The Summer Day, Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

(Excerpt) The Wasteland, T. S. Eliot

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

since feeling, E. E. Cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
- the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says

we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

A Birthday Poem, Ted Kooser

Just past dawn, the sun stands
with its heavy red head
in a black stanchion of trees,
waiting for someone to come
with his bucket
for the foamy white light,
and then a long day in the pasture.
I too spend my days grazing,
feasting on every green moment
till darkness calls,
and with the others
I walk away into the night,
swinging the little tin bell
of my name.

Ted Kooser

(Excerpt) Kubla Khan, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
   Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away… and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast…. be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust…. and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.

Travel, Edna St. Vincent Millay

The railroad track is miles away,
       And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
       But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by,
       Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
       And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with friends I make,
       And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
       No matter where it’s going.

 Edna St. Vincent Millay

1. Albarracín - Aragon, Spain

Albarracín is a beautifully preserved medieval village in Northern Spain. The rock paintings in the cliff-foot caves of the Albarracin Cultural Park (some of the most important evidences of the Levantine prehistoric art of Spain) and the “Picaportes” (door knobs) are something to marvel at!

8. The Bastei Bridge in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Germany

38. Giant’s causeway - County Antrim, Northern Ireland