Monday, November 23, 2009

their secret design

there's a stark emptiness about
late autumn trees.
their secret design -
as above
so below -
revealed for all to see.

the skies
pastel-hued softness
their brittle bodies
and gather
the chaos of
their spindly
black india ink
of branches
and limbs
a request:

there is a spirit
in these trees . . .
love even!

and though
the cold glory
of autumn
the outer beauty of their bodies,
there is a
tender metaphor
that speaks to me . . .

there it is -

the outer trappings.

as above so below.


Crafty Green Poet said...

what lovely photos, specially the last one. I like the metaphor you've written about too

Phoenix said...

Very beautifully said. Late autumn trees drove me into a lot of introspection. Inspite of remaining mere skeletons of their spring, summer and early fall versions, they remind of the cyclicity of life.. of the fact that old gives way to the new.. and that is what I loved most about them.

Titus said...

steven: I love the two black and white photographs - fabulous capturing of the starkness of trees in winter. And the words;
"black india ink
of branches"
fabulous. There is a spirit.

Pauline said...

there are few better places to be than in the company of trees. beautiful photos!

jinksy said...

Captivating words and pictures again.

(What are my chances of your sending me a 'proper' email as per my profile page, so's I'd be able to 'talk' to you direct? I'd so love to be able to comment on the comments you so kindly leave on napple notes!)

Golden West said...

It's good that the seasons remind us in such visually stark terms of the passage of time and our impermanence here. All the more reason to cultivate thankful and loving hearts in the time alloted to us.

Reya Mellicker said...

This is beautiful. The trees here quiet down and "sleep" after the leaves fall. Love the way they cut the sky into such pretty patterns, and I also love the way the world is revealed again.

I saw the Capitol from E. Capitol street yesterday for the first time since March, because most of the leaves have dropped.

I love fall and winter so much.

Jenny Stevning said...


willow said...

Sometimes I think the trees are even more beautiful with their lovely "india ink" exposed, against a dense gray sky. Beautiful thoughts and pics, Steven.

ellen abbott said...

I love above, so below. And those pictures are just wonderful. Especially the last one.

Friko said...

wonderful photos and imagery .And the words, they're just sublime.

Steven, I love your blog.

staceyjwarner said...

Wow this was absolutely amazing. Completley authentic. How is THE BRIDGE of SAN LUI REY? I have to service this title and it is a royal pain in the butt! LOL!

much love

steven said...

hi crafty green - thankyou for that!!! i like the metaphor as well. it feels right. steven

steven said...

hi phoenix - i love knowing that those apparently dead trees are still very much alive inside their bodies! that's the cyclical nature you refer to. they'll be back and bring the fuzzy green glory of the buds then little leaflets then leaves back in the spring. steven

steven said...

titus - thankyou so much. we've not had snow yet but countless frosts. the mornings' are nippy but entirely tolerable. i'm still biking every day rain or shine. cold or warm. there's lots of beauty year 'round. the search never ends for me. steven

steven said...

hi jinksy, thanks for your interest in my e-mail. i decided at the beginning of this blog to exchange thoughts through these comments boxes. i imagine that seems uncommonly restrictive - particularly for me - but it's what i prefer. thanks all the same. steven

steven said...

golden west - you're absolutely right!!!! loving and good hearts. that's what i try and offer and what i love to be surrounded by!!! steven

steven said...

reya - so true!!! i can see further and through the trees i see things i'd forgotten about. i love watching the squirrel races - they're amazing! the autumn is my fave time of year but the three other seasons (five other seasons if you're really honest) are beautiful but in very different ways. have a lovely evening in dc. steven

steven said...

seventeen stars jenny stevning!!! your star button's going to get worn out!!! steven

steven said...

willow there's a different kind of beauty and i was trying to put it into words to myself the other day as i went on a long bike ride beside a river and the trees were etched against the sky. it's so different to the leafy green and then the orange, gold, browns. it's difficult to expalin to people who only see what looks like a "dead" tree. i'm glad you know. steven

steven said...

hi ellen, as above - so below is from my time with a gurdjieff group. it's accredited to the sufis. the trees tell a story above the ground that is mirrored beneath. so do we all. have a lovely evening ellen. steven

steven said...

friko thankyou so much. i love visiting her myself. really truly. it's exciting to me to see what i think and value. you're a masterful storyteller yourself. i bet you know exactly what i'm talking about here. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

stacey j. i'm enjoying the film. the reason it's sat on the sidebar so long is i saw the first half roughly and then i got distracted and so i'm trying to find a time to watch the second half. it's not mindblowing. i've got one of those coming up - directed by werner herzog. what does "servicing" mean in relation to films?!!! steven

steven said...

cripes pauline, i almost forgot to reply!!! thankyou so much!!! i love being in the woodlots around here. i'd live in them if i knew how to find a property that allowed for me to build a simple home in the trees. steven

Margaret Pangert said...

White on black. The duality of our nature and nature, too. The splatter of black India ink and the swollen rain clouds above.
"As above, so below." The polarity in everyone. Beautiful, Steven.

steven said...

hi margaret, thanks for seeing what i saw. thanks for opening it out even further with your thoughtful words. steven

jeannette stgermain said...

Very sensitively written, Steven
I really like the line:
exposed without the outer trappings...

steven said...

jeanette welcome and thankyou for your thoughtful comment!!! steven

Joanna said...

Oh Steven, your beautiful words are matched by those haunting black and white photos. Each one is more beautiful than the last. Thank you for your wide open eyes and thoughtful poetry.

steven said...

hi joanna - i'd already gone to bed by the time this one arrived!!! thankyou for your kind words - i'm glad to have the opportunty t share what i see and know here everyday. it's incredibly good fortune to have such amazing people as yourself visit here. safe journeying to mexico. steven