Category Archives: Nature

“Sans Setting of the Sum”

“Sans Settling of the Sum”


Sans settling of the sum, no silent night;

The cold and darkest midnight, no brightest sun
Regained upon the freshness of a morning run
From first awakenings to the duties of the light.
Sans route and paths to shorelines, fishermen
Cast no net nor fruit upon the table there
Beneath the candle and the moonbeam; no joyful stares
Of wide-eyed eager mouths to take the bread, no beds
For doting families there to cradle and caress the children;
No willing intimacy in loving parents, no hopeful news.
And yet, of course, comes danger from the sea,
The stormy petrol cries in certain seasons that must be
Harbingers of hurricane and trial, what we choose
To call the birth pains in a loving mother: nature in herself brings waste.
Her ends must come before beginnings, her gifts but ballast tossed in haste.

“Between the Particles”

“Between the Particles”

Between the particles, seeds, whole galaxies
With beings monstrous in physique by grace
To be or not to be of any consequence; a place
Of high dramatic action, energies, prolixities
And all that is the chaos and confusion here
Among us there between the millions, there
Where no present eye beholds the plan; fair
Throughout minions of the wide arena sated, dear
To those whose measures are diminutive
But in such numbers as we cannot command,
Or catalogue; and even here may be the death of man
In servitude to what is life to them, disease to us, illustrative
Of powers to the nano only recently imagined:
We seek where there is nothing; we see mountains in grains of sand.

“That We Fall Is Natural”

“That We Fall Is Natural”

That we fall is natural; that we rise, elephantine.
The elemental flow of oceans cannot be
A thing so scripted in the stones nor greater than it seems,
But ever-striving, ever-writhing, natural peaks declining,
Irreconcilable in their conniving, twice and more desired falling
In or toward Themselves, the Mothers of all Waters, yes. Rivers
Die and are reborn at once–revivals in their streams and noted divers
Books, catalogued as tributaries and watersheds–calling
And recalling from a moonstruck swollen pinnacle
even to the least and last most holy drop.
Confucius* said it long ago that greatest glories
Come not so much in never falling, but in histories
Of revision, sublimes in tectonic prodigies at the mountaintop.
Little wonder save to mortals what the matter is;
energy is the bright selective gleam
Of noble souls who
like the stream, the river, the brook,
must at last rejoin the sea.

*Confucius B.C. 551-479

“Solace in the Courtesies”

…just a note to say that about a year ago, I posted the following sonnet induced by having seen the Moon and Jupiter in their full glory together; they’re both back, and contrary to public opinion, so am I; for the mind, “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to:; for the heart, time is conquered, thank God… —Once, 23 July 2011

“Solace in the Courtesies”

Solace in the courtesies of the constellations, Jupiter
Surely there at sunrise, the brightest star,
Visible while the jealous moon, scarred,
The closest audience; apt, significant. The irony. Her
Dwarf, yet here in circumstance; the bond a quiet perpetuity.
The mighty planet rests for moments in the night,
And we regard the larger aegis the greater light
And think so little of her smaller celebrant; so great an inequity
In vision we’re wont to dote upon from such a station as this.
It is just so with all luminaries of perspicuous wisdom and guidance in the night
That they are worshipped in coal black skies, but preludes to the dawning light
Because it pleases the eye see none but them and rest awhile in ignorant bliss.
Yet with the rising of the sun, all former brilliance must surely fade,
Withdrawn by force to honour greater virtues than the night has made.

I wonder why it is that knowing consciously the identity of what that star is that shone this morning just before the sunrise and has been shining every morning so significantly in the southeastern skies makes so much difference. Tonight it was joined beautifully by proximity to the moon.

A few weeks ago, I learned from a friend that that bright, unusually vivid star was in fact the planet Jupiter. Not that the news was astounding, but in some quiet way it was comforting because as I looked out from my balcony in the early morning hours always just before sunrise, when the skies were clear I had seen that star and wondered just what it was. Somehow I wanted some confirmation as to just what that thing was. I wrote to my friend who was kind enough to confirm its identity for me that it is true that it’s Jupiter and it is very visible in the skies during the whole of June into July. Now, then, this silent delight in knowing consciously that I have seen with my own eyes this “other world” that shares our solar system in some subtle way pleases my soul. These are the signsof God, my friend, as if the moon and sun, the inevitable revival of the earth at spring, and countless spectacles of greater and lesser significance were not. Did I need another confirmation of the majesty of this Creation? These days, for me at least, even breathing is a sign of God and becomes more obviously so with every passing day at my age. —Once, July 2010

“A Summer’s Aimless Thought” or “Don’t Ask Why I Wrote This!”

“A Summer’s Aimless Thought” or “Don’t Ask Why I Wrote This!”

And so the lesser heat descends upon us once,
But, come again?…and now the skin is damp
For no good reason, nothing more than clams
Must feel through all their night’s eternity, abandoned
In watermarked enclosure, rarely asking where
Their homes are logged–no! nor even more from life
Than what is strained for food. If found, the knife
Will end it all. From accidental currents traffic cares,
From aimless waves and tides and what seals may accrue,
Seadogs innocently involved and driven by their own
Insensitivity to feelings and not so much in interest as they comb
The seabeds looking for what mindless kelp must do–
For supper–Yes! We dine tonight: the sacrifice of clams and oysters,
And budget-minded shrimp, and the choir?–crabs conveniently cloistered.

“Quietus”

“Quietus”

Quietus on the ramparts, days are calm;
Some business among bees. Their range,
Their commerce gives no hint of change
That’s coming; gravitas and ancient gravity,
daily prayer and psalms,
And possibly a pause from labours of the dawn
Take full advantage of the fair exchange
Between future morning’s innocence
and the last evening hiatus of an age.
The former, order; the latter, industry,
what’s concluded, however, resolves
All profits greater to the glory of the queen exceed in sums
Of lessers than the whole in time; fractals in the seeds,
Satisfaction measures well in conjugations
that outlive the tyranny of verbs; the simple basis
Of natural order is perfected in the jewel of the species;
there is homeostasis
In what’s past and all that will be
and nothing in between may cease within the run
Of all indicative histories and subjunctive prophesies
as sure of eternity as the sun is guaranteed.