White Ash

29 09 2013


Blonde leaves,

Yellow and gray

In the darkling mist,

Whisper in the Wind

Still and small,

Calm and cool.

Clearly the mist

May not apprehend,

Cannot comprehend the

Coming shimmer, glimmer and

Gleam of this new autumn day.

Despite sight of ice and

Knowledge of night,

Light labors with Sky

Calling and christening,

Flaming and freeing,

Enchanting before winter’s chill.

A graceful blonde forever

Bright, white and beaming

Calm and cool:


D. Raymond-Wryhte

To Autumn

28 09 2013

foggy day

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

Vespers of Another Year

26 09 2013

The sylvan slopes with corn-clad fields
Are hung, as if with golden shields,
Bright trophies of the sun!
Like a fair sister of the sky,
Unruffled doth the blue lake lie,
The mountains looking on.

And, sooth to say, yon vocal grove,
Albeit uninspired by love,
By love untaught to ring,
May well afford to mortal ear
An impulse more profoundly dear
Than music of the Spring.

For ‘that’ from turbulence and heat
Proceeds, from some uneasy seat
In nature’s struggling frame,
Some region of impatient life:
And jealousy, and quivering strife,
Therein a portion claim.

This, this is holy; while I hear
These vespers of another year,
This hymn of thanks and praise,
My spirit seems to mount above
The anxieties of human love,
And earth’s precarious days.

But list! though winter storms be nigh,
Unchecked is that soft harmony:
There lives Who can provide
For all his creatures; and in Him,
Even like the radiant Seraphim,
These choristers confide.


William Wordsworth


silver creek 3

Creator Spirit

25 09 2013

CREATOR SPIRIT, by whose aid
The world’s foundations first were laid,
Come, visit every pious mind;
Come, pour thy joys on human kind;
From sin and sorrow set us free,
And make thy temples worthy thee.

O source of uncreated light,
The Father’s promised Paraclete!
Thrice holy fount, thrice holy fire,
Our hearts with heavenly love inspire;
Come, and thy sacred unction bring
To sanctify us, while we sing!

Plenteous of grace, descend from high,
Rich in thy sevenfold energy!
Thou strength of his Almighty hand,
Whose power does heaven and earth command:
Proceeding Spirit, our defence,
Who dost the gifts of tongues dispense,
And crown’st thy gift with eloquence!

Refine and purge our earthly parts;
But, oh, inflame and fire our hearts!
Our frailties help, our vice control,
Submit the senses to the soul;
And when rebellious they are grown,
Then lay thy hand, and hold them down!

Chase from our minds the infernal foe,
And peace, the fruit of love, bestow;
And, lest our feet should step astray,
Protect and guide us in the way.

Make us eternal truths receive,
And practice all that we believe:
Give us thyself, that we may see
The Father, and the Son, by thee.

Immortal honour, endless fame,
Attend the Almighty Father’s name
The Saviour Son be glorified,
Who for lost man’s redemption died:
And equal adoration be,
Eternal Paraclete, to thee!


John Dryden


Come Thou Fount

23 09 2013

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

Robert Robinson


Firefly Epiphany

21 09 2013

ghost willow lite

This is a flash-fiction fable excerpted from the author’s novel entitled No Shadow of Turning: A Sojourner’s Tale.  

Once upon a time, it was said that the Light shone in darkness, and that the darkness could not comprehend it. 

And there once came one, one so little yet so big as to be filled to overflowing with the lightning of Light, flying from daylight to darkness, from darkness to daylight.  She flew like a star hardly shooting.  She flashed like a star faint in the farthest expanse of the universe.  Yet she had the Sun’s light and right and might, and she had the Sun’s healing in her wings. 

Glowing, this one flew in.  In blackness of darkness, she flew around and came to light upon something barely gray.  Listening, she heard a dropping.  One dry dropping.  Then another.  And another something dropping dry. 

Firefly asked Willow, “Why do you weep?” 

