Time to Stand and Stare

What is this life is, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

~William Henry Davies “Leisure”

Fingers of twilight shadow
begin to reach over the hill
crawling down through the field
up unto the bank of blackberries
covering fences along the alder grove.

Our horses chew their last
clover leafs before
coming to the barn for night, eyelids heavy,
relaxed and full, drowsy with spring evening
peace at hand and hoof.

A sudden change in the air forces
their heads up and ears forward;
they form a line, standing and staring at the hilltop
above them, riveted to the spot, alert
to an coming intruder, unfamiliar and foreign.

The roar is intermittent, like a warm wind
rattling a barn roof, but inconstant;
then peaking over the crest of the hill
a rounded top of technicolor glory:
The hot air balloon rises.

The horses riveted, baffled, fascinated;
no wild instinct prepares their response
to this wizard’s act from Oz in their own backyard.
The basket riders wave and laugh at the equine audience below
standing in formation with golden noses in the air
and white manes blowing in the breeze.

The balloon summits the hill, dipping low, almost touchable
before moving back up to race the sunset,
and search out other pastures, other valleys and hills.
The horses released from the spell of “stand and stare”
leap in response, snowy tails high, noses flared-

To race up the hill to catch impending darkness,
our night mares cavort, float suspended
until their air is let out, gently, in softening snorts,
to settle down in a shavings bed in the barn
where night, blissful, becomes ordinary again.


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3 thoughts on “Time to Stand and Stare

  1. How timely this post is today, Emily. Thank you.
    It is one of the greatest faults of our time in current history, beginning perhaps just prior to WW2 as I remember that time. when our lives first began to ‘rev up’ so quickly that our brain circuits and so much more seem to be on overload. With the onslaught of the technical revolution where machines began to be substitutes for our thinking, providing the direction, the ‘answers’ that we thought would solve our problems. We assumed too much, depended too much on them. Between the occasional power outages and the incessant ‘hacking’ of a supposedly’ safe, private’ atmosphere when we input certain data and personal identifying information, we have lost any hope that we may have had in the intended, hoped-for advantage of our technology.
    We now have something called ‘AI’ (Artificial Intelligence): What will be next — ‘Artificial Souls,’ guiding us in our moral decision-making processes as we abdicate our dependence on our conscience — the Presence of the Holy Spirit – the indwelling of the Living God?

    We see, we learn, we appreciate, we take into our being when we STOP to assimilate what is before us: the beauty of our Creator God’s gifts to us in Nature; those times when we meet each other – first through our eyes – where, it has been said, that we can ‘see’ into their souls.
    Most importantly, is taking the precious time to ‘listen’ to what the Spirit is saying to us – not giving that time short shrift, as we listen to the interminable cacophony that assaults our being, our senses, by ‘the world.’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. P.S. to my Comment above:
    I failed to mention your delightful, whimsical description of the beautiful Haflingers’ reaction to the hot air balloon ‘intruder’? I truly believe, Emily, that animals have more sense and appreciation of the beauty and mystery present (seen and unseen) in their surroundings than we humans do at times!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this! Such vivid imagery and description, I felt the horses wary curiosity in my own soul as I was reading. I love your words, poems and pictures Emily.

    Liked by 1 person

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