4 February 2011


California 2005


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

by William Henry Davies (1911)


  1. This is an old favourite of mine. At one time I knew it by heart.

  2. I often just stand and stare. It's one of the joys of being retired.

  3. So do I, Pat. I still get a kick out of remembering that I am out walking Paddy in SCHOOL HOURS!

  4. I have seen the Golden Gate Bridge, but never from that angle. We made it over to Sausalito and Tiburon, had lunch, and returned to San Francisco! Where was the photo taken, exactly?

  5. Or is that another bridge?

  6. RHYMES WITH...ALCATRAZ!...By the way, we also visited Tiburon. I still have a keyring from the local hardware store. We loved San Francisco and spent a lot of time staring at it!

  7. I'm finding that I stand and stare like a slack-jawed cow quite often these days as I try to remember where I put my car keys, or what it is I'm doing. I will take this poem not as a reminder to slow down - snails leave me in the dust - but to focus beyond the end of my nose and pay more attention to beautiful things. Oh, and to close my mouth while I'm thinking. Thank you.


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