The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

In the Month of May, Poem by Robert Bly

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Silver Birch Press

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IN THE MONTH OF MAY
by Robert Bly

In the month of May when all leaves open,

I see when I walk how well all things

lean on each other, how the bees work,

the fish make their living the first day.

Monarchs fly high; then I understand

I love you with what in me is unfinished.
 
I love you with what in me is still

changing, what has no head or arms

or legs, what has not found its body.

And why shouldn’t the miraculous,

caught on this earth, visit

the old man alone in his hut?
 
And why shouldn’t Gabriel, who loves honey,

be fed with our own radishes and walnuts?

And lovers, tough ones, how many there are

whose holy bodies are not yet born.

Along the roads, I see so many places

I would like us to spend the night.

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Painting: “Apple Blossoms…

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Author: Daniela

My family moved to the US from Yugoslavia when I was very young. We found ourselves in a society very different from the one we left. Yugoslavia (now Croatia) was still recovering from the Second World War. Reforms were being instituted by Tito and his socialist government but much was still lacking. There was a dearth of finished goods. As a result clothing and many household wares were hand crafted or made to order. America, by contrast, was thriving and growing at an incredible pace. In the U.S., if you needed something, you just went to the store and bought it. We quickly learned to appreciate the convenience of store bought items and the time it freed up to do other things. Yet, I will be forever grateful that, early in life, I was introduced to not only the necessity, but the beauty and endurance of hand crafted products; the symbolic motifs sewn into the coarse linen fabric of traditional clothing; the taste of home cooked meals made with fresh, home grown produce; and the connection to the past with the telling and retelling of old Croatian folk tales. I treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother buying cheese and milk directly from “her” farmer in the open air market and the summers I spent watching my great grandmother and her neighbors cook and sew together in the kitchen of her stone house fronting the main road of a tiny village perched on a hill above the Adriatic. Someone noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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