Archive for April, 2008

The Knowing Place

Today I received two books of poetry in the mail.
The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart and Good Poems.

They are hefty and filled with the renderings of so many.
I pressed them up against my heart.  Poetry: it’s my solid place,
my knowing place, my healing place, my calm place.  It is Dorothy
and that centered place she found in her own backyard (Wizard of Oz). 

Only now – I am Dorothy, with the keys to my own kingdom and poetry
is one of my many keys.  If you are reading this, I’m guessing we have
similar keys.

Love, Bethie


After we flew across the country we
got in bed, laid our bodies
delicately together, like maps laid
face to face, East to West, my
San Francisco against your New York, your
Fire Island against my Sonoma, my
New Orleans deep in your Texas, your Idaho
bright on my Great Lakes, my Kansas
burning against your Kansas your Kansas
burning against my Kansas, your Eastern
Standard Time pressing into my
Pacific Time, my Mountain Time
beating against your Central Time, your
sun rising swiftly from the right my
sun rising swiftly from the left your
moon rising slowly from the left my
moon rising slowly from the right until
all four bodies of the sky
burn above us, sealing us together,
all our cities twin cities,
all our states united, one
nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

~Sharon Olds
Good Poems: Selected and Introduced by Garrison Keillor

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Still Open

There is a bit of the curmudgeonly in this poem.  I like it
just the same, as the saying goes.  Stick with it till the end
and see what you think.

Those final two words — I’m going to emblazon them on my
Love, Bethie

When the visitor comes,
Prying, questioning you,
Confess that you collect no stamps,
Take no color photographs,
Raise no cacti.
That you own no house,
No television set,
No room-sized fig tree.
That you do not know
Why you sit down and write,
Grudgingly, since it gives you no pleasure.
That you still have not found the meaning
Of your life, although you are getting old.
That you have loved, but not enough,
That you have fought back, but timidly.
That you have lived in many places,
But can call none of them your home.
That you want to die and are afraid.
That you can set no example except this:
Still open.

Poem entitled: Interview
Selected Later Poems of Marie Luise Kaschnitz
Translated by Lisel Mueller

Still open.

Still open.

Still open.

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Seth: “…the joy and sacredness that you seek is yours and not
outside of you; that there is no being more sacred than yourself; that
there is no being closer to the heart of creativity than yourself, and
no being that was born more faithfully out of the mind of any god than
you were.

I am trying to tell you that if you look inward and study your own
sacredness and creativity and blessedness and joy and power as
closely as you study the sacred books of the gods, then you would
realize that all those books of the gods were based upon the greater
reality of the individual – the individual soul and, therefore,
based upon your own reality.

Do yourselves just honor, and in doing yourselves that honor you will
see within yourself the gods-in-becoming that you are…”

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One Source of Bad Information

There’s a boy in you about three
Years old who hasn’t learned a thing for thirty
Thousand years. Sometimes it’s a girl.

This child has to make up its mind
How to save you from death.
He says things like: “Stay home. Avoid elevators. Eat only elk.”

You live with this child but you don’t know it.
You are in the office, yes, but live with this boy
At night. He’s uninformed, but he does want

To save your life. And he has. Because of this boy
You survived a lot. He’s got six big ideas.
Five don’t work. Right now he’s repeating them to you.

~Robert Bly

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The Task

  The task you face 
is to reconcile yourself
 with the future and
  craft yourself a
 destiny rather than
 take refuge in the 
drama of your past.

      ~Albert Villoldo

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His eyes stare at you like the black
bottom of Jersey’s shore
stretched so wide you think you
could swim in them
until you hear this noise
that starts somewhere from
the back alley of his throat
a high pitched whine
undulates through the air
like a wire stretched out beyond
it’s recall — it snaps
the sting is in the air
one whiff of it and you
don’t recognize him anymore
you slither backwards
And he inches forward to tell you
what you long to remember:

He’s built his heart with
tissue paper walls.

~elizabeth adams

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Make it Bigger

Hope this got through your spam filters! :))

I want to talk about making it bigger. Who was talking about ‘talking up’
and ‘talking down’…??? I’m so damn good at talking something up like
an old blob of fear thoughts or something not wanted, as if I want more
of it.

I’m so damn good at it that I can channel my talent into talking up.
Talking up what?
My do want’s, talking up what I love about this world, talking about
what gets
my juices flowin’, what turns me on instead of the things that turn me
inside out.

Make it bigger!

Rilke said: make big shadows I can move in.

And I want to tell you Rilke: I am, I am – they are just not the shadows
I want to walk

I want to walk in goodness, I want to walk in gratitude, I want to walk
in appreciation,
I want to walk in sunlight, whether the sun is out or not, I want to
walk like a living,
moving prayer. And I want to do it again and again and again and
again. And then —

I want to do it again.

I want to make it bigger!

Those are the shadows I want to walk in!

Walk on sister, walk on.

Love, Bethie

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