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Showing posts from August, 2018

A Poet's Journal: June 30th, 2014

June 30th, 2014

A 4-day hike in the Basque Mountains

Lying low upon the ground, breathing in the night air, and awakening to a slight chill, though it is the middle of summer, is enough for the body to regain its vitality.  It would be easy here for the mind to leave its thoughts to the scattered mist, but even if we tell ourselves that an unfettered freedom lies before us upon the trail, there is always something of our nagging and mundane lives following.  The contrast is too simple for us not to notice, and instead of feeling enlivened by it, there is the realization that we have not yet broken free from it all, but neither have we decided what we want to break free from.
A constellation arose on the door of our tent at night, and following it, the first rays of sun spread through our damp affairs with the enduring scent of heat--all of it though matters not unless one can see the place and the meaning it gives to his onward movements.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: September 23rd, 2013

September 23th, 2013

A flock of geese passed on the 20th--only the second to date, the other being sandhill cranes.  The 22nd marked the equinox and the moon rose with such grandeur that I was able to follow the contours of a crater with my binoculars until it was enveloped in the earth's shadow.  It makes us wonder what things we would see if we could only look hard enough; or rather, if we could focus our mind on one thought with such illuminating perception, what would our view from the earth look like and where the paths of migration lead?
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: September 18th, 2013

September 18th, 2013


The prospect that lies before us is one of invariable gaiety and I say this not because the light lays long upon the hills or the colour of the horizon changes into some inebriating spectacle, but because, at this time, those solitary and lonely birds that fly so far from our view we cannot give them a name, those whom no eye captures, but hears, now make themselves known in the flocks that appear from the window.  How must the heart swell in perseverance and fortitude when neither anticipation nor worry keep him close to the tops of the trees, but only a long and very ancient chant to urge his mind to some far-off dwelling!  Now on the fence-line singing of an evening tale, he swirls in the air to those who are the beginning and the end of his sentiments, and amidst the change and steady hold of our surroundings, flies across the distant sky to his existence.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: September 15th, 2013

September 15th, 2013

I missed a chance to go berry-picking last week, yet determination is ever eager for the future, and by next week's sunrise, I believe my hopes will have found a habitation for their movements.  It is almost too pleasing to know why I haven't gone, for being so disappointed in my last outing, I prefer the harvest of former years, and tell myself my gatherings have never been the same since nor will be, and so my perfect contentment to see the berries grow and die in the most inharmonious way.  Yet this has not left me in the least way paralyzed, for I have moved on to mushrooms, finding a few bolets and girolles, and instead of feeling the growth of a season fading away, have turned inward, to the distant pages of quiet thoughts, and speak to myself in a manner that is only pleasing to the barren field or solitary listener.  And yet, were these to offer any sort of reward, they in themselves would lose their flavor, and the cycle of life be but a mis-step …