Wild & Precious Life

a collection of beautiful words…..

Tag: vanessa shapiro blog

Bruce Barton

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.

Little Dogs Rhapsody In The Night by Mary Oliver

He puts his cheek against mine
and makes small, expressive sounds.
And when I’m awake, or awake enough

he turns upside down, his four paws
in the air
and his eyes dark and fervent.

Tell me you love me, he says.

Tell me again.

Could there be a sweeter arrangement?
Over and over
he gets to ask it.
I get to tell.

How It Is With Us, And How It Is With Them by Mary Oliver

We become religious,
then we turn from it,
then we are in need and maybe we turn back.
We turn to making money,
then we turn to the moral life,
then we think about money again.
We meet wonderful people, but lose them
in our busyness.
We’re, as the saying goes, all over the place.
Steadfastness, it seems,
is more about dogs than about us.
One of the reasons we love them so much.

Progress by Julie Cadwallader-Staub

I did not just drag and drop
I did not just haul a burden so heavy
that my hands, arms, and shoulders
gave way
and I had to let it go.
 
Neither did I just browse.
I did not get on my hands and knees
and join the gentle cows
to slowly sample
whatever the open field had to offer.
 
Instead, I sat here at my desk
manipulating a mouse
which is not, in fact, a mouse
and I searched
for something on the web
that is not, in fact, a web.
 
And isn’t this how we move forward:
 
with horsepower for jet engines
and candlepower for light bulbs
we take what we understand from one era
to describe
what we don’t
in the next.

Samuel Johnson

The true measure of a person is how they treat someone who can do him absolutely no good.

Alan Keightley

Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.

Hermit Crab by Stephen Burt

That shell is pretty, but that shell is too small for me.

Each home is a hideout; each home is a secret; each home
is a getaway under the same hot lamp, a means
to a lateral move at low velocity.

I live in a room in the room
of a boy I barely see.

Sometimes the boy & his talkative friends raise
two-warm hands & try to set me free

& I retreat into myself, hoping they place
me back in my terrarium, & they
do, with disappointed alacrity.

Scatter patterns in sand, adnates, cancellates, gaping
whelk husks, a toy tractor-trailer, cracked
and dinged, beside the spine of a plastic tree,

the helmet-shaped shelter of a shadow cast
by a not-quite-buried wedge of pottery…

if I have a body that’s wholly my own
then it isn’t mine. For a while I was
protected by what I pretended to be.

Reverence by Julie Cadwallader-Staub

The air vibrated
with the sound of cicadas
on those hot Missouri nights after sundown
when the grown-ups gathered on the wide back lawn,
sank into their slung-back canvas chairs
tall glasses of iced tea beading in the heat

and we sisters chased fireflies
reaching for them in the dark
admiring their compact black bodies
their orange stripes and seeking antennas
as they crawled to our fingertips
and clicked open into the night air.

In all the days and years that have followed,
I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced
that same utter certainty of the goodness of life
that was as palpable
as the sound of the cicadas on those nights:

my sisters running around with me in the dark,
the murmur of the grown-ups’ voices,
the way reverence mixes with amazement
to see such a small body
emit so much light

James A. Baldwin

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.

Henry David Thoreau

There is no remedy for love but to love more.