"If I have noticed anything remarkable, it is that the extraordinary lies within the ordinary. Go but a step beneath, beyond , the common experience and you find the uncommon. In the secular, you come upon the sacred. The finite is of a piece with infinity." - Abbie Graham
"Mulleins and Mulleins
Large, placid mulleins, as summer advances, velvety in texture, of a light greenish-drab color, growing everywhere in the fields-at first earth's big rosettes in their broadleav'd low cluster-plants, eight, ten, twenty leaves to a plant-plentiful on the fallow twenty-acre lot, at the end of the lane, and especially by the ridge-sides of the fences- then close to the ground, but soon springing up-leaves as broad as my hand, and the lower ones twice as long-so fresh and dewy in the morning-stalks now four or five, even seven or eight feet high. The famers, I find, think the mullein a mean unworthy weed, but I have grown to a fondness for it. Every object has its lesson, enclosing the suggestion of everything else-and lately I sometimes think all is consecrated for me in these hardy, yellow-flower'd weeds. As I come down the lane early in the morning, I pause before their soft wool-like fleece and stem and broad leaves, glittering with countless diamonds. Annually for three summers now, they and I have silently return'd together; at such long intervals I stand or sit among them, musing-and woven with the rest, of so many hours and moods of partial rehabilitation-of my sane or sick spirit, here as near at peace as it can be. - Walt Whitman
All these my banners be.
I sow my pageantry
It rises train by train--
Then sleeps in state again--
My chancel—all the plain
To lose—if one can find again--
To miss—if one shall meet--
The Burglar cannot rob—then--
The Broker cannot cheat.
So build the hillocks gaily
Thou little spade of mine
Leaving nooks for Daisy
And for Columbine--
You and I the secret
Of the Crocus know--
Let us chant it softly--
"There is no more snow!"
To him who keeps an Orchis' heart--
The swamps are pink with June.
after William Carlos Williams’s “Queen-Anne’s-Lace”
Kimiko Hahn, 1955
Remote purple lays claim to stem,
beside routine stripes of green and brown.
Dark as a patch of shade
in the marsh across the path
that the neighborhood kids and I,
were forbidden to pass. It is
that hue that overtakes,
the marsh that sucks in boots
and offers up skunk cabbage and cattails.
Nests here and overhead. Who named this plant--
also called bog onion, brown dragon, Indian turnip, wake robin,
and who told me I cannot name. But
his purple—all shadow, all remote and not-remote,
all question marks,
This herbaceous perennial, growing from corm
vertical and swollen as it is underground.
Even in late summer, it is not nothing, William
turning from purple to red before his scattering.
Copyright © 2016 by Kimiko Hahn.
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 28, 2016,
by the Academy of American Poets.
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
"Ideas won't keep; something must be done about them."