Saturday, September 22, 2012

Flowers near the brook


What are these called?  Does anyone know?  Asters, perhaps?

The Sure Aimer

(to Marianne Moore)

         Time falls,
      Falls into place
   And into stones, turned, ferned,
   Combed by continual waterfalls
   In a thunderdown burlying race,
      A music earned
By luck, as one said of Verlaine: 'He falters with grace.'

         The will,
      Watching that force
   And seeking how it may best wrest
   Life's ring from hammer and anvil,
   Leaps the precipitous course,
      A salmon at rest
In the trance, like a swallow suspended, of purposeful torse,

         That ease,
      Turning the whole
   Starred bestiary of heaven, even
   Past power of Hercules,
   A thirteenth labour of soul,
      To you is given,
Your needle uniting all mind's meandering scroll,

         What proves
      To the hypocrite
   Most hostile?  Vision reveals seals
   Struck and bequeathed by love's
   Authority.  But wit
      Reconciles planets' wheels
To plants, creatures and shells, and makes all fit.

         You take
      Both these, and free
   Time with stern details, logic the world threw, true
   And of archaic make,
   Which you restore and make us see
      In a flash, as through
Precision you humble strength, a David for accuracy.

~ Vernon Watkins (1906-67)


from Fidelities (New Directions, 1969), pp. 35-36

Thursday, September 20, 2012

For a Wine Festival

Now the late fruits are in.
Now moves the leaf-starred year
Down, in the sun's decline.
Stoop.  Have no fear.
Glance at the burdened tree:
Dark is the grape's wild skin.
Dance, limbs, be free.
Bring the bright clusters here
And crush them into wine.

Acorns from yellow boughs
Drop to the listening ground.
Spirits who never tire,
Dance, dance your round.
Old roots, old thoughts and dry,
Catch as your footprints rouse
Flames where they fly,
Knowing the year has found
Its own more secret fire.

Nothing supreme shall pass.
Earth to an ember gone
Wears but the death it feigns
And still burns on.
One note more true than time
And shattered falls his glass.
Steal, steal from rhyme:
Take from the glass that shone
The vintage that remains.

~ Vernon Watkins (1906-67)


Vernon Watkins, "For a Wine Festival," in Fidelities (New Directions, 1969), p. 47

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Captain Forward

Old Captain Forward didn't fool me once,
But some would give him 48 more months.
If he's at the helm till twenty-seventeen,
I'm bound to utter something quite obscene.

Memorare to St Joseph

Remember, O most chaste Spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who implored your help and sought your intercession was left unassisted.  Full of confidence in your power, I fly unto you and beg your protection.  Despise not, O foster-father of the Redeemer, my humble supplication, but in your bounty, hear and answer me.  Amen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

St Agnes Church

under a cloudy sky:


Peter Kreeft

... we live in a flat world, an egalitarian world, while the ancients lived in a world full of spiritual heights and hierarchies, a world of spires and turrets.  But our hearts protest against our flatland, and yearn for their true country, their true dimension of verticality.  Love is, simply, superior.  It belongs on a throne.  It rightly brags, praises, exults, celebrates, sings its Song of Songs, its nonordinary song, its Greatest Song.  It deserves silver and gold and robes and crowns.  Heaven will be full of it (if the symbolism in Revelation means anything at all); had we not better practice living with it?

Peter Kreeft, from "Love is Triumphalistic," in Three Philosophies of Life (Ignatius Press, 1989), pp. 130-1

Monday, September 17, 2012

Arch Street

Exterior of St Anthony's (Franciscan) Shrine, 100 Arch Street, Downtown Crossing, Boston, Massachusetts.  Known to every Catholic Bostonian simply as "Arch Street."