Tunes for a Monday Morning
On Your Desk

Sky, stone, and the turning seasons

Dartmoor cows grazing near Bronze Age ruins, midsummer.

From A Branch from the Lightening Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace in Wilderness
by Martin Shaw:

"To be in touch with wilderness is to have stepped past the proud cattle of the field and wandered far from the twinkles of the Inn's fire. To have sensed something sublime in the life/death/life movement of the seasons, to know that  contained in you is the knowledge to pull the sword from the stone and to live well in fierce woods in deep winter.

Pathway onto the moor in deep winter

"Wilderness is a form of sophistication, because it carries within it true knowledge of our place in the world. It doesn't exclude civilization but prowls through it, knowing when to attend to the needs of the committee and when to drink from a moonlit lake. It will wear a suit and tie when it has to, but refuses to trim its talons or whiskers. Its sensing nature is not afraid of emotion: the old stories are are full of grief forests and triumphant returns, banquets and bridges of thorns. Myth tells us that the full gamut of feeling is to be experienced.

Near Scorhill Stone Circle as the rain rolls in.

"Wilderness is the capacity to go into joy, sorrow, and anger fully and stay there for as long as needed, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Sometimes, as Lorca says, it means 'get down on all fours for twenty centuries and eat the grasses of the cemetaries.' Wilderness carries sobriety as well as exuberance, and has allowed loss to mark its face."

Scorhill on a stormy day.


True words and an excellent book.

Grief Forests, Bridges of Thorn

“he old stories are full of grief forests and triumphant returns, banquets and bridges of thorns.”--Martin Shaw

I do not need autumn to tell me this: that the world weeps,
that the dells, fells, and fens bruise; forest and ferns grieve;
bracken broken-hearted bronzes the braes. Brambles,
bent over with the burden of their fruit, bridge gaps
between summer and winter. It is simply the way.
Fall is aptly named and we stumble into that dark,
breaking knees, straining backs hauling in the world’s wood,
clutching shawls around us, hearts growing cold.
The poets tell us this, the old stories in the mouth of tellers,
the sun halfway in the sky and the shiver of wind tell us.
We must learn to listen, to attend to them.
The more we understand that the world is wracked
on the wheel of seasons and yet rises, always rises
like the year king, again in every spring,
if we remember the lift of that dirt door,
an invitation to the ever green, only then, yes then,
will we will know our own yearly resurrections
and dance into fall as we do into the rising sun.

©2012 Jane Yolen All rights reserved

I have this on my bookshelf, it is only waiting for me to finish 'Becoming Animal' first. Though perhaps I should read them together, I think there might be much wisdom found in the conjunction of the two.

Jane, you weave such deep magic with your words. This is beautiful.

I totally agree.

This is just glorious and exactly what I needed to read right now - thank you, from the bottom of my soul.

Thank you for this post, Terri - just what I needed to read today, at this moment, having reached a few important conclusions of my own concerning the nature of death and rebirth, the cycles of things. I'm going to copy this excerpt into my book of words, and will be picking up a copy of the original book in the near future.

While I am at it, I just wanted to thank you for your writings. They never fail to teach, uplift and inspire, even when the soul is dark and there are stones underfoot.

Jane, that poem is stunning. Thank you so much.

So appropriate as I watch my 90yr old mother praying to her God to take her into that ending season as I wanted wrap the golden leaves about me and exit that grief forest....beautiful and so nourishing my Ladies of the pen & paper!!!

Oh, glorious in our griefs as the leaves redden,
blood rising to surface in proof of our vitality.
Blood flaring against mortality. Oh, glorious.

Oh, we, glorious our griefs as leaves redden,
blood rising to surface as proof of our vitality.
Blood flaring against mortality. Oh, glorious.

Yes... I want to run through the streets leaving these words in my wake...

Michelle--that sounds like a Sufi prayer! Make me want to spin around and around ecstatic. Love it.


That poem is gorgeous, as is the photo of "Pathway onto the moor in deep winter." And I am amazed that is what deep winter looks like in Devonshire--it is still green! And looks, well, welcoming. More like mid-to-late October in Minnesota (if it had been exceptionally windy). Deep winter here can be truly daunting, a veritable hero's journey. :)

Such wonderful post, comments and Poem (Jane)...

And I will be picking that book up for sure. Thanks!

Michelle, yes, this is beautiful and yes, beautiful Jane.

We are surrounded by the heaven, earth and huli (turning) of seasons here in the Pacific Northwest. Wild is seeing the cluster of stars ... Makalili (the Pleiades) awake with the Moon just ahead of the blaze of muted sun. I watch from here, and know in the islands of the Pacific they watch, too.

Thank you, Terri.

Always look forward to see another strong, sometimes heartbreaking and always
healing poem. It's as fresh and as old as stepping on pine needles in the forest, as
awesome as the sight of a deer. Have had little time lately to pause and observe. Your
poems always offer so much.

I love it too, Michelle.

ah, yes

Quote, photos, poems, all beautiful, and redolent of the seasons turning. Thank you all.

So beautiful. Love it.

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