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Visual Meditation: Last Vestiges of Winter

“The Light Comes Brighter”

The light comes brighter from the east; the caw
Of restive crows is sharper on the ear.
A walker at the river’s edge may hear
A cannon crack announce an early thaw.
The sun cuts deep into the heavy drift,
Though still the guarded snow is winter sealed,
At bridgeheads buckled ice begins to shift,
The river overflows the level field.

Once more the trees assume familiar shapes,
As branches loose last vestiges of snow.
The water stored in narrow pools escapes
In rivulets; the cold roots stir below.

Soon field and wood will wear an April look,
The frost be gone, for green is breaking now;
The ovenbird will match the vocal brook,
The young fruit swell upon the pear-tree bough.

And soon a branch, part of a hidden scene,
The leafy mind, that long was tightly furled,
Will turn its private substance into green,
And young shoots spread upon our inner world.

-Theodore Roethke

(photos taken last week along the coast of Maine)

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

**ADDED NOTE: Ironically enough, I set this to post a few days ago while I was away and had uploaded some of my photos onto my laptop.  I flew back to Seattle last night and today. . . it is SNOWING here!  When I left two weeks ago the cherry trees were singing pink.  More reflections from my trip coming in the next day or two once I have a chance to recover a bit. ** 

** Come back Monday for our next Poetry Party! **

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7 Responses

  1. Trees Reflections

    Just now,
    when I think I see you so clearly,
    the ripples of our overlapping lives
    shift in my memory of childhood scenes.

    What once was young and all bright shining laughter
    is sweeter now with moonlight glimmer.
    Our roots are growing heavenwards, just now.

    Times ripples don’t disturb the heart of love’s remembering,
    the sweetness mellowed now with tenderness
    as fragile as your brow, just now.


  2. Thanks for the warm welcomes, I am very grateful! I love the poem kigen.

    I have had too much work to catch up on to do much reflecting in writing, it will have to wait another day or so. But tomorrow is the Poetry Party!

  3. Welcome Home – to rest and routine and whatevery else your spirit hungers for! I too will look forward to your sharing the gifts of your recent journey. Blessings!

  4. Welcome home Christine!

    Laving cherry blossoms to return to snow!
    March does seem always to be struggling
    with an identity crisis, doesn’t it.

    Especially enjoyed Roethke’s lovely image:
    “Once more the trees assume familiar shapes,
    As branches loose last vestiges of snow.”

    The Japanese poet Shikishi writes:

    Here deep in the hills,
    my pine door would never know
    that springtime had come —
    but for a broken trickle
    of jewels of melted snow.

  5. Welcome back, Christine! I have missed you and come to check every so often. The pictures and poem are a hopeful glimse into the future. I will ignore the “Added Note”

  6. Christine – Welcome home! These photos are lovely. Missed your posts and look forward to hearing about your journey in whatever way you plan to share (or not) with your readers. This visual meditation would be enough!