Temet Nosce (Know Thyself)

This page exists as what used to be known as a "Commonplace Book" for the purpose of maintaining a log of the poetry and philosophy that inspires and propels much of my own thought and writing, and to share, with fellow sojourners, a collection of the beauty and wisdom of kindred souls throughout time. My hope is that we will collectively work towards the goal of a deep and sustaining self-knowledge that will, then, inspire and guide us to pursue beauty, peace and justice in our world.

“He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, August 10, 2015

"The Light of Invisible Bodies"

Day ends, and before sleep
when the sky dies down,
consider your altered state:
has this day changed you?
Are the corners sharper or rounded off? 
Did you live with death?
Make decisions that quieted?
Find one clear word that fit?
At the sun’s midpoint did you notice a pitch of absence,
bewilderment that invites the possible?
What did you learn from things you dropped
and picked up and dropped again?
Did you set a straw parallel to the river,
let the flow carry you downstream?
~ Jeanne Lohmann, “The Light of Invisible Bodies”

Friday, August 7, 2015

St. Francis And The Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.
~ Galway Kinnel, "St. Francis And The Sow"