"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

30 September 2019



When you are already here 
you appear to be only 
a name that tells of you 
whether you are present or not 

and for now it seems as though 
you are still summer 
still the high familiar 
endless summer 
yet with a glint 
of bronze in the chill mornings 
and the late yellow petals 
of the mullein fluttering 
on the stalks that lean 
over their broken 
shadows across the cracked ground 

but they all know 
that you have come 
the seed heads of the sage 
the whispering birds 
with nowhere to hide you 
to keep you for later 

who fly with them 

you who are neither 
before nor after 
you who arrive 
with blue plums 
that have fallen through the night 

perfect in the dew

W.S. Merwin


29 September 2019


Thou takest the pen–and the lines dance. 
Thou takest the flute–and the notes shimmer. 
Thou takest the brush–and the colors sing. 
So all things have meaning and beauty in that space beyond time where Thou art. 
How, then, can I hold back anything from Thee.

Dag Hammarskjöld

28 September 2019


so someone asked me about my spiritual practice. i thought for a moment and told him, "i play an E chord without the 3rd." 

i wasn't trying to be a smart ass but ever time i read some joseph campbell or listen to lightnin' hopkins or see judy meeting me at the airport or some one comes up and tells me they enjoy my songs or i come up with a cool groove and some words that fit, i get this feeling that i'm right where i'm supposed to be and i'm doing what i'm supposed to be doing and i get grateful that i'm still teachable and able to learn new things.

now for me the real quest for the grail isn't dressing up in armor and riding off from the kings castle into a dark forest to test your courage..its how do i handle myself when i get up at 4 am to make a 6 am flight..and the guy next to me didn't shower that morning and the lady right behind me has a beautiful baby but the little critter poops 3 times from la to austin and the seat belt sign is on so she can't change him right away..

if i say its karma then i got to figure out what i did to deserve this..
if i say its luck then i should never gamble again..
if i say well it's the way its supposed to be and i ain't gonna always be here to be aware of such moments and i'm still very fortunate to be able to afford to travel and gig then i can endure such aromas as i'm sure there are worse..well then i don't flair up, i breath through my mouth and remember i was a baby once who stunk up where ever i was and that i used to stay up all night and get on a plane ever now and then wearing yesterday.

it was a good flight, we all walked away, and the days that i keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, i have really good days. 

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Ray Wylie Hubbard, "Down Home Country Blues"

It's sandwich time.


O to realize space!
The plenteousness of all—that there are no bounds;
To emerge, and be of the sky—of the sun and moon, and the flying clouds, as one with them.

Walt Whitman, from "Poem of Joys"


"Carpe diem" doesn't mean seize the day — it means something gentler and more sensible. "Carpe diem" means pluck the day. Carpe, pluck. Seize the day would be "cape diem," if my school Latin servies. No R. Very different piece of advice. What Horace had in mind was that you should gently pull on the day's stem, as if it were, say, a wildflower or an olive, holding it with all the practiced care of your thumb and the side of your finger, which knows how to not crush easily crushed things — so that the day's stalk or stem undergoes increasing tension and draws to a thinness, and a tightness, and then snaps softly away at its weakest point, perhaps leaking a little milky sap, and the flower, or the fruit, is released in your hand. Pluck the cranberry or blueberry of the day tenderly free without damaging it, is what Horace meant — pick the day, harvest the day, reap the day, mow the day, forage the day. Don't freaking grab the day in your fist like a burger at a fairground and take a big chomping bite out of it.  That's not the kind of guy Horace was.

Nicholson Baker, from The Anthologist


Act without doing;
work without effort.
Think of the small as large
and the few as many.
Confront the difficult
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.

The Master never reaches for the great;
thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty,
she stops and gives herself to it.
She doesn't cling to her own comfort;
thus problems are no problem for her.

Lao Tzu, from Tao Te Ching


The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.

Ted Hughes

Zamboni, Sonate d'Intavolatura di Leuto

Christopher Morrongiello performs the Preludio ...



