With Charcoal Black, Version III

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Today I'll travel to the swamp and woods
to do a little artistic sketching for those
painting projects during the warm summer.
As I leave with my thermos and bag,
a lone cardinal sits by the empty feeder,
snail trails arrive in the freshly tilled garden.

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Gentle rains beget fresh greener grasses;
lichen and moss cover the old stone wall,
and fill the air with a fresh spring essence.
Crows are busy in their murder covens,
nibble on corn stubble before the next plow.
Songbirds arriving daily with warmer skies.

alone in the bush

alone in the bush
where night is calling
 
within the open sky
as dark as the one I love
 
I wander in the sand
while cutting twigs in a path
 
the bells have echoed
somewhere in the night
 
this midnight soup
has broken up my dreams
 
a strand in circles
a ring that never ends

Morning Sun

seeds
impregnate the earth
 
whispering and loving its children
grown among the wandering souls
 
each morning in spring
where it is quiet
 
where we sit in silence
to behold the morning sun

​Springtime in Central Park

In Central Park the cherries begin to bloom
On a sun-drenched day when birds have left their notes
For us, intruders inside their sanctuary moats,
Unseen but heard in the shadows where the branches loom.
 
I walk a narrow path that’s filled with wood chips,
Fine grass and leaves enveloping the way,
Creeping past and among the gates on which they play
In the wind like the smiles on a thousand lips.
 
Deep within the trees there is a shelter
Where all the park unfolds its jagged edges
And there I rest in the mid-day swelter

8 God Is Beautiful

Oh, Thou art beautiful! and Thou dost bestow
Thy beauty on this stillness — still as sheep
The Hills lie under Thee; the Waters deep
Murmur for joy of Thee; the voids below
Mirror Thy strange fair Vapours as they flow;
And now, afar upon the barren height,
Thou sendest down a radiant look of light
So that the still Peaks glisten, and a glow
Rose-colour'd tints the little snowy cloud
That poises on the highest peak of all.
Oh, Thou art beautiful! — the Hills are bowed
Beneath Thee; on Thy name the soft Winds call —

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Bexhill, 1866

Now, when the catkins of the hazel swing
Wither'd above the leafy nook wherein
The chaffinch breasts her five blue speckled eggs,
All round the thorn grows fragrant, white with may,
And underneath the fresh wild hyacinthbed
Shimmers like water in the whispering wind;
Now, on this sweet still gloaming of the spring,
Within my cottage by the sea, I sit,
Thinking of yonder city where I dwelt,
Wherein I sicken'd, and whereof I learn'
So much that dwells like music on my brain,
A melancholy happiness is mine!

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Cloudland

Uunder green branches I lie,
Pensive, I know not why;
All is dead calm down here;
But yonder, tho' heaven smiles clear,
Bright winds blow, and silent and slow
The vaporous Clouds sail by.

For the branches, that here and there
Grow yellow in autumn air,
Are parted; and through the rent
Of a flower-enwoven tent,
The round blue eye of the peaceful sky
Shows tearless, quiet, and fair.

Face upward, calmly I rest
As the leaf that lies dead on my breast;
And the only sound I hear
Is a rivulet tinkling near,

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Two Portraits

You say, as one who shapes a life,
That you will never be a wife,

And, laughing lightly, ask my aid
To paint your future as a maid.

This is the portrait; and I take
The softest colors for your sake:

The springtime of your soul is dead,
And forty years have bent your head;

The lines are firmer round your mouth,
But still its smile is like the South.

Your eyes, grown deeper, are not sad,
Yet never more than gravely glad;

And the old charm still lurks within


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Two Old Crows

Two old crows sat on a fence rail.
Two old crows sat on a fence rail,
Thinking of effect and cause,
Of weeds and flowers,
And nature's laws.
One of them muttered, one of them stuttered,
One of them stuttered, one of them muttered.
Each of them thought far more than he uttered.
One crow asked the other crow a riddle.
One crow asked the other crow a riddle:
The muttering crow
Asked the stuttering crow,
"Why does a bee have a sword to his fiddle?
Why does a bee have a sword to his fiddle?"


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Tranquilism

I call myself a Tranquilist;
With deep detachment I exist,
From friction free;
While others court the gilded throng
And worship Women, Wine and Song,
I scorn the three.
For I have reached the sober age
When I prefer to turn a page
Beside the fire,
And from the busy mart of men
To meditative book and pen
With grace retire.

If you are craving peace of mind,


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