Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’




it was never meant to last,

this life, though we tell ourselves

we’re different, though we tell

ourselves we matter. But the planet

is patient. And the sky is older than that.

The bones in the exhibit hall are proof.


Still, as I drive the seven hours to home,

I am careful to stay in my lane,

careful to miss the dead lump of what once

was a bird, to use my turn signal,

to wave thanks at the truck driver

who let me into the flow.


It may not go on forever, but

for now there is this chance

to learn about communion.

There is this chance

to see just how generous

we can be with these drying bones.

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I decided to take

the invitation seriously.

Nothing changed.

I made breakfast.

Went to work.


Made a date

to speak with a friend.

Swore at the magpie

that dive bombed

my head. Ate popcorn

for lunch.

Made plans

for four months from now.

Took vitamins.

Drank green tea.

Watered the seeds

planted yesterday.

Talked to the seeds,

encouraged them to grow.

Read a book, stopped

at the penultimate chapter.

Some things are better

left unfinished.

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my mother began my mornings

by singing to me “it’s going to be

such a lovely day”—

over thirty years later

I still believe her

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One for My Death




and when I die

let me bleed words

and let all of them

be thank you

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No matter how difficult the world may be, how hostile, how ferocious, there is always the invitation for gratitude. Thank you to Gratefulness.org, a site devoted to finding and sharing what’s right in the world, who today posted this poem of mine about finding this invitation–Obeying the Impulse

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walking four blocks with my mother,

every step an arrival,

every step a reason to praise

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I know it’s your job, to monitor the heart rate as it rises, the blood pressure as it falls. I know the gray-haired woman in the bed is another set of numbers with a name you’ll forget. She’s my mother. She grows tomatoes on her porch and has a song to sing for every occasion. She loves side stroke and chocolate and Japanese art. She makes the best poached eggs, and she knows exactly how to scratch my head to lull me to sleep. I know it’s your job to find the clot. To bathe the wound. To ease the pain. Thank you. Thank you for your hands as they slip the needle into her arms, the arms that gather me when frightened or cold. Thank you for your feet as they run down the halls to examine her heart, her heart that holds so many. Thank you for your art as you puzzle the why of her body, her body that knows itself as a vessel for love and prayer. She is praying for you, even now, as I do, and though you are just doing your job, thank you.

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While the onions and celery forget themselves

in the butter and low heat, I walk to the garden

and gather spinach. It’s nearly time to pull the row—

the plants have begun to yellow and bolt—

but there remain enough dark green leaves

for a pot of fresh cream of spinach soup.

The evening is warm, and swallows dart and swoop

through the air. A haze drapes the midsummer sky.

For a moment I forget there is dinner

to make, a burner inside that will not wait.

For a moment my heart is as open

as the first calendula bloom in the garden,

all its many petals peeled back. It’s now I notice

I’ve been living only half open. Sometimes

we unfold just long enough that the world

can rush in and shake us awake

before we bend back in to our daily lists.

The soup has never been so deep green,

so rich. The night has never smelled so good.

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Two Marvelings




just another full moon rise—

is it any wonder

I can’t stop bowing?




how, I said,

to the river bed

do you make

of yourself a home?

I let the flow shape me,

the river bed said—

flood, current,

shimmer, stone

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Right Here



I realized I was yearning for more than the riches the blessing of the day had brought.

            —Alan Cohen, “Visitations”




Give me the napkins with stains on them,

the ones we’ve used for seven years.

Give me the butter dish with the broken lid,

the sound of my husband lightly snoring

on the couch with the missing buttons,

and the wild laughter of children

so loud I cannot hear the woman

on the other end of the phone.

Give me these wrinkles, this gray,

this softness I used to despise.

Give me exactly this life

that I have, wealthy with messes

I have helped to create, so rich

with nitty-gritties

that some nights I forget

that somewhere there’s a clean,

quiet, unbroken world

I once thought

I wanted to be part of.




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