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The Poet Dreams of the Mountain

Kathy and I were in Cuba for a week. I think I am back on track with the blog. As well, I submitted a draft of my dissertation to the committee and am waiting to hear back from them.

It was nice to go and just be for a few days. Sometimes, we need to just look back and contemplate, without anything other than being present and in the moment. I think that is what Mary Oliver is getting at in this poem. I found that reading, writing, re-reading, and re-writing consumed my days.

For few days, I found there was no urgency. It was peaceful to walk on the beach, watching pelicans dive bomb into the surf. It was inspiring to look up at night and see the heavens filled with stars, only occasionally disrupted by a distant light house beacon. It was enjoyable to be behind an ox and plow for a few minutes. When I rode a horse, I remembered days past. We need to unsmother those moments, those days and experiences so our dreams come back to us and breathe life into our souls.

Sometimes I grow weary of the days, with all their fits and starts.
I want to climb some old gray mountains, slowly, taking
The rest of my lifetime to do it, resting often, sleeping
Under the pines or, above them, on the unclothed rocks.
I want to see how many stars are still in the sky
That we have smothered for years now, a century at least.
I want to look back at everything, forgiving it all,
And peaceful, knowing the last thing there is to know.
All that urgency! Not what the earth is about!
How silent the trees, their poetry being of themselves only.
I want to take slow steps, and think appropriate thoughts.
In ten thousand years, maybe, a piece of the mountain will fall.

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

34 responses »

  1. the unclothed rocks.

    Artful imagery

    Reply
  2. Welcome back, Ivon! 😉 xoM

    Reply
  3. Ivon, I spend some time walking up hills nearby and taking pictures of beautiful clouds and trees, they provide a perfect peace to bless my day. God bless!

    Reply
  4. The peace and inspiration in your words touched my heart, Ivon. I felt I was there with you. I especially loved the bit about breathing life into our souls. You sound refreshed and renewed. Beautiful poem by Mary Oliver too.

    Reply
    • I am. Mary Oliver writes such rich and lush poetry. I find her words inspire me to pause. Thank you for the lovely comment Isabella.

      Reply
      • Mr . Poet if this one went to Cuba and did not visit the house where the writer and journalist Hernest Henminway lived, today that house is a museum.
        The famous poet José Martí was a poet, very dedicated and known worldwide, among some of the most beautiful books of poetry. The Zapaticos de Rosa among others.
        I born in Cuba and i know you visited the most beautiful Island 🌴 in the Caribian .
        Varadero beach is considered the number one most beautiful beach 🌊 in the world.
        I love Cuba
        I miss Cuba
        You can go where I can’t
        My main can travel where she want
        You like Cuba but I love Cuba
        My heart weep because Cuban
        People love American
        Since I was 21 years old I
        loss half of my heart your
        a blessing and I have to
        deverve you the best
        You should learn the true
        is clear and unequivocal
        Truly a great poet who don’t
        tell boghg sides is half of
        Prortry , 24 hours is one day
        nighg is not but I want to
        see the whole day I love
        the day you love the night
        Mr. Poeta Cuba is beautifully
        The poetry the most beautiful is tell
        the true meaning that Cuban
        People are living with a day of 24
        nights in Cuba there’s not day
        only God is the only person who knows
        MEANING day and night time
        if you visited the bright side of
        Cuba is something you should know
        Cuba have been in darkeness since
        long enaf because people are welcome and only the way to go to where the’r
        is not day is living you don’t .
        Don’t forget to be a poet laureate the
        only way to be able and to conclude
        I love poetry I don’t have nothing but you do . Cuba is the only place where
        you never been to me I love to talk about
        you ; Cuba is not happy because the world inored it even though your welcome to the most beautiful island but
        not complete only a piece , I’m a poet but you do not because you are English Speaker but i do not have a good vacation and sadly I have to many things to do sufer because I can’t go where you do !

        HAY SOL BUENO Y
        MAR 🌊 DE ESPUMA
        ARENA FINA Y PILAR
        VIENE A ESTRENAR EN EL
        MAR 🌊 LOS ZAPATICOS DE ROSA.

        JOSE MARTÍ .

      • Isabella Rose.
        Cuba is a dark place where I born my heart is not there because I don’t like darkness and not freedom .

