Posts Tagged ‘falling in love with the world’




Again today, the invitation

to fall in love with the world—

with the gray jay who flits

from empty branch to empty branch,

with the sharp scent of rabbit brush,

with the warm spring wind

and the dark buds on the crabapple

still tight with future bloom.


Some days, though the world offers itself,

it’s not so easy to fall in love—

days when heartache twists in the chest

and turns in us like a screw,

leaves us raw and sensitive, until,

too tender to hear any more bad news,

we shutter our hearts, we close our ears.


But if we’re lucky, an inner voice

sends us outside into the day,

and though it is gray, the world does

what the world does—

holds us despite our heartache,

holds us the same way it holds

the stubby pink cactus, all prickly and clenched,

the same way it holds last year’s thistles,

all brittle and flat and gray,

the same way it holds the dank scent of river

and the moldering scent of last year’s leaves,

holds us exactly as we are

until we are ready to fall in love again.





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On a day when the world is cruel,

I do not try to fall in love with cruelty.

No, I invite myself to fall in love

with the what is beneath what is cruel.

In the meadow, it is a herd of elk walking through the snow.

In the room, it is a kitten curled in a crescent on the couch.

In myself, it is the part of me that defies any label—

woman/man, Christian/Jew, good/bad, knower/unknower.

I invite that ineffable part of me to go find itself

in the world. And everything is beautiful then.

There is nothing I cannot love.

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Again this call

love the world—

though there are men

with buttons to push

who could turn it to ash

within hours, though

people have tongues

that fork and curl,

though the things

and beings we love most


And still this sweet

metronome of breath

ticking here, here.

And the scent

of the leaf pile,

loamy and playful.

And the pansy in October

still purple and soft.

Turn to the sun,

let it touch your skin

like a lover, so tender,

warm. Now spread that shine.

It’s what we do.



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And why not be flagrantly happy,

really. The moon is full and rakish

and spring keeps teasing the morning

into taking off its sweater. By noon,

everyone is blushing. In the garden,

strawberries come up on their own,

their fearless white flowers

pre-wired for sweetness.

Who cares the weeds are already

releasing their onslaught of filigreed seeds.

Inside us, an open invitation to fall in love.

Inside us, the pluck to say yes.


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How could I know

it’d be a weed

that would save me—


one which I’ve

spent hours on my knees

trying to eradicate—


didn’t know that

on a day when

I needed to believe in spring,


it would appear in the quack grass,

its tiny purple flowers

calling to me


as if I were not the woman

who had uprooted them,

calling to me


as if I too

have some spring

left in me.


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After hoping and trying

and failing and hoping

and trying and failing

and hoping and trying

and failing the mind

perhaps will finally say

I don’t know what comes next

and, startled by the sweet

clarity of this, the body

raises both arms, though

the mind didn’t tell it to—

yes, the arms rise weightless

and open, as if there is nothing

they aren’t ready to embrace,

as if the world as it is

might come rushing in.


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A woman’s soft skin, I have it—

not on my hands, which thrill


to garden and spread shine—but

soft I am in neck and belly and the long


slow reaches of my side body.

I hum like a woman, and


laugh like a woman and weep

for beauty, for sorrow.


In the early evening,

I leave on the lawn


the long curving shadow of a woman.

Sometimes I even fool myself—


but sometimes I remember

I am also sand and elephant,


skylark and sunflower,

blood orange and button,



and the stillness after.

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On this gray, near-drizzling day

I write again this love letter


for the earth, which is, I suppose,

what all poems are, though they


disguise themselves as poems about

children or wine or baseball or snow.


On this longest night, it’s so clear—

the truest reason to write at all is to fall


more deeply in love with the world,

with its trees and its drizzle


and its stubborn shine and its

relentless hunger and its corners


that will never ever ever see the growing light.

Fall in love with the octopus that can detach


an arm on purpose and then grow it back again.

Fall in love with the elusive lynx


and the crooked forest and the frazzle ice

tinkling in the San Miguel River.


Fall in love even with this profoundly flawed

species that, despite all its faults,


is still capable of falling more deeply,

more wildly in love.


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“Look,” she says, “at the light

on the waves,” and no matter what else

has happened today,

there it is, the light, the light on the waves,

and for this moment it’s beauty enough

that the rest of the world

falls away, and I fall in love

with being alive

and with the light,

the light on the waves.

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On a day when the desert potholes
are full of pollywogs and tiny
red-speckled frogs and the blue sky
is dappled with pink-bellied clouds,
and the San Juan is running muddy
and warm, well, you don’t have to have almost just died
to realize how lucky you are to be alive—
nope, it just comes natural, this wanting
to kiss your children, even though
they are whining all day about how
the desert is just full of rocks
and it’s so boring. Yeah, it just kind of happens,
this flash flood of gratitude, this falling in love
with everything dust can do.

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