Friday, September 23, 2011

A Parliament of Winds, A Congress of Tides

The Skagit Delta is a place of dikes and river sloughs, farmer's fields and corn stalks, scrub, trees, muck, willows and catails, wind and rain, gray clouds and snow geese, herons, merlins, red-tail hawks and eagles, seagulls and seals and sapsuckers, duck-hunters and birders and game wardens, floods and ancient logs. It is a secret place where river meets saltwater, sand meets muck, land meets water, current meets tide, and it is difficult to tell here which of these are which, for they are so intermingled; one does not exist seperate from the other. It is like the world dance of chaos and order, they dance the same dance, at times they seem to unite, to blend, to throw off their distinctions and become one.

Scientists have long sought after the ghostly neutrino. Generated in the very heart of the sun it can pass through the Earth as easily as a beam of light through a pane of glass. The question has been: does it have zero mass or some infintesimally small degree of mass? The current thought is that it has phases or "species" of which there are three; two of no mass, one of mass.

It is a binary world of oft muddied waters. And so it is with our lives; we are the uncertain neutrino, uncertain of whether we matter or not, and what our purpose always is, we are the blend of chaos and order, a mingled identity, blown about by a parliament of winds, washed here and there by a congress of tides.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Now Pipes the Bitter Wind

O Sappho, thy love of beauty is the beauty of thy love.
With wine-dark seas for eyes and soft sea breeze for hair
Your smile is the golden sunrise, warm, fresh, and, fair.
No flower seeks a need,
No sparrow sings its chorus with thought of varied paths;
They simply are for Love’s sake,
Devoted as to music is the flute’s reed.
Thy passions are divinely guided,
Their expressions sound and fair.
Not a single drop of morning dew outlasts the noonday sun;
But your words of love so pleasing are yet but two and a half millennia young.

Now pipes the bitter wind! Love so frail a thing!
Where are the gods above? Where the hope? The wisdom of days?
On the far horizon an angry star burns! The seas will soon hide it,
But not quench it.
The sins and shame of Man prevails,
But it is a thing that would kill itself. Nothing will remain.
Perhaps a seed has hid itself away… perhaps it will grow with the spring rains
And bloom again someday.
And perhaps a bee as well; hidden for a time beneath the sheltering ground;
It will rise and find its way to the bloom, and thereupon will be a world again!
The sunlight will mean something, and the moon as well!
No longer just an angry star bent upon exposing us for what we are.
The seas will freshen, new winds will blow… no longer pipes a bitter wind,
Love will find its way again.
I once knew a maid who sang a song. Her gentle tune moved me so.
Her lyrics spoke so true; I could not turn away!
Her beauty grew.
And now with all the harm and hate it is her that comes to mind.
Perhaps these harsh unspeakable times shall be sang to the sweetest of tunes;
The seed and flower, butterfly and moon;
and the wind will pipe a less bitter tune.
And Sappho rule the heart again.