Sunday, December 11, 2016

Welcome home.

To find your place in the poem we share is to find your place in the world that we share.

Your card has a number. Share with us which card you received, and where you live. How about few words of your own that capture how reading those lines makes you feel?

We all could feel a little more, we all could do with a bit more empathy, mystery, and adventure.

Challenge: Share the bit of poem you received. Or, copy the lines yourself, and leave it for someone to find. Take a photo the spot where your leave it for the next Wiggler to find, and share it with us here.

Below is the poem in its entirety:

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The End of March 

Elizabeth Bishop

It was cold and windy, scarcely the day
to take a walk on that long beach.
Everything was withdrawn as far as possible,
indrawn: the tide far out, the ocean shrunken,
seabirds in ones or twos.
The rackety, icy, offshore wind
numbed our faces on one side;
disrupted the formation
of a lone flight of Canada geese;
and blew back the low, inaudible rollers
in upright, steely mist.

The sky was darker than the water
--it  was the color of mutton-fat jade.
Along the wet sand, in rubber boots, we followed
a track of big dog-prints (so big
they were more like like lion-prints). Then we came on
lengths and lengths, endless, of wet white string,
looping up to the tide line, down to the water,
over and over. Finally, they did end:
a thick white snarl, man-size, awash,
rising on every wave, a sodden ghost,
falling back, sodden, giving up the ghost....
a kite string? --But no kite.

I wanted to get as far as my proto-dream-house,
my crypto-dream-house, that crooked box
set up on pilings, shingled green,
a sort of artichoke of a house, but greener
(boiled with bicarbonate of soda?),
protected from spring tides by a palisade
of--are they railroad ties?
(Many things about this place are dubious).
I'd like to retire there and do nothing,
or nothing much, forever in two bare rooms:

look through binoculars,read boring books,
old, long, long books, and write down useless notes,
talk to myself, and, foggy days,
watch the droplets slipping, heavy with light.
At night, a grog a l’américaine.
I'd blaze it with a kitchen match
and lovely diaphanous blue flame
would waver, doubled in the window.
There must be a stove, there is a chimney,
askew, but braced with wires,
and electricity possibly
--at least, at the back another wire
limply leashes the whole affair
to something off behind the dunes.
A light to read by--perfect! But--impossible.
And that day the wind was much too cold
even to get that far,
and of course the house was boarded up.

On the way back our faces froze on the other side.
The sun came out for just a minute.
For just a minute, set in their bezels of sand,
the drab, damp, scattered stones
were multi-colored,
and all those high enough threw out long shadows,
individual shadows, then pulled them in again.
They could have been teasing the lion sun,
except that now he was behind them
--a sun who'd walked the beach the last low tide,
making those big, majestic paw-prints,
who perhaps had batted a kite out of the sky to play with.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Your spirit is mingled with mine,
as wine is with water;
whatever touches you touches me.
In all the stations of the soul you are I.

Mansur al-Hallaj (Persia, 9th century)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty

and frightened. Don't open the door to the study

and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Jane Hirshfield

It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.

Even in this
one lifetime,
you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this clutter of soup-pots and books--

Already the first branch tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly,
immensity taps at your life.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

From Wiggle 3-34


Some kind of relaxed and beautiful thing
kept flickering in with the tide
and looking around.
Black as a fisherman's boot,
with a white belly.

If you asked for a picture I would have to draw a smile
under the perfectly round eyes and above the chin,
which was rough
as a thousand sharpened nails.

And you know
what a smile means,
don't you?

I wanted
the past to go away, I wanted
to leave it, like another country; I wanted
my life to close, and open
like a hinge, like a wing, like the part of the song
where it falls
down over the rocks: an erosion, a discovery;
I wanted
to hurry into the work of my life; I wanted to know,
whoever I was, I was

for a little while.

It was evening, and no longer summer.
Three small fish, I don't know what they were,
huddled in the highest ripples
as it came swimming in again, effortless, the whole body
one gesture, one black sleeve
that could fit easily around
the bones of three small fish.

Also I wanted
to be able to love. And we all know
how that one goes,
don't we?
Mary Oliver

From Wiggle 3-34


The dogfish tore open the soft basins of water.

You don't want to hear the story
of my life, and anyway
I don't want to tell it, I want to listen

to the enormous waterfalls of the sun.

And anyway it's the same old story
a few people just trying,
one way or another,
to survive.

Mostly, I want to be kind.
And nobody, of course, is kind,
or mean,
for a simple reason.

And nobody gets out of it, having to
swim through the fires to stay in
this world.

And look! Look! Look! I think those little fish
better wake up and dash themselves away
from the hopeless future that is
bulging toward them.

And probably,
if they don't waste time
looking for an easier world,

they can do it.

Mary Oliver