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Posts Tagged ‘gifts’


            with gratitude to e.e. cummings, Father Blakeslee and all the other hands
 
 
There was perhaps a woman
who saw a thin book of poems
left on a park bench, and because
it was beginning to rain, she picked it up
and noticed it belonged to the library,
and because she was a good woman,
though not much inclined to reading,
she returned it through the metal slot
so the librarians, trained in organization,
could slip it back on the shelves where
it was forgotten amongst other books of verse
until, at last, it was pulled from the stacks
to be sold for pennies by the Friends of the Library.
And a man, a priest, who was looking for fiction,
picked up the old book and saw
how the words leapt across the page
and he thought of a girl he knew
who thrilled with language and how it played,
so he bought the book
and wrote in red pen on the second page,
For Rosemerry, who loves words
with their sometimes and special times,
and even dream time texture!
And she read the inscription, then
read the book. Again. And again.
And her mind was filled with
su nli ght t
            o
            verand
            o
vering
and she fell deeper into herself
in new unpredictable ways,
and the words grew in her
like bindweed, tap rooted and
insistent, blooming profusely,
until they changed everything
about the way she saw the world
changed her the way lighting
changes everything,
filled her with wild potential
and a belief in communion and possibility.
For decades, she’s thanked Father Blakeslee
in her mind, thanked him for the gift of the book,
but more, for the gift of a path, the gift of potential—
the kindness a small act he likely forgot,
never knowing how it changed her life.
But never until today
did she think to thank all the others
who delivered cummings to her hands—
thank the librarians, of course, who curated it,
and thank whoever made the clear plastic sleeve
so the book would not be ruined in the rain,
and thank the woman who perhaps found the book
in the park and took it back to its home.
Yes, bless all who return things to where they belong,
bless all who help things find their “right” place,
things such as this treasured old book of 73 poems on my desk,
which smells of old paper and gratitude,
its pages open even now to a poem
about how it is we live in a magic world.

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Incentive


 
 
The beaver, gifted
with iron-strong teeth,
must use them to chew
on wood or the teeth will grow
and grow—up to four feet a year—
until the beaver can no longer
use its mouth.
 
Think of the gifts
alive and growing in you.
What will you chew on today?

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Four Gifts

clouded sky
I never doubt
the stars

*

yellow dotted line
one foot on either side
walking with the crow

*

clenched, clutched, still
the only thing that makes sense
open the heart again

*

listening
inside the wailing
silence

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I give you bread.
You no longer eat wheat.
You give me a shirt.
There’s a small grease stain.
We both laugh. Neither
of us bothered to wrap.
Tonight I wear the shirt
and feel pretty.
Tonight you eat the bread
and it tastes like buttered love.
I keep thinking of how
we walked today,
the snow so deep, the air
so warm, the sky as clear,
as beautiful as your face
when all the masks come off.

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