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Posts Tagged ‘poems’


I missed blogging yesterday.

It was cloudy here and it is still cloudy now. I got lazy and just read. What would your  reaction be if you find more books of  one of your favorite authors?  Take a guess. It’s Mary Oliver of course. I finished Felicity in one sitting  and I got so inspired reading. Just started on Blue Iris.  It is a slow read though because I like to imagine those places and things  she described in the book. It is a  rich collection of  poems,  essays, and of Mary Oliver’s classic works on flowers, trees, and plants. When these words uplift the soul, one feels blessed and happy. I am re-posting some poems from her Felicity book.

This one is entitled The Gift.

Be still, my soul, and steadfast.
Earth and heaven both are still watching
though time is draining from the clock
and your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.

So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
know you are grateful.That the gift has been given.

Then there is this short one called  Everything.

Everything that was broken has
forgotten its brokenness. I live
now in a sky-house, through every
window the sun. Also your presence.
Our touching, our stories. Earthly
and holy both. How can this be, but
it is. Every day has something in
it whose name is forever.

Got this third one online:

There are still so many lovely words there and I am keeping them deep in my heart. I have seven books of Mary Oliver now including the lovely and thick hardbound copy of Devotions.

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PAGASA has finally declared officially yesterday that we are now into summer. They say that we really don’t have summer because we only have two seasons of the year, the dry and the wet. People got used though to calling the dry days and months summer here. It would lasts until probably the last week of May when thunderstorms in the afternoon are regular occurrence.  It is not yet that hot within the day but there are almost no clouds in the sky. For those of us who love the beach, it’s time for that much-needed dip. Just don’t forget to have sunblock in your bag. Days would be longer than nights.

Finally too, I am almost done with my gardening job – trimming the grass, weeding and replanting some of my ornamental plants.  I haven’t touched  anything outside our perimeter wall yet but I guess, the weeds outside our fence need to be uprooted too. They are growing  tall and unmanageable.  Our Santan  plants need trimming too. That would have to be postponed for a while because they are presently in bloom. I love those red flowers, they are lovely under the sun.

I haven’t blogged for two days but I noticed the decline in my views yesterday. It’s down to a little over a hundred compared to the previous five days before that where it reached more than two hundred a day. I remember that those times when I blogged every  day were the same days that my stats went  up. Really, we are only good as our last post although I noticed  that there are some posts that always stay at the top.  I have some favorites but they are no longer viewed now.  I guess participating in writing one post a day really helps. Back in 2011, I did that but it was never repeated. It was  kind of taxing thinking of what to write about every day for the entire year. Maybe in the future I’ll do it again.

I’ve put aside reading for the last three days but I am trying to catch up again with Lang Leav’s poems and Mary Oliver’s thoughts mixed with my fiction books.  It is always nice to get to know other people’s thoughts and dreams. I am inspired by their writings. Sometimes I  wonder where they get all the inspirations to write those lovely texts. I am envious.  I’ve been an admirer of  Mary Oliver for so long but I only have two of her books. A friend bought me a copy of Upstream,  (my 3rd one) her latest but we haven’t seen each other yet.  I read the reviews of the book, read some excerpts from it and I am really looking forward to have that book on hand.  I follow her on Facebook that is why I am updated.  I like almost all of her poems but this one is a favorite. Would love to share it you.  It’s called Wild Geese.

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
  in the family of things.”

It is summer now, let me correct that, it’s the beginning of the dry season here.  Would just love to enjoy the sun  and reading.

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I am excited. Truly.

A few days ago, I saw this on Mary Oliver’s timeline. Her new book Upstream will be released in a month and I just hope this time I would be able to find a copy.

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It’s the newest collection of Mary Oliver’s essays.  I’m always on the lookout for Mary Oliver’s quotes online  and luckily I found one on Blogger. Would you believe, the author quoted  a poem of Mary  every day for a year and did a short write-up of what those words meant  in  her life?  I am still on the first few entries but I was able to find some poems which are not included in the only two books I have of Mary Oliver, New And Selected Poems, Vol. 1 and the lovely edition of A Thousand Mornings.

Then I found these on her wall too and I was l smiling like crazy. Her words inspire me, lift me up and give me that boost I sorely need when I feel down. To appreciate  the beauty of the  natural world around us, what bliss!

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One of my favorite poems is this, The Wild Geese.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

 

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Amazing! There is always something new every time I read Mary Oliver’s poems and you get to imagine the scene while appreciating every word. You get  to open your eyes to the way she sees the world – and you smile because somehow she has accurately described what you feel. I can’t wait to read her new book, A Thousand Mornings which a friend  bought for me.

Value time, value each moment,  love nature! Expressed in simple words but touches the core of your being. So much to learn, so much to appreciate just reading her poems.

Song of the Builders
On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God –
 
a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside
 
this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope

it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways

building the universe.

Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does It End?

Don’t call this world adorable, or useful, that’s not it.
It’s frisky, and a theater for more than fair winds.
The eyelash of lightning is neither good nor evil.
The struck tree burns like a pillar of gold.
 
