Thursday, April 13, 2006

"Poetry is the language

in which man explores his own amazement." Christopher Fry

For the Sleepwalkers

Tonight I want to say something wonderful
for the sleepwalkers who have so much faith
in their legs, so much faith in the invisible

arrow carved into the carpet, the worn path
that leads to the stairs instead of the window,
the gaping doorway instead of the seamless mirror.

I love the way that sleepwalkers are willing
to step out of their bodies into the night,
to raise their arms and welcome the darkness,

palming the blank spaces, touching everything.
Always they return home safely, like blind men
who know it is morning by feeling shadows.
And always they wake up as themselves again.
That's why I want to say something astonishing
like: Our hearts are leaving our bodies.

Our hearts are thirsty black handkerchiefs
flying through the trees at night, soaking up
the darkest beams of moonlight, the music

of owls, the motion of wind-torn branches.
And now our hearts are thick black fists
flying back to the glove of our chests.

We have to learn to trust our hearts like that.
We have to learn the desperate faith of sleep-walkers
who rise out of their calm beds

and walk through the skin of another life.
We have to drink the stupefying cup of darkness
and wake up to ourselves, nourished and surprised.

~ Edward Hirsch ~

This is Henry Duelberg salvia, discovered by horticulturist Greg Grant in an old cemetery surrounding the graves of Henry (d. 1935) and Augusta Duelberg (d. 1903). Maybe Grant named the salvia after Henry because Henry outlived Augusta by 32 years, and the "new" salvia showed similar longevity. Nothing else had survived
the Texas heat and drought, except for this blue salvia. It has been named a Texas Superstar for 2006. I've had it for 3 years and love it for its hardiness and drought tolerance.

Potato vine. Not sweet potato vine which I also love, but a perennial vine given to me by a wonderful gardener who has turned her huge lot into a series of gardens. She dug up a bit, wrapped it in a paper towel, and sent it home with me, where its glory has increased each year.


  1. Should that read "just as my glory has increased each year". :)

    I love the poem but can read something opposite into it than the author's intended offerings.

  2. I love the poetry you choose to share with us. I've had to start a new notebook to save them in. I was also pleased to see your blog about Comfrey. My late previous husband was a plant ecologist who loved to grow herbs and he swore by comfrey for healing and for a plant food. There is a lot of Comfrey grown in England as plant food. Your flower photos are beautiful. Books, quilts and gardens, what else could anyone want?

  3. I love the poem (and I want to hear more of Karoda's thoughts on it!)

    Your flower photos are lovely.

  4. The flowers, the poetry, the quilts..your blog is nourishment for the soul!

  5. My thoughts are not as reverent of sleepwalkers as the author's for 2 first impression was to take the blind faith of sleepwalkers and how he describes it, as a tongue in cheek for the business and political philosophies that drive our world. Secondly, I use to travel with a co-worker for conferences who was a chronic sleepwalker and it was unsettling and erie. I also did this a couple of times as a teen and once my mother woke me up because I was calling out to her and I was standing at the top step of a steep set of stairs just outside my bedroom.

    The author does make me re-think about what it must be like to actually sleep walk but my comparison to economic and political events fits my snarky side.


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