Willow answered, “Look at me.  My branches are brittle.  My bark is bleeding.  I am broken, broken down and downcast.” 

Firefly, looking at the litter of bark and twigs below, asked, “Why, then, are you here?” 

Willow said, “Here is where I am.” 

“In this place?” Firefly asked.  “This is a cavern, a cave, a dungeon, a grave.” 

“But this is my place,” Willow insisted. 

“Your place is with the Sun,” said Firefly, “not without it.” 

Willow asked, “Nonsense!  I sense no Sun.” 

“In this, your place?  Of course not.  But you must sense the evidence of things not seen, the assurance of things foreseen.  You must see,” insisted Firefly.  “The white Sun makes the sky into seas of wind, makes the seas into mountains of clouds, and makes the clouds into fountains of water.” 

“I know nothing of seas or wind or clouds,” said Willow. 

“The Sun makes mountains like this into clouds of dust,” said Firefly.  “You do know something of dust.” 

“I know dust,” Willow agreed.  “From dust was I taken.  Dust I am.  To dust shall I return.” 

“The Sun knows dust.  There was a time when the Sun came to earth, and on one dreadful dusk He set deep into the dust,” Firefly said.  Then she added, “But then there came that one dawn that neither dust nor darkness, that neither pandemonium nor death could defeat: the Sun arose.” 

Firefly asked, “Do you know anything of water? And of the fountain of living water that can cause the flowing of rivers of living water from deep within?” 

“Within what?” Willow asked. 

“Within that which delights day and night.  There you can be planted by rivers of water, bringing forth fruit in season, and never withering.  There you can extend your roots by the stream, and have no fear when heat comes, no anxiety in time of drought.  Your leaves will be evergreen, and you will not cease to bear.” 

“But I am bare,” said Willow.  “I already do not cease being barren.”  

“So let the Sun come!” Firefly exclaimed. “The white Sun gives light, white light that becomes green growing upward and outward and onward, leaf upon leaf.  No need to be bare and barren. Ask yourself: where are your leaves?” 

“Where?” Willow asked.  “How about what? I know nothing of leaves.” 

“You can have leaves.  Leaf upon leaf, hundreds and thousands and hundreds of thousands.  You can, you may, you must have leaves verdant and vibrant and valiant, brilliant and jubilant and procreant.  Leaves, leaf upon leaf, high and lifted up: flying, lifting the very earth and flying high in the sky: flying in the white Sun’s light.  Flying, in the Light!” 

“I see no light!” Willow cried.  Willow wailed, “Whence?  Where?  Whither?” 

“Here,” said Firefly with that still, small voice enthusing her. 

“I know nothing of light!” Willow wept. 

And Firefly answered, “Look at me.” 


Those intrigued may wish to pursue the fable’s allusions to selected passages of the Holy Bible.  In order of appearance, they are as follows:

John 1:5-9

Malachi 4:2

Jude 12-13

Matthew 5:3-8

Matthew 11:27-30

Ecclesiastes 11:7

John 3:16-21

Hebrews 11:1-3

Genesis 3:19

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

Ecclesiastes 12:1-7, 13-14

Ephesians 4:4-10

John 4:5-26

John 7:37-38

Isaiah  44:3-4

Isaiah 58:11

Jeremiah 2:13

Psalm 1:2-3

Jeremiah 17:7-8

John 8:12

1 Kings 19:11-13

Matthew 5:14-16

Into the Beautiful

20 09 2013

As imperceptibly as grief
The summer lapsed away, —
Too imperceptible, at last,
To seem like perfidy.

A quietness distilled,
As twilight long begun,
Or Nature, spending with herself
Sequestered afternoon.

The dusk drew earlier in,
The morning foreign shone, —
A courteous, yet harrowing grace,
As guest who would be gone.

And thus, without a wing,
Or service of a keel,
Our summer made her light escape
Into the beautiful.

Emily Dickinson

autumn victory