Welcome to
Transactions with Beauty.
Thanks for being here.
I hope that this is a space that inspires you to add something beautiful to the world. I truly believe that 
you are required to make something beautiful.

– Shawna



The Stunning Wholeness of the World

The Stunning Wholeness of the World

I have been looking for evidence of the wholeness of the world and it's not been easy to discover. Here, though, in a poem by Betty Adcock, we find it. 


by Betty Adcock

Dusk and snow this hour
in argument have settled
nothing. Light persists,
and darkness. If a star
shines now, that shine is
swallowed and given back
doubled, grounded bright.
The timid angels flailed
by passing children lift
in a whitening wind
toward night. What plays
beyond the window plays
as water might, all parts
making cold digress.
Beneath iced bush and eave,
the small banked fires of birds
at rest lend absences
to seeming absence. Truth
is, nothing at all is missing.
Wind hisses and one shadow
sways where a window’s lampglow
has added something. The rest
is dark and light together tolled
against the boundary-riven
houses. Against our lives,
the stunning wholeness of the world.

I read this poem in the book I mentioned in my last post: 365 Poems for Every Occasion. I've already found the book to be indispensable. 

oranges and books

Another poem that spoke to me this past week is a 19th century one, by Elizabeth Coatsworth. There is something quaint about it, but even so, it speaks to me. 

Swift Things are Beautiful

Swift things are beautiful:
Swallows and deer,
And lightening that falls
Bright-veined and clear,
Rivers and meteors,
Wind in the wheat,
The strong-withered horse,
The runner's sure feet.

And slow things are beautiful:
The closing of day,
The pause of the wave
That curves downward to spray,
The ember that crumbles,
The opening flower,
And the ox that moves on
In the quiet of power.


old books and oranges

Light persists, says Adcock, in spite of the argument between snow and dusk, or perhaps because of it. 

It would be easy to fall into despair, given the news of the world. To stave off despair, let's use the arguments of the world to create light, which needs its darkness.

Let's remember, still things are beautiful, too. We can set our beautiful lives against them. 

An orange on top of a stack of books. A plate of fruit placed on a worn table. Right now there is a glass of ice water on my desk. Three pens, a pair of scissors. A stone bowl with drying flowers. 

Still things are beautiful, too. 

Turning My Desk Around

Turning My Desk Around

Poem-a-Day Reading Challenge

Poem-a-Day Reading Challenge