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Posts tagged ‘poetry’

Essence

“Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.” – Annie Leibovitz

essence
nuance
layers
complexity
beneath
below
beyond
hidden
hinting
beauty
revealed in gazing
lingering
inquiry
listening
observation
silence
embedded in engaging
relationship
conversation
understanding
compassion
expand beyond self
connect
invite
welcome
expand your world

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!”

The Song of Spring

“The lilac branches are bowed under the weight of the flowers. Blooming is hard, and the most important thing is to bloom.” – Yevgeny Zamyatin

“Poetry is often the art of overhearing yourself say things you didn’t know you knew. It is a learned skill to force yourself to articulate your life, your present world or your possibilities for the future.” – David Whyte

Fragrant lilacs.
Blue skies.
Sun lingering.
The song of spring ushering summer in.
Light. Joy. Hope.
In the song.
Nature sparking the poetry of life.

“And stay, my dear, stay forever as my quiet song, in my lilac dawn.” – Sanober Khan

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.

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.

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.”

Shape of Your Soul

“Nature is the direct expression of the divine imagination.” – John O’Donohue

“May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique, that you have a special destiny here, that behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful, good, and eternal happening. May you learn to see yourself with the same delight, pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.” – John O’Donohue

Steeped and anchored.
Free, defying gravity.
Dancing and poetry.
Grounding and embracing.
Knowing and mystery.
Wide and deep.
Intuition and clarity.
Beyond, above, below and all encompassing.

May you enter your soul space daily to rest in awe, held in delight.
The heart of your purpose and beauty of your being.
Defined by God, not others or self.
Never confine or define God on human terms.
Too too small.
The expanse of the sky, the depth of the ocean. Perhaps, yet still so much more.
Undefinable and familiar at the same time.
Accept the unknowing and enter the expanse.
Beauty. Goodness. Shelter.
Soul work.

“All through your life your soul takes care of you…your soul is alive and awakened, gathering, sheltering and guiding your ways and days in the world. In effect, your soul is your secret shelter.” – John O’Donohue

Glorious River

“If you get simple beauty and naught else, you get about the best thing God invents.” – Robert Browning

May you be swept away daily in beauty abound.
To be reminded of the expanse and depth in awakening.
To enter the flow of the river of life.
To be held in awe and gratitude, in possibility and beauty.
Glorious moments in ordinary days.

The Brook
By Alfred Lord Tennyson

“I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip’s farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,
And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever”

Pink Power

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.” – Lydia M. Child

Tickled Pink by Kevin Kling

“At times in our pink innocence, we lie fallow, composting, waiting to grow.
And other times we rush headlong like so many of our ancestors.
But rushing or fallow, it doesn’t matter
One day you’ll round a corner, you’ll blink
And something is missing
Your heart, a memory, a limb, a promise, a person
An innocence is gone
Your path, as though channeled through a spectrum, is refracted, and has left you in a new direction.
Some won’t approve
Some will want the other you
And some will cry that you’ve left it all
But what has happened, has happened, and cannot be undone.
We pay for our laughter. We pay to weep. Knowledge is not cheap.
To survive we must return to our senses…touch, taste, smell, sight, sound.
We must let our spirit guide us, our spirit that lives in breath.
With each breath we inhale, we exhale.
We inspire, we expire.
Every breath holds the possibility of a laugh, a cry, a story, a song.
Every conversation is an exchange of spirit, the words flowing bitter or sweet over the tongue.
Every scar is a monument to a battle survived.
When you’re born into loss, you grow from it.
But when you experience loss later in life, you grow toward it.
A slow move to an embrace,
An embrace that holds tight the beauty wrapped in the grotesque,
An embrace that becomes a dance, a new dance, a dance of pink.”

May you dance with pink
May all of your senses embrace grace and gratitude
The frailties, imperfections and brilliance of this life
Exhale, inhale, exhale, return to your breath and the present
Grow toward it all and fall forward into the newness of this very day.

Steadfast

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“We shake with joy, we shake with grief. What a time they have, these two housed as they are in the same body.” – Mary Oliver, Endure

Listen to your thoughts and words, where they lead you. Consternation and complaint are pit of quicksand. Hope and light are the path to contentment, peace and joy amidst the struggles. Stop holding your head under water, claiming others are drowning you. Make the daily decision to rest in gratitude, see the good yourself and others, release worry that only steals our days and never affects the outcome or eases pain that comes and goes with loss and change.

Steadfast, continue the journey anchored in hope, looking for light and ready to shake with joy.

The Gift, Mary Oliver, Felicity

“Be still, my soul, and steadfast
Earth and heaven both are still watching
Though time is draining from the clock
And your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.
So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
Know you are grateful.
That the gift has been given.”

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