Saturday, August 8, 2015

From My Nature Journal: I-Thou

I do not often try my hand at poetry, perhaps once in a blue moon. OK, OK, perhaps once in several blue moons. (Permit me to digress. Do you know what a blue moon actually is? Some call the monthly new moon a blue moon; though it may seem ‘blue’ as the night sky to us at that time, new moon is simply the time our natural satellite lies roughly between the earth and sun in its twenty-nine day earth orbit, and from our vantage point does not reflect sunlight. But a blue moon? Other common thought is that a blue moon is the second full moon in the same calendar month, an errant definition given by a popular science magazine in the mid-20th Century. But it gets much more interesting than that: the historic definition of blue moon is actually the third moon in a single season that contained four full moons. At a time when people counted agricultural and animal migration seasons by lunar cycles, it stands to reason that a moon cycle of twenty-nine days did not neatly fit into the actual 365-day, twelve-month calendar year; keeping an annual calendar by twelve lunar cycles would throw seasonal anticipations significantly off in a very short time. Simple people had to make allowances for this. The annual clock could more easily be reset by solar time; but occasionally there had to be a ‘betrayer’ moon in a season that needed to be disregarded in order to get critical timing correct upon which life provision would depend. An early word for betrayer was ‘belewe.’ Whichever of these last two definitions we use, with a moon’s twenty-nine day cycle compared to thirty and thirty-one day calendar months, ‘belewe moons’ happen on average once every 2¾ years.)

So, as I was saying before my short attention span took control, writing poetry is not my forte (and maybe that's why poetry is not my forte...). But I once read in an old spiritual classic the line -- I the brook, thou the spring -- and determined at some point to give greater thought to that idea. Was it a Rainer Maria Rilke line? I cannot recall. But here is what resulted, not all nature images to be sure, but enough to be appropriate to my nature blog.

I the brook, Thou the Spring
I the journey, Thou the Path
I the known, Thou the Mystery
I the warmed, Thou the Fire
I the spoken, Thou the Word
I the seen, Thou the Seer

I the leaf, Thou the Root
I the breath, Thou the Life
I the sound, Thou the Source
I the beam, Thou the Light
I the borne, Thou the Bearer
I the grateful, Thou the praised

I the sail, Thou the Wind
I the vessel, Thou the Filling
I the thought, Thou the Mind
I the clay, Thou the Hand
I the wing, Thou the Lift
I the moment, Thou the Ever

I the lantern, Thou the Oil
I the deed, Thou the Will
I the image, Thou the Artist
I the breaker, Thou the Tide
I the held, Thou the Holder
I the mite, Thou the Expanse

I the fruit, Thou the Vine
I the cherished, Thou the Love
I the act, Thou the Force
I the gleam, Thou the Gem
I the protected, Thou the Shelter
I the eye, Thou the Vision

I the sustained, Thou the Food
I the chased, Thou the Pursuer
I the object, Thou the Subject
I the void, Thou the Fullness
I the faint, Thou the Strength
I the question, Thou the Answer

~RGM, from an earlier entry
in my nature journal


  1. This filled me with joy...and caused a tear or two.

  2. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Brian. I also find joy in thinking through and writing the posts.

    We miss you up here!