Posts Tagged ‘god’

Growing Orbits

after Rainer Maria Rilke, “I Live My Life in Growing Orbits”

I am circling what is true,
with my arms open I am circling,
with eyes wide I am circling,
I am circling that which has never changed
and that which is always changing.
I circle with eyes full of tears, I circle
as I sing along with voice breaking,
lips praising, I circle with chest
expanding, feet eager, my body
exhausted, my whole being charged,
and the only words on my lips are thank you.
I am circling with the certainty
I can only do this right. I circle
the spaces I’ve circled before
only nothing is the same. I circle
the nothing at the center and the everything
which has come from it. With every step,
I see something new, something
I could not have seen before. With every step
I understand and lose my understanding.
I am circling all that can never be known
and all I long to know. I am circling
in quickening spirals and in lazy
orbits and I circle for the joy
of circling. I am circling you, God,
as Rilke invited me to do, and
still I am learning who you are,
so I circle and I circle and I circle.

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I remember when everything was impossible.
Impossible to move. Impossible to not move.
Impossible to eat. Impossible to not eat.
Impossible to sleep. Impossible to wake.
Impossible to imagine a time
when everything wouldn’t be impossible.
Today I walk out into a world where,
at the same time, the sun shines brilliant
and snowflakes sift through the air.
When they touch my face, cold and soft,
it’s as if the god I am not sure I believe in
has used this moment as a chance
to brush impossibly delicate fingers
across my cheeks and whisper to me
in a voice I don’t hear, yet I hear perfectly,
everything is possible, sweetheart, everything.

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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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Let’s Get Drunk




The Sufis had it right—

the day is a glass of wine.

It matters not what kind

of vessel it’s poured into—

chipped clay or crystal

or wooden cup. There

is divinity in it regardless—

the chance to dance alongside

the rational, logical self

and fall in love. It brings

the potential for bliss,

for persuasiveness, for imagination,

for spontaneous and riotous

laughter. And you, perhaps,

like I, are beginning to realize

just how dry the mouth,

just how thirsty the heart.



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A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting gravitational acceleration so strong that nothing—no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it.




Perhaps black hole is just another word

for God—a force that pulls in everything,

regardless of how that everything looks or prays or votes.

A cup that runneth—not over, but ever in. A shepherd

so adept at shepherding that nothing—

no sheep, no man, no star, no dust—

could ever be lost in its spacetime pasture.

It creates communion, obliterates separateness.

In pictures, it’s a vision of still water.

In truth, it’s unable to be known.

A force that overwhelms all other forces.

It devours some, and in others spurs growth.


And what isn’t, I suppose, another word

for God: Ledger. Valley. Garden. Death.

Rhubarb. Rod. Human. Staff.

There is this gift to see the divine in everything.

There is this force that pulls the everything in.

Every particle. Every everything. Even (my god) the light.



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One Hopeful




counterfeit can only exist

when there is real gold—

is it the same with god?

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When I started to fume,

God grabbed me in his arms

impossibly strong and tender

and said, dear one,

don’t build our house too small

and I dropped my hammer

and nails and noticed

how fine the breeze

without walls.

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Looking for god under the bed—

finding dust bunnies.

Sacred dust bunnies.

Of course, I think,

but to be honest, friend,

I don’t really see

the divine

in these drifts of abandoned hair

and fuzz and grit,

no matter how much I’d like to.

Now I know how I get in my own way.

For here on, I’ll need to question

my eyes more often.

Lower my standards? Perhaps

feel myself being held

up to the light

to see what shines.



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More Opening to Do




But I took the door

off the hinges,

I said, knowing

I had more opening

to do. Yes,

said God, before

tearing down

the whole house.

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Power to the paradox.
–Jack Mueller

Today you are the cut on the finger
and you also the knife.
You the bandage that wraps the wound.
You the Advil, the ice.

You the sun, and the burn that comes.
You the aloe salve.
You the moon and the absence of moon.
You the children’s laugh.

And you the scent of old dead leaves,
and you the stubborn green.
You the red wine and the empty cup.
The song, the one who sings.

And you the silence between the notes.
You the coat and the chill.
You the uncomfortable anger, the blame,
you the one who sees through.

And you the lines I will never write.
And you the eraser, the lead.
You the peace and you the unrest
the beginning without end.

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