        { I WISH TO LIEVE THE WORLD }
        I wish to leave the world
        By Its natural doors ;
        I’m my tomb of green leaves
        They ate to carry me to die .
        Do not put me in the dark
        To die like a traitor ;
        I’m good , and I like good things
        I’ll die to my face to the sun .
        IN THE SUNSHINE STATE
        GOLDEN BREAGE OF BROOKLIN
        IN NEW YORK IS VERY SAD IS THE TRUE BUT I’M CUBAN AND IS VERY SAD DIE IN THE DARK THE FREEDOM
        IS BEAUTIFUL BUT SINCE 1959 The Cuban Island scape . The freedom is international.

        Cuba is not what you guys are
        describing , you have to see bough sides and see it with your own eyes to prove that it is not true meaning don’t believe what you don’t see or if you don’t trust them . I’m here to help others with the true . Cuba is a sad woman and the pearl of the Caribbean with out any more value of bright things.
        I’m sorry but the true is transparent and not incomplete.

      • I agree there are many sides to the story of Cuba. We saw some of the that while we were there. At the resort, it is modern. On the farms and highways, it is quite traditional. As well, there is poverty that is not well hidden.

      • Thanks
        I would like you accept and invitation. I won’t go because I have to much work to do here and with out making a penny . Martin L. King a leader . Well I have no choice to fight against corruption . Kids are innocents . Injustices anywhere is a treat to the Justice Everywhere.

      • Have you read The biography of José Martí ?
        Los niños nacieron para ser felices . ( Kids should be happy because students are treating as slave I have to do the same as MLK and Martí ( Fight with out helper and let you know that the hidden poverty and kid abuse is not what people are doing to at lest let know the true meaning I’m the person who most pressure is facing and others are not helping .

      • St . Have meditate why Cuban is ranked # 1 as the most country ever with the Cruel Dictatorship in the control . By now 68 Years of dictatorship .
        I think is no fear that tourists first and kids suffering?
        José Martí and MLK are did what is fear .

      • I respect you because free will but is part of the law because Cuba is Dictador ( fierce freedom and democracy opositor )
        The American Passport last page , Can you take a lock ?

      • Mr .
        I’m a human with of Country and a poetry with out English and I’m a person who need a piece of earth I need a teacher I want to talk …
        I really love poems and I really don’t know what to do.
        Congratulations you are a poetry and poetry are very important and very nice person. To me a requirement to right poems is be what I told you passion and love you got love you got everything.
        Do I’m not right ?
        Yes do you ; nice poetry and I have to tell you that I smell my country when I read that you visited.
        Sad Sr. I can’t visit my mom and my Dad and my sister and my brother and Mr . Is sad but is true . I don’t chosen where I born but I chose fight against Cuban Government as well Russians because I grew up with them I know they are no nice , fierce and very fierce is not a traumatic experience because I have a Daughter and a Son they born here . They have Country but I do not .
        Do you feel me ?
        Do you understand Sr.
        Thanks very much for replay it

  5. Being in the NOW, allowing ourselves to look and simply BE. And because it’s a choice, rather than a given, like breathing, we too often omit to do it, but it’s just as important to our well being. Glad you had a good break, and hope all goes well with the dissertation.

    Reply
  6. So interesting you speak of travel (Cuba), academic pursuits (dissertation) and follow it with this M.O. poem about simply Living, Being. It’s the human paradox/quandary, if we are attentive, I think. Aloha, Ivon! Good luck with the dissertation 😉

    Reply
  7. I remember the horses. Those moments of two beings moving as one. The feel of her strong heck as I caressed her. Her beautiful mane. Her strength and her calmness. I loved the horses. Each and every one. I kissed their soft noses and the world fell away as they pulled me into their world. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay there. Humans aren’t allowed to live in their world. We aren’t as pure and shiny as they are and even the best of us destroys beauty. I gave them my heart and they let me. I was young and they took that into consideration. Thank you for reminding me.

    Reply
  8. Pingback: The Shadow | Teacher as Transformer

  9. many warm greetings Ivon,
    sleep well,
    Greetje

    Reply
    • Thank you Greetje. Take care.

