Lean On The Wind

Lean On The Wind

by Patricia L. Salter

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Overview

Lean On The Wind by Patricia L. Salter

Author Patricia Salter was born into a lively and creative family. The second of five children, her father was a professor and her mother a published poet. Although she was born in Philadelphia, she has lived the greater part of her life in Madison, Wisconsin. Hers was a peripatetic family, giving her and her siblings the opportunity to live East, West, and South while growing up. Lean on the Wind reflects the passions and challenges of her younger years, while also demonstrating her love of music, art, gardening, and nature. Although most of the poems were written nearly a half century ago, these words, like a just-discovered fine wine, have mellowed with the years and come to us as smooth, evocative and satisfying.

Poet's Apology
How else can I say what the sky is tonight,
Where is there a word still unsung?
There's a ribbon of gold-alas!-this is trite
But still 'tis a ribbon-far flung,
From the reaches of heaven to the edge of the earth,
A ribbon of gold is unfurled,
Ah! I mourn that there is in my brain such a dearth
Of words to describe my loved world.
But what can I do, that's not long since been done
By poets more skillful than I-
They wrote of this beauty 'ere I had begun,
Yet, I am here now. I must try!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781450260060
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/22/2010
Pages: 118
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)

Read an Excerpt

Lean on the Wind

A Collection of Poems Celebrating Life
By Patricia L. Salter

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Patricia L. Salter
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4502-6006-0


Chapter One

    Command to Winter


    Oh, brooks and rivers freeze,
    And snow weighed bushes bend,
    Let ice choke deepest seas,
    Let winter never end!

    Oh, glistening snow fall fast,
    And icy winds blow wild,
    Oh, white-gold moon glide past,
    Shine on this winter's child!

    Oh, frost come 'round my door,
    And paint my windows gay,
    Chill snow fall more, still more,
    I love a winter's day!

    Let me feel snow on my face,
    Let me drink in winter's air,
    Childlike, let me race
    Through whiteness, everywhere!

    And if breathless I should tire,
    Let me have some place to go
    Where before an open fire,
    I can rest and watch the snow!


    Ocean

    I shall lay my cheek upon wet sand
    On the shores of a violet sea,
    And a seashell hold, within my hand
    Rubbed smooth by eternity.

    The salt sea spray will be the air
    That I breathe as it bathes the skies,
    And the song of the sea will lull me there,
    Till at last I shall close my eyes.

    I shall be the sea-omnipotent, wild,
    And I'll never go back to the land,
    For I am the ocean's salt sea child,
    And my grave will be ocean sand!


    Autumn

    The leaves are a shower of burnished gold
    Falling around my head.
    And I walk in them ankle deep in the cold-
    Home to my warm, sweet bed.
    I remember the endless summered land,
    Where autumn never came;
    I remember my feet on the sun-drenched sand-
    Always, always the same.
    That too was beauty and I love it well
    Now-as I loved it then.
    But today there is joy deep in my heart
    Because I feel autumn again!


    Nightingale

    Sweet nightingale, how came thou versed
    In such celestial strain?
    Thou surely wert by God rehearsed,
    So faultless thy refrain.

    How can one fragile bird of brown
    Pour forth from its slight throat
    Such harmonies, such peerless sound
    Unending, note on note?

    How can such waves of beauty stream
    From single, fragile frame?
    Fairer by far than any dream,
    Such music has no name.

    Thou miracle beyond compare!
    Thou chorister sublime!
    No one but God Himself knows where
    Is born such song as thine!


    Language Barrier

    A Jay and Crow called from a tree
    In strident, minor key,
    As if they would impart to me
    A grave emergency.
    Inadequate my human word
    To that insistent cry,
    And so, as though I had not heard,
    I rudely passed them by.


    Life Song

    Sing me a song of all that is fair,
    And I'll sing along with thee.
    Take me with you to bright places where
    There is only beauty to see.
    Fill my arms with fragrant flowers,
    Cover my eyes with star gold.
    Walk by my side through moss deep bowers
    Where dusk drenched hills unfold.
    Race next to me by sand girt sea
    Under the sapphire sky;
    Listen with me to the symphony
    Of the lonely gulls which fly
    Over our heads where the ocean roars—
    Where the waves roll in, roll out—
    And pause with me on those salt deep shores
    To shout with me, as I shout
    Of the majesty wild, and the sweetness supreme
    Of this candle brief gift of being;
    Of this life that we have, a phantom, a dream;
    Which too blindly we touch, without seeing.
    One gift we are given, by Him who can give,
    So be worthy with me–let us live!


