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Posts Tagged ‘communion’

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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Belonging




And if it’s true we are alone,
we are alone together,
the way blades of grass
are alone, but exist as a field.
Sometimes I feel it,
the green fuse that ignites us,
the wild thrum that unites us,
an inner hum that reminds us
of our shared humanity.
Just as thirty-five trillion
red blood cells join in one body
to become one blood.
Just as one hundred thirty-six thousand
notes make up one symphony.
Alone as we are, our small voices
weave into the one big conversation.
Our actions are essential
to the one infinite story of what it is
to be alive. When we feel alone,
we belong to the grand communion
of those who sometimes feel alone—
we are the dust, the dust that hopes,
a rising of dust, a pitch of dust
the dust that dances in the light   
with all other dust, the dust
that makes the world.

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For your birthday, Johannes,
I listened to your first piano concerto,
my heart trembling like a tuning fork
as the ivory keys and nylon strings
conversed about tenebrous grief and loss.

No one hissed in the audience
the way they did when your concerto
debuted. In fact, in my kitchen,
I sighed. I gasped. I thanked you
for the turbulence. What a gift when our sorrow

meets a sister sorrow so beautiful
we forget our own story, our own name,
and we tender what’s left
of our aching hearts to the blooming dark
that even now opens around us, inside us.

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Hearing Aid



 
 
I slipped my ear
into your pocket
close to your heart.
It wanted to be near
the steady thump
of those chambers,
a rhythm more reassuring
than any lullaby.
My ear likes it there
against your chest,
likes the warm hum
of your voice floating
over it, your words
indistinct through the cloth.
Forgive this eavesdropping
on the pulse of you,
but it is the only news
that interests my ear today
while the rest of me
works far away.
Yes, the only thing
my ear wants to hear
is the red song of you
like a faithful drum beating
here, here, here.
 

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I want to read the poem of you—
want to hold in my breath
your intimate rhythms
want to translate in my lungs
the silences between your stanzas,
want to feel in my heart
the sharp tug of your turns,
the communion of your inner rhymes.

I want to follow
the ever-emerging form of you,
want to know which words
are appearing even now
in the divine cursive
that writes us all,
want to wander in your ambiguities,
wonder about your secrets,
marvel at your beauty,
be wrestled by your oppositions.

I want to recite your lines
again and again and again
so your stories
are the allusions that inspire
the emerging poem of me.

This is the poem in which I admit
every poem has the potential
to break open the heart—
imagine the size of the book.
This is the poem in which I remember
the heart was made to break open.

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I don’t want us to be
like Jupiter and Saturn,
slowly moving toward each other
only to find ourselves
slowly moving further away.
When we conjoin,
let it be that we find
our paths not crossing
but merging, moving
us forever in the same direction,
our light uniting so brightly
others might imagine
it signifies a miracle—
and they will, of course,
be right.

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Winter Evening

Though I sit alone

on my couch at home,

I’m somehow also sitting

with Rachel and Julie

and it’s summer and

we’re laughing, laughing

until we tumble

into each other’s laps,

laughing as we collapse

into a puppy pile of giggles,

laughing because it feels

so good to laugh—

even now I laugh aloud

with no memory of why

we were laughing then,

but many years later,

it’s still contagious.

Sometimes we tumble

so wholly into the grace

of a moment

that it opens in us forever,

continuously blooms

and spreads its perfume

like night-blooming jasmine,

christens everything

with its fragrance,

even this empty room,

even this tired woman

now so surprisingly awake.

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