Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category

Skiing to Brave Boat Harbor during the January 2011 nor'easter

Despite the benign start to our winter this year, January brought a midweek nor’easter which dropped more than 14″ of powdery snow over the region.

I love a good dumping of snow and this year’s blizzard did not disappoint: flakes fell furiously at a rate of 1-2″ per hour, the trees danced wildly as the strong surf roared in the distance.  Sheltered comfortably in my home and warmed by the wood-burning stove, I worked remotely as the winds whipped the snow and pounded the windows of my home office.

By afternoon the storm eased.  Before nightfall I grabbed my cross-country skis and glided down the driveway and to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge on Cutts Island.

Continue reading ‘Snow Day – The January Nor’easter’ »

Sailing to Byzantium by William Butler Yeats

Sailing to Byzantium
William Butler Yeats

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unaging intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enameling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

My idea as an accompaniment to my summer riding this year is to photocopy random poems from my Immortal Poems of the English Language anthology received from Mom back in 1984 (I can’t believe this edition is still in print, same cover and all).

With a poem taped to my handlebars to keep me company, my aim is to spend time reading and reflecting while cycling the seacoast.  As a kid I loved reading poetry, memorizing favorite ones.  As an adult I find it difficult to make space for poetry, so why not carve out time while doing something equally rewarding.  Or in our modern idiom: kill two birds with one stone, as it were.

Continue reading ‘2010 Inaugural Ride’ »