May 25, 2017

Silence II

by Elaine Maria Upton

Silence is not a lack of words.
Silence is not a lack of music.
Silence is not a lack of curses.
Silence is not a lack of screams.
Silence is not a lack of colors
or voices or bodies or whistling wind.
Silence is not a lack of anything.

Silence is resting, nestling
in every leaf of every tree,
in every root and branch.
Silence is the flower sprouting
upon the branch.

Silence is the mother singing
to her newborn babe.
Silence is the mother crying
for her stillborn babe.
Silence is the life of all
these babes, whose breath
is a breath of God.

Silence is seeing and singing praises.
Silence is the roar of ocean waves.
Silence is the sandpiper dancing
on the shore.
Silence is the vastness of a whale.
Silence is a blade of grass.

Silence is sound
And silence is silence.
Silence is love, even
the love that hides in hate.

Silence is the pompous queen
and the harlot and the pimp
hugging his purse on a crowded street.

Silence is the healer dreaming
the plant, the drummer drumming
the dream. It is the lover's
exhausted fall into sleep.
It is the call of morning birds.

Silence is God's beat tapping all hearts.

Silence is the star kissing a flower.

Silence is a word, a hope, a candle
lighting the window of home.

Silence is everything --the renewing sleep
of Earth, the purifying dream of Water,
the purifying rage of Fire, the soaring
and spiraling flight of Air. It is all
things dissolved into no-thing--Silence
is with you always.....the Presence.

I can't recall where I ran across this poem (or how it ran across me!) but I transcribed it into my journal in September of 2005 and just leafed past it today.

I am so grateful for the observations of Dr. Upton, especially as I reflect silently at the start of every day.

On Music

by Ann Porter

This poem was shared with me by a friend who has studied music with me for several years and I want to share it with you.
(You can hear it read aloud by Garrison Keillor on the Writer's Alamanac here.)

When I was a child
I once sat sobbing on the floor
Beside my mother’s piano
As she played and sang
For there was in her singing
A shy yet solemn glory
My smallness could not hold

And when I was asked
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
I only shook my head
And went on crying

Why is it that music
At its most beautiful
Opens a wound in us
An ache a desolation
Deep as a homesickness
For some far-off
And half-forgotten country

I’ve never understood
Why this is so

But there’s an ancient legend
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow
For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
But we were made for Paradise
As deer for the forest

And when music comes to us
With its heavenly beauty
It brings us desolation
For when we hear it
We half remember
That lost native country

We dimly remember the fields
Their fragrant windswept clover
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
By the transparent streams

And shining at the heart of it
Is the longed-for beauty
Of the One who waits for us
Who will always wait for us
In those radiant meadows

Yet also came to live with us
And wanders where we wander.


I can hardly describe
my delight in
cutting and culling
pulling leaves
slicing, dicing, mincing
my own, hand-grown herbs:
Oregano, Chives, Basil
the last re-grown every year
the first continuing as perennials

it bubbles up
and nearly tickles me
to giggling

adding to extra virgin olive oil
the garlic powder
cayenne pepper
hand-grinding both the
coarse and fine black pepper
stirring and stirring
in anticipation
setting the lidded container aside
waiting for the flavors to 
mingle and meld
weaving their tasty tapestry
for me to savor
hours from now

Delight of harvest
tides me over
as I get hints
of pre-tastes
of the feast
yet to come.

, 8/16/13  SBE©.

Riding on The Seven Seas

Riding on the seven seas
In the belly of an iron whale
The hungry bellies of the green-clad men
Are never full.

To pass the hours, cribbage and dice
Sharing smokes and telling lies
Bragging and boasting,
Choking back fear, the unseen future toasting
The return back to lovers and mothers stateside

Cruising through sub-feasted waters
Paving a zig-zag survival road through the waves
Trusting the look-outs' eyes
And the sonar's ears
Dakar-bound, an exotic destination
For the entire company
Riding on the highway of the sea.

