing a daily Haiku and any thoughts I may have about the words and time that went in the Haiku that day.

This daily schedule of missing a day can bring on a personal mental paralysis wherein writing these entries becomes impossible.

I learned to deal with this by not dealing with it and let it go.

Then when I look at my register of entries and see blank days with no post, I will grab a topic or book or poem for a source and produce a series of Haiku to fill in those blank dates.

This is one of the great benefits of this effort being my blog and my blog, my rules.

It IS cricket because I say it is.

It is ‘according to Hoyle’ because I say it is.

Thus I have this series of haiku based on the poem ‘Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond‘ by Mary Oliver.

5.10.2022 – So heavy is the

So heavy is the
long-necked long-bodied heron
always a surprise

Based on the poem, Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond, by Mary Oliver.

Again, a big thank you to my sister Lisa, to telling me about Ms. Oliver.

Feel free to touch base and tell me what to read.

For me, herons, seeing a heron, has been and still is a harbinger of good fortune, a good omen.

Not that you saw herons all that often in West Michigan where I grew up but maybe that was part of it.

And not that I really believe in good omens but more in line that seeing one made me feel that, surely, this wasn’t as black a world as I made it out to be.

And I have had enough Latin and roman history to not think about omens and not smile inwardly.

It is in the movie Spartacus that Roman Senator Sempronius Gracchus, played by Charles Laughton, walks out of the Senate and buys a pigeon saying “Let’s make a good old-fashioned sacrifice.

Still I cannot see a heron and somehow, not feel better.

I also cannot see a heron that I do not think of the time that Doug, my college roommate, and I were driving back to Ann Arbor, Michigan on I-96 and a heron dove out of the sky and swooped low, just above the median between the two sides of the freeway in a glide..

As I remember it, we were going about 60 miles an hour.

This was way back in the ‘Drive 55’ era and it took forever to get to Ann Arbor.

The heron passed us.

Here is the poem.

Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond by Mary Oliver.

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself–
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself–
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

– – – – – – –

Readers of this blog may remember that from time to time I struggle with the weight of effort of producing a daily Haiku and any thoughts I may have about the words and time that went in the Haiku that day.

This daily schedule of missing a day can bring on a personal mental paralysis wherein writing these entries becomes impossible.

I learned to deal with this by not dealing with it and let it go.

Then when I look at my register of entries and see blank days with no post, I will grab a topic or book or poem for a source and produce a series of Haiku to fill in those blank dates.

This is one of the great benefits of this effort being my blog and my blog, my rules.

It IS cricket because I say it is.

It is ‘according to Hoyle’ because I say it is.

Thus I have this series of haiku based on the poem ‘Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond‘ by Mary Oliver.

5.9.2022 – children screaming with

children screaming with
delight link generations
indestructible

Adapted from a paragraph in the EB White essay, Once More to the Lake.

Mr. White wrote: Afterward the calm, the rain steadily rustling in the calm lake, the return of light and hope and spirits, and the campers running out in joy and relief to go swimming in the rain, their bright cries perpetuating the deathless joke about how they were getting simply drenched, and the children screaming with delight at the new sensation of bathing in the rain, and the joke about getting drenched linking the generations in a strong indestructible chain.

My grand daughter was in town for a short visit and we were only able to squeeze in a quick trip to the beach.

The weather did not cooperate and instead of sunshine, sand and surf, we had gray skies and gray waves.

For May along the coast, the temperate was cool and the water was warmer than then air.

My grand daughter didn’t care and no matter how much we explained the time crunch and the uninviting weather, she was determined to see the water.

We walked out together along the walkways through the swamps.

She kept an eye out for alligators.

We got to the sand and got out of our shoes and barefooted, we walked down to the water.

With your toes in the Atlantic Ocean, I like to say, you have the entire country in back of you all the way to the Pacific.

My grand daughter didn’t mention the gray sky.

My grand daughter didn’t mention the gray waves.

My grand daughter didn’t mention that is was somewhat cool if not cold there on the beach.

She took my hand and walked into the water and wave after wave washed over our feet.

The occasion bigger wave would splash in and she would grab my arm and jump and I would lift her out of the way and set her back down.

And she would scream with delight.

Standing there, holding my hand, she looked out at the horizon.

“Poppa,” she said, “I love the ocean.”

5.8.2022 – and especially

and especially
it is wonderful that the
summers so are long

Based on the poem, Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond, by Mary Oliver.

Again, a big thank you to my sister Lisa, to telling me about Ms. Oliver.

Feel free to touch base and tell me what to read.

For me, herons, seeing a heron, has been and still is a harbinger of good fortune, a good omen.

Not that you saw herons all that often in West Michigan where I grew up but maybe that was part of it.

And not that I really believe in good omens but more in line that seeing one made me feel that, surely, this wasn’t as black a world as I made it out to be.

And I have had enough Latin and roman history to not think about omens and not smile inwardly.

It is in the movie Spartacus that Roman Senator Sempronius Gracchus, played by Charles Laughton, walks out of the Senate and buys a pigeon saying “Let’s make a good old-fashioned sacrifice.

Still I cannot see a heron and somehow, not feel better.

I also cannot see a heron that I do not think of the time that Doug, my college roommate, and I were driving back to Ann Arbor, Michigan on I-96 and a heron dove out of the sky and swooped low, just above the median between the two sides of the freeway in a glide..

As I remember it, we were going about 60 miles an hour.

This was way back in the ‘Drive 55’ era and it took forever to get to Ann Arbor.

The heron passed us.

Here is the poem.

Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond by Mary Oliver.

