Fairies begin their day by coming together a moment and sharing joy.
They love the feeling, which dew on the leaves draws from grass, lilacs and the response of meadow and flowers to the dawn.
Diminutive green sylphs now run in the grass, whose growth seems intimately associated with theirs, a single line of concentration.
They talk to themselves, constantly repeating, with an intensity causing their etheric doubles, grass, to vibrate as they pass, vivifying growth.
To rabbits and young children they’re visible, but I see points of light, tiny clouds of color and gleams of movement.
The lawn is covered with these flashes.
In low alyssums along a border, one exquisite, tiny being plays around stems, passing in and out of each bud.
She’s happy and feels much affection for the plants, which she regards as her own body.
The material of her actual body is loosely knit as steam or a colored gas, bright apple-green or yellow, and is very close to emotion.
Tenderness for plants shows as rose; sympathy for their growth and adaptability as flashes of emerald.
When she feels joy, her body responds all-over with a desire to be somewhere or do something for plants.
Hers is not a world of surfaces--skin, husks, bark with definite edges and identities.
Trees appear as columns of light melting into surroundings where form is discerned, but is glowing, transparent, mingling like breath.
She tends to a plant by maintaining fusion between the plant’s form and life-vitality contained within.
She works as part of nature’s massed intelligence to express the involution of awareness or consciousness into a form.
And she includes vitality, because one element of form is action.
Sprouting, branching, leafing, blossoming, crumbling to humus are all form to a fairy.
The words are a beautiful music. The words bounce like in water. Water music, loud in the clearing off the boats, birds, leaves. They look for a place to sit and eat— no meaning, no point.
From The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1945-1975. Copyright © 1983 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Originally published in Words (Scribner, 1967).
Why must I tell you this story, O little one
You’re just a bud-of-a-girl, who knows nothing
Now you are full-faced, bright as sun
Now you open your skirts pink, layered, brazen
Suffering is alchemy, change is God
Now you droop your head, heavy with rust
Sit, contemplate, what did Buddha say?
Old age, sickness, death, no one owns eternity
Detach, detach, look away from the sun
Let your petals fall aimlessly
Don’t despair, little one, we are done
Copyright © 2016 by Marilyn Chin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 19, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.
root tangled in sand,
sea-iris, brittle flower,
one petal like a shell
and you print a shadow
like a thin twig.
scented and stinging,
sweet and salt—you are wind
in our nostrils.
Do the murex-fishers
drench you as they pass?
Do your roots drag up colour
from the sand?
Have they slipped gold under you—
rivets of gold?
Band of iris-flowers
above the waves,
you are painted blue,
painted like a fresh prow
stained among the salt weeds.
This poem is in the public domain.
These wet rocks where the tide has been,
Barnacled white and weeded brown
And slimed beneath to a beautiful green,
These wet rocks where the tide went down
Will show again when the tide is high
Faint and perilous, far from shore,
No place to dream, but a place to die,—
The bottom of the sea once more.
There was a child that wandered through
A giant's empty house all day,—
House full of wonderful things and new,
But no fit place for a child to play.
This poem was originally published in Second April (1921). This poem is in the public domain.