Category Archives: Quarry Hill

By Dillard K. Henderson, QH’s Poet Laureate

Sonnet Number Fifty
All in one flowing moment free from time,
I sat upon a mighty mountainside
Beneath great metal booming wind-blown chimes
Above Zen terraced gardens with my guide.
I saw below, beyond the knoll and stream, 
Another mountain breath and undulate.
Awaking slowly from delusion’s dream,
I entered then a much more mindful state.
Then beauty’s beings, radiant as suns,
Each sang her sacred spirit song to me.
The spirit world and this one too were one.
The moon arose, and I began to see.
I heard all music, then, in but one chime
And knew forever, then, in Earthly time.

The Vermont Movie

See this amazing film, years in the making, and featuring Quarry Hill among other Vermont community-type living arrangements.  Freedom and Unity forever! You’ll be able to see where it will be screening near you, and get tickets as soon as you can.

Thanks to our friend Nora Jacobson, a great filmmaker, we are in it, and I look forward to seeing it (though a bit shy about seeing myself).

Have fun!

Please donate to help rebuild Rochester, VT. after Hurricane Irene


Help us rebuild Rochester, Vermont, home of Quarry Hill Creative Center. It has been hard hit by Hurricane Irene and many people can not live in their homes at all. We’d be grateful for anything you can do for the town and its residents (which includes us!).


More Poems by Dillard K. Henderson, QH’s Poet Laureate


Poems about Quarry Hill by our amazing Poet Laureate (since the 60s)

Q H Poems


Sonnet # 40


Quarry Hill


For twenty years, I never understood

What made this place survive, expand and grow?

And made it be so peaceful and so good,

But now, at last, I think, perhaps, I know.

It contradicts itself in every way;

Its anarchy is quite well organized;

Its rules, which don’t exist, they all obey;

Beliefs, which some deny, some have surmised.

Its unity is its diversity,

For in each stage each one’s evolving through,

Each individual is free to be

Herself until he learns and grows anew,

But most importantly, I’ve learned to see

Its spirit I can spread and keep in me.


Dillard K. Henderson

Quarry Hill, VT

July 12, 1987


Ladybelle, the Belle of the Ball


No gild nor gold improves a maple leaf;

No paint nor pigment matches nature’s hues.


Just there she lies upon the mountain side,

  Reclining on a couch of softest leaves.

Her inner beauty is her ballroom gown.

A scarlet maple leaf will be her fan.


Her orchestra is whispered winds and birds and bubbling brooks.

Her ball room is the forest and the meadows all around.

She dances there with nature in the waltz of rhythmic life,

Enjoying and well knowing all the freedom of the void.


She was a seed grown free to bloom and blossom as she chose;

She is a wildwood flower now of nature’s own free ways. 


Dillard K. Henderson

Quarry Hill, VT

September 17, 1976


From the Lower Woods


At dawn, the fog enshrouded mountain tops,

But now, they are a rainbow in the fall,

All garlanded by gold and growing green

And burning orange, flaming leaves,

Surrounded by soft misty purple haze,

A simple symphony of sight that’s set  

To murmured music of a lazy wend,

Which whispers through the trees, and splashing streams,

All tumbling down majestic mountain sides.


Dillard K. Henderson

Quarry Hill, VT




After the Rain


The rain has stopped for now

But still the clouds are gray,

And still the water drips

Straight down from each birch leaf

To patter on the roof.

The maple trunks are dark;

The grass is shiny green.

Some ferns are beaten down,

But from this summer rain

Far many more will spring.

Now through the upper leaves,

Among the fleeting clouds

I see the sun return

To warm and dry this world. 


Dillard K. Henderson

Quarry Hill, VT

September 17, 2976



Sunset from the Knoll


The path slopes slowly down into the dark green trees,

All rising jagged, high in silhouette.

Behind them, darkening mountains arise.

Behind them, higher, lighter mountains rise.

Beyond, above, around them all, the sky,

Is blue until the sun shines red and sinks

Behind the highest and most distant peaks.


Dillard K. Henderson

Quarry hill, VT

September 17, 1976



While Hanging Out at Quarry Hill


I sat upon a rock and watched the wind,

Then ate some luscious leaves and roots and fruits.

I talked to three raccoons outside their home –

A swinging woodland threesome, I suppose –

Beneath somebody else’s home above.

I watched knights fight with flashing silver swords

And took a trip to ancient China too.


Dillard K. Henderson

Quarry Hill, VT

September 17, 1976



High on Quarry Hill


All free to travel anywhere I wish

While on a journey, as I’ve often done,

I sat upon the bench upon the knoll

And wore the four white pine trees as my hat.

My sister Moon was full and shed her light

On silhouetted mountain tops and sides.

It shimmered on the meadows, houses, paths

And silver boulders half around the knoll.

With legs stretched out and feet upon the ground,

I watched bright squares of golden light ignite

In all creative houses which I saw.

Alone, I gazed on beauty undisturbed

   And felt my spirit fill with perfect peace,

For all that is is perfect as it is.


Dillard K. Henderson

Morganton, NC

November 28, 1991



Silently Smilingly Sitting


(To Irving)


Well Bodhidhar wasn’t Buddha yet

In any of his older lives, but then

Upon his last rebirth, he quickly met

The ultimate reality of Zen

And nothingness and all. He therefore knew

All sermons preached could be but one small clew –

One atom of one grain of truth to you

And all – and opposites would be as true.

He ceased to speak and sat in silent peace

And never spoke again, so hear the boom

Of Buddha’s voice, now free to never cease  

 To penetrate imaginary gloom.

He looked upon illusionary life

Of mindless struggles fought by day and night

For nothing real and only death and strife.

They are so blinded that they see no light.

He knew that there was nothing left to do,

So that is what he did in pure release,

And that’s nirvana for all of us too –

Smilingly, silently sitting in peace.


Dillard K. Henderson

Morganton, NC

May 16, 1987



Monuments to Irving


Yes Irving left his poetry and his plays,

All great and lasting monuments indeed,

But Irving left us greater gifts than these

Which will long serve as monuments to him.

One greater gift he gave was Quarry Hill.

It’s not Shambhala yet, not paradise,

Here in the mountain meadows of Vermont,

But Quarry Hill’s still close enough for me.

Though strange and weird to some, I’m free to be

Just what I need to be in Quarry Hill.

He never tried to make men fit one mold.

The children grew in natural beauty here,

All free to be themselves all free from fear.

This is a place of open skies and minds.

 I could then say, as it was said of Wren,

“If you seek his monuments, look about you.”,

But Irving earned a greater tribute still.

He played away his life in love and joy

And taught each one who heard to play the same.

He really was a guru real and true

Who never taught his truths to anyone;

He taught us all to find the truth within.

So on this celebration day, I say,

“If you seek his monuments, look inside

“Yourself and deep within your children too.”.


Dillard K. Henderson

Morganton, NC