Category Archives: quotations and poetry

… I could feel it being painted within me

THIS MUCH I DO REMEMBER It was after dinner. You were talking to me across the table about something or other, a greyhound you had seen that day or a song you liked, and I was looking past you over your bare shoulder at the three oranges lying on the kitchen counter next to the […]

what it means to live

“I don’t think poetry is based just on poetry; it is based on a thoroughly lived life. And so I couldn’t just decide I was going to write no matter what; I first had to find out what it means to live.” – Jane Hirschfield Thanks to my friend Kris for pointing me to this perfect […]

stirring everything it touches

I am a lake, my poem is an empty boat, and my life is the breeze that blows through the whole scene stirring everything it touches– the surface of the water, the limp sail, even the heavy, leafy trees along the shore. – Billy Collins (excerpt from My Life)

It’s all here

What scene would I want to be enveloped in more than this one, an ordinary night at the kitchen table, floral wallpaper pressing in, white cabinets full of glass, the telephone silent, a pen tilted back in my hand? It gives me time to think about all that is going on outside– leaves gathering in […]

the best is often when nothing is happening

Highlights and Interstices We think of lifetimes as mostly the exceptional and sorrows. Marriage we remember as children, vacations and emergencies. The uncommon parts. But the best is often when nothing is happening. The way a mother picks up the child almost without noticing and carries her across Waller Street while talking with the other […]

I wish her safe passage

In her room at the prow of the house Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden, My daughter is writing a story. I pause in the stairwell, hearing From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys Like a chain hauled over a gunwale. Young as she is, the stuff Of her life […]

this is what the whole thing is about

Let the bucket of memory down into the well, bright it up.  Cool, cool minutes.  No one stirring, no plans.  Just being there. This is what the whole thing is about. – William Stafford, from Just Thinking

Some folks hide, and some folks seek

How can one person be more real than any other?  Well, some people do hide and others seek.  Maybe those who are in hiding – escaping encounters, avoiding surprises, protecting their property, ignoring their fantasies, restricting their feelings, sitting out the pan-pipe hootchy-kootch of experience – maybe those people, people who won’t talk to rednecks, […]

our yearning to belong to eternity as well as to time

If we want to know what it felt like to be alive at any given moment in the long odyssey of the race, it is to poetry we must turn.  The moment is dear to us, precisely because it is so fugitive, and it is somewhat of a paradox that poets should spend a lifetime […]

My favorite quotes

I really loved Jeanette Leblanc’s post, 10 Inspirational Quotes for Writers and Lovers and Speakers of Truth. The first time I read it, I marveled at the powerful passages she chose, and I’ve returned to the post several times since.  It’s no secret that I too love quotations.  I’ve written many times about that passion […]