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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Darn Lucky

 

 

 

It happens, you know—the day opens itself

like a tulip in a warm room, and you meet someone

who amazes you with their willingness

to be a thousand percent alive, someone

who makes you feel grateful to be you.

 

And it’s as if life has been keeping a beautiful

secret from you—like the fact that they make

elderberry flowers into wine. Like muscadine.

Like the yellow-green floral scent of quince.

Like the perfect knot for tying your shoes.

 

And it turns out life does have wonderful

secrets waiting for you. Even when the news

makes you cry. Even when some old pain returns,

that’s when you will meet this new friend.

Someone wholly themselves. Someone

 

who makes you smile in the kitchen, a smile so real

that when you go out, the whole world notices.

It’s enough to make you want to wake up in the morning.

To go into the day. To be unguarded as a tulip, petals

falling open. You never know who you might meet.

 

 

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I am thrilled to have a poem again on Gratefulness.org, a site devoted to generosity of spirit and gratitude. This poem explores how gratitude brings us into wholeness and connection:

Translation

 

 

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One Gratitude

 

 

 

this eager heart—

in a stuffy room, suddenly

the windows flung wide

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Perhaps that is when Thanksgiving

matters most—when you

walk the empty street alone,

scarred and scared and unsure.

That’s when giving thanks

becomes less of an abstract and more

like the way to take a next breath—

something that seems elusive, but

in fact it’s essential, and it’s right there,

just waiting for you to meet it,

to open yourself, to let it in.

Yes, for now it feels worthy of thanks

that the air is cool and clean and feels

good in the lungs, and the feet know

to walk you closer toward yourself

and the day holds you, holds you

in its soft gray arms, throws

a carpet of dry leaves at your feet,

suggests you keep walking into your life.

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Small Gratitudes

 

 

 

It was one of those days when the alarm

didn’t go off, and we woke anyway

to a world covered in snow, and

 

by noon the sky was blue. And I drove

right through the construction zone

without being stopped by a flagger.

 

The tomato for breakfast was ripe

and sharp and sweet. And the tea

was strong and black. The radio

 

played only songs I wanted to sing.

My car started. I had no flat tires.

I never felt sick. Never fell. More blessings,

 

it turns out, than a woman can count, though

I try to count them all. And the more

I remember—a good friend called, all

 

ten fingers are intact, my eyes still

see across the room—yes,

the more blessings I consider, the more

 

my joy grows until I am dumbfounded,

gobsmacked by gratitude that’s exactly

the size of the known universe, amazed by

 

how perfectly it fits—as if I were made for this—

right inside my skin.

 

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Aphids are born pregnant.

I don’t want to believe it,

but it makes sense, considering

what’s happening in my kale.

And Google confirms it.

They are born pregnant.

And their embryos are also

pregnant. Three generations

of garden cripplers in each tiny

soft-bodied bug.

No matter how much I hate

and curse them, I have to admire

such insistence, such dedication

to survival.

 

It is like gratitude,

I think. Sometimes, it seems

as if there’s not much to be grateful for,

but if I can think of one blessing,

then often, buried in its belly

is another blessing,

and that gives birth to another.

Soon there’s a teeming colony

of gratitudes. And although

the news might try to squish them

or wash them away,

they persist.

 

Yes, all those tiny feasting gratitudes,

how easily they find a way

to thrive. How impressive

their tenacity, their drive.

 

 

 

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Budding

 

            (with thanks to Donnalee for the peony buds)

 

 

Sitting with the peony

whatever is red in me reddens

and whatever in me is fist

loosens its grip

and whatever was sorrow

finds no mirror

and whatever is grateful

becomes fragrant

and I don’t even think

to remember

it won’t last forever,

all I know is

inside,

sweet nectar.

 

 

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Once I would say “table,” and mean

“table.” Once, I would say

“broccoli” and mean “broccoli.”

I would say “stone” and mean

“stone.” I really did believe

that things were separate.

And nameable. Now,

every word that comes

out of my mouth, no matter

how many syllables, no matter

the tone of voice, no matter

my intention, I’ve come to understand

that every word

is really just a translation

for thank you,

thank you for this moment.

And every silence between the words,

regardless how brief,

is really just the sound

of one hand in gratitude clapping.

 

 

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Into this poem

I tucked a thousand

butterflies so when

you read it, they

flutter out—bright winged

and brilliant, each

a reminder of the

thousand gifts

you’ve given—

and also, though

it’s not easy to hide it

inside Times New Roman,

there’s a big brown bull,

stubborn and formidable.

He doesn’t care

about all those pretty bugs,

he just wants to get across

the message,

What you do matters.

If you doubt it,

just look at those nostrils,

just look at those horns.

 

 

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Sometimes gratitude rises in us

like snowmelt—as if some great cold

has met with stubborn warmth

and now the whole world

roars with the transformation.

 

And sometimes gratitude

touches us more like moonlight,

we can’t truly feel it, but we know

it is there, our being

no longer intimidated by the dark.

 

 

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