For Mark...

Today, 9/30/15, was what would have been Mark's 55th time around, and the Earth gave the Northeast the gift of sustained rain.   Mark revelled in the new chill and subtle shifts of light of early fall, and was especially fond of mornings like this - made better by the sounds  of drops on leaves, gutters flowing, slick car tires, bathing birds, and last licks crickets.

The following was sent in his memory by our long-time friend and fellow nature-lover, Mary Jo Stanley.

 
The Messenger
By Mary Oliver
My work is loving the world. 
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — 
equal seekers of sweetness. 
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums. 
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? 
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me 
keep my mind on what matters, 
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be 
astonished. 
The phoebe, the delphinium. 
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture. 
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart 
and these body-clothes, 
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy 
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, 
telling them all, over and over, how it is 
that we live forever.
 

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....two poems, on what would have been his 54th birthday, September 30, 2014...    

 

Willow Poem

By William Carlos Williams
(From Lori C.) 

It is a willow when summer is over,
a willow by the river
from which no leaf has fallen nor
bitten by the sun
turned orange or crimson.
The leaves cling and grow paler,
swing and grow paler
over the swirling waters of the river
as if loth to let go,
they are so cool, so drunk with
the swirl of the wind and of the river --
oblivious to winter,
the last to let go and fall
into the water and on the ground.

 

Before Dark

by Wendell Berry
(From Jim Wright)

From the porch at dusk I watched
a kingfisher wild in flight
he could only have made for joy.

He came down the river, splashing
against the water's dimming face
like a skipped rock, passing

on down out of sight. And still
I could hear the splashes
farther and farther away

as it grew darker. He came back
the same way, dusky as his shadow,
sudden beyond the willows.

The splashes went on out of hearing.
It was dark then. Somewhere
the night had accommodated him

-at the place he was headed for
or where, led by his delight,
he came.