But the blue rain sinks, straight to the white
feet of the trees
whose mouths open.
Doesn’t the wind, turning in circles, invent the dance?
Haven’t the flowers moved, slowly, across Asia, then Europe,
until at last, now, they shine
in your own yard?
 
Don’t call this world an explanation, or even an education.
 
When the Sufi poet whirled, was he looking
outward, to the mountains so solidly there
in a white-capped ring, or was he looking
 
to the center of everything: the seed, the egg, the idea
that was also there,
beautiful as a thumb
curved and touching the finger, tenderly,
little love-ring,
 
as he whirled,
oh jug of breath,
in the garden of dust?
 

 

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tbr list for 2013

2012  – a lazy year of reading for me, I guess I could count on my fingers the books I have read this year but then I call it the busiest year that I accumulated more books on my shelf than I care to admit. There are still unopened books that I bought more than a year ago with the thought of replacing the ones we have lost a few years back.  A good friend who came home last October gifted me with thirteen books, some of which she brought home with her and the rest via UPS. She says that she  bought more books for me, newly published ones  that are on my wish list.

I love going to bookstores,  I love the scent of the pages of a new book.  National Bookstore, Bestsellers or the ever reliable Booksale, they are my favorite jaunts every time I have enough time to browse. Hopefully by 2013, I could read all of  these, my reading list is getting longer and here are some titles that I would make a priority of.

  • Breakfast At Tiffany’s  -Truman Capote …  Just read it a month back and found some videos on YouTube about this much talked about book for decades. Would love to re-read it  sometime  next year and re-acquaint myself with the quirky Holiday Golightly.
  • The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde… a thick volume of Wilde’s writings.
  • Alone  – Rod McKuen…  I love Rod McKuen, I love his thoughts and Alone is the kind of book that you want to absorb and  gives you that feeling that you can be a poet too, in simple words, that is.
  • The Poems and Prayers of Helen Steiner Rice …Who would not be mesmerized  by the words of this poet? Anyway, the poems and prayers of Helen Steiner Rice were a bright beacon to my college years. And I remember some of her beautiful quotes written in scented pens on my notebook. She was considered as  the “unofficial poet laureate of hope and optimism.” I finally have my copy, a new edition.
  • Everyday Grace –  Marianne Williamson … This is my first book of Williamson and I am really looking forward to read it this coming year.
  • Thoughts in Solitude – Thomas Merton … I’ve long been wanting to have a copy of any Thomas Merton’s books, this is it.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neal Hurston …  Another gift from the same friend who gave me thirteen books this year. It’s included in the 1000 list of books you have to read before you die. Zadie Smith who introduced the book has this to say, “Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the very greatest American novels of the twentieth century. It is so lyrical it should be sentimental; it is so passionate it should be overwrought; but it is instead a rigorous, convincing and dazzling piece of prose, as emotionally satisfying as it is impressive. There is no novel I love more. Well, what more can I say but just enjoy it.
  • A Wild Sheep Chase – Haruki Murakami …Who would not love Murakami?
  • Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, Lord John – three  hard-bound books by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve always loved how Diana writes historical novels.
  • Irish Linen Andrew Greeley…  Greeley is a Catholic priest writer. I love his other books, I wonder if this one is worth-reading too.
  • Coming Home – Rosamunde Pilcher … She’s one of my favorite authors so I always look for her books every time I visit Booksale.  A year ago, I wrote about her, you can find it here.
  • World Without End  – Ken Follett … a sequel to one of my favorite books, The Pillars of the Earth. It’s a birthday gift from my daughter.
  • A Change of Altitude, All He Ever Wanted …two books by Anita Shreve, another author that I love.
  • More Glimpses of Heaven – Trudy Harris
  • Human Traces – Sebastian Faulks …It’ actually my first book of Faulks so I am excited to read it.
  • Critical – Robin Cook … I collect Cook’s books, they are all wonderful read about the medical field. Cook is a doctor.
  • Exile – Richard North Patterson… had this for years but it is so thick so I keep postponing to get it off the shelf.
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving… Really looking forward to reading this one. It has excellent reviews.
  • Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems…   Ah, my prized possession this year and it is the first time I ever had a copy of  a Mary Oliver book.

As if these are not enough, Odette (the same friend who gifted me with the thirteen books, three of which are all Richard Paul Evan’s latest) sent me this new year greeting with pictures of another two books that she bought for me, A Thousand Mornings which was just released last October and which inspired  me to make this blog of the same title and the new book of Richard Paul Evans entitled A Winter Dream. Aren’t I lucky?

happy new year by odette

I promised myself I would read more in 2013.

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Don’t ask me how it might have been, or what it could or should have been like.How different all my days would be if I’d strode securely into public sunlight. More and more I take the sun alone – always at the edge of the clearing, close enough to the wood to crouch low or retreat at ease should the beautiful enemy pass by.

