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Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual Poetry’

house20of20belonging20-2

 

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
abandoned,
if you can know despair or see it in others,
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes,
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living,
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

~David Whyte~
RIVER FlOW: New and Selected Poems

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Satellite

 

Everywhere

soft breeze warm sunshine

the same calm

even the withered trees

on the dark cliff

are blossoming

I tried to find

where Subhuti*

meditates

but suddenly in the shadow

of mist and fog

the path split a thousand ways.

~ Muso Soseki ~
Music of the Sky: An Anthology of Spiritual Poetry

*Subhūti was one of the Ten Great Śrāvakas of Śākyamuni Buddha, and foremost in the understanding of emptiness.

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winter_OK

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every little thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire.

What disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Even with summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
nothing to say.

All those years
forgetting
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.

All those years
forgetting
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
difficulty
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous
otherness.

Silence and winter
have led me to that
otherness.

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.

We speak
only with the voices of those
we can hear ourselves
and the body has a voice
only for that portion
of the body of the world
it has learned to perceive.

And
here
in the tumult
of the night
I hear the walnut
above the child’s swing
swaying
its dark limbs
in the wind
and the rain now
come to
beat against my window
and somewhere
in this cold night
of wind and stars
the first whispered
opening of
those hidden
and invisible springs
that uncoil
in the still summer air
each yet
to be imagined
rose.

~David Whyte~
River Flow: New and Selected Poems

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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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Do Not Be Ashamed

You will be walking some night
in the comfortable dark of your yard
and suddenly a great light will shine
round about you, and behind you
will be a wall you never saw before.
It will be clear to you suddenly
that you were about to escape,
and that you are guilty: you misread
the complex instructions, you are not
a member, you lost your card
or never had one. And you will know
that they have been there all along,
their eyes on your letters and books
their hands in your pockets,
their ears wired to your bed.
Though you have done nothing shameful,
they will want you to be ashamed.
They will want you to kneel and weep
and say you should have been like them.
And once you say you are ashamed,
reading the page they hold out to you,
then such light as you have made
in your history will leave you.
They will no longer need to pursue you
You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.
They will not forgive you.
There is no power against them.
It is only candor that is aloof from them,
only an inward clarity, unashamed,
that they cannot reach. Be ready.
When their light has picked you out
and their questions are asked, say to them:
“I am not ashamed.” A sure horizon
will come around you. The heron will begin
his evening flight from the hilltop.

~Wendell Berry
Collected Poems: 1957-1982

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Contemplating the shape and form of this life today
may I travel lightly
may I honor the sacred expression of everything
may I be devoted to kindness
may I be enhanced by all that I encounter
may softness take root wherever un-forgiving once was
may I be led through the opening beyond the closing
may I bear witness to your holiness as well as mine
may I remain curious, willing, open, teachable
then fill my dreams tonight with the irrepressible truth
the language of love spills itself out everywhere

©heartsdeesire

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