Henry Rollins, Joe Strummer, and Johnny Cash
Lines for Winter
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon's gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.
- Mark Strand (from Selected Poems)
With thanks to Ellen Kushner for introducting me to this poem. I love Strand's work, but this one was new to me. The illustrations above, of course, are by the great Arthur Rackham. In the photographs, Tilly "goes on walking, hearing the same tune" on dark, damp Dartmoor day...
"On a Dartmoor Day" by our friend Chris Back.
(9 August 1914 - 27 June 2001)
The imagination of the Earth,
That knew early the patience
To harness the mind of time,
Waited for the seas to warm,
Ready to welcome the emergence
Of things dreaming of voyaging
Among the stillness of land.
And how light knew to nurse
The growth until the face of the Earth
Brightened beneath a vision of color...
Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
For all our sins against her:
For our violence and poisonings
Of her beauty.
That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.
- John O'Donohue (from "Let Us Praise this Earth")
"It could be said that this is a hellish moment on earth environmentally, but I don't choose to see it that way. We are definitely disconnected. We know the litany of horrors: the degredation of resources, the level of consumption...I could go on and on. My grandfather would always say, 'I'm as low as a snake's belly.' So what do we do to pick ourselves up from the realities of the world we live in? I believe it is through art we can find our lifeline." - Terry Tempest Williams (from A Voice in the Wilderness)
And so do I.
With thanks to Michelle, who provided the title for this post in her comment yesterday. The first and last paintings above are by Carl Larsson (Swedish, 853-1919), illustrating the annual Saint Lucia day celebrations in his family. The second painting is a detail from "Out Popped the Moon" by Kay Nielsen (Danish, 1886-1957), and the third is a detail from "Marianna and the Whippets" by my friend and village neighbor David Wyatt.
Paul hits a bum note
John F. Kennedy, Arthur Ferrante and Louis Teicher
Flournoy Miller, Aubrey Lyles, Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake and their
All Around the World Company of 'Shuffle Along'
Luchino Visconti holds onto his seat