If these pages are so personal and private, why  let them go? There is a chance, however small that some one will read, understand, even stop and turn in my direction.-  Rod McKuen

That moment when you find another book on your wish list and you shout with joy, a muffled sound of a Yes, I’m so lucky and grinning like crazy while hugging the book close. It’s as if you can’t believe your eyes that you’ve found another treasure. Nice meeting you again Rod McKuen! I wonder if I could sleep tonight. I just want to read your poems and lose myself in your words and in your world.

The last time I encountered Rod McKuen was   several years ago. I chanced upon his book  Seasons in the Sun  in one of my forays at National Bookstore  back then. I didn’t even know that he was the one who composed the same song that was so popular during the seventies.  That book was one of the  most read books on my shelf and losing it was like losing a good friend and companion at  times when I need a word or two to make me smile  and to look at life with  wide open eyes. This afternoon I was lucky though to find Alone, another book on my wish list which is really hard to find in local bookstores nowadays  because it was published in 1979. Gosh, talk about being really, really lucky.

Actually I bought five more books all at P29.00 pesos each, really at a bargain price, if you ask me. I bought two books by Barbara Cartland, one by Carol Quinto and a copy of Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Of course, we all know that the latter is a classic and the rest are regency romance books. I was in high school when I started reading  Barbara Cartland, all books borrowed from our school library. Come to think of it, those were the kind of books I used to read in high school but I never owned a Barbara Cartland book  in my whole life until now. This fascination for English titles though somehow didn’t completely wane through the years because it became a real-life fascination for real-life prince and princess, kings and queens not only from England but in other countries as well. I followed Lady Di’s story until her death five years ago. I read a book on Grace Kelly, dubbed as the American princess although I haven’t even seen any of her movie pictures. And I did have a chance to see a royal couple during my college years in UST when then Princess Sofia and Prince Carlos visited the university. They are now the King and Queen of Spain.

Going back to Rod McKuen’s book, I’d like to quote one of his poems here because it reminds me of a picture I took one sunny afternoon about three years ago. It is an amateurish shot of a flock of birds passing by.

One Day I’ll Follow the Birds

One day I’ll follow the birds

disappearing into the rain

going in a hurry, then gone

glad to be in flight again

not sure why I’m running.

There are some wounds

I never speak about.

Some things that words

have done to me

that none will ever know.

But one gray day

I’ll follow a funeral out-of-town

on the heels of the birds

disappearing into the rain.

I love, love Rod McKuen 🙂

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I just  received a note from  Odette, one of my friends who will take her short vacation in a few months and she excitedly told me that she was able to order a  hardbound copy of  Poems and Prayers of Helen Steiner Rice from Barnes and Noble. Wow, if that would not make you smile, I don’t know what will. She said that she was also able to buy a book of poem by Mary Oliver, Thomas Merton’s Thoughts in Solitude, Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s  and Haruki Murakami’s Wild Sheep Chase. Gosh,  it’s a  dream come true and wish list fulfilled 🙂

I never owned a book by Helen Steiner Rice, the only times I was able to encounter her inspirational words were through Hallmark cards that I received through the years. I could imagine myself perusing the book right now. This is it – the joy of finally owning a copy. When I was in college, I used to fill up thick notebooks of quotations which I collected from my readings and through my stay at the Humanities Section of the library of the university where I graduated. UST or USTe as we Thomasians fondly call it, has a vast selection of literary works and other inspirational books that you wished were kept in your personal collections.  Anyway, the poems and prayers of Helen Steiner Rice were a bright beacon to my college years. And I remember some of her beautiful quotes written in scented pens on my notebook.

She was considered as  the “unofficial poet laureate of hope and optimism.” She died in 1981 but she left behind a legacy  to millions of readers whom she has touched through her writings.

So rest and relax and grow stronger, Let go and let God share your load, Your work is not finished or ended, You’ve just come to “a bend in the road”.

“When you ask God for a gift, be thankful if  He sends, not diamonds, pearls or riches, but the love of real true friends.”

“It takes a Mother’s Love to make a house a home, a place to be remembered, no matter where we roam.” 

“When you are in troubled and worried and sick at heart
And your plans are upset and your world falls apart,
Remember God’s ready and waiting to share
The burden you find much to heavy to bear–
So with faith, “Let Go and Let GOD” lead your way.

And this simple poem, says it all. It’s entitled This Too Shall Pass.

This Too Shall Pass

If I can endure for this minute
Whatever is happening to me,
No matter how heavy my heart is
Or how dark the moment may be-

If I can remain calm and quiet
With all the world crashing about me,
Secure in the knowledge God loves me
When everyone else seems to doubt me-

If I can but keep on believing
What I know in my heart to be true,
That darkness will fade with the morning
And that this will pass away, too-

Then nothing in life can defeat me
For as long as this knowledge remains
I can suffer whatever is happening
For I know God will break all of the chains

That are binding me tight in the darkness
And trying to fill me with fear-
For there is no night without dawning
And I know that my morning is near.


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