On Learning

The Masters
wanted the solutions
found in their syllabi
Such was the wisdom
found in my learning
to think as they thot
The Masters

The Students
sought for questions
found in blank pages
The fall of the osprey
out of the clear skies
for a fish in its talon
The Students

The Dilemma
is to love the learning
not for sake of degree
but for Wisdom’s sake
that we can tell truths
amidst all of life’s lies
The Dilemma

“Shall I make sense or shall I tell the truth?
Choose either — I cannot do both.” ~ Deborah Digges

Artwork by Henri Kalama Akulez

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Image result for abstract art winter thaw

The snow is gone
except for a few piles
of besmirched dreams
left by the snow`plow
side of the street

Such is heaven
a winter wonderland
following the blizzard
then after a few days
a prison camp

Was it the snow
brought the finches
to the feeder to feast?
Flown they are now
off to the woods

I back to words
lost of their crunch
dribbling in the earth
my thawed`out line
like some icicle

“Tiring of language, the mind takes flight
swimming off into the ocean of air thinking
who am I that the gods and men have disappointed me?” ~ Jim Harrison

Artwork by Jessica JH Roller

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The Psalm for the Day

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;

but their delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law they meditate day and night.

They are like trees planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.

In all that they do, they prosper.

The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 1

Artwork by Kris Haas 

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Heartwood #5

The years
carve away
the shells of
who we were
but to reveal
who we are

much as

The lathe
carves away
rings around
the heartwood
but to reveal
its marbling
& its knots

“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age.” ~ Maya Angelou

Artwork by Lorraine Roy

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Image result for expressionism winter thaw

The wind
from the sea
mitigates the cold
melts the icy snow
of a February old
too long

For seas
while woolly
moderate the wild
of the glaciers high
in the winter`child
too long

The bulb
of the crocus
full leather`bound
unleashes its sheath
in softened ground
too long

“It’s a warm wind, the west wind, full of birds’ cries;
I never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes.
For it comes from the west lands, the old brown hills,
And April’s in the west wind, and [the] daffodils.” ~ John Masefield

Artwork by Evgeniy Shpilevsky

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The Three Graces

Image result for expressionism straight furrows

One Grace
walks behind
as I go my way
raking foot`prints
where I strayed
from my path
so careless

One Grace
works ahead
as I plow rows
removing stones
marking a line
for a furrow
so careful

One Grace
stands beside
a cup of water
in the day’s heat
a loaf of bread
at furrow`end
so carefree

“In the unseen, in the unknown,
About us, planning, seeing, wise,
The Helpers comfort the alone
Through all that destinies devise.
Though waterless, in sand,
The buds break, being sown.” ~ John Masefield

Artwork by Gunther Uecker

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Of Better Times

Was a time
we felt the others`
best good for us as well
to see them fed
was our fill

This a time
we fear the others`
worst bad for us as well
to see them free
is our bane

Come a time
we see the others`
dreams our better selves
to give them hope
is our gain

“The Hopes that kindled man are true
The thought for others has reward,
Unseen, it makes the world anew,
Till loss regretted is restored,
And in man’s darkest soul
The voiceless plea of love is harkened to.” ~ John Masefield

Artwork by El Anatsui

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Sirens’ Songs

It’s in February
when snowed`in
the world iced`up
in the awful storm
the old man hears
the songs of seas
old poets sang

It’s in a cannot
that a man must
to will winter out
hone his dull hook
replenish his reel
& salt`down bait
if but to survive

Within the lines
hide sirens’ songs
set fishermen free
from wintery cells
all for some crime
never committed
but in the mind

“I must down to the seas again,
      to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
      and a star to steer her by . . .” ~ John Masefield

Artwork by Valerie Maugerie

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The Psalm for the Day

Image result for abstract art celebration

I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;

I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks
to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.

On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O LORD,
for they have heard the words of your mouth.

They shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
for great is the glory of the LORD.

For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly;
but the haughty he perceives from far away.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 138

Artwork by Carolina Vis

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On Legacies


A foot
of snow
covers all
this Island
it is a world
still it snows
on the pond
gone to ice
a heron’s

“At dusk the gray heron flies
home among the trees
and then is hidden
from everything but itself . . .” ~ Wendell Berry

Artwork by Koson Ohara

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On Human Nature

Struggling to tame a wild mental landscape: Laura Owens’s “Untitled” (2013).

The radicals
who marched
once for peace
are now bankers
fatal`bit by the bug
of the big bucks
who now fund
factories for 
gun makers

Such is sin!
a slight sting
from a serpent
offering an apple
always brings death
It’s always easier
to feel out`rage
than to change
ones nature

“The rebellion of the young who called for a new earth was a sham,
and that generation has written the verdict on itself . . .” ~ Chezlaw Milosz

Artwork by Laura Owens

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On Drum`Beats

Nathaniel Mather

What is it
makes me think
yesterday was better
than tomorrow might be
except the deafness
of the oligarchs
who lead us

Not to hear
the thundering
of one’s own heart
racing to its greedy grave
all for bigger barns
where’s the grain
to be found

The seas rise
mountains burn
while sands swallow
the once thriving savanna
and on a reservation
the old men beat
on the drums

“Only the drum is confident, it thinks the world has not changed;
            the beating heart, the simplest of rhythms . . .” ~ Robinson Jeffers

Artwork by Nathaniel Mather

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