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Posts Tagged ‘generosity’

One Every Day from the World

making you a bouquet

of morning light—

leaving it at your doorstep

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Fortunate

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Tonight, I want to break into the fortune cookie factory

armed with millions of tiny rectangular papers

that I’d surreptitiously slip into the thin folded wafers.

You will say five nice things in the next hour, says one.

And, You’ll bake something nice for your neighbor.

Every fortune will predict a generosity of spirit.

A grudge you’ve been gripping will disappear.

Gratitude for the smallest things will flood you.

And on the back, it will acknowledge that to make

any number lucky, you’ll simply write a check

using that number to a local charity—

the more zeroes you add to the number,

the luckier that number will be.

Or, perhaps a better idea:

fill each cookie with a blank slip of paper—

some small scrap of potential that invites every person

to write their own fortune, lets them feel

like the author of their own destiny. In fact, here.

Here’s a pen. And a very small white page.

You don’t even need the cookie.

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In the box from eBay,

a green crystal elephant

and not one clue

as to who might have sent it.

 

There are days

when I am amazed

by the goodness of people,

how we are marked by generosity

 

There are days

when I whisper thank you,

though I don’t know to whom,

and I revel in the mystery.

 

 

 

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Ruth Dreams Me Safe

 

 

 

She’s in a thrift store in her dream,

and though her daughter

suggests it’s too big,

Ruth buys me a men’s suit coat,

something to keep me warm.

Later she tells me the real reason

she bought it: she knows

I need the arms around me.

Into one of the pockets,

she slips a check for $100,

then asks her daughter

to give it to me.

 

I find the coat in a message

Ruth sends me on Facebook,

where the pixels warm me

more than any wool, more

than any fleece, any down.

How easy it is to be generous,

sharing our dreams, our thoughts,

our hope. All night I stick my hands

in the coat pockets. They are deep,

warm, full of surprises.

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Consider the generosity of the chair,

sitting there with its arms open, its back straight,

its seat ever ready to hold you.

 

Consider how it was made to support you—

how its legs take all your weight.

Perhaps it is beautiful, artful, handsome.

 

Perhaps it exists for function alone.

When is the last time you knew yourself

as that useful? When is the last time

 

you gave yourself so completely to another,

said to them, Sit, please. As long as you wish.

I am here for you. I am here.

 

 

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From a brown envelope sent by Amazon,

I pull out Bread and Miracles, a book

of poems I’ve admired for years.

I wrote the author long ago

to tell her I love her poems,

the way she makes devotion

of earthworms and camas lilies.

But there is no way to explain why

her words arrive here in my own kitchen

except through some miracle, which is,

I suppose, another name for kindness.

 

Whoever you are, sweet sender

of poems, thank you. Thank you

for knowing exactly what book

I might like to receive, though

I’ve never told anyone. Thank you

for knowing there would be a day

when a dear man died and I would need

to remember that goodness thrives,

that generosity flourishes, that

there are people out there who,

out of pure benevolence,

extend themselves to others.

 

There is a fairy tale in which

bread crumbs are insufficient to save

a brother and sister. But they are saving

this woman, and though I don’t know

where the trail began, I follow it forward

saying thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

 

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Kindness is invincible.

—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 11.18.ix

 

 

And though I barely know her,

she met me on the street to give me

a small bottle of perfume. Scent of rose,

amber, white musk, scent of friendship

just beginning, scent of how we might choose

to meet each other—with the wisdom

of blossoms, opening. Already

I’m dreaming of ways to continue

her mischievous generosity,

imagining how each act will carry

a hint of citrus, rose, precious wood.

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trying to pickpocket

the universe—it turned around

and gave me everything

 

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Five Cents

 

 

 

Finding by chance a buffalo nickel

my son decides to spend his fortune

on a girl he’s never met

who woke one morning

with cancer in her marrow—

 

he tells me he’s thinking

a lot about death,

and he’s scared,

and I tell him yes,

it’s scary.

 

Later, I look out the window,

and though there’s not a hint

of leaves on the trees outside,

I feel some certainty

about green and summer,

 

and I’m amazed at how

just when we think the world

could not get any colder,

we are reminded what even

a tiny bit of warmth can do.

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The sun and I made a promise—

to shine with no apology,

to bring warmth,

to give until we have nothing left to give.

In the night, the sun

entered my sleep

and tattooed my body

with golden words.

Now all my limbs

glitter with this vow—

there is so much beauty

for us to make.

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