The Eye of the Poet

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Nature doth thus kindly heal every wound.
By the mediation of a thousand little mosses and fungi,
the most unsightly objects become radiant of beauty.
There seem to be two sides of this world, presented us at different times,
as we see things in growth or dissolution, in life or death.
And seen with the eye of the poet,
as God sees them,
all things are alive and beautiful.

~Henry David Thoreau (journal)

 

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Like the Direction of Sunbeams

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A swarm of honey bees appeared, suddenly and without fanfare, on our old black walnut tree with the tree house. After dusk, a local bee keeper came to brush the majority of them into a cardboard box to take home to a new hive.

A bee swarm is an amazing single-minded organism of thousands of individuals intent on one purpose: survival of the queen to establish a new home for her safety and security, thus ensuring survival for all.  I am grateful they stopped off here at this farm for a bit of a respite, and wish them well under the nurture of a gentle apiarist who, for forty years, has loved, respected and honored bees by working for their well-being.

The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
~Henry David Thoreau

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One can no more approach people without love than one can approach bees without care. Such is the quality of bees…
~Leo Tolstoy

beeswarm2A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly
.
-An Old English Ditty

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When the air is wine and the wind is free
and the morning sits on the lovely lea
and sunlight ripples on every tree
Then love-in-air is the thing for me

I’m a bee,
I’m a ravishing, rollicking, young queen bee,
That’s me.

I wish to state that I think it’s great,
Oh, it’s simply rare in the upper air,

It’s the place to pair
With a bee.

If any old farmer can keep and hive me,
Then any old drone may catch and wife me;
I’m sorry for creatures who cannot pair
On a gorgeous day in the upper air,
I’m sorry for cows that have to boast
Of affairs they’ve had by parcel post,
I’m sorry for a man with his plots and guile,
His test-tube manner, his test-tube smile;
I’ll multiply and I’ll increase
As I always have–by mere caprice;
For I am a queen and I am a bee,
I’m devil-may-care and I’m fancy free,
Love-in-air is the thing for me,

Oh, it’s simply rare
In the beautiful air,
And I wish to state
That I’ll always mate

With whatever drone I encounter,
All hail the queen!

~E.B. White from “Song of the Queen Bee” published in the New Yorker 1945

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I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
~William Butler Yeats, The Lake Isle of Innisfree

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Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.
~Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

 

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…The world was really one bee yard, and the same rules work fine in both places.
Don’t be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you.
Still, don’t be an idiot; wear long sleeves and pants.
Don’t swat. Don’t even think about swatting.
If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates while whistling melts a bee’s temper.
Act like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t.
Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.

~Sue Monk Kidd from The Secret Life of Bees

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Such bees! Bilbo had never seen anything like them.
“If one were to sting me,” He thought “I should swell up as big as I am!
~J.R.R. Tolkien from The Hobbit

what's left behind this morning, waiting for the beekeeper's return
what’s left behind the following morning, waiting for the beekeeper’s return

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When the bee comes to your house, let her have beer; you may want to visit the bee’s house some day.
    -Congo Proverb

from May 2014 (reblog)

Distilled Richness

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…now the cordial clouds have shut all in,
And gently swells the wind to say all’s well;
The scattered drops are falling fast and thin,
Some in the pool, some in the flower-bell.

Drip drip the trees for all the country round,
And richness rare distills from every bough;
The wind alone it is makes every sound,
Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.
~Henry David Thoreau from “The Summer Rain”

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Summer Rain

summerrainDrip drip the trees for all the country round,
And richness rare distills from every bough;
The wind alone it is makes every sound,
Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.

For shame the sun will never show himself,
Who could not with his beams e’er melt me so;
My dripping locks—they would become an elf,
Who in a beaded coat does gayly go.

~Henry David Thoreau from “Summer Rain”

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How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout!

Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from “Rain in Summer”

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Everything blooming bows down in the rain:
white irises, red peonies; and the poppies
with their black and secret centers
lie shattered on the lawn.
~Jane Kenyon from “Heavy Summer Rain”

Farther from Heaven

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It is dry, hazy June weather. 
We are more of the earth,
farther from heaven these days.

I pray that the life of this spring and summer
may ever lie fair in my memory.~Henry David Thoreau

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There is Really No Death

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There is not one blade of grass,
there is no color in this world
that is not intended to make us rejoice.

~John Calvin

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The moment one gives close attention to any thing,
even a blade of grass,
it becomes a mysterious,
awesome,
indescribably magnificent world in itself.

~Henry Miller

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Men do change,
and change comes like a little wind
that ruffles the curtains at dawn,
and it comes like the stealthy perfume
of wildflowers hidden in the grass.

~John Steinbeck

whitemay

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abouttobloom

Rest is not idleness,
and to lie sometimes
on the grass under trees on a summer’s day,
listening to the murmur of the water,
or watching the clouds float across the sky,
is by no means a waste of time.
~John Lubbock

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The virtues of a superior man are like the wind;
the virtues of a common man are like the grass
– I the grass, when the wind passes over it, bends.

We should be blessed if we lived in the present always,
and took advantage of every accident that befell us,
like the grass which confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it.
~Henry David Thoreau from Walden

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If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you,
if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.
~Eleonora Duse

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When they would return to one another from their solitariness,
they returned gently as dew comes to the morning grass.

~David Paul Kirkpatrick

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All people are like grass,
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.
Isaiah 40:6-8

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A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more
than he.

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.

… I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see
and remark, and say Whose?

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the
end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.
~Walt Whitman from “Song of Myself”

 

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Keeping an Appointment

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I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.
~Henry David Thoreau

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walnuthouseYou can live for years next door to a big pine tree, honored to have so venerable a neighbor, even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or wakes you, dropping big cones onto your deck at still of night. 
~Denise Levertov

mapleWhy are there trees I never walk under
But large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
~Walt Whitman
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The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The next best time is now.
~Chinese Proverb

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