Nature Is Never Quotidien

Nature Is Never Quotidien

I am mowing the field
with my tractor.
It is loud even
with earbuds.
I circle the field
in swaths.
The diesel drone
is entrancing,
my mantra.
the blue,
the cerulean,
the skyblue blue-ity..
it’s the backdrop for every
shade of green leaf
encircling the field.
I know I am in an altered state,
every shivering leaf
appears impossibly distinct.
I catch a preternatural chill,
a large shadow
winging in my periphery,
then on me
and then gone.
A vulture prefiguring?
Then… a flotilla,
a pod,
a monet of dragonflies
radiates across the bow
of my tractor,
leading me,
a floridescent starry blaze
for this lost grass-sailor.
Conducting me home.


  1. // Reply

    Last night as I walked the sidewalks of my neighborhood I thought of taking out my phone and photographing some of the scenes unfolding in front of my steps.

    Then today I read a post by Simon Ensor, titled “Found and Framed” where he seems to have done almost what I was thinking of, but took it several steps further with his article.

    Then I read your poem describing circling your fields on your tractor.

    It’s the start of a new week. Must be a time for reflection.

    1. // Reply

      Amen, Brother Dan, amen. Phantasmagoria:



      [f. Gr. ϕάντασµα phantasm + (?) ἀγορά assembly, place of assembly.
         (But the inventor of the word prob. only wanted a mouth-filling and startling term, and may have fixed on -agoria without any reference to the Greek lexicon.)]

      1.1 A name invented for an exhibition of optical illusions produced chiefly by means of the magic lantern, first exhibited in London in 1802. (Sometimes erroneously applied to the mechanism used.)
         In Philipstal’s ‘phantasmagoria’ the figures were made rapidly to increase and decrease in size, to advance and retreat, dissolve, vanish, and pass into each other, in a manner then considered marvellous.

         1802 Gentl. Mag. June 544 Dark rooms, where spectres from the dead they raise—What’s the Greek word for all this Goblinstoria? I have it pat—It is Phantasmagoria.    Ibid. (end of vol.), An awful sound proclaims a spectre near, And full in sight behold it now appear‥Such are the forms Phantasmagoria shows.    1805 Mrs. Creevey in C. Papers, etc. (1904) I. 67 The Baron is preparing a phantasmagoria at the Pavillion.    1831 Brewster Nat. Magic iv. 80 An exhibition depending on these principles was brought out by M. Philipstal in 1802, under the name of the Phantasmagoria.‥ Spectres, skeletons, and terrific figures‥suddenly advanced upon the spectators, becoming larger as they approached them, and finally vanished by appearing to sink into the ground.    1883 Encycl. Brit. XV. 207 Philipstal gave a sensation to his magic lantern entertainment by lowering unperceived, between the audience and the stage, a sheet of gauze, upon which fell the vivid moving shadows of phantasmagoria.

      b.1.b Extended to similar optical exhibitions, ancient and modern.

         1830 Scott Demonol. ii. 59 The Almighty substituted, for the phantasmagoria intended by the witch, the spirit of Samuel.    1832 Gell Pompeiana I. v. 98 Machines by which phantasmagoria and oracular prestiges were played off.    1834 Lytton Pompeii ii. ix.

      2.2 A shifting series or succession of phantasms or imaginary figures, as seen in a dream or fevered condition, as called up by the imagination, or as created by literary description.

         [1803 Europ. Mag. XLIII. 186 ‘The Phantasmagoria’ (title of a series of articles consisting of sketches of imaginary characters).]    1828 Landor Imag. Conv. Wks. 1853 I. 345/2 The army seemed a phantasmagoria.    1835 W. Irving Newstead Abbey in Crayon Misc. (1863) 347 Such was the phantasmagoria that presented itself for a moment to my imagination.    1875 E. White Life in Christ ii. xii. (1878) 133 Milton’s genius has filled the atmosphere with a brilliant phantasmagoria of contending angels.

      3.3 transf. A shifting and changing external scene consisting of many elements.

         1822 Hazlitt Table-t. Ser. ii. v. (1869) 121 A huddled phantasmagoria of feathers, spangles, etc.    1853 Kane Grinnell Exp. ix. (1856) 68 The wildest frolic of an opium-eater’s revery is nothing to the phantasmagoria of the sky tonight.    1880 Shorthouse J. Inglesant xxiii, Without was a phantasmagoria of terrible bright colours, and within a mental chaos and disorder without a clue.

      b.3.b A phantasmagoric figure, or something compared thereto.

         1821 Byron Vis. Judgm. lxxvii, The man was a phantasmagoria in Himself—he was so volatile and thin.

      4.4 attrib.

         1841 Miss Mitford in L’Estrange Life (1870) III. viii. 130 There was no background to form a phantasmagoria deception, since the part plainest to be seen was the figure as it rose and sank above the paling.    1873 E. Spon Workshop Receipts Ser. i. 295/1 By the aid of a gas microscope attached to a powerful phantasmagoria lantern the image can be reflected on to a screen.

      Hence †phantasmagoriacal (-ˈaɪəkəl), phantasmaˈgorial (whence -ally adv.), phantasmaˈgorian, phantasmagoric (-ˈgɒrɪk), phantasmaˈgorical adjs., of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a phantasmagoria; hence, visionary, phantasmal; phanˈtasmaˌgorist, one who produces or exhibits a phantasmagoria.

         1823 Blackw. Mag. XIII. 537 Deucalion sees a *phantasmagoriacal shadow of what‥forms the history of the ancient world.

         1828 Scott Jrnl. 17 Apr., In this *phantasmagorial place [London], the objects of the day come and depart like shadows.

         1822 Blackw. Mag. XII. 86 A thousand other scenes‥come up *phantasmagorially or panorama-wise before us.

         1827 Examiner 212/2 The Will-o’-the-wisp is painted‥with shadowy and *phantasmagorian power.    1870 Contemp. Rev. XIV. 180 It will ever elude his grasp like‥the phantasmagorian images on the canvas.

         1818 Coleridge in Lit. Rem. (1836) I. 139 All Rabelais’ personages are *phantasmagoric allegories.    1883 Symonds Shaks. Predec. i. (1900) 5 The phantasmagoric brilliancy of shows at Court.

         1852 Hawthorne Blithedale Rom. Pref. (1879) 6 To establish a theatre‥where the creatures of his brain may play their *phantasmagorical antics.

         1816 J. Lawrence in Monthly Mag. XLII. 298 Whether‥it can possibly be worth while‥for our chemists, or rather for our *phantasmagorists to repeat any of the old palingenesian experiments?    1862 Lytton Str. Story lxxi, Those arch phantasmagorists, the philosophers who would leave nothing in the universe but their own delusions.

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