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



Winter Praise, Winter Radiance

Winter Praise, Winter Radiance

What I am wishing for today is a praise poem for winter. No, I'm greedy, I would like an entire book filled with winter praise. 

Let's begin here:

The River 

by Kevin Hart

There is a radiance inside the winter woods
                    That calls each soul by name:
Wind in young boughs, trees shaking off thick coats of snow,

The rattle of frozen rain on a barn roof: all these
                    Will help you lose your way
And find a silence older than the sky

That makes our being here a murmur only,
                    That makes me walk along the river
Beyond where it has flooded itself

While freezing over, past these dead firs,
                    The great assembly of cedars,
So that I must say, I do not know why I am here, 

And move around in those few words
                    And feel their many needles
Upon my lips and warm them on my tongue

Though I say nothing, for it is a calm
                    Beyond the calm I know
That wants to talk now, after all these years

Of hearing me say spruce, wind, cloud and face,
                    Not knowing the first thing about them all,
Not knowing the simplest thing,

That every word said well is praise:
                    And someone deep inside me wants to say
I am not lost but there are many paths!


{continue reading the poem here}


frost on winter grass
There is a radiance inside the winter woods
      That calls each soul by name
— Kevin Hart

There is radiance in winter, there is calm. 

And how I love that line in the poem –– “That every word said well is praise.”

winter frost

There are many ways to praise the world, many ways to become lost, many ways to be found. And yes, there are many paths. 

Today I praise frosty mornings, blue sky and a fence to walk along. I praise the bracing cold and the warm fireplace beside which I read poetry in the early darkness. 

I'm reminded of lines by the Andalusian poet, Adi al-Riga, which can be found in the preface to The Essential Rumi:

I was sleeping, and being comforted
by a cool breeze, when suddenly a gray dove
from a thicket sang and sobbed with longing,
and reminded me of my own passion.

I had been away from my own soul so long,
so late-sleeping, but that dove's crying
woke me and made me cry. Praise
to all early-waking grievers! 


Winter is calling my soul, and reminding me of my own passion. 

I'm grateful for the way that one poem will remind me of another. For now I'm thinking about a poem by the Polish writer, Adam Zagajewski. 

5-flowers books frost-59.jpg

Poetry Searches for Radiance

by Adam Zagajewski

Poetry searches for radiance, 
poetry is the kingly road
that leads us farthest. 
We seek radiance in a gray hour, 
at noon or in the chimneys of the dawn, 
even on a bus, in November, 
while an old priest nods beside us. 

The waiter in a Chinese restaurant bursts into tears
and no one can think why. 
Who knows, this may also be a quest, 
like that moment at the seashore, 
when a predatory ship appeared on the horizon
and stopped short, held still for a long while. 
And also moments of deep joy

and countless moments of anxiety. 
Let me see, I ask. 
Let me persist, I say. 
A cold rain falls at night. 
In the streets and avenues of my city
quiet darkness is hard at work. 
Poetry searches for radiance.

{from Eternal Enemies}


“Let us persist,” then, shall we, in seeking radiance in poetry, in winter, in the world, in ourselves and even in the quiet darkness which is working overtime. 


Talking to Plants

Talking to Plants

She Would Buy the Flowers Herself

She Would Buy the Flowers Herself