Monday, December 27, 2010


a burning question

to be a guide
rather than a mediator of experience?

how best
to share the simple privilege
of walking through this world of worlds

while gently
almost solicitously
to open the eyes
of their heart
then their spirit

and then their soul

to the knowledge
that is so abundant
and freely available
in the surface details
of their existence

my faltering tongue attempts in vain
in soothing murmurs to complain;
thy tongue some secret magic ties,
thy murmurs sink in broken sighs.

italicized words excerpted from sappho's poem of jealousy


Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Having read and been enriched by 'the golden fish' for a year now, I think this post unlocks the secret to the mild magic you render here each day. I get the sense that you wake up every morning hearing the faltering burning question you pose here, and I just want you to know that your blog strikes me as your marvelous, gentle, almost solicitous answer to those very questions. Quite simply, you make me feel more alive to and with the beauty of the world around me. A precious gift, my friend, thank you.

(Stunning photos, but you knew that already, didn't you?)

Elisabeth said...

An icicle here to accompany Sappho's poem. At first I saw it as a rocket ship launching into space and then I imagined it as a fine blade to pierce a heart. Jealousy can be/feel cruel.

The Weaver of Grass said...

That top photograph is as good a way as any I know to get people interested - it is exquisite and the two 'holes' in the ice are so indicative of the whole idea of your poem steven. Loved it.
Have a healthy and happy new year.

hope said...

Ah, but you are a fine teacher! Your enthusiasm and zest for life, in a calm and peaceful way, makes ALL of us want to learn more. About you. About your world.

About how to play nice with others because we WANT to. ;)

Reya Mellicker said...

Whoa - the icicle is incredible, piercing through the winter sun. Wow.

Those questions you ask? Those are the questions that great teachers always ponder. I salute you. x

steven said...

lorenzo - thankyou so much for your insightful response. there are aspects of sharing knowledge that edge into teaching even preaching. i'd be just as happy to share the space as to consciously direct people towards a specific learning that can only be arrived at through their own experiencing. ideally!!! steven

steven said...

elisabeth - yes the icicle. there were several around the garden and i placed them pointing upwards into the sun so i can wach the light through the day as it trickles in tiny coloured streams through their bodies. steven

steven said...

weaver both are pictures taken about three metres from where i am sitting. puncturing - opening the space - through the holes in the snow pack and then too the ice spire through the sky. opening the space letting the light fall. steven

steven said...

hope - thanks for this generous comment. i'm gradually sharing more of my world but there are huge pieces that just aren't ready for that yet!! however, i look back over the history of this blog and see movement and there's lots of time. steven

steven said...

yeah reya! i love to play with ice in the wintertime because of the way it channels light down. there are tiny threads of colour inside that constantly change, then too the opening of the space in the sky is totally mesmerizing!! steven

Liza said...

"to open the eyes
of their heart"
blink, blink, blink
and a smile

the photos are incredible (of course),
the way the sun is centered in the middle of the icicle, and I love your words above about the way ice channels light. Yeah!
thanks for sharing this steven.

ellen abbott said...

very cool pics.

steven said...

thanks liza. as you know, it's been cold enough here that they've lasted for a couple of days. i'll be out finding some more icicles later today and see what i can see. steven

steven said...

icy even ellen!! steven

Bureau of Public Secrets said...

Kenneth Rexroth's translations of Sappho and other classic poets (as well as his own poems and other writings) are online at
The translations of Sappho and other Greek and Latin poets are at


steven said...

thanks to the bureau of public secrets for the links!! steven

Dejemonos sorprender said...

Hi! so beautiful pictures and words..