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Posts Tagged ‘gratefulness’

The Prayers

When I asked the world to open me,
I did not know the price.
When I wrote that two-word prayer in the sand,
I did not know loss was the key,
devastation the hinge,
trust was the dissolution
of the idea of a door.
When I asked the world to open me,
I could never have said yes to what came next.
Perhaps I imagined the waves
knew only how to carry me.
I did not imagine they would also pull me under.
When I asked the world to open me,
I had not imagined drowning
was the way to reach the shore.
The waves of sorrow dragged me down
with their tides of unthinkable loss.
The currents emptied my pockets
and stripped me of my ideas.
I was rolled and eroded
and washed up on the sand
like driftwood—softened.
I sprawled there and wept,
astonished to still be alive.
It is not easy to continue to pray this way.
Open me.
And yet it is the truest prayer I know.
The other truest prayer,
though sometimes it frightens me,
is Thank you.

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Like a pale blue ribbon,
soft and lovely,
your words are woven
through the nest that has held me
since the merciless shot of loss.
Your poems meet me again and again
with their open eyes
and their open hands.
They say, Rest here,
sweetheart. I understand.
You, with your pilgrim heart,
your insistence on devotion,
you have cradled me
with your honesty.
Long before I knew
I needed to be saved,
your words found me,
stitched through me with love
as if that is what words are for.

*
Dear friends, here is where you can find out more about the remarkable Gregory Orr. 

And here is where you can find one of his poems that has saved me in the past year. 

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Sitting on folding chairs
in the dark, we talk
in hushed tones
as night birds swoop
and call across the lake.
The evening air is warm
and though I can’t see
the pale purple flowers
on the rosemary bushes,
I know they are there—
it’s the kind of night
I will someday miss most,
the kind when we speak
of plans and weather
and what’s for lunch tomorrow,
the kind of night
when we know full well
how else a night might go,
but for this night we
sit with the stars
and the sound of the train
and we snuggle deeper in.

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What the Sky Knows

Before the feast,
I slip outside
into the rose glow
of evening and
talk to my loves
who no longer
walk this earth,
and I thank them
for being in my life
and I cry and cry.  
How is it possible
at the same time
to hold so much grief
and so much gratitude?
And the sky holds me
and the rooftops, the
streets and the fields,
the factories and forests,
it holds it all, holds
what is most beautiful,
holds what is most foul.
It doesn’t try to change
anything. Like that,
it seems to say
as it turns a deeper
rose. Like that.

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I want to bring to the doorstep of your heart
a giant bouquet of soft-petalled words,
a lavish bouquet of gratitudes
grown from seed in which each bloom
remembers each time
I watered it, encouraged it,
pulled the weeds from around its stem.
I want to have amended the soil
in which these appreciations grew
with the mycelium of devotion,
the dark compost of love.
It matters, the ways we say thank you.
Those two words disappear from the air
in less than a second,
so is it any wonder, when you
with your love have changed me forever,
that I want to bring you
a whole garden of gratefulnesses
no, a whole field of eternal thank yous
in which every flower is astonishingly open
and the perfume fills
every room in your heart.
 
 

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