There was an apple tree in the yard —
this would have been
forty years ago — behind,
only meadows. Drifts
off crocus in the damp grass.
I stood at that window:
late April. Spring
flowers in the neighbor's yard.
How many times, really, did the tree
flower on my birthday,
the exact day, not
before, not after? Substitution
of the immutable
for the shifting, the evolving.
Substitution of the image
for relentless earth. What
do I know of this place,
the role of the tree for decades
taken by a bonsai, voices
rising from tennis courts —
Fields. Smell of the tall grass, new cut.
As one expects of a lyric poet.
We look at the world once, in childhood.
The rest is memory.

Louise Glück


The "mystery of things" - where is it found?
Where is it, that it does not appear
At least long enough for us to see
It is a mystery?
What does the river, what does the tree
Know about it?
And, I who know no more about it than they,
What do I know about it?
Whenever I look at things and think
What men think about them,
I laugh like a stream
Falling with a cool sound
Over the stones.
For the only hidden meaning things have
Is that they have no hidden meaning.
Stranger than all that is strange,
Than poets' dreams and philosophical ideas
Is this: things are actually
Just what they appear to be
And there is nothing about them to understand.
Yes, here is what my senses learned
All by themselves:
Things do not have meanings: they have existence.
Things are the only hidden meanings of things.

Thomas Merton

Telemann, Don Quixote Suite

Richard Egarr directs the Academy of Ancient Music in the third movement, "His Attack on the Windmills"...


Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.

Bertrand Russell


One spring, during campaigning season, a clever general skilled in mountain fighting decided to surprise his enemy in Jiangxi province by using a tough to navigate path that passed through Tongmu. As it happened, the harvest was at its peak. Towards the end of the day, as picking was being completed, the soldiers reached Tongmu. The villagers fled to hide in the rugged mountains leaving behind a great piles of withering tea leaves waiting to be processed into green tea, which must be done soon after picking to keep the leaves from oxidizing. If the day had gone according to plan they would probably have been up all night making tea. The soldiers found what food there was and stayed for a couple of days, finishing off the food and using the tea as nice soft beds, while the villagers hid in the mountains with the monkeys.

Upon returning, the villagers found themselves ruined. The soldiers had left behind broken leaves that had oxidized and absorbed the stink of the soldiers. However, one innovative villager suggested that they could cover the smell by roasting the tea with horsetail pine instead of bamboo charcoal. Horsetail pine (a common tree in the Wuyishan area) was used to roast the first batch in hopes of covering the smell of the soldiers, thus giving birth to black tea.



27 September 2019

RUSH, "Vital Signs"


The system will always be defended by those countless people who have enough intellect to defend but not quite enough to innovate.

Edward De Bono


At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.

Alberto Manguel

25 September 2019


Winston Churchill and his wife, Clementine, on board a naval auxiliary patrol vessel during a visit to the London docks, 25 September 1940.



In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think

of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

Mary Oliver

Thank You, Jessica.


I've always had a sort of intuition that for every hour you spend with other human beings you need X-number of hours alone. 

Now, what that X represents I don't really know, whether it be two and seven-eights or seven and two-eights, but it's a substantial ratio.

Glenn Gould


Let us develop: let us draw up a topographical plan and take a little journey to the land of better understanding.

Paul Klee


Happy Birthday, Gould

Glenn Gould was born on this date in 1932.

My moods are inversely related to the clarity of the sky.

Glenn Gould

Glenn Gould: On the Record ...

Glenn Gould: Off the Record ...


I remember more dearly autumn afternoons in bottoms that lay intensely silent under old great trees.

C. S. Lewis 

24 September 2019

Sting, "Lithium Sunset"

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, "A Thing About You"


Wyeth. N.C., Chadds Ford Hills, 1931

It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet. Streaming files of wild ducks began to make their appearance high in the air; the bark of the squirrel might be heard from the groves of beech and hickory-nuts, and the pensive whistle of the quail at intervals from the neighboring stubble field.

