June 4, 2011

Wild Rosebush

Roses and Beetle

How it stands there against the dark
of this late rainy hour, young and clean,
swaying its generous branches
yet absorbed in its essence as rose;
with wide-open flowers already appearing,
each unsought and each uncared-for.
So, endlessly exceeding itself
and ineffably from itself come forth,
it calls the wanderer, who in evening contemplation
passes on the road:
Oh see me standing here, see how unafraid I am
and unprotected. I have all I need.

Uncollected Poems


  1. The innocence of a new day through baby eyes. How to get back to it - this is the Work.

  2. quietly true.

    I've never seen this Van Gogh before. In fact, you've posted a few I've not seen.

  3. this makes me laugh, actually, the impossibility of it in many ways. he speaks of animals in a natural state of being and flowers too this way, but man has these pesky things of self and mind. it is indeed work to try to break through all of this electrical fizzling and farting and just be. we are our own worst enemies. and yet, i wonder how much the rose appreciates its being, how much it has gratitude, how much it knows success and failure, love and heartache. it is just these pesky things that cause us to be alive, to experience being alive. but it is with great yearning that we pass through moments of simply being. these are moments of absolution, as though we are touched upon the prostrated head while on bended knee. and even then, would we know it were we a rose?

    we are a wonderful bag of contradictions, aren't we?


  4. I love your commentary and questions, Erin.

    For all the ways they sometimes torment me, I'm so happy to have a self and a mind. I don't want to be a rose, in its seeming unawareness (assuming it is unaware, but as you ask, does it know?). I want to be a factory of opposites, pumping out orderly rows of production on one conveyor belt, and basking in nothing but a roomful of light in other rooms. There is so much satisfaction when a thing's or feeling's opposite appears, and balances this swirl of life in me.

    And thank god for Nature, where I can look and see a cow, or an iris, or a chickadee, or a rotting carcass of a deer, and contemplate the stillness that lacks questions.

  5. Yes, perhaps, the rose "calls the wanderer," but the contemplative one on a journey may seek out such a byway, wanting to surround his or her ruminations with the undulations of something beautiful, wanting to bring symbols of vitality within oneself even if beset by uncertainty....

    What, pray tell, has this natural object with innocent vitality to do with us - is such a thing seeking its own? Or, is it the other way around, or maybe it's happening both ways?

  6. I sense some Voyeurism on this poem and also on Van Gogh's painting. Like the rose and the bug, like fire and ice, like Yin and Yang, like the Beauty and the Beast, like Hitchcock 's Rear Window, it looks like there's some attraction regarding contemplating the opposites. Polar contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent, and they both attract each other, sometimes a lot.

  7. god what a happy piece of synchronicity - i spent this afternoon painting a copy of this at art class - i've shared this on my facebook page - hope thats cool with you.
    x jenni g

  8. Jenni, of course! That's wonderful.

  9. thanks ruth - sorry i dont know how to load in a photo or anything thats why i am coming up as anonymous. :( but i am jenni g and i am in australia. i am a painter. will keep checking out your blod until of course it stops !
    do you know this poem ?

    Your great mistake is to act the drama
    as if you were alone. As if life
    were a progressive and cunning crime
    with no witness to the tiny hidden
    transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
    the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
    even you, at times, have felt the grand array;the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice You must note
    the way the soap dish enables you,
    or the window latch grants you freedom.
    Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
    The stairs are your mentor of things
    to come, the doors have always been there
    to frighten you and invite you,
    and the tiny speaker in the phone
    is your dream-ladder to divinity.

    Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation. The kettle is singing
    even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
    have left their arrogant aloofness and
    seen the good in you at last. All the birds
    and creatures of the world are unutterably
    themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

    – David Whyte
    from Everything is Waiting for You

    ©2003 Many Rivers Press

    personally i think its perfume that links poetry and paintings ..

  10. Oh Jenni g. There is a gasp, and recognition, and utter surprise. The best kind of poem. I have not read this before, yet I have felt it . . . The stairs are your mentor of things / to come . . . . . . this so many times! This poem is truly a gift, and your statement that "its perfume that links poetry and paintings" comes to me in this dark, early morning as true, yet I have to let it mingle with my coffee.

    Do you have a web site for your paintings?

  11. no not got no website - i am on facebook - :) i checked out your other page - i cannot believe i have actually 'met' someone whose favourite film or one of them is parenthood ! i mustov seen that one a thousand times. i love language but i love its slipperyness, the way i can twist it in my hands. i pinched the quote about god being the oldest work of art and put that on my facebook page too. again i hope thats ok ... i am still new to all of this !

  12. sorry that was me again - jenni.

  13. Rhymed ans metered:

    How it stands there against the dark'nings of
    the rainy evening, young and pure;
    in its tendrils that swing and give out love
    and yet sunk deep into its rose-nature;

    its shallow flowers here and there already
    open, each one untended and unwilled:
    thus, by itself exceeded endlessly
    and by itself indescribably thrilled,

    it calls the wanderer who through the land
    in evening musing on the paths proceeds:
    Look over here, oh look how safe I stand,
    and unguarded and cov'ring all my needs.


"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Go ahead, bloom recklessly!