Tag Archives: wildness

The Wild Wonder: chant

I am the soft and silent spring
that well-oiled, whispers while it winds;
I am the scent of somber smoke
that wisps its wild way through the wood;
I am the gentle grasp of green
that in the spring succors the seed;
I am the tacit, tender touch
that germinates the garden grains.

I am the mist that mires the marsh,
the cloud that cloaks the clearing’s clover,
the wistful wind that wets the wheat
with drops of dew at new day’s dawning.

What good a world not filled with wonder?
What need this wandering without ways?
What use a wild that wants no wander?

6 FEB 2017

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Listen in the dark, and follow
where my voice leads on, away,
through the woods beyond the hollow
where the cheerful sparrows play
on into the mist that thickens
where the Spanish moss hangs low
on the spreading live oak branches
as we pass, silent, below.

Here the sun makes no impression,
for the canopy is thick;
mossy roots criss-cross the pathway,
mute our footsteps; here, the trick
is to remember without seeing,
gauge by sense of smell and touch,
so that if you feel like fleeing,
you cannot reveal too much.

Listen, can you hear the whisper
of the almost stagnant breeze,
like the faintly fading flicker
of a hair bent on your knee?
Your own breathing now is heavy,
louder than the crunch of leaves,
than the slow lap of the levee
echoing the distant seas.

Listen in the dark, and follow
where my voice is almost gone;
feel your face find the cool hollow
in the air it lingers on.
Listen for the fading footsteps
that leave no trace on the ground,
only soft and silent shadows,
memories lost to sylvan sound.

23 JUL 2005

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A Path of Wildness

I chose to walk a path of wildness;
though these modern city streets are paved
and seem to revel in a blindness
that believes the urban sprawl has saved
us from what nature could remind us:

somewhere beneath all this black and gray,
behind the masks that progress may wear
as it fumbles through lines of a play
it has not written, and does not care
to find meaning in what those words say,

there is an rough edge to our control.
Beyond that border the feral earth,
that patient presses diamonds from coal,
in each single instant gives birth
to the strange chaos that feeds our souls.

Where the sidewalk ends and turns to vine
is never clearly marked on a chart;
and your map is not the same as mine,
even if we would pretend to start
from the same place at an exact time.

What’s more, both paths may appear the same
(if anyone still took time to look)
and like gods often bearing false names
to confuse those who insist on books,
will merge at times; they are not to blame.

Instead, it is our pride that deceives;
we do not seek to balance, but rule,
and as a despot king we believe
our road divine, and others for fools
unfit to share the glory we perceive.

But it is there; the wildness can’t be tamed,
nor trimmed and manicured for too long
before it tires of such polite games
and flexes its muscles, lean and strong,
to escape the gilded picture frame.

I would go after, where it now stalks
amidst the dark, thickened underbrush;
sometimes just at dawn I hear it walk
right under my open window. Hush!
Can you hear it too? It likes my block.

18 FEB 2005

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The last of the icons remaining to us
whose methods have become the norm,
whose portrait of rebellion created the fuss
that pushed us from the eye to the storm

and in just a few lines, or gestures, inspired
a lost generation to gather, and name
its enemies. He watched, and grew tired
of pale imitations, but never blamed

the audience, who were not born to follow,
but rather the great machine churning out trash;
recognized his own failing, too — that hollow
morality that could not refuse the cash.

The greatness of men is found in their flaws;
there is no perfection that can so inspire,
if only because how we deal with the raw
and festering wounds in our lives, and aim higher

than mere entertainment, or paychecks, or fame
and are willing to risk all of that, for some cause
(which although perhaps shallow or just some wild game,
is the crucible in which our apathetic ice thaws).

So ramble on, mumble on, show warts and all;
The goal is not merely to light up the screen,
but more than that, to illustrate that a fall
is a clear testament of an effort, unseen

to claim an authentic soul, one not for sale
at any price, and through the feral and wild lands
of our dreams, to be willing although sometimes frail
to grasp at a greatness with your own hands.

02 JUL 2004

One of the ways you could describe James Dean is as a figure standing with both arms outstretched, one side Marlon Brando saying, “Up yours,” and the other side, Montgomery Clift saying, “Help me.” — paraphrased from The Mutant King: A Biography of James Dean, by David Dalton

Kowalski was always right, and never afraid. He never wondered, he never doubted. His ego was very secure. And he had the kind of brutal aggressiveness that I hate. I’m afraid of it. I detest the character. — Marlon Brando on Stanley Kowalski

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