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Recently I was gifted an audio of David Whyte’s spoken poetry set to music, and I adored it.  I realized among all the poetry books I own, I had none of his, so I ordered one.  It’s so hard to choose one poem, so I may post more of his poems in the near future.

As I write, Panhala, a poetry group I have subscribed to for years is on sabbatical and it may be permanent, so I may have to fill my cup (and perhaps, yours) with the swell of the human heart spilling out onto these pages.

Inside this sitting here: ---
this mind pulling knees up
           close to the chest
           with tense hands.

Inside this
movement of anxiety for the body
and its worries of money
and its teeth grinning falsely
to the solution of all things surrounding

is the seed
and the hands pressing down into the soil
and the dreams of generation
in the seed about to wake.

Tonight I will sleep with my worries
through dreams dark with soil
and the heavy cataclysm of the spade
turning earth round me
not speaking of air
or light fused with greenness
but of darkness
and the first leaves
like hands in prayer
clasped inside the seed.

~David Whyte~
River Flow: New and Selected Poems
“INSIDE”

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moonimages

i

Trust is completely paradoxical:

The thing with which to begin when
you have nothing.

The end point, which
somehow you must find first.

The smallest of present moments,
measured haltingly into a past.

Both question and answer, when every
word of your acquaintance has fled.

ii

You think the arc of the horizon
should split, one side jaggedly askew,
one forever gone.

The horizon doesn’t split.
Its edges remain.

You think the ocean should dry to sand because
all the tears it held, you have used up.
You have stolen water even from the clouds.

But the ocean is not dried, nor the clouds
gone, though you have cried them both,
multiplied, and more.

You rub your eyes that grains still ripen,
plums turn blue, still the moon increases.

You thought all of this was gone.
Such is the unimaginable you have lived.
You thought everything was gone.

iii

But,
without your doing, the world is fashioned
in this way: moments
become other moments; steps
lead somewhere; all things breathe,
even without remembering.

One day, after a very long time,
without rubbing your eyes you see
the arc of the horizon still
an arc; the ocean, full.

And you are not betrayed, but glad.

~ Meditations: Nancy Shaffer ~
Instructions in Joy

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One Sand Grain

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One Sand Grain Among The Others in Winter Wind

I wake with my hand held over the place of grief in my body.
“Depend on nothing,” the voice advises, but even that is useless.
My ears are useless, my familiar and intimate tongue.
My protecting hand is useless, that wants to hold the single leaf to the tree
and say, Not this one, this one will be saved.

~After: Jane Hirshfield Poems~

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Image

This week’s inquiry … questions designed to be experienced rather than thought through …

What would innocence bring to this thought, this person, this situation?

Innocence waits for nothing,  It has no opinion of your story, holds no grudges, makes no conclusion, knows nothing of your suffering.  Innocence doesn’t age or remember.  It holds no deep pockets filled with unending rules.  It carries only one inherent knowing: it knows the wholeness.  ~Bethie

When you know every thought of attack towards anyone is a sword that is dropping on your own head, and when you know that your willingness to see the innocence in another person, then therein lies your capacity to experience your own innocence. ~Marianne Williamson

I could spend my day with my history and my pain and my failures.  I could also live the day as a blessing waiting to be unwrapped by my eyes and my grateful heart.  Given the choice to drown in a sea of pain or float effortlessly on a sea of bliss — hmmm, which shall I choose?  It’s a no brainer, right?  But ah, that history can be seductive!  And yet, each day, patiently and silently God draws aside the curtain.  I awake, I peek around that curtain with all the innocence and curiosity of a newborn, because that’s what the newness of this day and this opportunity really represents.  ~Bethie

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back     may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

~Lucille Clifton (at St. Mary’s)  Blessing the Boats

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autumn_leaves

Pods of summer crowd around the door;
I take them in the autumn of my hands.

Last night I heard the first cold wind outside;
the wind blew soft, and yet I shiver twice:

Once for thin walls, once for the sound of time.

~William Stafford~
The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems

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sunnyhill

My eyes already touch the sunny hill,
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has its inner light, even from a distance—

and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it, we already are;
a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave . . .
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

~Rainer Maria Rilke~
Muzot, March 1924
Translated by Robert Bly

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sunrise-rays-over-indian-basin

The ordinary miracles begin. Somewhere
a signal arrives: “Now,” and the rays
come down. A tomorrow has come. Open
your hands, lift them: morning rings
all the doorbells; porches are cells for prayer.
Religion has touched your throat. Not the same now,
you could close your eyes and go on full of light.

And it is already begun, the chord
that will shiver glass, the song full of time
bending above us. Outside, a sign:
a bird intervenes; the wings tell the air,
“Be warm.” No one is out there, but a giant
has passed through town, widening streets, touching
the ground, shouldering away the stars.

~William Stafford~
William Tell: Poems by William Stafford

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Oh, it’s that time of year again!  I re-post this poem I wrote in ’09 every Spring now.  This year the cherry blossoms beckon to be teased out.  Perhaps they will hear the soft echo of this poem in the air, coaxing them every so gently, come be with us…we sing your praises…you won’t be here for long, but we notice, oh, yes, we do notice!

o, to be held captive
inside your cherry blossoms

pinned to your creamy folds

like a bumble bee chubby with pollen
too deliciously full to move

until I am drunk with your fragrance
intoxicated with wonderment

stunned with awe
speechless with amazement

and tumble out onto the splendid
soft green earth filled with the
pulsing passion of being alive

©heartsdeesire

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large_trees

Yes, I’ve gone and done it again.  Another found poem.  This time instead of contrasting two poets together, I have taken one poet: Mary Oliver and pulled pieces from 8 different poems to bring together a brand new poem.  I’ve taken no more than two to four lines from each poem.  Each verse is from a different poem and in a few cases a pronoun has been changed.  After this found poem, I cite the poems that were used to create it.


Every morning I walk softly and with forward glances
down to the ponds and through the pinewoods.

I have gone every day to the same woods,
not waiting, exactly, just lingering.

I have thought sometimes that
something – I can’t name it –
watches as I walk

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”

Later, lying half-asleep under
the blankets, I watch
while the doe, glittering with rain, steps
under the wet slabs of the pines

These are the woods I love,
where the secret name
of every death is life again – a miracle

Someday I’ll live in the sky.
Meanwhile the house of my life is this green world.

In the book of the earth it is written:
nothing can die.

~Mary Oliver~

One
The Place I Want to Get Back To
Beans
When I Am Among the Trees
Clapp’s Pond
Skunk Cabbage
Boundaries
Ghosts

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peaceful

what will you do…?

when the worry is gone
when the self condemnation is gone
when fear is not your bedfellow

what will you do with that new wide open space

lay down in it
breathe deeply
close your eyes
you are home

©heartsdeesire

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