Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Two Poems to Welcome September

My Cockscomb bloomed!

By Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.


The Patience of Ordinary Things
By Pat Schneider

It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
how the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
how the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
or toes. How soles of feet know
where they're supposed to be.
I've been thinking about the patience
of ordinary things, how clothes
wait respectfully in closets
and soap dries quietly in the dish,
and towels drink the wet
from the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?


The Hummingbirds are emptying my 3 large feeders twice a week now.  They're fueling up in droves for the trip further South.  I can feel them taking Summer with them, bit by bit, on their tiny, strong wings.  I'm already nostalgic for summer and she hasn't even gone...

Happy September.




audrey said...

Hi Marion.
I will miss certain aspects of summer, too, but I am NOT going to miss this dreadful HEAT. It has been a long hot one!! I look forward to the cool, crisp, days of autumn.
Very nice poems. I especially like The Patience of Ordinary Things. Oh, the things we take for granted.....
I have been having to fill my hummingbird feeders more often this past two weeks. You are right. They are inhaling every drop they can. I LOVE watching them - they will be missed this winter.
Happy September days to you, Marion!

Eric Alder said...

Nice poems, Marion! The second one reminded me of a Don Williams song, "Cup of Tea" ("I don't want to be the deep blue sea, I just wanna be your cup of tea")

If you start feeling nostalgic about summer's passing, just remember when you were sweltering in the heat without A/C.

Personally, I love fall and can't wait for it to arrive.

P.S. - I'm still looking for that maroon dragonfly pic. It's probably in one of the dozens of picture CDs I have.

Jos said...

What beautiful poems Marion. Kindness, yes that one speaks right to the heart of it all for me.

I am in the midst of my summer break (2 weeks of work). Somehow summer in England kicks in only when the grain harvest is mostly in. The days are shorter but for some reason the sun shines more at this time of year.

Long peaceful walks by the river. Free, and the perfect way to pause for a while to look at things.

Blessings! xx Jos

Kelly said...

Both good poems, but ohhhh.... I really like that second one!!

I also like what you said about the hummingbirds. Yes, I can understand exactly what you mean about being nostalgic for summer. *sigh* I have a feeling that goes deeper than just those words for both of us.

Opaque said...

Thanks for sharing these poems.

quid said...

"The Patience of Ordinary Things"... just wonderful! Thank you.

Fall is so far away in Florida. Just as the hurricanes kick up, it is hard to think of autumn. Only football and the nearing of the World Series make it feel like fall so far.


Rick said...

sheesh! how much farther south can they fly?? I have the same thing with three feeders. fewer and fewer but they squabble good as ever. Love the kindness piece. gonna put it in my pocket and pull it out now and again.
love ya

Terresa said...

That cockscomb is a riot of color, I can't believe it, so vibrant, such a splash.

Love the poems, thank you, they are my daily poetry zen. Ohhhmmmmmmm.

Terresa said...

PS: Do you mix your own hummingbird juice for them? It is a mix of water and sugar? (that's how we always make it when we feed the hummingbirds at our mountain cabin, they love that stuff!)

Marion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marion said...

Hey, y'all. Thanks for your comments. Audrey, I love my Hummingbirds as does my Mama. She only has one feeder attached to her apartment window in the middle of 'the hood'. And she has so many birds that she has to fill it every day. She puts cold water in it to refresh them. I guess I get my bird-love from her. Blessings!

Eric, keep looking. I can't wait to see that dragonfly pic!

Jos, your description of walks by the river sound divine. I love my Red River here. It's run like a major vein through my entire life. Blessings!

Kelly, you are 100% right. It goes way deeper. xoxo

Opaque, you're welcome. Thank you for stopping by!

Quid, I hope you get some cooler weather in Tampa soon...maybe some backwind from Hurrican Earl? Love ya!

Rick, I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. And, believe me, the birds do go further South. LOL! My hummingbirds hang out till around the first of October, then one day they're just all gone. We used to go to Galveston, TX every year by way of the High Island ferry. The area is famous as a bird watcher's paradise.

I often wonder what happened to all the birds after Hurricane Ike devastated the area. But then I recall what the Bible says in Matthew, Chapter 6: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Terresa, I buy sugar by the 10 pound bag and mix my own hummingbird food: 1/4 cup of sugar per cup of water. Just mix well until all sugar is dissolved. I add a drop or two of red food coloring, but it's not necessary. Blessings!

Woman in a Window said...

Such slow and thoughful poems for September. See what September does for us? Makes us nicer people. Isn't that strange? Just what is it about September?

Not sure myself, but god, I love it, drink it like water after a long dry spell.


Wine and Words said...

So lovely. Yes, only after we lie dead by the side of the road do we understand kindness, the power of it, the resource.

I did not realize that hummingbirds sat. Always I have seen their little wings furiously beating the air. But last weekend one sat before me on a fence. I clicked a picture with my camera as if this phenomenon would never happen again. Then it took flight, straight at me...hovered just at the point my eyes cross, and vanished.

Love you

Marion said...

Erin, I'm excited about September, too. My Moonflowers are already going to seed, a sure sign of an early Autumn. And I heard it was going to be 58 here Sunday night. I can't wait!! Love & Blessings!

Annie, yes, hummingbirds sit. I have trees full of them. I watch them fight over my feeders, then fly back to a branch to await their next assault. They're very territorial. Their little nests are so tiny, like doll toys. I hope you share your photo. I've tried to get photos of them, but they're too fast for me. Love & Blessings!! xoxo

audrey said...

Does this mean you'll pay for my chef??? HAHAHA
I have heard others say the same thing about a housekeeper ~ the place has to be neat and clean or what might they think??
Seriously, Marion, what a perfect answer you've given ~ you would help those in need. Bless you! ♥

missb@dragonflyvintage said...

The Patience of Ordinary Things - what a lovely poem and tribute to the simple objects that are in all of our lives...

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

September...might be my favorite month. The poems--both reminding us to remember to love and be kind...the Cockscomb color is riotously punk like purple hair.