Friday, October 27, 2006

An Old Poem

An Autumn Idyll

The earth and sky are all
Awash with gray,
And the soughing rain in the trees
Fills all the world with sound,
Dripping from the eaves,
Dripping from brittle leaves as
Green bleeds away to flame
And dust.

We lie, limbs entwined,
Stilled by sweetness and
Roisterous silence, as the
Milky sky unburdens and
Begs to sing us asleep.

The window is beaded with
Silver and diamonds,
As the raindrops tap to be let in
Where it is warm.
And one by one, the scarlet leaves drop,
Till the lawn is a great mosaic,
Seething with prophetic fire
Under a pewter sky.

And we breathe as one,
And our lips touch,
And we drowse into life together.

©R.A. Moulds, 1995

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New poem

Gold is wherever you look -
up the treetops, down in the moss.
Be glad; enjoy your fortune
while you can feel and see it -
this luck won't stay forever with us.

These are the days
when the aspen shines
more brightly than the sun.

These leaves are the lights;
the aspen trees the guides
on your path to winter.

No more green;
no need for shade.

These last weeks of the mushroom season
bright chanterelles have grown -
after the rain, the wind, the unpleasantness -
in unexpected places, in aromatic abundance.

Recall when all is dark, cold, hidden:
rustling light; fragrant gold.

© Maria Ljungdahl 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Music a Remedy

Many and sundry are the means which philosophers and physicians have prescribed to exhilarate a sorrowful heart, to divert those fixed and intent cares and meditations, which in this malady so much offend; but in my judgment none so present, none so powerful, none so apposite as a cup of strong drink, mirth, music, and merry company...Many other properties Cassiodorus...reckons up of this our divine music, not only to expel the greatest griefs, but 'it doth extenuate fears and furies, appeaseth cruelty, abateth heaviness, and to such as are watchful it causeth quiet rest; it takes away spleen and hatred,' be it instrumental, vocal, with strings, wind, quae a spiritu, sine manuum dexteritate gubernetur, etc.; it cures all irksomeness and heaviness of the soul.

Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy

Monday, October 16, 2006

Closed Road


When music sounds, gone is the earth I know,
And all her lovely things even lovelier grow;
Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees
Lift burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies.

When music sounds, out of the water rise
Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes,
Rapt in strange dreams burns each enchanted face,
With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place.

When music sounds, all that I was I am
Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came;
While from Time's woods break into distant song
The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along.

Walter de la Mare, Motley and Other Poems (1918)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Popular Taste

Did no one, any more, no one in all this wide world, change their record now and then? Was everyone nowadays thirled to a formula? Authors today wrote so much to a pattern that their public expected it. The public talked about "a new Silas Weekly" or "a new Lavinia Fitch" exactly as they talked about "a new brick" or "a new hairbrush". They never said "a new book by" whoever it might be. Their interest was not in the book but in its newness. They knew quite well what the book would be like.

Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


It's an odd thing, but when you tell someone the true facts of a mythical tale they are indignant not with the teller but with you. They don't want to have their ideas upset. It rouses some vague uneasiness in them, I think, and they resent it. So they reject it and refuse to think about it. If they were merely indifferent it would be natural and understandable. But it is much stronger than that, much more positive. They are annoyed.

Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time