Slow Morning Hours

© 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

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Sunlit Scars

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Beyond the Murmurs of Mankind

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Evening! as slow thy placid shades descend,
Veiling with gentlest hush the landscape still,
The lonely battlement, the farthest hill
And wood, I think of those who have no friend;
Who now, perhaps, by melancholy led,
From the broad blaze of day, where pleasure flaunts,
Retiring, wander to the ring-dove’s haunts
Unseen; and watch the tints that o’er thy bed
Hang lovely; oft to musing Fancy’s eye
Presenting fairy vales, where the tir’d mind
Might rest beyond the murmurs of mankind,
Nor hear the hourly moans of misery!
Alas for man! that Hope’s fair views the while
Should smile like you, and perish as they smile!

– “Evening” by William Lisle Bowles

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”

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

New Dawn, New Day

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

“For the mind disturbed, the still beauty of dawn is nature’s finest balm.”

– Edwin Way Teale

When The Sun Touches The Field

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

2011 Our Daily Challenge 9/365 – Tree

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

Summer Fields

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM