Tag Archives: poetry

I want to twinkle today.

The light of the world

The light of the world

“Do not try to save the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there patiently
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue.”

- Clearing by Martha Postlewaite

Bitter cold still freezes tears this morning.  Laughter ricochets off icicles.

I curl up on the couch on this day off work and ponder the dense forest of my life.  One hundred thoughts arise like one hundred trees, all competing for attention.

I’ve been waiting patiently and impatiently for the song that is my life to fall into these cupped hands for a long lifetime.  Sometimes I hear the tune, so very clear, like ice forming in the bay a quarter-mile away, and feel truly at home.  Other days one wanders lost in the forest, wearing fear or sadness like a winter parka, fingers icy in woolen mittens.

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I will not shut down.

Open

Open

My country can shut down,

my friends can throw me away,

everything can go to hell in a hand basket,

but I will not shut down.

 

How easy it is to shut down!

To tighten up, to fuss, to fret, to refuse.

To scrunch up, to throw stones, to taunt.

To holler, “I’m right!  I’m right!”

To yell, “You’re wrong!  You’re wrong!”

To sling mud in the faces of those who think differently.

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Can I come over to your house?

Best friends

A sweet thing happened recently in my blogging world.

My childhood best friend, Carol, suddenly appeared with a comment on my Neil Armstrong tribute post!  What do you know!

(The tribute talked about Carol and me sleeping out in my parent’s backyard apple orchard in 1969.  We looked up at the moon in amazement trying to imagine man walking up there on that mysterious white orb.)

Friends

Carol and I grew up together.  She lived one street over and it only took three minutes if you ran through our neighbor’s back yard.  We were both so shy.  Afraid to talk in school, scared of our own shadows sometimes.

Big 6th grade boys pointed paper guns at us as we walked to kindergarten and we ran all the way back home, petrified of imminent death.

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Skunk in the full moon

Forest moon

1:13 a.m.

I hear you rustling in the woods.

Who are you?

It’s so hot.

So full moon hot.

Sweat drips, soaks sheets, midsummer’s sauna.

Run cool bath water and recline.

Ahhh, feel better, don’t you?

Who’s rustling beneath the full moon?

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It’s not fair, oh no, it’s not fair…

Not fair

It’s not fair that I get to attend a Destination Wedding

in some fair southern city adorned with white sandy beaches

and you must sit home at the daily drudge, 40 hour work week

closer to retirement, no extra cash at week’s end.

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the moon decided.

eye of moon

the moon decided.

curve

that it was a deep enough subject.

that it was worthy of revealing itself to you.

between

the moon winked.

it winked to you in dreams.

and in unexpected blogs.

goodnight, moon.

we’ll sleep sound tonight beneath your waning glory.

grateful for your shining light…and the light you reveal

as we waver between sunset and the dark silence of a

hushed november night,

revealing soft secrets beneath your

autumn tree limbs.

goodnight, moon.  sleep tight.

Sitting again beside the hearth of a beloved poem

The Guest House

This being human is a guest

house.  Every morning

a new arrival.

Beauty

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Sorrow

Welcome and attend them all:

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture, still,

treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

–Rumi

Unexpected

(Even though this is an old old poem, even though you’ve maybe heard it six or one hundred times, or heck maybe I’ve even shared it in this blog before!…it’s always good to re-visit this poem and sit by its hearth and remember to treat all the guests that move through our life honorably.  The same with feelings.  The same with thoughts.  The same with actions.  Even that which challenges us may be clearing us out for some new unimagined delight.)

“Speak to us of Reason and Passion.”

Silver moon

Reason and Passion~~by Khalil Gibran

“And the priestess spoke again and said:

“Speak to us of Reason and Passion.”

And he answered saying:

Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against passion and your appetite.

Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.

But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.

If either your sails or our rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.

For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.

Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion; that it may sing;

And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.

I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests in your house.

Surely you would not honor one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both.

Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows – then let your heart say in silence, “God rests in reason.”

And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky, – then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.”

And since you are a breath In God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.”

