— know?


He dressed the day with clouds
   and spilled a sea of stars
      into the night
         calling each by name
  The night's aria declares 
      His deep pleasure

The universe is intoxicated with glory.

    The Autumn wind gasps
the surety of Winter

The geese, one giant wing
   a moving geometry
      that angles into the wind

How do they know? 
   where to go
   when to stop

Trees give up leaves like paper hopes
    swept into the slumberous season

The gray whale pursues the southern waters of Baja
    to warm her heavy womb

How does she know?
    how to birth
    what to eat

Spring forgives the freeze
    and laughs to live again
       in the resurrection of color
before the ferocious Summer

The dolphins' dance is
   a cadence of instinct
      in waves wooed by moontide

The Earth sounds a symphony of reverence.

We build skyscrapers and businesses and poems
   and the tides rush up and claim
      the sand castles of our dreams

      i, the crown of creation
    trifling, a mark of punctuation,
   know less than the beasts
that play and live as they ought.

139 thoughts on “— know?

  1. Yes…Thank you… This poem is now one of my favorites.

    A thought: I wish those who are not able to read your poem could listen to it.
    Is there an audio feature availabe…you reading your own poem and us by clicking on it could access it?

  2. Reblogged this on Joan T. Warren and commented:
    A beautiful tribute from an amazing blog-friend at A Holistic Journey. She reflects with awe, shares parenting and homeschooling insights, and has a related blog on healthy foods including gluten-free, kid-tested foods! A worthy writer to follow for sure:

  3. He, who he
    Had the bigness of autumn
    Cast a blanket over daybreak
    Spilling the bucket of snowflakes?

    It was the wind that gasped
    Sending marching orders
    To entertain the thought,
    Where winter was the whole
    Sky of birds:

    How do they know?
    where to go
    when to stop

    Trees give up leaves like veiny hopes
    swept into the season

    A gray whale pursues the southern waters
    to warm her heavy womb

    How does she know?
    how to birth
    what to eat

    Spring forgives the freeze
    and laughs to live again
    in the resurrection of color
    before the ferocious Summer

    The dolphins’ dance is
    a cadence of instinct
    in waves wooed by moontide

    The Earth sounds a symphony of reverence.

    We build skyscrapers and businesses and poems
    and the tides rush and claim
    the sand castles of our dreams

    i, crown of creation
    trifling, mark of punctuation,
    know less than the beasts
    that live and play as they do.

      • No, I cannot improve your work but I can respond to the words as if they are triggers and document those triggers. You know how we respond to other work, but after the first flourish of response – free association, I did suggest taking a few words out, you’ll see. No, I was going through the process of reading and noting what came to mind. Getting into a poem is like walking into a new room and taking in all the decorations and finally after you have adapted, you can follow the line and understand the journey, and truly appreciate it. No, I like the poem as it is. It obviously inspired me to run the words through my head. No insult intended.

      • LOL. I wasn’t offended. (New Yorkers don’t offend easily! I mean in the passive, though I didn’t use that tense.) I just wanted to understand what in the world it was you threw at me before I disclosed the honor I felt that you’d taken the time. Baja is really her labor pool, the southern end of her trail down the Pacific , so I wanted the concrete realism. I so appreciate your time – on the other posts and esp this one. You certainly put yourself on my radar for goods! As I mentioned with the Poetry Reborn, I’m just getting back into this. The last poem I wrote 10 yrs ago was just for fun…nothing I’d look to publish (but one that ended up very well liked here, to the exasperation of this perfectionist who knew better and “Ra Ra”ed it off the Most Popular list (people continue to google it GEE WIZ!@!!) It’s been incredible, the organic development of this kind of relationship with writers here. I didn’t even know how to tag at the start! Until April, which is when my stuff started showing up on the Reader DUH. Btw, I REALLY like your version of my poem. You know some poets put out their own rendition of Kilmer’s TREES – the one I deconstructed. I am flattered. Laters. Diana

      • Good, I am glad you weren’t offended. Reading is a kind of love affair with the writer. I loved that your words gave me the energy to analyze what you had said. I took every word and line and let my words come to me. I believe they call this being inspired. I will marry a writer someday. Your writing is mature and sophisticated. This is especially evident with the inclusion of choruses. Remember, we were born in a statement about an equal love of the truth. I took the time because I love things that don’t make me think: “If you have nothing good to say, shut the F-up.” Friends have said I have aspergers. I understand the desire for Baja. I was just concerned with the extension of the sentence beyond it’s succinct breath and I don’t think the poem was “realistic.” I felt being too specific took one away from a place where someone could “dress the day with clouds.”

        “On your radar for goods” must mean that I am willing to take the time and give you my thoughts on your writing. I so love being ignorant of the terminology. (I am such an outsider in that way.)

