Taking a Different Road

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Barbaric Black and Burning Gold

Deep with divine tautology,
The sunset’s mighty mystery
Again has traced the scroll-like west
With hieroglyphs of burning gold:
Forever new, forever old,
Its miracle is manifest.

Time lays the scroll away. And now
Above the hills a giant brow
Of cloud Night lifts; and from his arm,
Barbaric black, upon the world,
With thunder, wind and fire, is hurled
His awful argument of storm.

What part, O man, is yours in such?
Whose awe and wonder are in touch
With Nature,–speaking rapture to
Your soul,–yet leaving in your reach
No human word of thought or speech
Commensurate with the thing you view.

– “Sunset and Storm” by Madison Julius Cawein

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© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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The Poetry of Earth is Never Dead

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Alone I stare into the frost’s white face.
It’s going nowhere, and I—from nowhere.
Everything ironed flat, pleated without a wrinkle:
Miraculous, the breathing plain.

Meanwhile the sun squints at this starched poverty—
The squint itself consoled, at ease . . .
The ten-fold forest almost the same . . .
And snow crunches in the eyes, innocent, like clean bread.

– Osip Mandelstam, “Alone I Stare Into the Frost’s White Face”

This Hour of Awe

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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5 AM. One-quarter past.
Distant chimes inform me this.

A bell peal knells the mist.
And sunlight’s

not yet bludgeoning.
But some light gets blood going.

Last night it was snowing
and now

every path’s a pall.
Though mine the only footfalls

at this hour of awe. Above
hangs a canopy of needle leaf.

Below, the season’s
mean deceit—

that everything stays
white and clean.

It doesn’t, of course,
but I wish it. My prayers

are green with this intent,
imploring winter wrens

to trill and begging scuttling bucks
come back.

There’s something that I lack.
A wryneck

bullet-beaks a branch.
His woodworm didn’t have a chance.

What I miss,
I’ve never had.

But I am not a ghost.
I am a guest.

And life is thirst,
at best.

So do not strike me, Heart.
I am, too, tinder.

I’m flammable
as birch bark, even damp.

Blue spruce, bee-eater—
be sweeter to me.

Let larksong shudder
to its January wheeze,

but gift these hands a happiness
just once.

It is half passed.
And I am cold.

Another peal has tolled.
I’ve told the sum of my appeals.

I need not watch for fox.
They do not congregate at dawn.

But I would,
were I one.

– Jill Alexander Essbaum, “Would-Land”

Beautiful Incompetence

Via Flickr:
© 2012 Loren Zemlicka

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“The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it’s so rare.”

– Daniel P. Moynihan

2012 Weekly Challenge: Colors

Via Flickr:
© 2012 Loren Zemlicka

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Why do CDs reflect rainbow colors?

"Yesterday I got lost in the circus
Felling like such a mess
Now I’m down I’m just hanging on the corner
I can’t help but reminisce
When you’re gone all the colors fade
When you’re gone no New Year’s Day parade
You’re gone
Colors seem to fade

Your mama called she said that you’re down stairs crying
Feeling like such a mess
Yeah I hear you you’re in the background bawling
What happened to your sweet summertime dress

I know we all, we all got our faults
We get locked in our vaults and we stay
But when you’re gone all the colors fade
When you’re gone no New Year’s Day parade
You’re gone
Colors seem to fade
Colors seem to fade"

– Amos Lee, "Colors"

2012 Weekly Challenge: Colors II

Via Flickr:
© 2012 Loren Zemlicka

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Why do CDs reflect rainbow colors?

Fall Above

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

“I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.”

– Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Guard Changes

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

“Twilight – a time of pause when nature changes her guard. All living things would fade and die from too much light or too much dark, if twilight were not.”

– Howard Thurman