Thank you, Khalil Gibran, for your wisdom this day.  Thank you, Kathy Smith over at Laurie’s blog Speaking from the Heart, for sharing this gem in the comments.   

The almost-full moon listens to the poetry of his words, rests briefly in the aspen branches, and slowly rises in the night sky.

Gold Moon

Sorry, Charlie. I didn’t mean it!

Good morning skies

Goodness!  I haven’t told you any personal stories in a whole week.

Now that we have impersonal cloud photos, perhaps it’s time to personalize the blog.

Let’s see.  What can I tell you?

Lovin' the patterns in clouds

Today is Day 17 of the Gratitude Challenge on Facebook.  It is so inspiring to see so many folks still posting their daily gratitude and appreciation (88 people shared the link to this blog on their Facebook profile).  I loved watching this ripple outward…and watching how people say that conscious appreciation is shifting their immediate lives–and the lives of people around them. 

One friend said she even noticed that grumbling and whining has been minimized after she started posting her daily gratitude. 

Hurray!  It’s a good way to spread light during the darkest time of year.  (Although who has noticed that the daylight is increasing every day?  I love watching every evening how it gets light ten minutes later every week.  This week it seems to get dark somewhere around 6:45 p.m.)

Have you ever counted the different shades of blue in the sky?

What else? 

Remember the Doggies on the Roof at the TKE house in Houghton?  Click here if you haven’t read the blog.  Barry and I had a clever moment and called the blog “Dogs on the roof–surely it’s Animal House!”  We thought it sounded kinda funny.

Sometime this week–unexpectedly–some TKE member must have discovered the blog.   The blog hit StumbleUpon and then Facebook–and 200-300 visitors wandered by.  One guy chastised me.  He thought using the term “Animal House” to describe the fine community-minded TKE members was “rude and ignorant” on the part of this blog writer.  I apologized.  Sorry, Charlie.  I only chose the “Animal House” heading because there were animals on the roof and it was a fraternity.

However, other TKE members stopped by to say they liked the blog very much and appreciated their “fifteen minutes of fame.”.  One fellow, Isaac, even invited us to stop by and meet the dogs and the brothers up close and see their newly remodeled fraternity house.  We may even take him up on it.  I told him to send us a phone number and maybe we’d visit.

Undulating patterns of cloud...

I’m sure you’re not interested that I filed our federal and state taxes on Tuesday night via Turbo Tax.  Or that I visited my favorite 89-year old friend yesterday.  We talked for two hours over coffee and cookies.  Anita has a better memory than yours truly.  She regales her visitors with fascinating stories.

I think everyone should take time to listen to our elders.  Hear their stories.  Hear what they learned during the years–what they feel were their most important life-lessons.  The elders love sharing, and we can gain a lot from what their revelations.

I shall leave you with the teachings of a fine poet and elder, Mary Oliver.  This comes from the book “Swan” which my son, Christopher, bought me for Christmas. 

The Living Together

The spirit says:

  What gorgeous clouds.

The body says:  Good,

  the crops need rain.

The spirit says:

  Look at the lambs frolicking.

The body says:

  When’s the feast?

The spirit says:

  What is the lark singing about?

The body says:

  Maybe it’s angry.

The spirit says:

  I think shadows are trying to say something.

The body says:

  I know how to make light.

The spirit says:

  My heart is pounding.

The body says:

  Take off your clothes.

The spirit says:  Body,

  how can we live together?

The body says:  Bricks and mortar

  and a back door.

**Please read lots of Mary Oliver poems, dear reader!  They are healthy and nutritious for both body and soul…

Turn around, bright eyes

Turning (photo by Susan D)

turn around, bright eyes

turn around, bright world

turn around, shadow river

turn around and sing your song, again and again, the melody of  river your bed and the sun overhead

setting and rising, setting and rising

turn around, bright eyes, this weekend soon turns to next

river wash us clean

in inspiration

trilling the heart which beats its morning drum

sings through the years

turn around, bright eyes

open palms

release all

except this precious day, this precious turning,

and even now it’s gone

onto the next turning

and the next

and the sacred next