        I know you are just getting back into this. Who cares! Start getting up a half-hour early and doing your morning pages. If you don’t know what those are, they are Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way free-writes upon waking. Don’t stop, don’t question, just write 3-4 pages or about a half-hour what follows from the first significant thought of your day. Hold your urine, phone calls, e-mails, etc. Don’t get out of bed until you are done. Quantity over quality. You can always do that later.

        Life’s too damn short! You are a writer, now work on it, raising a child notwithstanding.

        I love that you like my version of your poem. It is officially your poem. I am not going to keep it. As you say, it is about “The organic development of this kind of relationship with writers here.”

        I am very interested in writers who start the new world order, which is to tell the truth, even if it is the stream of consciousness, which is what it really is. We are just conduits for the muse.

        I am flattered by you. Cheers. – Mario

      • LOL. I’m reading Stephen King’s ON WRITING (might post my thoughts). In passing, he talks about the things that drew him to the woman he’s stayed married to. Part of it was that he saw, in college, what she was doing with her poetry. And an even bigger part was SHE knew what she was doing with it. So I am SURE you will find HER who will kindle IT in you – and by IT, I mean more than the stuff that revs up most guys. Are you part of a writing circle? On my radar simply meant you certainly tattooed yourself on my blog with the impression you made. I just now told my husband I had another moment where I felt like a charlatan among all these authors and accomplished poets in my readership: when you whipped out that rendition so creatively and quickly. But it’s all cool. I don’t have to write at the pace others can. I’m a slow, careful writer. (Not that you’re not careful.)

      • You know there is something important in what you say. I think I just need goodness/truth too, no matter the source of that person’s professional interest.

        I am thinking about a woman now, who gives people the benefit of the doubt and her main interest is in looking into the hearts and minds of people.

        Love to hear King’s advice.

        I am not part of a writing circle. I try them then get too busy, and I too feel like a charlatan. The people in the one’s I’ve met are supreme beings. Happily however, I’ve been reading Roland Barthes’ The Preparation of the Novel and in it he says, “I can have the tenacious desire to write a novel (hence the generic title: Preparation of the Novel), only to realize that I’m incapable of doing so… I know how to tell the truth; what’s beyond me is the invention of Falsehoods…” p. 197. And yet, while he says, “The writer must avoid and live in absolute separation from love” because he always manages to mess relationships up when they present a threat to his work, he cautions that, “‘Truth resides not in the individual but in the chorus,'” p. 205.

        What’s happening in the world of literature is that art is truth, as you say, and in these times the truth is what is being suffocated; fiction is beginning to loose its credibility. The spin has taken the humor out. People used to not take themselves too seriously. Guys like Manning, Snowden and Assange while giddy amid the facts see themselves as necessary sacrifices and believe in the end that they will be vindicated and certainly they will be.

        My poetry, as I said, is simply stream of consciousness. I take no credit although I would love to do it as a profession. A publisher reminded me some months ago that if they took my day job away I would have no suffering from which to garner material.

        Careful is oh so good. – Mario

      • What you speak of is the fear all writers have – of finding ourselves bared of worthy literary impressions. I caught that in King. Fascinating.

        As to the woman:

        Cut through all the talk and fantasy: yes, look for a woman with a good heart. Even if she’s not a good author you can curl up with.


        Hope things work out.
        In love and writing.

      • Wake 1/2 hr earlier? I started on the latest post at 4 am today. 1) Scarcity: not quite answerable. *Shrug* America for the most part enjoys the fat of her land, compared to the majority of the world. What we would consider scarce would be enviable elsewhere. And then there is such diversity of resources within NYC itself. 2)Your post on men/women/violation/(my paraphrase) boundaries: the strength of men is a noble power given them to protect the weaker vessel. Unfortunately a lot of men don’t quite see it that way, esp in their youth.

  4. Hello Diana
    Love your writing, it’s beautiful and the way you express yourself is capitaving I will follow your work.
    Thank you for your visit and help.

  5. beautiful and satisfying, Wayfarer – geese as “moving geometry”, “spring forgiv[ing] the freeze”, “the crown of creation…a mark of punctuation” — love this!

  6. ARGHHH!!!


    I cannot “like” this poem. Maybe, with time, but not now. Our conversation has stripped me of its joy.

    Knowing that every word (and the image) and the indentation (and typeface) is considered and chosen for both you and me (the reader), I fear I cannot even comment, because you might alter the poem. Which is what going back and editing a poem based on feedback is. And I cannot bear that responsibility with another’s work of art / emotion.

    I faced this issue when I began posting my own poetry and I thought to alter the originals. I have intentionally chosen not to do so because each work, like each blog post, is fixed in time, never to come again. “They are all beautiful.”

