The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.
by Emily Dickinson
Will there really be a morning?
Is there such a thing as day?
Could I see it from the mountains
IF I were a s tall as they?
Has it feet like water-lilies?
Has it feathers like a bird?
Is it brought from famous countries?
Of which I have never heard?
Oh, some scholar! Oh, some sailor!
Oh, some wise man, from the skies!
Please to tell a little pilgrim
Where the place called morning lies.
by Helen Hunt Jackson
The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.
The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.
The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook.
From dewy lanes at morning
the grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.
By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.
But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.
‘T is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.
"Washing" by John Drinkwater
What is all this washing about,
Every day, week in, week out?
From getting up till going to bed,
I'm tired of hearing the same thing said.
Whether I'm dirty of whether I'm not,
Whether the water is cold or hot,
Whether I like or whether I don't
Whether I will or whether I won't--
"Have you washed your hands,
And washed your face?"
I seem to live in the washing-place.
Whenever I go for a walk or ride,
As soon as I put my nose inside
The door again, there's some one there
With a sponge and soap, and a lot they care
If I have something better to do,
"Now wash your face and your fingers too."
Before a meal is ever begun,
And after ever a meal is done,
It's time to turn on the waterspout.
Please, what is all this washing about?
May polar bears welcome you
to northern Manitoba, their lumbering grace
marking the ice. May there still be ice.
May giant trees lean over your path
in warm places, brush your brow.
So many details now disappeared...
tiny toads in deserts, fireflies.
Where are the open window screens,
whispers of breeze against a sleeping cheek?
If we stop poking holes in soil,
watching onions grow,
what will we know? If we no longer learn cursive,
will our hand muscles disintegrate?
You blink, beginning to focus.
Where will the lost loops of handwritten "g's"
and "y's" go?
We dream you will have so much to admire.
Naomi Shihab Nye Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners
"This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”
― John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings
They are fighting again the war to end war,
and the ewe flock, bred in October, brings forth
in March. This so far remains, this pain
and renewal, whatever war is being fought.
We go through the annual passage of birth
and death, triumph and heartbreak, love
and exasperation, mud, milk, mucus, and blood.
Yet once more the young ewe stands with her lambs
in the downright, the lambs well-suckled
and dry. There is no happiness like this.
The window again welcomes the light
of lengthening days. The river in its old groove
passes again beneath the opening leaves.
In their brevity, between cold and shade,
flowers again brighten the woods floor.
This then may be the prayer without ceasing,
this beauty and gratitude, this moment.
- Wendell Berry, Given
Sonnet 19: When I consider how my light is spent
BY JOHN MILTON
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
TRIPPING OVER JOY
What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”
Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.
Two Poems for the new year:
The Peace of Wild Things
Wendell Berry, The Peace of Wild Things and Other Poems
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Within This Strange and Quickened Dust
Madeleine L’Engle, The Ordering of Love
O God, within this strange and quickened dust
The beating heart controls the coursing blood
In discipline that holds in check the flood
But cannot stem corrosion and dark rust.
In flesh’s solitude I count it blest
That only you, my lord, can see my heart
With passion’s darkness tearing it apart
With storms of self, and tempests of unrest.
But your love breaks through blackness, bursts with light;
We separate ourselves, but you rebind
In Dayspring all our fragments; body, mind,
And spirit join, unite against the night.
Healed by your love, corruption and decay
Are turned, and whole, we greet the light of day
A wee explanation: this website was created as a way to amplify the daily surprise of seeing glory in one small life. The notebook entries represented here are all selected from things actually lived and noted on paper in an effort to live the full life British educator Charlotte Mason so ably championed.