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A Poet's Journal: February 4th, 2014

February 4th, 2014

It is in our nature to fashion understanding after intellect; from the first breath of consciousness it has been said that man is the thinking animal and whether we agree or not, the tradition with which our thoughts move is to place one object up against another, or one thought or memory up against another, and proceed through reasoning or logic to come up with a strategy that will invariably prove or not prove that one is better or worse than the other.  We place upon the scale of importance efficiency and fact, and hold with words those ideas and matters of thought that have not yet been fully understood.  To speak, or more generally, to use the senses, is our way to enlighten understanding, whereupon it is only those things that are left unsaid, or that have yet been revealed, that the intellect truly understands.  By the concept and definition of a word, we give boundary, by which is meant exclusion, so that the objective reality that we come to take as truth w…

A Poet's Journal: February 21st, 2013 (With Audio)

February 21st, 2013

The relation that we have to the appearance and formation of thought is something nonetheless worth taking note of.  The occurrence of any one thing is fated to leave us in a moment from which our perceptions and our ideals form the totality of its meaning.  The wake of the realization and not the realization itself is what we find ourselves contemplating.  If someone has ever searched for anything in their lives, they know what this means: until one part of that object, or the object as a whole is seen, they may not notice that it is right under their hands; but when it is noticed, they shall find that what they have taken hold of, has already in some ways been grasped.
Douglas Thornton

Newly Published Poetry: The Wintering-Ground (With Audio)

As winter is finally coming to a close, let us reflect upon the passing season and find a place where we are truly alive.  Please click on the link below or scroll down to read this newly published poem:
The Wintering-Ground by Douglas Thornton


The Wintering-Ground

Within what hut,
My woodland maid,
May I remain awhile?
Next what fire may my chills
Be warmed? Be there
A path that leads
Past stony piles and tells
Us not to walk alone?

I do not think,
My woodland maid,
Deep sleep my dreams will find;
Nor will my coldness cede
To warm sunshine.
But if my steps
Should weary long, nor learn
My ways to scorn, that hut
Through lost defiles
I’ll find once more.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: February 3rd, 2013 (With Audio)

February 3rd, 2013

For the first time in some months I am confident in my path and linger not upon doubt.  Those creatures of thought heard in the solitudes of the forest no longer need a name, but are somehow understood, and should I put my finger upon the sounds of distant words, they become recognizable purely because of utterance.  Giving life and finding sureness in the dark, is a compassion unlooked for, but so very well at home, that we almost too swiftly set out again before we have enjoyed the full comforts of that most intimate moment.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: January 26th, 2013 (With Audio)

January 26th, 2013

We must constantly be set in some direction lest our preoccupations fall within a mode of importance that bind us to an obligation which does not serve our purpose or present state of mind.  Yet this is hard to define at any given moment, and though we are contemplative, our thinking mostly consists in reflections on variously changing subjects.  If we could let ourselves be pulled into the center and perfect intention of our art, the reconciliation of life as we see it in reality, and the wisdom for which we aim, would not be so difficult.  But as it is, the effort is divided and we must learn to let go.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: January 8th, 2013 (With Audio)

January 8th, 2013

Today, Tuesday, sun all day; feel the days getting longer.  The slightest variation in light is perceptible only by the way in which it hits certain objects.  To the eye, we may notice morning, evening, and noon, by taking into account the incline of the sun, but as for our earth moving in its orbit and the light growing longer or brighter on the hills or the walls of our homes, that feeling and that change is lost unless we take minutious observation of our daily surroundings.  Light, by contrast, is a transformation of the understanding of the inexplicable; it enlightens but does not clarify our perceptions, and even though it is to make the day longer, it is not a privilege granted for our comfort.  Though the object then may help us see, it makes us turn our backs to that which we really want to know, and so the languor and discomfort of these ever-widening days is a burden and something careful to be shrugged off.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: November 15th, 2012 (With Audio)

November 15th, 2012

Hiked on the 10th; mushroom hunting and the first cepe de Bordeaux I've ever found.  Those places where the mushroom lives and sprouts up excite me; for they are on the most unnoticeable part of ground and give importance to a spot that we would have briefly looked over in any other circumstance.  It is perhaps a meditation on nature; the robin, the squirrel, and even the deer are apt to cross our path, and still other birds, or the tracks of unknown animals, and though the mushroom still sits in the back of our mind, we anticipate an encounter with something far less known, and going into the underbrush, or pushing aside dead leaves, enlightens a conscious courage that is almost as ancient as it is foreign to our daily lives.  He certainly who finds what he's looking for has always been searching for something else.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: November 7th, 2012 (With Audio)