    • Laughing!! Oh, Kevin. 99% of the time I do not alter, postfeedback. Come on, haven’t ya seen I’m one to stand her ground? 😉

      “Which is what going back and editing a poem based on feedback is.” K, I believe this malleability lies somewhere between the 2nd and (for me, 30th) draft. Once I’ve published, the perfectionist has deemed it is good enough this side of heaven, and the assent/dissent may come as they please. I’m not a people-pleaser. (Wow, another great strand to trace in a post.) Of COURSE readers will present a range of response to any work. I cannot respect the writer who bends to every critic. I was going to sign off here, but now I’m curious as to what your critique would have been – if there were anything specific. And K, to pick up our conversation from the other day, yes of course I do read just for the pleasure of it. I feel that I’ve “ruined” you, except I knOw you’re tougher than that. 😉 Please relax here on my board! LOL. I never meant to send my dear readers away full of angst. Hmm….will you LIKE this poem NoW? Ha ha ha. J/k. You’ve been amazing enough.

      • On occasion, yes! You might find it liberating. I frequently suffer from whims and serendipity in both my reading and my blogging.


        Seriously, no. It would mean observation has changed condition. IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) – I respect your efforts to express yourself in your chosen method. Your writing is a treasure (and pleasure) for me.

  7. This is spectacular! Your words so successfully capture the wonderful wildness of nature. All of this takes my breath away… from trees giving us leaves and spring forgiving the freeze, this is some of the most incredible writing I’ve ever come across. I’d like to re-blog if that’s alright. Your talent needs to be shared in any way possible! Blessings, Gina

  8. Reblogged this on Professions for PEACE and commented:
    This lovely blogger ‘Holistic Wayfarer’ sees our Creator everywhere she looks, and this exquisite poem displays her love of nature as well as her incredible talent. It has touched me deeply, and I am eager to share it again that it may touch the hearts of even more people.

  9. Your words are full of heavens life, so endearing, so embracing like a continuous ballet! As I embrace your words my spirit dances along with them, a kind and beautiful reminder that we all have a certain spiritual light that guides us in the right direction if we so choose! It will always lead us to fulfill our daily needs! Captivating poem my sister…you made my morning brighter with your wonderful blessing! Thanks for the lasting smile…may your weekend be abundantly blessed. P.S. we write continuously as we blossom in life and what we create is a beautiful and yet continuing ballet guided by His hands!

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  11. Well, for me, the immediate answer is: the laws of physics and millions of years of evolution. I think the interesting discussion involves what created those!

    Your lovely poem reminded me of one of my favorites, Pablo Neruda’s Enigmas. It starts off:

    “You’ve asked me what the lobster is weaving there
    with his golden feet?
    I reply, the ocean knows this.
    You say, what is the ascidia waiting for in its transparent bell?
    What is it waiting for?
    I tell you it is waiting for time, like you.
    You ask me whom the Macrocystis alga hugs in its arms?
    Study, study it, at a certain hour, in a certain sea I know.

    I want to tell you the ocean knows this, that life in its jewel boxes
    is endless as the sand, impossible to count, pure,
    and among the blood-colored grapes time has made the petal
    hard and shiny, made the jellyfish full of light
    and untied its knot, letting its musical threads fall
    from a horn of plenty made of infinite mother-of-pearl.

  12. Hi Diana, I loved this poem. Animals are so much more tuned to the earth aren’t they? We have masked this instinct in ourselves and cannot now see the true connection we have with the beautiful mechanism of nature.
    Lovely poem Diana, regards James 🙂

    • Aww, thanks so much for the sweet praise, James. We really have dulled our senses to both the amazing riches and detriments of our surroundings. A well-meaning friend wondered this wk if I was imagining some physical challenges. I replied, “Would u find it odd for an engineer or mechanic to hear/feel/sense where his car is out of tune? How much more sense it makes that I should, inside my own body. I am exquisitely in tune with myself.”

  13. Pingback: Can We Raise the Bar on the Poetry, WordPress? | HarsH ReaLiTy

  14. Hello, Diana, Kudos. Am Never one for poetry, run as fast and as far as I can from it(!). But this one, is what I would call Sheer Poetry. I was …Liking it, till I came to the word ‘trifling.’ I do agree with You that We of Mankind know very little, and are also very foolish. But qua Creation, trifling? He/She with whom HE was ‘Well Pleased,’ trifling? Would You consider Puny, may be? Love.

  15. I read this poem several times and each time the words became more melodious. Dancing in harmony. Paying a wonderful ode to His perfect universe. Lovely as always D.:)!!

  16. Pingback: - know (a featured poetry reading) | crippledatYourtable

  17. I have been so caught up in trying to minimize my header images that I totally missed this one. What a loss! I am happy to have stumbled upon this here at midnight our time.

  18. ”Spring forgives the freeze
    And laughs to live again
    In the resurrection of color
    Before the ferocious summer” – those were my favourite lines.
    I really enjoyed the poem.
    The play of imagery and personification. Great work 🙂

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