Sibling Assignment # 85: Watering the Horse

Raymond Pert gave the sibling assignment this week. Silver Valley Girl's lovely piece about shepherds is here and Raymond Pert's will be posted soon.

"Over the last month, I have been studying ancient and medieval Asian poetry with my students. In particular, the Japanese Kokinshu poems have been on my mind. They are poems of brevity, sometimes seasonal. They anticipate the haiku. Robert Bly often wrote poems in this style. Since we are all getting hit by a winter storm, I'd like us to each write a reflection on this winter poem of Bly's:

Watering the Horse

How strange to think of giving up all ambition!

Suddenly I see with such clear eyes

The white flake of snow

That has just fallen in the horse's mane!"

--Robert Bly

Winter is a time to slow down and take inventory of your life. I think the natural darkness and weather gives us reason to hibernate and think. It also provides time to open our eyes to the simple things that are around us. Bly illustrates this in this poem. During this time of year often our vocations/jobs take up endless time. For many preparation for the holiday season is also another endless list of to-dos that take up time. What Bly's poem does is suggests that we take time to notice things around us with eyes wide open. Whether it is the white flake of snow on a horse's mane or a roof of snow on a picket fence, we need to give up our ambitions and just be still. That is definately a challenge in a holiday of world of "shoulds" and " need to's". I absorbed Bly's words today and carried my camera around in very cold temperatures to open my eyes to the world around me. This is what I saw.


  1. I love when I see doodle snow photos where the snow is piled up high on things like birdtables and shed roofs, just where is naturally fell....

    and can you see the smile of my face of your picket fence...... thank you...


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  3. I should walk about tomorrow -- we have 9 plus inches and some is falling as I write

    thankful it is in the teens tonight.


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