I have always loved the word "Dapple". "Dappled light" to me is "integral light", the play of shadow and sun, yin and yang, light and dark that is ever in contrast, ever creative, ever illusive. Maybe because I had tea today in flickering, dappled light several poems came to mind, one my own, one a famous poem written in the 19th century by Gerald Manley Hopkins. And then I also found a beautiful poem by Tucson writer Arthur Naiman, in which he disagrees (poetically speaking) with Mr. Hopkins.
IN PRAISE OF WATERS
How are we turned
again and again
to find ourselves moving
into the shadow land
where our best and finest intentions
drift out of true,
and into the truly opposite?
Love becomes hate
hope turns into despair
inspiration hardens into dogma.
we must find our faces again
in dark waters
revealed among fallen leaves,
our reflected sins,
our cherished scars,
the dappled shapes of light and dark
that surface toward a whole.
There is something that wants us to open
Something that pours from the crevices
where we have broken
Something that laughs like a river in the morning
Photo copyright Virtually Supine
by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844 – 1889)
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-color as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh fire-coal chestnut falls; finches wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:Praise him.
by Arthur Naiman*
(A response to "Pied Beauty", in the same style and form)
The world does not need God for us to praise it—
Its beauty aches inside our jagged loins.
Lightning that tears the sky to show the hot white light behind;
The crannied, riddled earth; the colors that emblaze it;
A jumble of two pulses unthinking passion joins;
Healing from the taproot, redemption of the blind.
Blood like holy water shrouds each birth;
Fish amid the coral like random, sparkling coins;
Waves that curl and sputter; the forest veined and lined;
The earth is all the grace we need on earth:
Embrace what’s kind.
*Copyright Arthur Naiman (2002)