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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Vermont Spring

(Spring on the Oxtongue River, 1924, by Lawren Harris,
1885-1970, Canadian artist)

“We need the tonic of wilderness — to wade sometimes in the marshes where the bittern and the meadow hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wild and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed. and unfathomed by us, because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

~ Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), American writer and naturalist, from


Walking in spring
never far from the sound
of rushing water
I came to a clearing
in the woods.
A silver birch stood
with me, silent.

A woodpecker beat time,
with my pounding heart,
and, in a marshy pond,
swollen with liquid snows,
something small, unseen,
broke the surface
to breathe the air.

Back in the brittle city,
where voices and corners
are sharp,
the surfaces concrete-hard —
important —
and silence is a memory,
something small, unseen
within me
breaks the surface
to breathe the wooded air.

~ Letha Elliott, American singer and poet

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