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Showing posts from October, 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: October 21st, 2013

October 21st, 2013


The 18th showed the leaf-changing moon full, rising directly in front of the window.  It foretold of its appearance with a golden glare upon the horizon for some time before it crept little by little into sight.  The comparison of its movement with the terrestrial objects which it glowed against showed how far and how fast it moved, though imperceptible to casual glance, and gave in itself a great and delirious effect to the size of the earth.
The 19th was ripe for mushrooms and also stocked up on chestnuts, a savor with which I have recently become enamored, but this year's crop seems to be of meagerness, as had been the blackberries, unless it be my negligence.  A flock of cranes came through in the evening and some at rest in the bay, and still more flocks of pigeons fleeing the sound of the hunter's gun, which fills the morning hours.  The song-birds are in groups as well, hard to distinguish because of their ever distant and rapid flight.  A tree here o…

A Poet's Journal: October 17th, 2013

October 17th, 2013


There is something serene in long uninterrupted meditation, which in return, changes the world from harsh fact to silent poetry, and every piece of space where the eyes once fell in languor, now holds hope in anticipation of bringing forth words.  But just as the words we speak will be forgotten moments later, the shelter in to which we have placed all of our wisdom becomes the most difficult, and just as well the most revealing, part that lies beyond our reasonable comprehension.  Our journey to it is put off, our forces wane or lose motivation, and finally it is relegated to what is only immediately useful.  We find a semblance of simplicity behind the chimera of keeping ourselves occupied that it is soon only in running around that worth instills itself into what we have, and so the difficulty of poetry, which asks for nothing.  The one who finds again this haven is he who, in the gowns of disdain, will have suffered the insanity of his thoughts to come to light …

A Poet's Journal: October 15th, 2013

October 15th, 2013

To take pleasure in the outcome of the work has encompassed all my thoughts as of late, which means that I may give with leisure what I had only attempted in anxiety.  Through thought and in reading the thoughts of those before us, we gather ourselves from the world, but only of an amount sufficient, and compiled over so many days, that when we begin to embody it, it has already been called a waste of time.
Only now am I reminded that a couple of weeks ago, on a particularly stormy day, had I come home and seen from the window off to the south, the evening sky aglow with a vast display of continual lightning.  The static motion of the light, reflecting against the tall thundering clouds, brought out such a depth and internal fulfillment, that the sky faded into a darkness almost coeval with my curiosity, and left their dwelling to the random illumination of some far off void.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: October 14th, 2013

October 14th, 2013

A flock of pigeons flew over today and I watched with great interest.  For it is a rare sight to see such a large grouping of birds and true as it is that the cranes and egrets can grow abundant, they are rather spread out over the sky, whereas the pigeons remain close together, in no certain form but what the wind or fancy may push them towards, which is why it is all the more impressive to witness.  From a distance they are a nondescript mass, now reflecting, now contrasting the light in the sky, until literally, they turn on the wing and become invisible.  Yet they are not fleeting, for the same flock may circle above the hills or across the ridge for hours, afraid to land because of the sound of the hunter's gun, though it is only to their own detriment that they amuse us, such that it is the same in one's heart to keep abreast of the struggle, not to brave the truth, but to lend ourselves to another's excitement.
Douglas Thornton