The Same Breath

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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“All things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man… the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.”
– Chief Seattle

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A Troubled Sky Reveals

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

– “Snow-flakes” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sullen Waters

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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Here delicate snow-stars, out of the cloud,
Come floating downward in airy play,
Like spangles dropped from the glistening crowd
That whiten by night the milky way;
There broader and burlier masses fall;
The sullen water buries them all–
Flake after flake–
All drowned in the dark and silent lake.

– Excerpt from “The Snow-Shower” by William Cullen Bryant

Drought Hay

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Due to this summer’s drought in southern Wisconsin, the Wisconsin DNR has opened up about 160 public areas, comprising about 11,500 acres of grassland and marsh to farmers for haying and grazing.

The land is being offered to drought-stricken farmers on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge.

This bale is one of one hundred or so scattered about the Brooklyn Wildlife Area in Belleville.

Up With The Light

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Rise up, rise up,
And, as the trumpet blowing
Chases the dreams of men,
As the dawn glowing
The stars that left unlit
The land and water,
Rise up and scatter
The dew that covers
The print of last night’s lovers—
Scatter it, scatter it!

While you are listening
To the clear horn,
Forget, men, everything
On this earth newborn,
Except that it is lovelier
Than any mysteries.
Open your eyes to the air
That has washed the eyes of the stars
Through all the dewy night:
Up with the light,
To the old wars;
Arise, arise!

– “The Trumpet” by Edward Thomas

Hushed October Morning

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost–
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

– “October” by Robert Frost

At Ease Beneath Some Pleasant Weed

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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THE POETRY of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead 5
In summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.

– “On the Grasshopper and Cricket” by John Keats

A Mind of Winter

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

– Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man”