    Memory

    Rose petals dropping fair upon sunned hands
    On summer day,
    And sea grass turned blue-silver in the sand
    By ocean spray.
    Dark forest paths where amber sun has shone
    Through slender trees,
    Broad meadows pale with clover
    And the drone of honey bees.
    And fragrant earth wet from the rain of spring
    Which silver, slanting falls while robins sing,
    Cerulean skies where alabaster clouds have lain,
    Like fleet of ships come from sea to harbor once
      again,
    Green fields turned white by crowd of daisies fair,
    Which dance upon their fragile stems to rhythm of
      the air.
    These lovely things have been and gone, and yet,
    still can we see
    Each vanished sight, within our hearts, engraved
    indelibly.
    In the burnished halls of memory are dreams like
    these adrift—
    Remembrance, we must bless thee, heaven's vast,
    unequalled gift!


    Here Is Spring Again

    Here is spring again,
    Like a lady, soft, in waves of silk—
    Sweet scented, trailing lace.
    She has come, without a sound,
    And spread her folds of loveliness around!


    Fog

    How feminine the sky tonight,
    How like a lady fair;
    She's thrown a veil of purest white
    Around her, everywhere.
    Like shy, sweet miss whom lad would kiss,
    She tempting leads us on—
    And then, coquette, behind the mist
    She glides, and lo! She's gone.


    Dusk

    Is this the sun remembered
    Or the promise of the moon?
    This fluid, shimmering light
    Which races through the sky
    As if to speed the close of day.
    Eternal loveliness swift, soon
    Will vanish into shadowed paths,
    Where sun but lately poured
    Bright molten streams-away
    Across the farthest reach
    Of fragrant, summered earth.
    Softly moves hushed, silken dusk,
    Gathering fractured light,
    Sealing fast the death of day,
    Granting birth to night!


    Brave Is the Lady

    Brave is the lady
    In daffodil sun
    But coward and bowed
    When the day is done.

    Liquid stars have only to steal
    Across relentless night,
    For the lady to cease her smiles, and feel
    The merciless weight of her plight.

    Laughing is she – valiant and gay,
    While the brilliance of day stills her fears;
    But pain is her garb at the end of the day
    And her silence breaks only with tears.

    Lady, weep not–vain, foolish thing;
    For even this pain will pass soon.
    Lift up your heart where the night sounds sing,
    And see how lovely the moon!


    Beauty Everywhere I Look

    Just in this one room
    There is beauty everywhere I look.
    These silent, reaching plants,
    The rows of books I read and love;
    The table, desk, the antique chair,
    The pictures on the wall-
    Each perfect in itself-so entirely there.
    A part of silence and its perfect being.
    Oh, the joy of purely seeing-
    Seeing it, and living it,
    And knowing that I am part of it.
    Beauty tumbles round pell-mell.
    It tumbles into me as well
    And I can always find it there
    If I keep still and stay aware!


    Ah, That I Could Like Summer Flowers Be

    Ah, that I could like summer flowers
    Unanalytic be
    And live to brimming this brief hour
    Which God has given me.
    That I could, like the violet
    Sweet, undemanding bloom
    And be not questioning, beset
    With thoughts of final doom.
    That I could like the summer rose
    Be infinitely wise,
    Insensitive to human woes
    And deaf to mortal cries.
    I would that I could daily know
    Like these tranquility-
    But I, alas! have far to go
    'Ere such art comes to me!


    Utmost Beauty

    As I walked on a trail where
    Early sounds of spring
    Fell upon my ears
    Like a caress,
    I suddenly stopped silent
    And motionless as a stone.
    Before me was a tree of utmost beauty.
    Utmost Beauty, Utmost Beauty,
    This was the song that rang
    Like a bell through my being.
    An evergreen, standing amongst
    Leafless oaks;
    Bending, swaying, green, soft,
    Fluid, gentle—a hemlock perhaps.
    In any case—Utmost Beauty.
    I walked on then, filled with rapture
    Over the wonderful tree.
    And now, long after,
    I wish I had laid me down
    At the foot of that tree —
    Had laid me down
    For however long it would take
    For the Great Alchemist
    To make me too, something of
    Utmost Beauty—
    Like that tree!


    Tree

    There have been moments in a day
    When I am pressed—as all men are—
    With heaviness of heart and mind,
    With weariness towards all mankind,
    And I have glanced, quite casually
    Towards the sky, and seen a tree.
    Then, like the miracle of rain
    Which, cooling falls on parched plain
    To stir the seeds of life again,
    Does but the sight of one fair tree
    Restore the soul, once more, in me.


