Two poems that brought me along to the sermon this Sunday, Lent 1, March 9th. The first by Pablo Neruda, one of his many Odes, of the contrast in our experience between the enormity of the oceans of God and life, and our longing drawn to the small and specific and vulnerable at our feet, drawn back to earth just in time.
by Pablo Neruda, from All the Odes, translated by Ilan Stavans
ODE TO A FEW YELLOW FLOWERS
Against the blue shaking its blue,
The sea, and against the sea,
A few yellow flowers.
the developed sea is so important,
its myth, mission, yeast,
of a single yellow plant
explodes in the sand
and your eyes
are tied to the ground,
escaping from the magnanimous sea
and its whip.
We are dust, we shall become.
Not air, or fire, or water
we shall be
a few yellow flowers.
— And the second by W.S. Merwin about the quality of time in our lives, the discoveries of memory and of change and of surprise, from his newest collection of poetry.
by W.S. Merwin from THE MOON BEFORE MORNING, 2014
THE NEW SONG
For some time I thought there was time
and that there would always be time
for what I had a mind to do
and what I could imagine
going back to and finding it
as I had found it the first time
but by this time I do not know
what I thought when I thought back then
there is not time yet it grows less
there is the sound of the rain at night
arriving unknown in the leaves
once without before or after
then I hear the thrush waking
at daybreak singing the new song