Another dVerse OpenLinkNight. Grace, host of tonight’s event, has me thinking about spring. Write a few lines, send them in, and join the fun!

The storm, asking
no permission, broke
fiercely. Never one
to miss a good show,
I took a hard-backed chair
and cold beer out
on the front porch. How
long I sat
watching the water
thrash the trees and
tumble from the eaves,
I don’t know.
My reverie was broken
when I heard a voice
from the neighboring porch.
Hey there!Earl hollered out
over the storm noise.
Just watching it rain! I yelled back.
I hear you, brother!
The rain continued
to fall,
delicate drops
now, baptizing
the new grass.
We both went back
to watching.

Scott Russell Sanders: Not Our Rules

(Image Credit:

In defining wilderness as an unruly place where shaggy creatures roam, our language betrays an uneasiness about our own hairy origins and a regret that the original world does not dance to our music. Beyond our campfires, beyond our tents, beyond our makeshift structures, the whole universe is wild, from quarks to quasars, from black bears to black holes, but far from being disorderly, it follows intricate, exquisite rules that we have only begun to decipher. They are not our rules, however, no matter who fervently we may desire to legislate, a fact that is dismaying only to those who believe that we should be running the show.

–Scott Russell Sanders, “Voyageurs”

Emerson: On Thoreau

(Photo Credit: Catherine Hall,

[One of the weapons] with which he conquered all obstacles in science was patience. He knew how to sit immovable, a part of the rock he rested on, until the bird, the reptile, the fish, which had retired from him, should come back, and resume its habits, nay, moved by curiosity, should come to him and watch him.                                        –R. W. Emerson, from “Thoreau”


Another poem about birds. And common miracles. And other stuff. Submitted to dVerse OpenLinkNight.

And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning,
and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
Through the open window
I hear the titmice pecking
the seeds held firmly
in their feet, coat-button
eyes and electrified tuft
giving them the look
of habitual astonishment,
like old ladies who pluck
their eyebrows into
overturned vees.
Nothing really surprises them,
though, not even when I swing open
the storm door to take out
the trash; they drop
their meal and dart away, scolding
me from the top
of the crape myrtle, glad
for the chance to dramatize
a non-event.
Inverting the miracle
of Elijah’s food-bearing ravens,
they return a moment later
for a fresh seed.

More Emerson: There Are Doubts

It stands in [the Sceptic’s] mind that our life in the world is not of quite so easy interpretations as churches and schoolbooks say. He does not wish to take ground against these benevolences, to play the part of the devil’s attorney, and blazon every doubt and sneer that darkens the sun for him. But he says, There are doubts.

–R. W. Emerson, from “Montaigne; or, the Sceptic”

John Keats: Trivia

My day off. Woke up late (didn’t go to bed until 3:30 am, so it’s excusable), read a little, installed a new light fixture in the dining room. The old one went out a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t been home much, so the wife and kids have been eating supper in the dark. Anyway, I’ve been reading some in Keats today, and found this little piece that I enjoyed much, published under the heading Trivia:

I am as brisk
As a bottle of Wisk-
Ey and as nimble
As a Milliner’s thimble.