Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Consider the Lilies

Consider now the lilies of the field

And then consider, too, the field itself,

The coarse high grasses wet with rain that catch

Against my calves as I pace the path to the pond.

Consider, too, the dark filled pond, the just passed rain,

The smooth-slipped rocks that line the muddy banks,

The slippery mud that sucks at toes

Of shiny frogs that jump and plop at my approach.

They neither reap nor sow, these lilies nor this field.

These frogs that hop at my approach, kings of this small pool,

They neither reap nor sow. The floating moon,

Only floating, shines up on me as light from some

Unseen deep new world. I must consider then the moon,

This same, riding gently on the ripples of the startled frogs

And glittering jewel-like on the rain stained grass.

I must consider then and hold this moon, this night, this field,

These lilies closed in prayer, these creatures deep.

I must consider what I did not sow and wonder if even Solomon

Could know what it is I reap from this array, what it is I reap

From this deep new world, this bright and shining deep new day.


  1. another beautiful poem. we reap so much from nature, don't we? from life. thanks for sharing your deep new world, new day. hope all is well.

  2. Ponds are mystical places.

  3. What I like from a poetry point of view are the hidden and near rhymes that appear in the poem. They add to the beauty that you have brought out in words.

  4. Not enough people consider such things, and it's up to the poets to point them out, I suppose. :) (also, second what Gordon said about the hidden rhymes)

  5. When I close my eyes I am in the field.

  6. There really is a beautiful succession of sounds thru the poem--for instance, all the "p" sounds around the frog stanzas that then continue with "deep" into the moon stanzas. Also as Gordon & namingconstellations said, the rhymes & slant rhymes are well handled, & reinforce the echoes within the lines. Beautifully done!

  7. Michelle - I cannot imagine living where I am not immersed in nature. Thanks be that I don't have to worry about that! Thanks.

    Jason - You never know what wonders may be found therein, do you?

    Gordon - I am pleased that you point out the poetic aspects of this piece. I believe the sound of the poem is as important as the sense. Thanks for letting me know that this is important to the readers.

    namingconstellations - Thank you. I think many of us notice such things but just don't take the time to reflect on them. Writers do that for us. Thanks for the "ditto" on the form.

    Robert - If this poem achieves that, it succeeds. Thank you.

    John - I am trying to be more conscious of the mood created by language. Thank you for your specific comments on the language, from one word lover to another.

  8. How effortlessly your words arrive here, so lovely and deep, like the pool with the fish and frogs. I know you love that about nature, too, that we can reap so much that we didn't have to sow - it is just there for our wonderment and joy.

    Fantastic images here - floating moon, just passed rain, smooth slipped rocks, et.al. Your work is always appreciated.

  9. Karen-a beautiful read with an excellent message. How much beauty before us that we just let slip by without a notice. I'll buy two tickets on that floating moon. Thanks~rick

  10. Karen, what a wonderful, magical gift you gave us... I'm specially attuned to nature these days and I can feel the beauty and the truth of each of your words... I'm grateful for that.

  11. Excellent! The repetition of sounds, the weaving of the original passage throughout the piece in such an intricate pattern. All will be taken to heart.

  12. Oh, and the unexpected usage of some of the words--for instance,array and "consider" itself.

  13. reading it is like dancing quietly, or rather, like running your finger along the outline of the rim of the lillies' leaves...
    reading this poem is like drinking from a clear well deep inside the forest...

    I sense the feeling of 'I'm returning home' in a spiritual sense (I hope my clumy words convey the meaning)

  14. the lap of water on the slippery rocks..what DO we sow i wonder.....

  15. I agree with everyone! What a beautiful poem. I love how the meaning of the Sermon on the Mount is combined with the voice of Song of Solomon. Your words, phrasing, rhythm and choice of words bring out the beauty of the scene so vividly.

    I just adore that third stanza and how you transition into it with "Consider, too,". It's such a quiet voice, and I love how it calms my soul. I love the reminder to consider the beauty and stop all my worrying and fretting. Wonderful work, Karen:)

  16. this is an astoundingly well-crafted poem. i don't even know where to begin. it mirrors those "ripples of the startled frogs" - one after another - the anaphora & assonance are masterful - as is the way each stanza simultaneously unfolds & expands the scene while growing more and more introspective.

    every line is wonderful - "glittering jewel-like on the rain stained grass" stopped me in my tracks - and in "I must consider what I did not sow" through the end, i'm left wondering if even solomon could have illuminated grace so clearly.

  17. Your poem raised my spirits, as have your comments on my posts about my mother. I especially was touched by what you had to say about the latest one, Witless and Worried. Thank you. Today I just fooled around with a poem about Harleys.

  18. I did struggle to find the rhythm in the last three lines, but I have to say that the rest of the poem was exceptional and the opening brilliant. I loved your use of well-known Biblical phrases and the way you surprised in your use of them. Excellent.

  19. Nature has so much to offer us. We just need to open our eyes and.... consider.

    Every single new day has something beautiful about it.

    Thanks Karen... :)

  20. Your photo looks much like our pond. Except our lilypads tend to get brown spots and holes from those lovely little cutter bugs... :P

    Thank you for such a beautiful and gentle reminder of how much we reap without sowing.