    The Starling

    The Starling has invariably
    A host of friends along.
    So busy he with company,
    He's never learned a song.

    He and his friends line up in rows,
    Like canned goods on a shelf,
    Each tells the other all he knows,
    Exulting, each, in self.

    Secure in safe sure multitude–
    Like man in teeming crowd–
    He's never tasted solitude,
    No wonder he's so loud!


    To a New Moon

    Translucent feather, tossed aloft,
    Resting on the sky.
    Lightning–gold, bright, glowing soft–
    Jewels are etched clear and high.

    Lovely new moon, without a star,
    Alone in velvet night,
    As though a lesser thing would mar
    Such perfect, golden light!


    To a Maryland Blizzard, March 1, 1957

    Well, March, you've come, but how unfair,
    You have not kept your word.
    Where is your balmy, blossomed air,
    And where your sweet voiced bird?
    What have you done with promised green?
    Where are your azure skies?
    Oh, March - how cruel - can you have been
    Cajoling us, with lies?


    The Wind

    The wind gave the marsh reeds a mighty thrust
    Which bent them to the ground;
    And then he laughing raced away,
    Tumbling the milkweed down.
    He tossed a bird into the sky
    And held it floating there
    Until, with mischief in his eye,
    He blew it through the air.
    He set the grass and flowers in motion,
    Hid then behind a tree,
    Observing all the swift commotion,
    With winking, elfin glee.
    A butterfly came drifting by,
    Uncertain where to land—
    The giddy wind climbed up the sky
    Holding it in his hand.
    He whirled and raced around the sun,
    Came racing down her beams,
    Till he had rippled every one
    Of the marsh's silent streams.
    He spied a fleet of clouds which slept
    Like sailing ships at bay,
    And with a shout, he laughing, swept
    Each one of them away.
    He sped into a silent oak,
    And set its leaves to dancing.
    Then passing, gave a frog a poke
    And laughing still, turned prancing–
    Back to his home, beyond the sky!


    To a Swallow

    Arc of grace, mercuric speed,
    Swiftly do you fly
    Through the languid, grassy reeds
    Beneath a summer sky.
    Skimming through the silent air
    Soundless streak of light,
    Wheeling with a secret cause
    Rising out of sight.
    Dipping, whirling, thing of joy,
    Gift of God to earth,
    How beautifully you grasp and use
    The precious gift of birth!


    Summer Night Thoughts

    On nights like this I think I would
    Sit out upon the grass.
    I'd watch the shadowed neighborhood
    And greet friends as they pass.

    I might perhaps, before the dark,
    Stroll slowly down the street,
    To chat with people in the park –
    Whomever I should meet.

    And I would lean against a tree–
    To watch the moon climb high–
    As people would admire with me
    Our lovely summer sky.

    So uncomplex and undesigned,
    Slow minutes spent this way–
    And yet, what fairer way to spend
    A quiet, human day?


    Stand in the Forest, Lean on the Wind

    Stand in the forest;
    Lean on the wind–
    Put the moon in my hand.
    Touch my eyes with the swarming stars,
    Spread me over this land.
    Drink the night–
    The deep, still night–
    Which floods from allness above,
    Say not a word
    Be quiet and hear,
    And know that with us
    There is love!


    Spring

    The sun spilled gold upon the ground
    And woke the daffodils–
    And winter stole, without a sound
    Away, beyond the hills.


    Song of Love to Winter

    My heart is always open
    To the sight of leaf-stripped tree,
    To the silver white of snow flake
    As it trembling falls on me;
    For I'm not such a lover
    That I cannot love earth now,
    For I've breathed a lover's vow.
    Vowed to love and to remember
    Every chill breath of December,
    Every iced and silvered stream,
    Every brief and golden gleam
    Of a rare seen sun which dances
    Upon whiteness and then prances
    Into forest thick with pine,
    Where the snow lies light and fine.

    I have pledged my troth to treasure
    Icy winds and molten sky,
    And my love can give no measure
    And it cannot tell you why–
    Why the touch of icy air
    And the sight of trees blown bare,
    Why the winter moon which races
    Through the velvet sky and traces
    Crystal patterns on the snow,
    Fill my heart with ecstasy!
    But I am such a lover
    That I stand in snow and sing.
    I have loved thee earth this winter—
    I shall love thee still in spring!


    Shopping

    I had a list of things to buy
    At the store, so I went today.
    But I found each thing that I had on my list
    As I walked, along the way.

    Lace I needed for a dancing gown
    As one on a princess may see,
    But lace lay light on the earth around
    Like gossamer, clothing each tree.

