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Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

Seeing Clearly


Forgive me for wanting to fix you.
As if we could be anything
but who we are.
 
Forgive me for every time
I have looked at you with hawkish eyes,
eyes with talons, eyes that hunt.
 
Forgive me for thinking I know
what you need, for thinking I am right.
For scrutinizing, for judging,
 
for using my gaze to build walls.
I want to look at you with eyes
as soft as the light in the field after dawn.
 
Want to meet you with eyes
as benevolent as rain. Want to see you
with eyes as open as sky, open as innocence.
 
Want to see myself this way, too—
then, it is easier to soften, to lean in, to bloom.
This is how I want to look at you—
 
not with eyes that fix, but eyes
that dismantle defensiveness,
eyes that say let us meet in our flawedness,
 
eyes unstintingly generous,
a gaze that says you are safe with me,
a gaze born of humility, a gaze made of wings.

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on the b-side of love
a song of mercy—
sweet groove of forgiveness,
beat of a thousand
soft wings

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how quickly
this basket of stones
becomes
a basket
of feathers

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One Very Quiet

morning sun inclines

my heart toward forgiveness—

still the phone does not ring

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The heart of the blue whale

is in no hurry, only four to eight

beats per minute. And the glaciers

move their brilliant blue mass

less than three hundred meters a year.  

And forgiveness, it can move even

slower than that. It may be months,

even years before it blooms.

But how wondrous, when at last

we recognize that, perhaps through

no effort of our own, it has released

its unhurried perfume into our thoughts—

oh sweetness we thought might never arrive,

oh surprise when it touches us everywhere.

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basil on the porch

the morning after a frost

leaves limp and black things—

how greenly it met yesterday

no amount of I’m sorry will do

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It took five days, but at last I thought of you, old friend,

friend I loved and wanted to trust, friend

 

who burned every bridge I tried to build between us,

who turned gratitude and apology to smoke, to ash,

 

who taught me that love is not enough—a lesson

I never wanted to learn, which is why I am grateful

 

you helped me to learn it.

No one gets through life without injury.

 

Still, I wanted to believe that a kiss and forgiveness

could make things better, but some things

 

are better left broken. Thank you for teaching me

that all passes, that even without a road, without

 

a bridge, without a track, the train of time

finds a way to keep moving, eventually

 

speeding by so fast that what seemed

unable to be overcome becomes a blur

 

and that hope gives way to something even

more beautiful: saying yes to what is real.

 

So though you will never know it, I forgive you

for your scissored words and sharpened

 

silences. I forgive you for giving up on love,

for saying no, goodbye. It takes almost no effort now.

 

Even uranium has a half-life—albeit 4.5 billion years.

How much sooner forgiveness has come. More like a lawn

 

that went unwatered and dried to brown, to dust,

but then when seasonal rains returned, turned green.

 

Yes, thriving and lush, here is the new lay of the land,

ready for anyone to arrive. Anyone. Even you.

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Forgiveness 101

 

 

The first person I forgive today is myself

for staying up too late last night—how

I loved reading into the late hours, the story

 

crooking its finger at me, tethering me

to its pages. What good does it do

to call myself stupid, to lash out at the part of me

 

who thrives on those slender moments

when I am alone and the house is quiet

and I am the sister of words. No, better to tell

 

that late night reader that I’m tired.

Better to smile at her, though she thwarts

the morning me who loves to rise feeling rested.

 

She does not apologize. I know I will have

to forgive her again. Somehow, when I start

with myself, it makes it easier all day long

 

to practice forgiveness for others—

the slow drivers, the complainers, the bullies,

the pouters. They probably have happier,

 

calmer, more rational selves, too,

that they are also thwarting. All day I practice seeing

the heart of a person. All day, when I yawn, I smile.

 

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Forgive me. I do not mean

to be sharp, stark, sterile.

I’ve read of the salt mines

 

at Salzburg, how if you throw

a stick, leafless and dead,

into one of the abandoned workings,

 

then return months later and pull it out,

it will be covered in crystals,

“a galaxy of scintillating diamonds,”

 

writes Stendahl, “the original

branch no longer recognizable.”

I want to be like that stick.

 

Take my winter soul

and throw it into the mystery,

though it’s dark and cold

 

and easy to get lost.

What knows how to attract

the light will grow, will change me

 

until I barely recognize myself.

I do not mean to be short,

but I hear it in my words.

 

Stranger things have happened.

What is dead is sometimes

a chance to find new life,

 

to become a thing shining,

something the same, only fresh,

a thousand times more brilliant.

 

 

 

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Self-forgiveness is not the first impulse.

In fact, I curse. Run my hands through my hair,

 

tug at my scalp. Sigh. Again. My shoulders fall slack

in the place where my wings would be.

 

In my gut, the seed of apology starts to root.

Perhaps that is what changes things,

 

what allows me to let failure look me in the face,

let it trace my cheeks, the barest caress.

 

It never asks me to be beautiful. It never

expects nor wants perfection. It touches me so tenderly,

 

is it any wonder that soon the apology

spills from my lips like the clearest stream,

 

and I stand in the cold clear rush of it.

The whole world looks different from here.

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