Posts Tagged ‘grace’





After all these years of falling, falling,

terrified of my own weight, terrified

of gravity, after all these years of dropping

through the sky, through all these fears

of not good enough, certain I will crash,

I will die, I find myself now wearing

a great white parachute that appeared

as if I were dreaming, to save me.


After all these years harnessed only to fear,

I land gently, as if on a flat green lawn.

And I’m not just safe, I’m smiling.

I try to reason it logically: Air resistance

with a chute is greater than gravity.

But there is no logic here. How

did the parachute appear? I

didn’t even ask to be saved. Here I am,

good enough, two feet on the ground.

After years and years of falling,

I’m okay. I’m wildly okay.

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And maybe

though there

is no floor

you find

the grace

in falling—

after all

those years

of baby

steps, with

one plunge



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listen as your days unfold
Challenge what your future holds

            —Patti Austin, “You Gotta Be”



And if I could

I’d scatter all the seeds

of grace, release

them from their old dry pods

and let them fall

in tired places—

like your heart,

my heart.

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Though the world is dented and dinged

and scuffed and scorned,

we trim the beans and peel the potatoes,

and the kitchen is warm and full

of laughter. We hum as we work

and break into scraps of song.

All day our hands are joyful

as they prepare the meal to come.

There are wars and battles even now,

not all of them fought with guns,

some waged intimately in our thoughts,

our scraped up hearts. And still,

this scent of apple pie, sweetening

as it bakes, this inner insistence

that love is not only possible,

it is every bit as real as our fear.

Whether the host has brought

out his best wine and his best crystal glasses

or water in chipped clay cups,

there is every reason

to be generous, to serve not only

our family, our friends, ourselves,

but also those we don’t yet know how to love

and those parts of ourselves we

have tried to keep separate.

Tonight the host has hidden bait

in the dinner—we all are caught.

Scent of sage, scent of mushrooms

and cream. The bite of cranberry.

Never mind the potatoes cooked too long.

Blessings seep into all the imperfect places,

even if you can’t name the blessings—

consider them secret ingredients.

The point is not to understand the feast,

but to eat, to eat it together.



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One Self Portrait




the house on fire

and me still trying

to get all the beds made




One Grace


what is the next step—

letting myself not know

until I am stepping





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In the manger of my heart




there in the muddle

where I do my best

to keep it swept

but it gets messed up

every day anyway,

there amidst

the drafts

and the animal chorus

something new

and beautiful

is being born—

not because

I prayed for it,

not because

I am worthy,

only because

that is how

miracles work—


by grace

we peek through

the cracks in the walls

and see just

how light

even the messiest


can be.

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Two Unsuspectings

setting a trap

with honey, catching



this song

of relentless yesses

a set up for grace

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photo taken by Karen James

photo taken by Karen James

Calypso bulbosa

A tiny orchid lifts its small cup
to the world. It is only by luck

that we find it, absorbed as we are
in talk of anger and shame, rushing

along the path like sycophants of time.
But grace has a way of finding us

when we need it the most, inviting us
to linger, to stop, to sip beauty, to marvel.

Light sifts through the forest canopy
like a golden shuttle on a miraculous loom

in which we are two threads in the one
great cloth. It seems likely we will leave

this enchanted hour, but for now
this bright cup, this radiant pause,

this intoxication that makes us forget
there is any other world but this.

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Anything else
I can help you find
says the man
in the pharmacy.
I say,
I could use
some grace.
Any for sale?
He looks
at me
with uncertainty.
No, he says
at last.
I say,
the band aids,
the rows
of antibiotic
I don’t
even bother
to ask

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Spring comes to the sidewalk
in the longer days of March.

The sun warms the slab, and beneath
it the seeds of old weeds start to stir.

They are tiny. And who knows how,
but in the dark, they begin to grow

and put down roots and,
though it seems unlikely,

begin to push through the concrete itself.
First a hairline crack. This fissure is somehow

sufficient to provide light and water enough.
Soon there are tendrils, then whole leaves,

then the yellow blooms of new weeds.
What is it in us that knows to push?

I, too, have wintered in a dark, thick cast, one
of my own making. Cramped and dormant,

I had stopped believing in hope.
But it was not hope that cracked the shell.

Nor was it anything that I did.
It was life’s longing for itself.

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