poems and photographs 274

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(photographs: Tom Davis)





A break, for the weekend; the next post will be on Monday, November 25.




Friday, November 22, 2013


white tulip




becomes a star


I would like to write a poem about the world that has in it
nothing fancy.
But it seems impossible.
Whatever the subject, the morning sun
glimmers it.
The tulip feels the heat and flaps its petals open and becomes a star.
The ants bore into the peony bud and there is a dark
pinprick well of sweetness.
As for the stones on the beach, forget it.
Each one could be set in gold.
So I tried with my eyes shut, but of course the birds
were singing.
And the aspen trees were shaking the sweetest music
out of their leaves.
And that was followed by, guess what, a momentous and
beautiful silence
as comes to all of us, in little earfuls, if we're not too
hurried to hear it.


from Mary Oliver, This World







Thursday, November 21, 2013







Perhaps the tulip knows about impermanence

and that is why, on a green stem

it carries a wine cup in the wilderness

Hafiz, (re)transl. Tom Davis







Wednesday, November 20, 2013








ah, the hidden sweetness
we find when the belly is empty!
we are no more or less than
string instruments: if
the sound box is full of something,
no music: obviously.

so: if the brain and the belly
are burned clean with fasting,
every moment a new song
comes out of the fire:
the fog goes away
a new energy
makes you run up the steps
in front of you.

be empty: make music
like a reed pipe;
write love's secrets
with a reed pen.


rumi, retranslated by Tom Davis







Tuesday, November 19, 2013


pink rose





la vie en rose

you look at me and I look away
your smile, it comes and goes
i see you as you surely are
and life is a pink rose

you speak your love in silence, or
a normal angel's prose
I feel, oh, I don't know what
and life is a pink rose

here I am, within your arms
I know what heaven knows
I know you from inside my heart
and life is a pink rose

so you are I and we are you
in one sweet quelquechose
there is no end to this midnight love
and life is a pink rose

Tom Davis, after (and a long way behind) Edith Piaf






Monday, November 18, 2013


indra's net





Indra's net

Buddhism uses a similar image to describe the interconnectedness of all phenomena. It is called Indra's Net. When Indra fashioned the world, he made it as a web, and at every knot in the web is tied a pearl. Everything that exists, or has ever existed, every idea that can be thought about, every datum that is true—every dharma, in the language of Indian philosophy—is a pearl in Indra's net. Not only is every pearl tied to every other pearl by virtue of the web on which they hang, but on the surface of every pearl is reflected every other jewel on the net. Everything that exists in Indra's web implies all else that exists.

from Timothy Brook, Vermeer's Hat







earlier ~ search ~ strange shadows