A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Thursday, 29 July 2010


a rounded pot
curved like the crescent moon:
tints of leaf and stone

a peacock's feather
impossibly iridescent:
the third eye

glass fragments
worn into what they are:
shards of time

a bird's nest
cupping a cracked egg:
thin as paper

sparse brush strokes
hint a vision:
unfinished symphony

summer's pinnacle
lush green, a perfect blue:
evanescent as dust motes or shadows

This poem is nothing special - just something I scribbled down on a piece of paper I had in my pocket on a country walk this morning. But I think it captures something I wanted to say about wabi-sabi, a subject under discussion on George's blog at the moment.


Bonnie said...

Lovely wabi-sabi words Robert. Appreciated for their economy as well as for their beauty and truth.

Isn't it satisfying when we discover a philosophy that so perfectly describes a way of being that we have known and lived, yet never quite articulated?

My mother had a real wabi-sabi approach to life (unbeknownst to her!) ... that I could not fully define or appreciate at the time. That aesthetic lives on in me - in spite of myself at times! It is now sweet to have a precise philosophy with which to reach out to other like-minded, wabi-sabi souls.

George said...

Thank you so much, Robert, for this stunningly beautiful poem. Your have captured the wabi-sabi essence and beauty of each of those images in my postings. With your permission, I would like to reproduce your poem on the comments page of my blog, so that others can enjoy it. It really captures the spirit of wabi-sabi, as does your life.

I really appreciate your comments on the latest wabi-sabi posting. I responded to your comments this morning, but did not put in the usual "To Robert." My response to you is just under Ruth's comments, which are also fascinating to read.

Lorenzo said...

It sounds and feels pretty special to me, Robert. You say you just scribbled it down this morning in a walk. The seeming effortlessness of it is misleading; I am sure it has taken much walking, musing and feeling for this to sprout this easily. Be that as it may, a lovely contribution to the wabi-sabi dialogue that George is hosting at his place.

Ruth said...

I rather organically passed over to your place from George's. Such a thrilling thing to feel that inner connection, the fit that is so right.

How satisfying then to read your poem - words that echo George's images. That first line hooks me. And those words iridescent and evanescent, then dust motes or shadows, that's a wonderful finish.


gleaner said...

What a lovely sounding word! I think the reason I like your blog is its full of Wabi-Sabi!

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Bonnie. I know what you mean. I had similar feelings when first reading Hesse and Nietzsche, and when first discovering Krishnamurti.

George - of course! you can reproduce anything from my blog at any time and wherever you like.

Lorenzo - some poems take a long while to work at, but others seem to come quickly and easily, don't they? I think the ones that come easily have already been gestated and shaped in the unconscious mind. I think my unconscious had been working on the recent blog discussion, and George's pictures. I took paper and pen with me on a 2 hour walk, and out the poem came, unusually little revised afterwards. I was actually oblivious that so many of the images were of George's pictures until later. I think assonance, alliteration, rhythm and such things can arrive intuitively sometimes. By 'nothing special' what I really meant is that wabi-sabi needn't be anything special, on a pedestal, in a book, in a museum, gifted, elitist, for the few and so on. Wabi-sabi art can be utterly democratic and as ephemeral as a blog page - but no less valuable for that.

Hi, Ruth, welcome along - and thanks for your comment!

Yes, Bella, I love the word too. It's one of those lovely pell-mell, helter-skelter type of words, isn't it?