    A cloak of ermine to charm my love
    To cover my shoulders bare,
    Could n'er be so white as that sent from above,
    Which soundless, lay everywhere.

    Diamonds and crystals shot through with gold
    Were jewels that I fain would own.
    But in sun-touched snow as it hung on the trees,
    Shone jewels for a regal throne.

    Velvet slippers upon my feet
    And velvet to tie up my hair-As
    I walked along on cloud-light snow
    I touched velvet softer than air.

    To town no longer wishing to go–
    Of motive to buy, bereft,
    I homeward walked through frost and snow-
    Far richer than when I'd left!


    Twilight Wind

    Somewhere tonight the wind was touched
    With color gold and rose;
    It does not know, so proud and wild
    That I see where it goes.
    But I do see, I watch it race
    In streak of swirling flame,
    Across the sky, through silent space
    It writes its restless name.


    Prayer in Prose, with Rhyme

    On earth, you are too lavish–
    There is too much to see and love.
    Just for tonight, move slowly, with simplicity–
    Do not hang all your stars in golden crown above,
    Not galaxy, but one, or two–or three,
    Conceal whole forests under night–
    (Their loveliness will keep!)
    Let just one tree lean on the pale starlight
    And harbor there one silent thrush, asleep.
    Make still your regal winds which roar
    In awesome harmony.
    For this brief hour let fragile breeze, like single flute
    Replace such symphony.
    Becalm your seas, hush their vast waves, let them
      be sheet of pearl,
    And let me watch the petals of but a single bloom
      unfurl.
    Issue a part at least of your unending loveliness
    In hidden, shadowed place where mortal cannot
      guess.
    Ah, earth– fair, proud– be not complex, in haste
    That I may treasure all of thee, and nothing waste!

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Lean on the Wind by Patricia L. Salter Copyright © 2010 by Patricia L. Salter. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Command to Winter....................1
Ocean....................2
Autumn....................3
Nightingale....................4
Language Barrier....................5
Life Song....................6
Memory....................7
Here Is Spring Again....................8
Fog....................9
Dusk....................10
Brave Is the Lady....................11
Beauty Everywhere I Look....................12
Ah, That I Could Like Summer Flowers Be....................13
Utmost Beauty....................14
Tree....................15
The Starling....................16
To a New Moon....................17
To a Maryland Blizzard, March 1, 1957....................18
The Wind....................19
To a Swallow....................20
Summer Night Thoughts....................21
Stand in the Forest, Lean on the Wind....................22
Spring....................23
Song of Love to Winter....................24
Shopping....................25
Twilight Wind....................26
Prayer in Prose, with Rhyme....................27
My God, How Dare Mankind Be Bored?....................31
Revolt....................32
When Apricot Blossoms Float and Fall....................33
How Flat My Days of Living Are....................34
Little Bird....................35
Doors....................36
A Plan....................39
Who Are You and What Am I?....................40
To the Young....................41
Yes, Space—....................42
To My Imagined Critics....................43
Lines Written After Visiting Mount Vernon....................44
To Mother....................46
There Are Many of Us Alike in Form....................47
Tia Rae....................48
Soliloquy on Soul Surfeit....................49
To Katharine and Helen....................50
Tomorrow and Today....................51
Resolution....................52
Prayer to Sleep....................53
Poet's Apology....................54
Ode to the Human Heart....................55
Music....................56
Down to the Sea....................58
Ode to Amy Beach in re: Empress of the Night....................60
Lifetime....................62
All I See is Part of Me: I....................63
All I See is Part of Me: II....................64
Gossip....................65
For Here Is Life!....................66
Escape....................68
Women....................69
Do Not Rant....................70
Life's Insistent Now....................71
Communication....................72
Change of Mind....................73
Admonishment to Self....................74
Because We Are Not Crickets....................75
Lament for a Fallen Forest....................76
Thoughts on Modern Art....................78
Teacher Playing Hooky....................79
Lines Written After Hearing Shubert's 6th....................80
Sometimes I Am Too Small ....................83
On Being a Mother....................84
Your Love....................85
Here is a Truth I Found Tonight....................86
When I Explore the Reaches of My Soul....................87
Warning....................88
To Unfold the Stuff of Which You're Wrought....................89
There Will Come a Time....................90
Lament....................91
Just Be Around — Somewhere....................92
I Would Empty the Chalice of Myself ....................93
Today We Stood and Talked....................94
Things to Forget....................95
Here Is a Heart with Infinite Love....................96
My Love is Eternal....................97

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