    What can I say? Life is beautiful!

  21. This is so lovely. I love how you write, Karen. We are so fortunate to hear and see your words...

    Happy weekend~

  22. This is one of those 'wow' poems Karen. Exquisite in form and flow, and deeply profound in meaning. I love thinking about the lilies and the frogs 'just being', what we can learn from that. Just to sit quietly in reflection, just to live and be satisfied with our lilies, ponds, moons, and fields. All this reaping and sowing can really take us away from our essence, this poem brings it right back. This is probably my favorite poem of yours Karen.

  23. Karen, I've been absent far too long. But I've been reading your work on a reader, and have been many times stunned by your talent throughout my long silence. ;) I won't comment on all the poems, but do know that they each meant something to me.

    You marry meaning and language so effortlessly, so well. The delight I take in the sound and rhythm of your words in my mind shows me how to take pleasure from the moment, in the same way that the mud sucked at your toes.

    I always love your nature meditations. You never reach too hard. You let the moment flow over you, like water over stones. The images here are gorgeous--I particularly loved the moon's light, and what it evoked in you.

    Every world is deep, when our eyes are as open as yours.

  24. Kaye - Thank you. I always look forward to your comments.

    Rick - What a lovely thought - two tickets on that floating moon. I'm with you on that one!

    Vesper - Thank you. I can't imagine living where I couldn't share in nature's gifts. I'm grateful to find kindred spirits here.

    Kat - Thank you for your comments on the form and language. That's the fun part of poetry, don't you think?

    sZelsofa - Your words are not clumsy at all. I'm quite touched that you this poem evokes that feeling in you. Thank you.

    jorc - I dread to think of the things we actually do sow - too many things that destroy this beautiful planet. What do we sow? Good question, dear jorc.

    Julie and joaquin - I hope you don't mind that I'm combining this response, but I want to say the same thing to you both. I almost don't know what to say! I'm a little overwhelmed by your comments. Your words are always too generous, but they truly warm my spirit. Your close reading is a gift to the writer - in this case, to me - and I thank you both for that gift.

    Chris - I am so glad to have made your acquaintance. Whether you write about Harleys or Menopause, (or your AWARD-WINNING Fire on the Mountain), your work is good! Thank you for reading and commenting here.

    Dave - Thanks for the honesty on the last three lines. I will take a look at them and probably work and rework them. Somehow, their rhythm makes perfect sense to me when I read them, but I'm probably reading my own mind. I appreciate your comments.

    Margaret - Sometimes, I think we just need to remind ourselves! Thank you!

    Aine - Life is Beautiful! Thanks for coming by and commenting.

    Calli - Thanks, friend!

    Sarah - It's nice to hear from you again, but I know how consuming blogging can be, and I know how busy you are with the family and your writing. You stun me with your writing every time you post something.

    Thank you for the compliments on the sound and rhythm of my work. I think that's the fun of poetry. Thanks, too, for your very kind comments on meaning and form. I appreciate your taking the time to tell me this.

  25. "Consider now the lilies of the field
    And then consider, too, the field itself,"

    You invite entry to all considerations - the giving, the receiving, the interplay of nature and our conscious participation in its beauty, its wonder, its magnetic draw to our sensibilities. I considered, as you so poetically suggest and held to the delight of your reverie. Thank you dear Karen.

  26. It's the quiet admonishment of those extra considers that got me first. And then consider, and consider too. Certainly we need reminding.

  27. "The floating moon..." I can't resist. This is creative and beautiful to the imagination. Your imagery is magnificent!

  28. Rose Marie - Thank you for taking the time for considerations. This poem is a reminder to myself to do just that.

    Mairi - So often I forget to really see and think about the important things in my life. Busy-ness replaces appreciation. I think I am not alone in this affliction, but I'm trying to cure myself.

    Nevine - I don't know how you found your way here, but I'm happy to welcome you, and I thank you for your comment.

  29. I came via a link on The Clarity of Night. I'm glad to have found my way here.

  30. We too had a pond near the house I grew up. Its dried up now. But I have so many memories of it. The pond took it all... the tears of hurt, the laughter of friendship, the heavy stones of expectations, lonely sticks of sadness... we threw them all in... and now its dry.

  31. Nobody else but the rose bush knows, how nice mud feels between the toes.

    I love that toe sucking mud!

  32. Glad to read o over at Dave K's - that it's just busyness causing your lower profile. If this is what your time is being spent on we won't complain. Much.

  33. Ani - But you consider it now, do you not? Memory - imagination - reality - who cares? Thinking makes it.

    willow - And I love that little verse! Welcome, and thanks for dropping that thought here.

    Mairi - Thanks, Mairi. I've noticed you haven't been around much, either, but I think from some of your comments and recent poems, we may both be busy with some of the same sorts of obligations.

  34. A wonderful description remixed by your words in a interesting new light.

  35. Your writing is like nature; it captures fleeting moments in a unique way. As an artist, one of my first influences was Monet's famous impressionistic painting "Water Lilies". As I "consider" I think of him and so much more. Your phrasing "consider" works well here in this piece to involve us in this pondering process.

    gel (different blog, same "gel".)