Mary Oliver: American Primitive

Lao Tzu, Rumi, David, Emerson, Wordsworth, Gibran, and Mary Oliver have taught me, over the years, that I never finish reading a book of wisdom poetry. When I read the last psalm, song, or poem, I simply put the book down for a while--sometimes for a few years--until one day whim, genius, or spiritual thirst … Continue reading Mary Oliver: American Primitive

Jacintos del bosque

Hoy, al visitar el Jardín Botánico de Brooklyn, me encontré con un campo azul. Miles de jacintos del bosque (Hyacinthoides hispanica 'Excelsior') han florecido a la sombra de robles gigantescos. Campo de campanitas azuladas / Spanish Bluebells Los admiré y luego intenté retratarlos, dejando mi alma en fotografías, como en los versos finales del "Pequeño … Continue reading Jacintos del bosque

Red-winged Blackbirds

The red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) returned to the shores of Prospect Lake several weeks ago. Every morning, on my walk across the park, I have listened to their metallic voices calling from the top of oaks, maples, and honey locusts. Theirs is a simple, haunting, repetitive call, like a mantra: first a short phrase, with … Continue reading Red-winged Blackbirds

Dancing with the Daffodils

I welcomed April by visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on a cool, sunny day. Nature then blessed me with the gift of daffodils. My friends and I were cutting across from the Native Flora Garden towards the Shakespeare Garden when we came upon Daffodil Hill. To our exhilaration, the hill was covered by white, yellow, … Continue reading Dancing with the Daffodils

Sakura brooklynense

¡Es primavera! Admiremos a nuestro cerezo en flor. Sakura en Windsor Terrace: Esquina de Sherman Street con Eleventh Avenue. 春です 桜お 一緒に 見ましょう。 Haru desu. Sakura o issho ni mimashou. Flores brotando del tronco del cerezo.

Sea-beaten Rocks

As I discuss Ralph W. Emerson's Nature with my students, I have been pondering the rocks at the southeast point of Playa Colonia, in Costa Rica's Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. The central question Emerson poses in his seminal essay—the cornerstone of his philosophical vision—is: "To what end is Nature?" This is a question of final … Continue reading Sea-beaten Rocks

Salir del silencio

¿Cómo salir del silencio profundo y pacífico? Como el último suspiro de la madrugada mientras la Cruz del Sur aún bendice a la Tierra desde el firmamento. Como el cricrí de los grillos y el croacroá de las ranas al culminar su cantata nocturna. Como el silbido del cuyeo cuando el alba muestra sus replandores … Continue reading Salir del silencio

Maravilla: Primera floración

De manera desconcertante y maravillosa, la Passiflora alata que sembramos en mi jardín durante la cuarentena de Semana Santa del 2020, ha florecido por primera vez este mes de diciembre, al cerrarse el convulso, gozoso y doloroso, 2021. Primera flor, acompañada de perfil por el segundo botón: 9 de diciembre, 2021 ¿Por qué justamente ahora? … Continue reading Maravilla: Primera floración

Dreaming of Deserts

I have been dreaming of deserts. It seems ironic, since I have spent so much time in the water recently, letting it embrace and comfort me. The first dream seemed to be of the Sahara, my image of it in Algeria. The second one seemed like an American desert, perhaps Ica in Peru. Algerian Sahara … Continue reading Dreaming of Deserts