Promise for the New Year



Promise for the New Year

I will seek elegance rather than luxury, refinement
rather than fashion.
I will seek to be worthy more than respectable;
wealthy and not rich.
I will study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly.
I will listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with an open heart.
I will bear all things cheerfully, do all things bravely,
await occasions, and hurry never.
In a word, I will let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious
grow up through the common.

~ William Ellery Channing ~

Image origin: unknown, found circulating on Facebook

Out in the Fields with God


Out in the Fields with God

The little cares which fretted me
I lost them yesterday,
Among the fields, above the sea,
Among the winds at play,
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fear of what might happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay,
Among the husking of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod
Where ill thoughts die and good are born–
Out in the fields with God

~~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~~

Image origin: unknown, found circulating on Facebook

A Rescued Hen says Thank You


Sage within first month of rescue April 2010

A Rescued Hen says Thank You

Are you the one that rescued me?
Are you the one who came?
I want to say a thank you.
But I don’t know your name
Thank you for coming to take me.
Away from that cage with no space
Thank you for taking me under your wing
and bringing me here to this place
We’ve been on a terrible journey.
Folks bury their heads in the sand
As long as the price on the egg box is low,
that’s all they understand
Thank you for getting up early
and thank you so much that you care
We didn’t know life ‘til you found us.
Kind people, clean bedding, fresh air
But now we live in a garden,
we move and it’s green and there’s sky
Our feathers are shabby, our wings may be weak,
but give us time and we’ll fly
You gave us your care and I thank you.
You did what most people would shun
On behalf of my fellow ex-battery hens…
our lives have at last… really begun.

~~ Jill Pendleton ~~

Sage a year after rescue

Photographs © 2010 & 2011 Michelle Payne

The True Names of Birds


There are more ways to abandon a child
than to leave them at the mouth of the woods.
Sometimes by the time you find them, they’ve made up names
for all the birds and constellations, and they’ve broken
their reflections in the lake with sticks.

With my daughter came promises and vows
that unfolded through time like roadmap and led me
to myself as a child, filled with wonder for my father
who could make sound from a wide blade of grass

and his breath. Here in the stillness of the forest,
the sun columning before me temple-ancient,
the wonder is what I regret losing most; that wonder
and the true names of birds.

~~ Susan Goyette ~~

© 2012 Michelle Payne

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