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Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

How




I did not know how beautiful,
grief could be, how generous—
like an improvised cello sonata
in a minor key, a melody
that leaps and wails, unfurls
into harmonic bloom
and makes the whole body
tremble. There is a purity
in it—a sweetness that says
you are here and I will hold you
as long as you meet me.

When others tell me
they wish they could take
some fraction of the pain,
I thank them and I mean it,
but I would not let them
take even the tiniest portion.
To meet grief is to be
deeply steeped in love,
to know the self as wildly alive,
tugged apart by beauty, by loss.

And grief draws its bow
across the strings of the moment—
sonorous and lyrical.
Oh this sensuous rush of the world.
And how is it through tears, through ache,
through breathtaking pain,
I find myself saying thank you?



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One Ephemeral

like trying to hold a waterfall—
this beauty
that can only be lived

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Perspective




In the corner of the window,
slumps an old gray cobweb.
No longer gossamer,
it holds the spring pollen
in its dull clumpen strands.
At the edge of the web,
a long dead mayfly trembles
in the wind, its abdomen bent,
legs broken and detached,
its wings more cloud, less shine.
There is so much of me
that is dusty and damaged,
so much I would like to clear away.
So much that is spent and dead.
My friend tells me all she can see
is beauty. Though I can’t find it here,
there is at least beauty in the looking
for beauty, beauty in the invitation
to see the world with a lens as open as friendship,
to see myself with eyes as generous as love.





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One Dream Job


            for Kayleen
 
 
rolling up my sleeves
in this grand beauty parlor—
help wanted

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Hope



Nudged by hope
the heart rises
from exhaustion.

It’s like the great blue heron
I saw this morning
flying up from a wasteland

on broad gray wings
with strong, slow beats
for a moment charged

with grace
before—did you
see this, heart?—

it chose to land again,
bringing all its beauty
to the desolate place.

This poem is published in the wonderful ONE ART Poetry Journal

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Thanking the Christmas Cactus




Tonight, for a moment,
my world shrinks to the size
of the Christmas cactus,
which, despite the storm
that even now blusters outside,
has opened dozens of voluptuous
red blooms, as if to say,
Here I am, blooming midwinter,
and you can do it, too.
There are days when
the news makes me doubt
the value of blooming—
when the headlines alone
twist hope into a crumpled,
unrecognizable heap.
But then some snippet
of beauty finds me—
a scarlet flower,
a handwritten letter—
and breaks any scale
I would use to interpret
the world. It’s not that the terror
goes away, no. But for a few
moments, I am blessed
with the certainty
that even the smallest beauty matters
and that it is my job
to meet life however it appears—
petal, bomb, sweetness, pain—
grateful for my humanness,
vulnerable and tenuous
though it is.

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Concurrent

On a morning

when the snow

falls and drapes

everything in shine,

it is not that I don’t

feel the wounds—

raw and throbbing—

it’s just that it’s

so beautiful,

this tender world,

that I want

to praise it

forever.

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“Sometimes it is what is beautiful that carries you,” said Weasel weakly from his bed. “Yes, it can carry you to the end. It is your relationship to what is beautiful, not the beautiful thing itself, that carries you,” said Grizzly Bear.

—Barry Lopez, Crow and Weasel

           

And so, after years of wanting to be river

and calendula, cottonwood and aspen,

larkspur and evergreen, at last the poet

longs to be herself—longs not to be

what is many petalled nor golden leafed,

not to be what merges with ocean,

what thrives in cold. Rather, she longs

to be the one who might uncover beauty

in the garbage dump, find splendor in the mess.

It is no small thing to want to be yourself.

Look, there she sits in the prison of her thoughts.

See her smile as the bars begin to bend,

watch her marvel as what she thought was a cage

becomes wings.

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Attuned

I want to meet the world

the way these calendula blossoms

meet the cold.

While everything around them

has wilted or browned,

they lift up their gold and orange faces

like bright earthbound suns—

not with some agenda

to make the world a better place,

but because they are doing

what they are made to do—

to be soft yet resilient,

beautiful and tough,

to carry inside themselves

the seeds for more beauty,

and, when the time comes,

spill them everywhere.

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Why I Smile at Strangers

In difficult times, carry something beautiful in your heart.

          

–Blaise Pascal

And so today, I walk the streets

with vermillion maple leaves inside me,

and the deep purple of late-blooming larkspur

and the lilting praise of meadowlark.

I carry with me thin creeks with clear water

and the three-quarters moon

and the spice-warm scent of nasturtiums.

And honey in the sunlight.

And words from Neruda and

slow melodies by Erik Satie.

It is easy sometimes to believe

that everything is wrong.

That people are cruel and the world

destroyed and the end of it all

imminent. But there is yet goodness

beyond imagining—the creamy

white flesh of ripe pears

and the velvety purr of a cat in my lap

and the white smear of milky way—

I carry these things in my heart,

more certain than ever that one way

to counteract evil is to ceaselessly honor what’s good

and share it, share it until

we break the choke hold of fear

and at least for a few linked moments,  

we believe completely in beauty,

growing beauty, yes, beauty.

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