The Kids
Seasonal Fun
About Us
Sign Guest Book
View Guest Book
Old GB

Desert Trails


It seems odd to relegate the transcendent wonders of art and poetry here to the dustbin of Miscellaneous Items. Oh well. Since I'm inclined to see everything from the cave paintings at Lascaux to the Old Masters to some of the graffiti in LA and other cities as art, and since I hear and read poetry everywhere around me, I guess Misc. is as apt a place as any to display some.

If I can figure out how to do it or can bug my son to show me how, I'll change this stuff once in a while. If you enjoy what's here, come back and check again another time. Hopefully it will be something different.

Impression: Soleil Levant

Impression : Soleil Levant (Sunrise)
Claude Monet

Cache-Cache (Hide and Seek)
Berthe Morisot

Banc (Bench)
Edouard Manet

Paysage a Auvers
Paul Cezanne
Starry Night

Starry Night
Vincent Van Gogh
Pollard Birches/Woman/Sheep

Pollard Birches with Woman and a Flock of Sheep
Vincent Van Gogh
Karin & Susanne

Karin & Susanne
Carl Larsson
The Kitchen

The Kitchen
Carl Larsson

I've always loved the Impressionists but had not known about Carl Larsson until a few years ago when a friend gave me a print.

He lived a hundred or so years ago and painted beautiful, homey pictures using his wife, children, and friends as models. He painted touching portraits of Scandinavian life. His wife was an artist in her own right, working with fabrics, embroidery, and weaving, while raising their large family.

And some written art...

In the deserts of the heart

Let the healing fountain start,

In the prison of his days

Teach the free man how to praise.

~from In Memory of W.B.Yeats by W.H. Auden

The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

I know, it's pretty bleak, but it's been one of my favorite poems for over half of my life -- I had to include it. Here's another by Yeats that has a different flavor...

The Two Trees by William Butler Yeats

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart

The holy tree is growing there;

From joy the holy branches start

And all the trembling flowers they bear.

The changing colours of its fruit

Have dowered the stars with merry light;

The surety of its hidden root

Has planted quiet in the night;

The shaking of its leafy head

Has given the waves their melody.

And made my lips and music wed,

Murmuring a wizard song for thee,

There the Loves a circle go,

The flaming circle of our days,

Gyring, spiring to and fro

In those great ignorant leafy ways;

Remembering all that shaken hair

And how the winged sandals dart

Thine eyes grow full of tender care;

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

Gaze no more in the bitter glass

The demons, with their subtle guile,

Lift up before us when they pass,

Or only gaze a little while;

For there a fatal image grows

That the stormy night receives,

Roots half hidden under snows,

Broken boughs and blackened leaves.

For all things turn to bareness

In the dim glass the demons hold,

The glass of outer weariness,

Made when God slept in times of old.

There, through the broken branches, go

The ravens of unresting thought;

Flying, crying, to and fro,

Cruel claw and hungry throat,

Or else they stand and sniff the wind,

And shake their ragged wings: alas!

Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:

Gaze no more in the bitter glass.

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,

The holy tree is growing there;

From joy the holy branches start,

And all the trembling flowers they bear.

Remembering all that shaken hair

And how the winged sandals dart,

Thine eyes grow full of tender care;

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

There is an Irish legend, the legend of Deirdre, a tragic story of love and betrayal, in which two young lovers die in the midst of turmoil and battles in their land. Two yew trees grow from the graves of the unfortunate lovers. Though the trees emerge from the ground many feet apart, they grow together, twisting around each other, becoming one. It is said that the trees stand there to this day.

Loreena McKennit has set this poem to music on her 1994 The Mask and Mirror. It's more than well worth a listen.

The Brothers Danna have done an incredible musical rendition of the legend of Deirdre with their A Celtic Tale. There's more about that on my music page.

Dust of Snow by Robert Frost

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

So much depends


a red wheel


glazed with rain


beside the white


I didn't understand chicken or wheelbarrow poetry until I moved out here to the middle of nowhere and acquired both... Here is an Autumn Poem by Erin (age 4):

~ The trees have lost all of their feathers.~

Simple and to the point. It's pretty obvious she's been around barnyard fowl and other birds all of her life, I guess...

Dusk Interval

by Loren Eiseley (inspired teacher, naturalist, philosopher, poet/essayist 1907-1977)

Here is the waste, the stone, the streaming sunset,

Where no clouds pass.

Here, where the hawk's dark wing goes lonely over

Sheep-bitten grass,

Green ice once crawled and plowed the meadow.

The boulders lie

As they were dropped in that tremendous plowing.

The crows cry

Clamorous above it in the twilit evening...

They do not stoop.

The rich grain and the harvest are not found here.

Night hawks loop

Erratic spirals in the windy starlight.

The fallow ground

Is sleeping, and I know with what ghost sleeping,

Deep under sound.

Oh, not for long the grass, the bells of grasses:

The mice who love

Their hidden runways will soon pass. The boulders

Will lift and move.

This land is sleeping in a dream of mammoth.

Their heavy tread

Will sound again. Sometime their feet will shudder

The last man from his bed.

And to go with his poem, some artwork :

lascaux bison          lascaux1          lascaux2

Paintings from the caves at Lascaux, France by some Ice Age artists.

From Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)...

This Side of the truth

This side of the truth,

You may not see, my son,

King of your blue eyes

In the blinding country of youth,

That all is undone,

Under the unminding skies,

Of innocence and guilt

Before you move to make

One gesture of the heart or head,

Is gathered and spilt

Into the winding dark

Like the dust of the dead.

Good and bad, two ways

Of moving about your death

By the grinding sea,

King of your heart in the blind days,

Blow away like breath,

Go crying through you and me

And the souls of all men

Into the innocent

Dark, and the guilty dark, and good

Death, and bad death, and then

In the last element

Fly like the stars' blood

Like the sun's tears,

Like the moon's seed, rubbish

And fire, the flying rant

Of the sky, king of your six years.

And the wicked wish,

Down the beginning of plants

And animals and birds,

Water and Light, the earth and sky,

Is cast before you move,

And all your deeds and words,

Each truth, each lie,

Die in unjudging love.

and some images from Henry Vaughan, another Welsh poet...

I saw Eternity the other night,

Like a great ring of pure and endless light...

...stars nod and sleep

And through the dark air spin a fiery thread.

I'll end with another thought about the stars, written by Vincent Van Gogh. I think of him saying this when I look at his star paintings, like Starry Night above.

"What am I in the eyes of most people--a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person--somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low.

All right, then--even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart.

That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion.

Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.

That does not prevent me from having a terrible need of-—shall I say the word?-—of religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars . . . ."

~ Vincent Van Gogh from a letter to his brother, Theo

If you like Van Gogh, you might want to visit The Vincent Van Gogh Information Gallery. I think it's the Ultimate Van Gogh Webpage and the best Van Gogh resource on the WWWeb.

E-Mail Us

Light a candle, and continue the dance...
   ~ Allen Ginsberg