What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins from “Inversnaid”
In our anguish at the chaos that appears to rule the world,
let us remember,
when we look closely,
through the fog,
even the weeds,
we unruly unholy weeds,
in this wilderness.
There is order here
even if we can’t feel it.
Let us be left.
We are meant to be.
There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.
We are given the option to notice
We are given reason to rejoice
We are given a rain-bowed promise to witness
So why ever not?
“The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.
“The spirits of the air live on the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
~William Blake from “To Autumn”
For northwest native webfoots like myself, this has been an atypically tough summer: no rain, full-out heat and humidity, melting glaciers, dust, drought, fires, smoke and water restrictions. When the string of three plus months of overwhelming sun finally broke in a devastating wind and rainstorm this past weekend, I for one celebrated, despite no power and no water for a couple of days. Since then the rain has poured and snow has fallen on bare rock in the mountains. This morning the fog returned with moisture rising from spider-webbed soppy ground to meet the roselight of the dawn.
Praise God this Morning for a blissful relief
found in furrowed brows of Morning,
of foggy feather’d clouds;
we move from clust’ring Summer
to the golden load of jolly Autumn.
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.
As I wander my yard
studying the complexities of web design,
marveling at a tiny creature’s creation
of connection by the slenderest thread.
Through words and pictures I whisper
from my own corner of the web,
waiting patiently for the shimmer of connection:
my rumbling thunder has been seen.
The porch swing hangs fixed in a morning sun
that bleaches its gray slats, its flowered cushion
whose flowers have faded, like those of summer,
and a small brown spider has hung out her web
on a line between porch post and chain
so that no one may swing without breaking it.
She is saying it’s time that the swinging were done with,
time that the creaking and pinging and popping
that sang through the ceiling were past,
time now for the soft vibrations of moths,
the wasp tapping each board for an entrance,
the cool dewdrops to brush from her work
every morning, one world at a time.
~Ted Kooser “Porch Swing in September”
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.
~Walt Whitman from “The Noiseless Patient Spider”
In autumn everything
everywhere on the farm
is interconnected with silken threads,
no longer invisible but
glistening with foggy drizzle.
I too want
what glistening words
I throw out
to catch somewhere,