      Reply
    • Discover about liberty, giving and justice. …

      I know the Monster, because I have lived in its lair–

      The best pillow is the concience
      I’m from those who went there and
      I’m from where they are now
      I’m from here and now I’m not going
      no where I have to tell them that they have no
      clue what is NIGHTMARE .
      I’M FROM CUBA BUT IS NOT FEAR
      HIDE AND I HAVE TO PROTECT
      THE ROAD IN CUBA HAS NOT END UP TO
      TRUST AND ACT IS NO WAY OUT AND IS NOT LAW IS THE ONLY WAY TO WARNED YOU BECAUSE IS THE BEST WAY AND YOU NEED TO KNOW THE CUBAN HISTORY IS VERY NICE AND IS VERY SAD .
      LONG HISTORY/// SHORT FREEDOM/
      THE ONLY WAY TO FIND THE TRUE IS
      SIMPLE .
      CAUNT AND SINCE 1959 ONLY TOURISTS CAN FEEL FREE BECAUSE THE CUBAN
      RÉGIMEN HATE THE CUBAN PEOPLE AND LOVE BUT NO THE TOURISTS WHO VISIT TO MANY TIMES . THE MONEY IS THE ONLY THING DICTATORS LOVE AND HATE THE FREEDOM IS TIME TO STOP TO MISLEADING THE HISTORY IS TIME TO KNOW AND FIGHT IS THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THE POETRYS AND THE PATRIOTS ARE AS THE BERDS AND THE FEDER .
      ERNEST AND JOSÉ MARTÍ ARE DEADS AND BUT THEY BOOCKS TALK THE TRUE.
      SINCERELY IS THE ONLY WAY IS NOTHING PERSONAL IS THE TRUE IIKE EVERYONE IS A REQUARIMENT ; ( THE GOLDEN ;; TREAT YOU THE WAY I WANT OTHERS TREAT
      ME .
      MY ENGLISH IS INCOHERENT BUT MY SPANISH AND RUSSIAN ARE PRYTY GOOD
      THE LIFE IS UNFEAR I SCAPE FROM THOSE COUNTRIES AND NOW RUSSIAN AND CUBA AGAIN AND USA TODAY IS AT THE LEDGE TO LEARN RUSSIAN OR I DON’T WANT BECAUSE IS NOT NECESAY THE INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE IS FREEDOM..
      I LIKE IT LIKE IT ITTT .
      BUT TELL AND DESERVE THE BEST FOR YIU AND Mr. POETRY IS A NICE PERSON AND VERY GOOD POETRY.

      Reply
  10. WOW
    THE FREEDOM ???????????????????? About liberty, giving and justice. … I know the Monster, because I have lived in its lair– and my weapon is only the slingshot of David. ….

    Why is the human being blain the aswer is
    the freedom of speech is like a subliminal mesages
    The life of my heart and the lie of the
    poet is not coherent
    MEANING OF DICINTENT
    I’M GOING TO PLEA GUILTY
    THE PEACE OF MY MAIN
    IS TAKEN BY DOOMS IDEAS
    I SHOULD SLOW AND MEDITATE
    THE WORLD IS DI AND NO
    MORE BLAIN IS TIME TO TELL
    THE CITY WHERE I BORN THE
    MOSTER BURNED MY PEOPLE
    AND KICK ME OUT THERE IS
    NOTHING BY SADNESSS .
    THOSE WHO ASKED ; I’M FREE BECAUSE
    THIS COUNTRY IS STELL FRRE !!!

    Reply
  11. Taking a break is vital to our existence. I’m glad you got away and went to Cuba! Very interesting place. Lots of contrasts, but the Cubans are very ingenious people.

    Your dissertation sounds interesting. I am a retired teacher and learned a lot about myself while in that profession, both good and bad! Teaching was definitely the most challenging thing I did in my lifetime. But now I’m retired, so I have time for all those things I never had time for when teaching! And taking time for traveling is, to me, vital to my well-being!

    Reply
    • I agree with the many contrasts in Cuba. As I watched the people in old cars, their bicycle cabs, and horse drawn cabs, the words that popped into my mind were resilient and innovative and ingenious fits. The dissertation has been enjoyable. Teaching is challenging, but with great challenges come great rewards.

      Reply

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