He gets up every morning,
Puts his kettle on for tea
Dresses smart and goes down
Into the bowels of London Town.

To read the report from over the wires
The shipping and troop-ships' progress
So he can plot their progress on their courses
On the world-wide map that fills the wall
Floor to ceiling, it fills the wall.

Just his job to be certain that the leaders
Can see at first glance how many tons
Of men and materiel have been sunk
And how many Allied crews are still afloat

Riding on the seven seas.

(c)2007 Steven B. Eulberg

Fully Alive

A Poem I found for you today:

will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

fully alive - dawna markova
© Dawna Markova

Another Winter’s Day in Colorado

It's another winter's day in Colorado
Beneath a silver sky
Another winter's day in Colorado
One blue-sky moment
turns to gentle snow.

Last week the ice was thick
and solid on the lake
Young and old strapped on their blades
to glide and skate.
Sun grew warm, white sky turned blue
green ice turned to clear
And the sign changed to say it wasn't safe to skate
anymore around here.

Warming earth beneath the gaze
of bright winter sun
The tawny, tan of everything that once was green
only marks the moments between the growing seasons
And the birds that brightly sing,
an early foretaste of Spring.

Shirt-sleeves tempt the hurried
to re-pack the coats,
store the boots and hats and gloves away
Yet like a friendly prank, the breezes shift
and rain begins to mist
And slowly it thickens,
a downy mantle, snowy white.

Written in January 1998,
©Steven B. Eulberg, Administered by Owl Mountain Music, Inc.
recorded on Soaring OMM CD0102
Listen/Download here.


by C. S. Lewis

Now that night is creeping
O'er our travail'd senses,
To Thy care unsleeping
We commit our sleep.
Nature for a season
Conquers our defences,
But th' eternal Reason
Watch and ward will keep.

All the soul we render
Back to Thee completely,
Trusting Thou wilt tend her
Through the deathlike hours,
And all night remake her
To Thy likeness sweetly,
Then with dawn awake her
And give back her powers.

Slumber's less uncertain
Brother soon will bind us
—Darker falls the curtain,
Stifling-close 'tis drawn:
But amidst that prison
Still Thy voice can find us,
And, as Thou has risen,
Raise us in Thy dawn.

(from Poems, C. S. Lewis, edited by Walter Hooper)

The Apologist’s Evening Prayer

by C. S. Lewis

From all my lame defeats and oh! much more
From all the victories that I seemed to score;
From cleverness shot forth on Thy behalf
At which, while angels weep, the audience laugh;
From all my proofs of Thy divinity,
Thou, who wouldst give no sign, deliver me.

Thoughts are but coins. Let me not trust, instead
of Thee, their thin-worn image of Thy head.
From all my thoughts, even from my thoughts of Thee,
O thou fair Silence, fall, and set me free.
Lord of the narrow gate and the needle's eye,
Take from me all my trumpery lest I die.

(from Poems, C. S. Lewis, edited by Walter Hooper)

Stephen to Lazarus

by C. S. Lewis

But was I the first martyr, who
Gave up no more than life, while you,
Already free among the dead,
Your rags stripped off, your fetters shed,
Surrendered what all other men
Irrevocably keep, and when
Your battered ship at anchor lay
Seemingly safe in the dark bay
No ripple stirs, obediently
Put out a second time to sea
Well knowing that your death (in vain
Died once) must all be died again?

(from Poems, C. S. Lewis, edited by Walter Hooper)


by C. S. Lewis

Master, they say that when I seem
   To be in speech with you,
Since you make no replies, it's all a dream
   —One talker aping two.

They are half right, but not as they
   Imagine; rather, I
Seek in myself the things I meant to say,
   And lo! the wells are dry.

Then, seeing me empty, you forsake
   The Listener's role, and through
My dead lips breathe and into utterance wake
   The thoughts I never knew.

And thus you neither need reply
   Nor can; thus, while we seem
Two talking, thou art One forever, and I
   No dreamer, but thy dream.

(from Poems, C. S. Lewis, edited by Walter Hooper)