Something Fishy about That Girl

digital illustrationThe Return of Dorinda Beecher

Restless sailors far from shore seek in the stars, and furthermore,

In deepest seas, hoping to sight some change to break the endless night,

The ceaseless day, the infinite long year’s dull drone, for what’s in it

To charm the man who’s been abroad and has forgot his native sod,

Who knows no home and has no friend, just sailing, sailing to the end

Of Earth, the seven seas, the Known? Yet one such sailor, one alone,

Found in the foamy waves that dream the others sought, caught in a beam

Of phosphorescent, moonlit flash: the slightest bubbling roll and splash

Betrayed the presence of a maid; he started, would have leapt to aid

Her but that she was smiling wide, dolphin and otter at her side

Bearing her up in playful bounding swoops. He did not make a sound,

But smiled back, struck by her grace; and when she saw this on his face,

She beckoned gently, drew him on. Another splash! The sailor’d gone

And dived into the depths to meet this mystery, so grand, so sweet.

Could he? Would she? He fell in love, quite literally, from above

Her water empire, and he went full willingly, no accident

Of fate or fearsome, deathly wish: he’d rather fade among the fish

Than risk to lose this chance he’d seen to meet and mate his mermaid queen.

Once in the water, swift he sank, quite full of joy, and glad to thank

His lucky stars; he saw her swim in swiftest darts to rescue him;

She laid a soft hand on his brow–he thought it felt quite different now–

And gazed on him, and in her eyes, he saw reflected, with surprise,

That he’d become an otter, too. Yet not affronted with this view,

He thought their states a pleasant match; his mermaid queen was quite a catch.

Off, then, they swam, mermaid and men, her willing slaves not seen again.digital illustration x2This post is especially for Lindy Lee, who requested on Dorinda’s first appearance here long ago [see the link in the post title] that she might revisit us sometime.

A Moment for Contemplation

photoWorlds of Peace

In the sleepy little world where

kindness can prevail and thrive

The beasts and people live in peace,

all happy just to be alive

Their gracious ways, generous hearts,

their gentle speech and thought and will

Protect them all throughout the day,

and through the nighttime hold them still—

Would that this dreamy little world

could bloom and flourish here on earth

And that such hopeful tenderness

pursue us all straight on from birth

My wistful wishing is not vain;

this virtue could embrace us all,

For we do know how to be so,

if only we would heed the call

And so each morning as I rise

I make a small and silent prayer

That by the night’s new-darkened skies,

we’ll find ourselves all living there

photo

Simplicity Itself

 

photoSimplicity, I think, is like most of the virtues and values that we humans might hold dear–those who have it don’t necessarily appreciate it, and those who talk the most about it tend to know the least about it.

The rich and comfortable are so obsessed with the idea or ideal of simplicity nowadays that there are magazines, fashions, classes and whole philosophical movements devoted to its study and cultivation. People will expend massive quantities of energy and spend large quantities of money on trying to simplify their lives and themselves, when very likely simply giving up the energetic striving and letting go of the amassed money would do the trick in a trice. (Perish the thought!)

The poor and underprivileged have ultimate simplicity forced upon them, and tend to choose whether to embrace the unsullied earthiness and quietly hardworking ways thrust on them by their circumstances or to battle against them. Probably a majority of people, both poor and rich, will always think the grass greener where they are not, and hardly give thought to how hard the next person is trying to get over the fence onto their own enviably other property. Dissatisfaction may be an essential part of humanity’s natural state of being, much as it naturally chafes us to think so.

On the other hand, looking at what dissatisfies us with as unsparingly honest a glare as we can might in fact shed some light on how to find better contentment, not necessarily by having more or less of something (tangible or ephemeral) but by giving it all its appropriate due and then saving our true love for the most meaningful virtues and values of all. At the very least, that narrows down the field for most of us. At its best, it frees us up to say that life is remarkably livable where we exist right here, right now, regardless of the shade or tint of the lawn. The simple presence of any one particular leaf of grass or bud of bloom in the one square foot of soil nearest to hand may be quite enough, at least for one simple day.photo

 

Mostly, We Just Want to be Noticed

digital painting from a photo

Look at Her

If she could give you nothing but

A wink, a wave, a flounce,

A sashay showing off her legs,

She would not stint an ounce,

For she desires, requires, aspires

To flirt with you anon

In hopes that with these wiles of hers

It’s she on whom you’ll fawn,

Because she has a crazy crush

That cow-eyes cannot cure

And wants no more in life or death

Than be your cynosure.digital painting