November 7th, 2012

The sky is overcast and somehow the more beautiful for it.  The resurgence of something, at one time held in the light, gains the absolute clearest perspective when it can be approached on cloudy days.  It is not that we see anything new, rather it is the coming into contradiction of our own perception.  In that way, what was held of interest once before, now finds conflict with how we must approach it.  This is true for the way we read books, listen to music, and try to figure out the tasks of our day, and this is also true of any solution.   The lake is deeper with the loss of light, the forest more silent; animals step with an approaching calm, and it is all too easy to forget that we must function with the rising of the sun.  The trees have gone from light yellow to dark red in the matter of a week and it is with renewed interest that I take up the terrifying banalities of life.
Douglas Thornton

A Poet's Journal: October 29th, 2012 (With Audio)

October 29th, 2012

The 27th was the first day of autumn--a faint chill and pelting rain; the trees taking on different colours, the ferns rusting away.  One day we wake up and it is spring, another winter; for we call the first of things pure: the first taste, the first scent; but the first expression of autumn, the first realization that our earth is moving further away from the sun, in that thought alone there is the greatest solitude.
Daily life has a great warming effect to it--it is wonderful to be caught up in our habits and see from within the season changing.  Haste, anxiety, and dread, all take on new meanings, those of which we can recede into and find relief in the fact that our own storms and our own frailties are matters less eternal than the wind.  It is even soothing to rediscover a pressing need and find that the importance given to it was but an illusion caused by the summer months or the full moon--in reality, we don't know.  The way we feel a certain look, the …

A Poet's Journal: October 11th, 2012 (With Audio)

October 11th, 2012

A large group of cranes pass over. There is something so bland in life that we become subverse to the very details that make it up; and yet, brought to our attention, those details are of no special concern, though they have created our interest in the first place.  When we ask someone to stand out, we are not asking of anything genuine or long-standing, but merely a blind antagonist to draw us in to an ever greater competition of self-worth.  But how foolish!  For he who is willing to combat his fellow-man proves he is not on even terms with him and has not attained the superiority of triumph in his own mind.  Instead of the ideas of excellence that another puts forth, should he find the terms for his own conviction.  But if there is a sage of dire consequence, he has folded up his robe, for among the vast infinitude of prophecy there are but one or two decisions to be made.  Perhaps we could still hear his echo if it were not that he too has become so bland.
Dougl…

A Poet's Journal: October 3rd, 2012 (Audio)

October 3rd, 2012

That which is unique seems all the more to make what is around us less so that we forget the whole circumstance leans solely on the force of our own interpretation. While having dinner last night, just at the moment that I happened to look up, a greenish-blue ball of light fled across the tiny part of sky that our window encloses; but from that moment, until I spoke of the object only a few seconds later, did a confidence steadily grow in my disparaged and up until then unsure attempts in writing that everything thought childish in my life up to that instant became truth and whatever I would do from here on would not lead me astray whether I doubted or not.  It was a coincidence that touched something I had hardly ever seen; it was not a revelation, nor did I think some divine presence involved in it, but it was the circumstance that bade the whole realm of possibility, the whole realm of existence, mutual to my own poor and daily life.  Superiority and the hierarch…

A Poet's Journal: October 2nd, 2012 (Audio)

October 2nd, 2012

What is it that we conceal when we look towards ideal moments? What appears to us comes as part of a world that we can only vaguely conceive, but one in which we imagine a whole set of circumstances, accomplishing this or that with greater or lesser conviction until we arrive at some culminating point where perfection is grasped for just a moment. And yet we know that if something perfect must exist it is only because imperfection exists and the whole way unto the ideal is a series of sufferings. But we must not consider through all our pains there will bloom within us an everlasting peace; for just as a door and four walls may lead us to expect shelter, the rain may still come in. When it happens though, when we find entrance into a warm and inviting home, the essence of that ideal is always hard to grasp and we despair over the contrast of perception and imagination only to turn upon that thing that was always concealed within us and within the event. It is still …

A Poet's Journal: September 29th, 2012 (Free Audio Reading)

September 29th, 2012

To be heroic in this world, one must be prepared to ask, 'What if?'  And the answer that he shall always receive will be, 'Either...  Or.....'  However, I do not mean this to sound as if one must take his lessons directly from the philosopher's mouth; I rather mean that his decision should not escape him in that vital moment.  Nor should this be taken all the way to the extreme of single-mindedness, lest the mountain feel its own avalanche and not stand firm enough against it.  Thus, the inheritance of our whole future comes with a sign over it that says: know thyself.  But the currency of this expression is no longer the reason for which we rise from bed, so that our curiosity has given up on the abstract, and that only where we see the light will we let ourselves be guided.  What was for us once a question is now an answer wherefrom we move away and cry out in longing, 'What if?'
Douglas Thornton