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Posts Tagged ‘communion’

Exactly a year ago I posted a message instead of a poem, explaining I needed a time away. Two weeks later I explained why. It was almost two months later I posted my son Finn’s obituary. In the last year, I have been so humbled by the love and support and kindness of people. So many of you reached out to me in some way, and whether it was with a letter, an email, a gift, a call, a prayer, your thoughts, a song, or your energetic presence, I am grateful. It has mattered. You, with your love and goodness, you have not only buoyed me, you have changed me. I don’t know how anyone would ever survive such a loss without such an outpouring. I thank you, every one of you, I thank you, I thank you. I am sobbing now thinking of it–all the love. This poem tries to touch it, but, well, it’s just the surface. I am swirling gratefulness around all of you. I honor your losses that have made you who you are, that have made you so tender and generous toward others.
With abiding awe, 
Rosemerry



Though I Knew Love Before



Not until my world dissolved
in an instant did I begin to understand
the communion of hearts.
Not until I could not put one minute
in front of the next did I begin
to understand infinite devotion.
Not until I lost my own flesh did I begin
to understand the muscle of spirit.
I will never love the loss, never,
but I love the life that rushes in after.
I love the intimacy
of those who have lost—
how we find each other and offer
our open embrace, our unwalled affection,
our wildest wishes for peace.
Not until I was consumed
by the great wave of love
did I know not to fear
the great wave of love.
Only then did I learn the beauty
of ceding the self to something much greater.
Only then did I learn how love
not only carries us,
it transforms who we are forever.

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There is a secret music
that hides inside each yes.
At first we think we know
the tune. Heck, we might
even think we wrote it.
But soon, after yessing,
we learn there is a much
grander score than we ever
might have guessed,
and now we hear how
just one yes,
plucked like a string,
creates harmonies
and dissonances
and asks us to listen again,
not for what we think we hear,
but for everything else—
the soundtrack of the infinite after,
Perhaps you notice it, too,
how the masterpiece
needs you. How each note
informs the song forever.

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Along the lake and down the hill,
the road dead ended into a meadow
with a wooden fence a girl could slip through,

and slip through she did,
that five-year-old version of me,
slipped through the gaps into the tall green grass

and then wandered to the lake
where the weeping willow hung over the shoreline
and she could sit beneath its shade and disappear—

or perhaps more rightly, she could show up.
As herself. Show up not as a girl who lived up the road
but as shade, as shore, as tree,

as field, as green beyond the fence.
Perhaps it only happened once or twice,
that journey past the dead end,

but forty-seven years later, I remember
the dissolution, how beneath that tree
I was no longer who I was, only more so.

How I knew myself as integral to the miracle.
There were whole decades I forgot her,
that infinite version of me.

Tonight I can tell she never left.
How did she ever fit in my limited sense of self?
What does she have to teach me now

of fences, of shadows,
of sitting quietly,
of the art of slipping through?

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In each other, let us see ourselves.
            —Alberto Ríos, “Who Has Need, I Stand with You”


Sometimes when I look in the mirror,
my eyes see only my own reflection.

I forget to see the eyes of my mother,
and her mother, and her mother.

I forget to see the eyes of my sisters
who live in other towns, other countries.

I forget to see the eyes of my brothers
who teach, who fight, who rule, who beg.

I forget how my heart is fueled
by the same electric impulse

that drives every other beating heart.
I forget how my skin is made and remade

from the same carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen
that comprises every other human’s skin.  

Oh, to remember. Not just when I look in the mirror,
but when I walk down the street.

Not just when I feel drawn to another,
but also when I feel defensive, averse.

Oh, to remember the strange and certain math
that seven point seven five three billion people

equal one cohesive expression
of what it means to be alive.

Your hands, my hands. Your breath, my breath.
Your eyes in my eyes. My eyes in your eyes.

This life, ours.

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Harmony




Surrounded by steep cliffs
and great open sky,
we stand on the point
and sing—not for money,
not for fame, not even
for the crow that hovers
above us on the wind—
we sing for joy, sing because
in that moment when
eight of us sing there is
one voice among us, one mind,
one invitation to move alone together
through the door of the moment
and know that as much as we
are entirely ourselves,
we are one, oh my god,
we are one.

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The Dust Speaks


 I always come back.
Not out of spite. Not
to annoy you. I settle
here in your home
because I am you.
I am your sloughed off skin.
I’m your hair. I’m your cells.
I’m fibers from your clothes
mixed with bits of dead bugs
and soil and pollen and plastic.
I am the memory
of everywhere you’ve been
and I am the memory
of what you do
and I come from places
you’ll never go.
I can shine, too—
sometimes when the light is right
you see me glitter in the room
and curse me.
But child of the cosmos,
I am here to help you remember
where you came from.
And child of earth,
I am here to help you see
you are one with everything.
I am here to remind you
where you go from here.

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Unity




Today we lose the words
yours and mine and find
in their absence a song
that can only be sung together.
How did we ever think
we could attempt
this humanness alone?
To the table of love,
we bring soup, bring cherries,
bring the bread of our own
sweet communion.
We bring scissors to cut away
the tresses of the past,
bring dark wine to toast
the courage of showing up exposed.
And when we forget
the words to the song,
well, there is always laughter.
And when we forget to laugh,
well, there is always
the union of tears—
the way many rivers
become one river,
the way many voices
become one song.

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Communion

Now, when I am alone
I am never alone. I walk
outside or get in my car
and reflexively say hello
to my beloveds no longer here,
calling them by name.
I love to say their names—
like singing a favorite song.
I love to tell them about
the bald eagles this morning
carving the sky above the river,
about the carrot soup
I will make for dinner,
about how my ears, my mind
and my arms miss their voices,
their opinions, their touch.
During the day, they are
my shadows, always
attached, but silent.
During the night, when
I am part shadow,
they welcome me
deeper into the night.

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Let’s say there’s a window
at the end of a long dark hall—
the more we walk toward it
the farther away it feels.
And then, let’s say, we stop
trying to get anywhere and meet
where we are. That is how
I found myself on the other side
of the window, released
into sky—blue sky, then tangerine
sky, then sky dusky pink.
That is how I found myself
talking with my son the way
we used to whenever he went
to camp—through the sky.
Only this time we didn’t talk.
We just were. Together.
I would say we were fused,
but more truly, perhaps, commingled,
as if our atoms were diffused enough
to commune. To know this
for a moment is to know it
forever—how it is that
there is no separation.
How it is that we are one.

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The Waking



When we wake, all people are rivers—
though some are torrents and some
mere trickles, though some break down
obstacles and some slowly meander.  
We move from our beds through the banks
of the world, our lives following the course
of the day. Our streams merge with the streams
of others. We are, every day, more each other
and still somehow ourselves. If only we could trust
our uniting currents as unthinkingly as the rivers
follow gravity—always with the least amount
of resistance. How long will we pretend
we are separate? How long before we find ourselves
joined in the communion of the sea, all our waters
one water, every waking an invitation.

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