The small birds were taking their farewell banquets. In the fullness of their revelry, they fluttered, chirping and frolicking from bush to bush, and tree to tree, capricious from the very profusion and variety around them. There was the honest cock robin, the favorite game of stripling sportsmen, with its loud querulous note; and the twittering blackbirds flying in sable clouds; and the golden-winged woodpecker with his crimson crest, his broad black gorget, and splendid plumage; and the cedar bird, with its red-tipt wings and yellow-tipt tail and its little monteiro cap of feathers; and the blue jay, that noisy coxcomb, in his gay light blue coat and white underclothes, screaming and chattering, nodding and bobbing and bowing, and pretending to be on good terms with every songster of the grove.

As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye, ever open to every symptom of culinary abundance, ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. On all sides he beheld vast store of apples; some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees; some gathered into baskets and barrels for the market; others heaped up in rich piles for the cider-press. Farther on he beheld great fields of Indian corn, with its golden ears peeping from their leafy coverts, and holding out the promise of cakes and hasty-pudding; and the yellow pumpkins lying beneath them, turning up their fair round bellies to the sun, and giving ample prospects of the most luxurious of pies; and anon he passed the fragrant buckwheat fields breathing the odor of the beehive, and as he beheld them, soft anticipations stole over his mind of dainty slapjacks, well buttered, and garnished with honey or treacle, by the delicate little dimpled hand of Katrina Van Tassel.

Thus feeding his mind with many sweet thoughts and "sugared suppositions," he journeyed along the sides of a range of hills which look out upon some of the goodliest scenes of the mighty Hudson. The sun gradually wheeled his broad disk down in the west. The wide bosom of the Tappan Zee lay motionless and glassy, excepting that here and there a gentle undulation waved and prolonged the blue shadow of the distant mountain. A few amber clouds floated in the sky, without a breath of air to move them. The horizon was of a fine golden tint, changing gradually into a pure apple green, and from that into the deep blue of the mid-heaven. A slanting ray lingered on the woody crests of the precipices that overhung some parts of the river, giving greater depth to the dark gray and purple of their rocky sides. A sloop was loitering in the distance, dropping slowly down with the tide, her sail hanging uselessly against the mast; and as the reflection of the sky gleamed along the still water, it seemed as if the vessel was suspended in the air.

Washington Irving, from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Paul Weller, "All Good Books"


I have come to a still, but not a deep center, 
A point outside the glittering current; 
My eyes stare at the bottom of a river, 
At the irregular stones, iridescent sandgrains, 
My mind moves in more than one place, 
In a country half-land, half-water. 
I am renewed by death, thought of my death, 
The dry scent of a dying garden in September, 
The wind fanning the ash of a low fire. 
What I love is near at hand, 
Always, in earth and air.

Theodore Roethke


van Gogh, Houses in Auvers, 1890

The uglier, older, meaner, iller, poorer I get, the more I wish to take my revenge by doing brilliant color, well arranged, resplendent.

Vincent van Gogh

Paul Weller, "Down The Seine/A Man Of Great Promise/Brand New Start"


Robert Plant, "Gallows Pole"


An excellent album ...

23 September 2019


The Decemberists, "The Engine-Driver"

And I am a writer, writer of fictions
I am the heart that you call home
And I've written pages upon pages
Trying to rid you from my bones 

Colin Meloy performs ...

George Winston, "Woods"


Wyeth, Fall, 1985


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John Keats

22 September 2019

21 September 2019


Homer, Mink Lake, 1892

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock


Wyeth, The Witching Hour, 1977

I can't work completely out of my imagination. I must put my foot in a bit of truth; and then I can fly free.

Andrew Wyeth

19 September 2019

This Mortal Coil, "Song to the Siren"



Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

W.H. Auden


This windy, bright September afternoon
My heart is wide awake, yet full of dreams.
The air, alive with hushed confusion, teems
With scent of grain-fields, and a mystic rune,
Foreboding of the fall of Summer soon,
Keeps swelling and subsiding, till there seems
O'er all the world of valleys, hills, and streams,
Only the wind’s inexplicable tune.                           

