The ball I threw while playing in the park / Has not yet reached the ground. – Dylan Thomas
In courtesy I’d have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty’s very self, has charm made wise.
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.
from A PRAYER FOR MY DAUGHTER – William Butler Yeats
A man who loved the wind on a spring afternoon
Wandered alone through a high meadow
Oak-fringed and newly green
And tasted a thousand days of softening clouds,
A millennium of long grass and silver stones.
They called up to him “Come down, we are leaving now.”
But he wanted nothing but to stay
And waved a hand, “Go without me.”
Then, beside the flattened places where deer had lain,
He stood, and looked long at the watery heights of surrounding hills
And knew that he could never be at home
Between these grassy drifts
And the pleasant places of stony childhood.
A hidden place on an open hillside
Where a boy can huddle down
Watching tall trees lean and sway
And be alone, out of the wind.
When the sky is dark with storms
And the air is heavy with rain
“Come, crawl in here and be still
And look out at the rain and the wind.”
A few gray and weathered boards
A piece of blanket for a door
Half hidden within the tall grass
A lean-to against the wind.
Away from wheels and cupboards
Faces and afternoon windows
A refuge from stairs and questions
A hillside – quiet, but for the wind.
A small town in the Midwest
Where a man might seek solace
Watching blue clouds along the river
Dark days hiding from the wind.
And as summers come and stay
And stillness keeps the world at bay
The huddling one in time grows old
Forgotten by even the wind.
Hard, scrubby grass and curled leaves of dark green
Hardly the lush softness of boyhood lawn and meadow
But now and again a precious glimpse of the play of light
Through a break in the branches overhead
On a patch of open field or pond’s grassy verge
Opens a deep longing for some half-imagined mystery.
All That Time by May Swenson
I saw two trees embracing.
One leaned on the other
as if to throw her down.
But she was the upright one.
Since their twin youth, maybe she
had been pulling him toward her
all that time,
and finally almost uprooted him.
He was the thin, dry, insecure one,
the most wind-warped, you could see.
And where their tops tangled
it looked like he was crying
on her shoulder.
On the other hand, maybe he
had been trying to weaken her,
break her, or at least
make her bend
over backwards for him
just a little bit.
And all that time
she was standing up to him
the best she could.
She was the most stubborn,
the straightest one, that’s a fact.
But he had been willing
to change himself—
even if it was for the worse—
all that time.
At the top they looked like one
tree, where they were embracing.
It was plain they’d be
Too late now to part.
When the wind blew, you could hear
them rubbing on each other.
—May Swenson (1919-1989)