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself–
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself–
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

– – – – – – –

Readers of this blog may remember that from time to time I struggle with the weight of effort of producing a daily Haiku and any thoughts I may have about the words and time that went in the Haiku that day.

This daily schedule of missing a day can bring on a personal mental paralysis wherein writing these entries becomes impossible.

I learned to deal with this by not dealing with it and let it go.

Then when I look at my register of entries and see blank days with no post, I will grab a topic or book or poem for a source and produce a series of Haiku to fill in those blank dates.

This is one of the great benefits of this effort being my blog and my blog, my rules.

It IS cricket because I say it is.

It is ‘according to Hoyle’ because I say it is.

Thus I have this series of haiku based on the poem ‘Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond‘ by Mary Oliver.

5.5.2022 – tiresome for children

tiresome for children
always, forever, have to
explain to grown ups

Les grandes personnes ne comprennent jamais rien toutes seules, et c’est fatigant, pour les enfants, de toujours et toujours leur donner des explications.

Antoine de Saint-Exupèry in the ‘Le Petit Prince’ (1943).

In English:

Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

Jaxon was not happy that I could not understand that if he, Jaxon, could handle the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, he could easily handle the May River.

Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee whiz.

5.1.2022 – go down to the edge

go down to the edge
of the sea – how everything shines
in the morning light

Based on the poem, Breakage, by Mary Oliver.

Thank you to my sister Lisa, to telling me about Ms. Oliver.

Here is the poem.

Breakage by Mary Oliver.

I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It’s like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.

go down to the edge
of the sea – How everything shines
in the morning light

It’s like a schoolhouse
of little words, thousands of words
First you figure out what each one means by itsel

– – – – – – –

Readers of this blog may remember that from time to time I struggle with the weight of effort of producing a daily Haiku and any thoughts I may have about the words and time that went in the Haiku that day.

This daily schedule of missing a day can bring on a personal mental paralysis wherein writing these entries becomes impossible.

I learned to deal with this by not dealing with it and let it go.

Then when I look at my register of entries and see blank days with no post, I will grab a topic or book or poem for a source and produce a series of Haiku to fill in those blank dates.

This is one of the great benefits of this effort being my blog and my blog, my rules.

It IS cricket because I say it is.

It is ‘according to Hoyle’ because I say it is.

Thus I have this series of haiku based on the poem ‘Breakage’ by Mary Oliver.

4.28.2022 – I take the deep breath

I take the deep breath
how unlikely that death is
a hole in the ground

Based on the poem, Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond, by Mary Oliver.

Again, a big thank you to my sister Lisa, to telling me about Ms. Oliver.

Feel free to touch base and tell me what to read.

For me, herons, seeing a heron, has been and still is a harbinger of good fortune, a good omen.

Not that you saw herons all that often in West Michigan where I grew up but maybe that was part of it.

And not that I really believe in good omens but more in line that seeing one made me feel that, surely, this wasn’t as black a world as I made it out to be.

And I have had enough Latin and roman history to not think about omens and not smile inwardly.

It is in the movie Spartacus that Roman Senator Sempronius Gracchus, played by Charles Laughton, walks out of the Senate and buys a pigeon saying “Let’s make a good old-fashioned sacrifice.

Still I cannot see a heron and somehow, not feel better.

I also cannot see a heron that I do not think of the time that Doug, my college roommate, and I were driving back to Ann Arbor, Michigan on I-96 and a heron dove out of the sky and swooped low, just above the median between the two sides of the freeway in a glide..

As I remember it, we were going about 60 miles an hour.

This was way back in the ‘Drive 55’ era and it took forever to get to Ann Arbor.

The heron passed us.

Here is the poem.

Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond by Mary Oliver.

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself–
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings

open
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks

of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.

Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is

that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed

back into itself–
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.

And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn’t a miracle

but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body

into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.

– – – – – – –

Readers of this blog may remember that from time to time I struggle with the weight of effort of producing a daily Haiku and any thoughts I may have about the words and time that went in the Haiku that day.

This daily schedule of missing a day can bring on a personal mental paralysis wherein writing these entries becomes impossible.

I learned to deal with this by not dealing with it and let it go.

Then when I look at my register of entries and see blank days with no post, I will grab a topic or book or poem for a source and produce a series of Haiku to fill in those blank dates.

This is one of the great benefits of this effort being my blog and my blog, my rules.

It IS cricket because I say it is.

It is ‘according to Hoyle’ because I say it is.

Thus I have this series of haiku based on the poem ‘Heron Rises From The Dark, Summer Pond‘ by Mary Oliver.

4.26.2022 – barnacle scarred

barnacle scarred
nothing at all whole or shut
but tattered split

Based on the poem, Breakage, by Mary Oliver.

Thank you to my sister Lisa, to telling me about Ms. Oliver.

Here is the poem.

Breakage by Mary Oliver.

I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It’s like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.

go down to the edge
of the sea – How everything shines
in the morning light

It’s like a schoolhouse
of little words, thousands of words
First you figure out what each one means by itsel

– – – – – – –

Readers of this blog may remember that from time to time I struggle with the weight of effort of producing a daily Haiku and any thoughts I may have about the words and time that went in the Haiku that day.

This daily schedule of missing a day can bring on a personal mental paralysis wherein writing these entries becomes impossible.

I learned to deal with this by not dealing with it and let it go.

Then when I look at my register of entries and see blank days with no post, I will grab a topic or book or poem for a source and produce a series of Haiku to fill in those blank dates.

This is one of the great benefits of this effort being my blog and my blog, my rules.

It IS cricket because I say it is.

It is ‘according to Hoyle’ because I say it is.

Thus I have this series of haiku based on the poem ‘Breakage’ by Mary Oliver.