Tuesday, December 31, 2013


There is a type of grass called bluestem which, in my local experience, is anything but blue --

but there is no doubting the blue of this stem -- Virgo Maria blue, if anything, with a winter born baby bud to boot. 

There is an extravagance to winter, formal, subtle, easy-to-miss,

and its wayfaring tangles lead to where only the most intrepid dare to follow --

the triple signpost of here, before and after.

Who, after all, even remembers the soft, cream-colored cradles of infancy ?

or the cat's-cradle strings and twirling double-dutch ropes of childhood ?

We sweat under layers of a here and now as over-embroidered as a bad Christmas sweater.

Something more inorganic, we plead; we require diamonds, granite countertops, gold-plated bathroom fixtures ! Or, if not that, the interface of water and ice, of light and shadow

which we can, at will, reduce to a palette of black and white and gray.

Glory be to God for dappled things -- said Father Hopkins
-- all things counter, original, spare, strange --

meaning this --

and this --

and this !

Who could ask for a more glamorous demise,

borne off onto a ocean of milky twilight

on a ship of fantastic rigging and gorgeous sail

will a hold crammed with dried berries

adequate for any voyage.

And if a body meet a body coming through the rye, well, all aboard:

it's a passage booked before time began, destination unknown.


forsythia said...

Hoping you will continue to paint your pictures with lens and language in 2014. So beautiful always, yet never failing to startle or surprise.

David Ashton said...

Amen to what Forsythia said. Wishing you a happy new year!

Sabine said...

Thank you for these stunning images! Happy new year.

Paula said...

Thanks, all -- and happy new year ...


Beth said...

Happy New Year, Paula, and thanks for the times I've spent here in the past one, often surprised, always marveling.