Summer Dreams


Dance of the Fireflies

In the shadows of the night,
The Sprites came out to play.
While the moon was covered, new,
With stars to light the way.

There she sat amidst the flowers,
This warm mid summers eve.
Fragile seen and light she was,
So hard to there perceive.

When she heard a voice call out
To her there from above.
“Come on up and dance with me!”,
Said he there full of love.

Quickly then she looked on up,
And saw a Spritely lad.
Floating there on wings of light,
Enough to make her glad.

Swiftly she unfolded wings,
Made of gossamer light.
Joining him up in the air,
To dance away the night.

Integral patterns there they flew,
Beneath that hidden moon,
With their wings all there aglow,
To their own hearts tune.

Faster now they flew as one,
Brighter as they went.
Finding love and joy in hearts,
All through the night thus spent.

Down on earth a couple looked,
At lights seen dancing there,
Smiling softly as they watched,
Those fireflies in the air.

Poem by  Dwayne Leon Rankin (found on-line) – it seemed appropriate for the artwork I’ve included here.

The temperature reached into the mid 80s today – very summer-like!  I spent most of the day in my (newly enlarged) studio.  And here is the ‘summer inspired’ encaustic I created.

The air was full of shimmering…


I Stood Against the Window

By Rose Fyleman

I stood against the window
And I looked between the bars,
And there were strings of fairies
Hanging from the stars;
Everywhere and everywhere
In shining, swinging chains;
The air was full of shimmering,
Like sunlight when it rains.

They kept on swinging, swinging,
They flung themselves so high
They caught upon the pointed moon
And hung across the sky.
And when I woke next morning,
There still were crowds and crowds
In beautiful bright bunches
All sleeping on the clouds

*I captured these ‘fairies’ descending upon my woods one evening at twilight. I used a slow shutter speed while moving the camera and did some post production work with curves and filters in Photoshop.

Open the Door

Such Singing in the Wild Branches 

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves—
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness—
and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree—
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing—
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky— all, all of them

were singing.
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

for more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then— open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

— Mary Oliver, “Such Singing in the Wild Branches”


Sweet Violet


How brave you are, sweet little one

with your shiny new face kissed with the dew.

What made you leave your warm nest

to risk the unknown?

Was it the hum of the bee

or the flap of a wing or was it the butterfly tiptoeing above?

And what about the others…

the shy ones still hidden dreaming under the covers?

*The first violet of the season – I captured it yesterday with my cell phone using the ‘roidizer’ app.  I wrote the poem just now.

listen to the snow


The snow
began here
this morning and all day
continued, its white
rhetoric everywhere
calling us back to why, how,
whence such beauty and what
the meaning; such
an oracular fever! flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed
would never ebb, never settle
less than lovely! and only now,
deep into night,
it has finally ended.
The silence
is immense,
and the heavens still hold
a million candles, nowhere
the familiar things:
stars, the moon,
the darkness we expect
and nightly turn from. Trees
glitter like castles
of ribbons, the broad fields
smolder with light, a passing
creekbed lies
heaped with shining hills;
and though the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain — not a single
answer has been found –
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one.

~Mary Oliver~

Soothing words by Mary Oliver; image by me

What I was born for.

Every day

I see or I hear


that more or less

kills me

with delight,

that leaves me

like a needle

in the haystack

of light.

It is what I was born for – –

to look, to listen,

to lose myself

inside this soft world – –

to instruct myself

over and over

in joy,

and acclamation.

Nor am I talking

about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,

the very extravagant – –

but the ordinary,

the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.

Oh, good scholar,

I say to myself,

how can you help

but grow wise

with such teachings

as these – –

the untrimmable light

of the world,

the ocean’s shine,

the prayers that are made

out of grass?

(“Mindful” Poem by Mary Oliver)

(“Through the Windshield” Image made while driving through Rocky Mountain National Park)

True Pleasure…

True pleasure breathes not city air,

Nor in Art’s temples dwells,

In palaces and towers where

The voice of Grandeur dwells.

No! Seek it where high Nature holds

Her court ‘mid stately groves,

Where she her majesty unfolds,

And in fresh beauty moves;

Where thousand birds of sweetest song,

The wildly rushing storm

And hundred streams which glide along,

Her mighty concert form!

Go where the woods in beauty sleep

Bathed in pale Luna’s light,

Or where among their branches sweep

The hollow sounds of night.

Go where the warbling nightingale

In gushes rich doth sing,

Till all the lonely, quiet vale

With melody doth ring.

Go, sit upon a mountain steep,

And view the prospect round;

The hills and vales, the valley’s sweep,

The far horizon bound.

Then view the wide sky overhead,

The still, deep vault of blue,

The sun which golden light doth shed,

The clouds of pearly hue.

And as you gaze on this vast scene

Your thoughts will journey far,

Though hundred years should roll between

On Time’s swift-passing car.

To ages when the earth was young,

When patriarchs, grey and old,

The praises of their god oft sung,

And oft his mercies told.

You see them with their beards of snow,

Their robes of ample form,

Their lives whose peaceful, gentle flow,

Felt seldom passion’s storm.

Then a calm, solemn pleasure steals

Into your inmost mind;

A quiet aura your spirit feels,

A softened stillness kind.

‘Pleasure’ A poem by Charlotte Bronte

Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon – The Mockingbird Sings in the Night – another delicious poem by Mary Oliver – read it out loud...

No sky could hold

so much light–

and here comes the brimming,

the flooding and streaming

out of the clouds

and into the leaves,

glazing the creeks,

the smallest ditches!

And so many stars!

The sky seems stretched

like an old black cloth;

behind it, all

the celestial fire

we ever dreamed of!

And the moon steps lower,

quietly changing

her luminous masks, brushing

everything as she passes

with her slow hands

and soft lips–

clusters of dark grapes,

apples swinging like lost planets,

melons cool and heavy as bodies–

and the mockingbird wakes

in his hidden castle;

out of the silver tangle

of thorns and leaves

he flutters and tumbles,

spilling long

ribbons of music

over forest and river,

copse and cloud–

all heaven and all earth–

wherever the white moon

fancies her small wild prince–

field after field after field.

Running with Scissors

And paint, and paper, and glue.

It rained most of the day.  I think it rained most of the day, just about everywhere today…and I decided to stay indoors and entertain myself by seeing what I could come up with by using the supplies I had on hand.

This collage is on 9×12 watercolor paper and I was inspired by a clothing catalog and various ephemera that I keep in (multiple) boxes. I can’t throw away anything that I think may have some artistic merit (i.e. almost everything) – the hardest part was deciding on what to use.

But I was glad to have the choices I had on hand as it made me realize I don’t always have to run out to buy (yet another) tool, book or art supply.

The words came from a poem by Mary Oliver…by I dissected it and pieced it together a little differently.

It was a good exercise.


Oh do you have time

to linger

for just a little while

out of your busy

and very important day

for the goldfinches

that have gathered

in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,

to see who can sing,

the highest note,

or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,

or the most tender?

Their strong, blunt beaks

drink the air

as they strive


not for your sake

and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning

but for sheer delight and gratitude —

believe us, they say,

it is a serious thing

just to be alive

on this fresh morning

in this broken world.

I beg of you,

do not walk by

without pausing

to attend to this

rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.

It could mean everything.

It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:

You must change your life.

Another poem by Mary Oliver.