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Fox, Aleutian Islands

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National Geographic Photo of the Day: Fox, Aleutian Islands
Photograph by Gregory Gooding, My Shot
January 1, 2013

Red on white
Conspicuous blotch on background
Of impending beauty
No attempt of hiding
For beauty does not escape
It does not burrow away
Or conceal itself elsewhere
It may be subtle and nearly untraceable
But it shows itself to the world

It is but a connection with God
A vessel of feeling and truth
Possibly in the form of sly fox
Or sleek tiger
Or vicious shark
Or even the smallest, most seemingly insignificant ant
Consuming Gaia
In a breath of reality
And of fantasy

As the fox stared back, that blotch against blinding background, I saw infinity in its eyes.

Snowstorm, Finland

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National Geographic Photo of the Day: Snowstorm, Finland
Photograph by George Mobley, National Geographic, 1967
December 31, 2012

Sickly colorful balloons
Blown away, just like that
As soon as the thought had occurred to me

Complete mayhem
Spread throughout, just like that
As soon as I was exasperated by it all

Destruction of a holiday
Brought forward, just like that
As soon as I had wished such a thing

Why, do you ask? Why on earth would I want a holiday to go wrong, would I want numerous families’ special outings to be ruined?

Because I could. Because the same holiday being celebrated year after year after year, for something so pointless that not even I understood it, caused no excitement or wonder in me, none at all.

Why would it? Why on earth would something so trivial, so monotonously boring to the point of absurdity, move me one bit?

It wasn’t as if someone were being born, or if someone else were dying. It wasn’t as if a war had been won or anything had really changed.

To hell with holidays that have no meaning. Celebrate something meaningful to you, I say.

The crowd around me bustled away uncomfortably in the snowstorm’s wake. I smiled, satisfied at how the day was returning to its original state: a normal day. Though, truth be told, it had never ceased to be one.

Kuvale Herdsman, Angola

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National Geographic Photo of the Day: Kuvale Herdsman, Angola
Photograph by Volkmar Wentzel, National Geographic, 1961
December 30, 2012

Withdrawn to contemplation
Drawing inspiration

Secluded in fog
So seduced by wind’s song

The simplicity of rest
Such simple breaks from the ongoing test

Sleep upon stone
Slip away among the wind-blown

Dance with the hedge
Trance of nature’s cold-warm pledge

Speak with echoes
Spoken whispers of all that is eco

Fall deeply in love
With the fallen leaves of the rock dove

Seeping in the soil
And sipping fresh water among toil

Escape to the mountaintops
Among the nape of clouds and on the outcrop

Surrender to nature
Render homage to our God’s acre

Sent to us upon a river
Sending messages that in minds quiver

Feel, do not think
Feeling upon the brink
Of heaven

Farmers, Basque Country

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National Geographic Photo of the Day: Farmers, Basque Country
Photograph by William Albert Allard, National Geographic, 1968
December 29, 2012

Toiling away
Under the wonderous Basque sun
Working until we are one
Day after day after day

Lose ourselves in shovels,
Heated wind, and foul hay
Listening to what the grasses say
And then return to our hovels

Routine cargo
Sent on the air again
Whispered across the yellowing plains
And sung on the breeze’s eternal largo

Snorts and breaths and wheezing
Symphony of the power in the job
Produces the heart’s most precious throb
And so effort pleasing

Effort pleasing
Upon the daytime seizing

“For sale: Baby…

“For sale:
Baby shoes. Never worn.”
- E. Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway once won a bet by crafting a six-word short story that could make people cry.

Baking

The vicious fire and penetrating, murderous heat surrounded him on all sides. Slowly, painfully, despairingly, he was burned alive.

And I opened the oven once it was done.

Lake Garda, Italy (A Rondeau)

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National Geographic Photo of the Day: Lake Garda, Italy
Photograph by Joseph J. Scherschel, National Geographic, 1968
December 28, 2012

Retreat to the past within the present
Find altitude in the descent
For all that has passed has not been lost
And to relive history’s worth the cost
Lest you drown in the modern torment

Undertaker, rejoice; thoughtless, repent
Slowly rot in the eternal lament
Of long-lost causes that the heart exhausts
Retreat to the past within the present

Find truth in what was never meant
To be sealed beneath the strongest cement
Read the old stories, so embossed
To the words and pictures, please accost
Take hold of knowledge to farthest extent
Retreat to the past within the present

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