My heart is full of dreams, yet wide awake.
I lie and watch the topmost tossing boughs
Of tall elms, pale against the vaulted blue;
But even now some yellowing branches shake,
Some hue of death the living green endows:—
If beauty flies, fain would I vanish too.

Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

Pete Townshend, "Bargain"


Well, the sun's not so hot in the sky today
And you know I can see summertime slipping on away
A few more geese are gone, a few more leaves turning red
But the grass is as soft as a feather in a featherbed
So I'll be king and you'll be queen
Our kingdom's gonna be this little patch of green

James Taylor, from "September Grass"

Thank You, Poetessa.


Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.

John Betjeman



It's rather the possibility of friendship, unencumbered by feelings of attraction or shyness; the possibility of working on the same wavelength, as it were, with someone who understands you because he's a boy as you are, or a girl as you are. Committee work stifles the imagination, because people have to work down to the common denominator of what would be minimally acceptable to everyone. But friendship exalts the imagination. Indeed it is one of the things that the ancients said friendship was for. Plato suggests in Symposium that one of the highest forms of friendship is one whose love issues forth in beautiful and virtuous deeds, for thus "the partnership between [the friends] will be far closer and the bond of affection far stronger than between ordinary parents, because the children that they share surpass human children by being immortal as well as more beautiful.

Anthony Esolen, from Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child


I wake up with insecurity every morning. The thing is, it’s trying to deal with it on a day-to-day basis. As long as I’m focused on doing something creative, then that helps. I question everything I do… and maybe that’s a way of trying to improve myself, to be better. I’m wandering around the dark, just like anyone else, but sometimes I see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel… and I’m just trying to go towards that, trying to find a direction that feels right to me.

Paul Simonon

14 September 2019

Jimmie Dale Gilmore, "Howlin' at Midnight"


Sprick, Sherry, 2012


Green is the night, green kindled and apparelled.
It is she that walks among astronomers.

She strides above the rabbit and the cat,
Like a noble figure, out of the sky,

Moving among the sleepers, the men,
Those that lie chanting green is the night.

Green is the night and out of madness woven,
The self-same madness of the astronomers

And of him that sees, beyond the astronomers,
The topaz rabbit and the emerald cat,

That sees above them, that sees rise up above them,
The noble figure, the essential shadow,

Moving and being, the image at its source,
The abstract, the archaic queen. Green is the night.

Wallace Stevens



The things that one grows tired of--O, be sure
They are only foolish artificial things!
Can a bird ever tire of having wings?
And I, so long as life and sense endure,
(Or brief be they!) shall nevermore inure
My heart to the recurrence of the springs,
Of the gray dawns, the gracious evenings,
The infinite wheeling stars. A wonder pure
Must ever well within me to behold
Venus decline; or great Orion, whose belt
Is studded with three nails of burning gold,
Ascend the winter heaven. Who never felt
This wondering joy may yet be good or great:
But envy him not: he is not fortunate.

Robinson Jeffers

Eddie Money, "Everybody Rock and Roll the Place"

Eddie Money, "Gimme Some Water"


Excellent albums ...

Rest In Peace, Money Man

Eddie Money has passed.

"Gamblin' Man" ...

And still, Henley lives.  There is no justice in this world.

13 September 2019

George Jones, "Once You've Had the Best"

The Flatlanders, "Going Away"

Lucinda Williams, "Protection"

James McMurtry, "These Things I've Come to Know"


Wonder, as the child of mystery, is a natural source of prayer.  
One of the most beautiful forms of prayer is the prayer of appreciation.
This prayer arises out of the recognition of the gracious kindness of creation.
We have been given so much.  We could never have merited or earned it.
When you appreciate all you are and all you have, 
You can celebrate and enjoy it. 

You realize how fortunate you are. 
Providence is blessing you and inviting you to be generous with your gifts.
You are able to bless life and give thanks to God. 
The prayer of appreciation has no agenda but gracious thanks.
Nothing is given to you for yourself alone.  
When you receive some blessing or gift,
You do it in the name of others;
Through you, they, too, will come to share
In the kindness of Providence.

John O'Donohue