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Posts from the ‘Poetry’ Category

Lingering Gaze

“When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy, And the dimpling stream runs laughing by; When the air does laugh with our merry wit, And the green hill laughs with the noise of it.” – William Blake

“In a world myriad as ours, the gaze is a singular act: to look at something is to fill your whole life with it, if only briefly.”― Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

May you be overwhelmed and embraced with the fullness of today.
Lingering in the summer sun.
Slowing to see bounty and abundance in reach.
A singular act.
The drains of heaven.
At our feet.
Walk softly on this holy sacred ground.
Lighter.
With ease, gratitude and in amazement.

“Stars. Or rather, the drains of heaven – waiting. Little holes. Little centuries opening just enough for us to slip through.”― Ocean Vuong, Night Sky with Exit Wounds

Sway

“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?” – E. M. Forster

Winds surge.
Storms to come.
Trees sway.
Moving with, not against.
The flow.
Bending rather than breaking.
Stretching, dancing, accepting.

The Wind
by Robert Louis Stevenson

“I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies’ skirts across the grass–
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all–
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!”

Greet It All

“Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“Neither I nor the poets I love have found the keys to the kingdom of prayer and we cannot force God to stumble over us where we sit. But I know that it’s a good idea to sit anyway. So every morning, I sit — I kneel, waiting, making friends with the habit of listening, hoping that I’m being listened to. There, I greet God in my own disorder. I say hello to my chaos, my unmade decisions, my unmade bed, my desire and my trouble. I say hello to distraction and privilege, I greet the day and I greet my beloved and bewildering Jesus. I recognize and greet my burdens, my luck, my controlled and uncontrollable story. I greet my untold stories, my unfolding story, my unloved body, my own body. I greet the things I think will happen and I say hello to everything I do not know about the day. I greet my own small world and I hope that I can meet the bigger world that day. I greet my story and hope that I can forget my story during the day, and hope that I can hear some stories, and greet some surprising stories during the long day ahead. I greet God, and I greet the God who is more God than the God I greet.

Hello to you all, I say, as the sun rises above
the chimneys of North Belfast. Hello.”
– Pádraig Ó Tuama, In the Shelter

Life, in all of its messiness, beauty, contradictions, joy, struggle;
In ordinary days, in rain, in sun;
In celebration, in milestones, in transitions;
May we see our blessings amidst our burdens;
May our thoughts, words and actions lift and shine light more often than not;
May we greet it all and be held in prayer as it all unfolds;
Greet it all.
Hello.

Like a Jewel

“Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us we find poems.”― Naomi Shihab Nye, Red Suitcase

We don’t realize the weight that we carry until we lay it down and walk a few steps without it.
Whatever is heavy on your mind, in your heart, on your shoulders, put it down for a bit.
We are more than what we do, what others think, what we think, the past or the future.
Spirit and soul.
Current and waves.
Wind and stillness.
Embedded in the doing, in the striving, in the chasing, enough, whole and imperfect beauty and light lingers, resides, invites.
Go there, sit awhile, warmed by the glistening beams.

“The person you have known a long time is embedded in you like a jewel. The person you have just met casts out a few glistening beams & you are fascinated to see more of them. How many more are there? With someone you’ve barely met the curiosity is intoxicating.”― Naomi Shihab Nye

Infuse

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” – Mary Oliver

“Poetry isn’t a profession, it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.” – Mary Oliver

Beauty abound.
Infuse yourself with nature, fresh air, poetry.
Be made new, spark your imagination, write your story.
Gaze at the sky, allow awe in, be made new.
A blessing that you be awake, aware and paying attention to each moment.

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down —
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”

A rare interview with the late Mary Oliver was re-released again from On Being with Krista Tippett – a treat to savor and enjoy.

Expanse

“When the vastness of God meets the restriction of our own humanity, words can’t hold it. The best we can do is find the moments that rhyme with this expansive heart of God.” – Greg Boyle

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” – Carl Sandburg

Some poetry is written.
Some seen in the sky, a flower, a smile.
Some not able to be held by words, in a soul alone.
Drawing us both out and in.
Wide and deep.
A deep breath, a heavy sigh, a sense of awe.
Words, thoughts, actions, a way of being.
Past, present and future, woven into story, prose, narrative.
In the expanse, in corners, in crevices, hiding in plain sight.
Come play awhile in the beauty, wonder and mystery.

“Every single soul is a poem.” – Michael Franti

Whispers to Wings

“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.”
― Mary Oliver

May you always hear your own voice above the noise.
From whispers to wings.
Take flight.
Complete your journey.

The Journey by Mary Oliver

“One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.”

Flight or Foot

Sometimes in flight, sometimes slowly crossing the road to merely get to the other side.
Be where you are today, in flight or on foot.
Announcing your place in this moment, allowing it to be.

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
― Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

Into the Wild

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

Open and receive the grace woven in stillness, quiet and rest.
Without effort or forethought of grief.
A holy sacred place, inviting all in.
Enter the peace of the wild things to awaken to the breath, depth and presence of life.

Equilibrium

“May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.” — John O’Donohue

“For Equilibrium, a Blessing:
Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of God.”

― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

May wisdom enter so we can see and open the gifts woven in each day.
Centered and awake in this sacred place of ordinary.
On holy ground of joy detached from circumstances.
A return to self and rapt awareness of how we are connected to all living beings.
Grace, reverence, respect, freedom, perspective, clarity, the laughter of God.
Seek equilibrium and reside in the balance and ease.

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