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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’


 
 
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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Strange Wish


 
I would never have wished
for those years when I starved myself,
years when any number on the scale
was a reason to hate my own body.
I would never have wished to be in the room
with the man who didn’t listen
when I said no. I would never
have believed I was capable of weaving lies
that could cause so much hurt,
would never have wanted to break
so completely I walked through the world
like a ghost. And yet I have never been
more grateful for the breaking, the grieving,
the struggling, the loss. I didn’t know how resilient
I was until I was shattered. I didn’t know
how failure would teach me trust. Didn’t know
how pain would open me to feel more compassion,
to fall more in love with the world.
 
It would be a lie to say I am grateful for pain.
But I am grateful for this heart
that contains grief and joy,
grateful for this body that expresses
fear and courage, anger and hope.
Grateful to know myself not only as self
but also as whatever is holding me,
as great space holds the day—
how much bigger the world is now.
 
I would never wish heartbreak on you,
but if it comes, when it comes,
I wish you the gift of holding the heartbreak,
the miracle of opening
beyond what we ever dreamt was possible,
I wish you gratitude for life,
no matter how impossible it is
to say thank you.

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So little of life’s sweetness

can be planned. Oh, meals,

of course, and sometimes

children. But mostly, joy

loves a surprise, loves

when schedules get shuffled

and agendas unravel and

suddenly there’s a space

for bliss to slip in dressed

in calamity’s clothes.

So easy to praise what

looks like success—

but teach me to give thanks

for the mess—

whatever is burnt, broken,

wounded, fumbled, missed.

Teach me to be open in each

unscripted moment

to the bloom of gratefulness.

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            (title after a first line by e.e. cummings)

when you with your nimble

and radiant thoughts

reach into the junkyard of my mind

and there—hiding behind

some old rusty shoulds

and burnt-out what ifs—

you find a small tarnished scrap

of lost perhaps and hold it up

like a treasure, burnish it

with fierce devotion

until even I can see

how it shines.

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Respiratory

IMG_5998

This morning, after the blizzard,

after the sun came out,

there was a moment when the shadows

of the empty cottonwood trees

patterned the snow like tree-sized lungs—

the trunk was a bronchus,

and the branches, bronchioles

that split into twiggish alveoli.

And the tree seemed to say, Remember.

I often neglect to be grateful

for lungs, for breath—

such a simple, forgettable gift.

But in the dividing silhouette,

I saw into myself, a divine branching,

an inner tree, an invitation

to sit and breathe. Remember, it seemed

to say, and I followed the lines until

they disappeared into the light.

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Gratitude

IMG_5952

 

 

Gratitude, it happens,

needs less room to grow

than one might think—

is able to find purchase

on even the slenderest

of ledges, is able

to seed itself

in even the poorest of soils.

 

Just today, I marveled

as a small gratitude

took root

in the desert of me—

like a juniper tree

growing out of red rock.

 

If I hadn’t felt it myself,

I might not

have believed it—

but it’s true,

one small thankfulness

can slip into an arid despair

and with it comes

a change in the inner landscape,

the scent of evergreen.

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And when fear comes to the door bringing flowers

acting as if it’s a friend,

it’s okay to not want to let it in.

It’s okay to lock the door—

it’ll make you feel as if you’re doing something.

Fear will enter anyway.

At least it won’t expect a hug.

It won’t wash its hands,

not even when you ask nicely.

And it is more contagious than any virus—

spreads without sneezes or coughs.

It won’t leave when you ask, but

there are ways to make it quieter—

like inviting a few others to join you,

preferably gratitude, compassion, love,

kindness, vulnerability. These friends

always come when asked, wearing

the loveliest perfume. They change

the conversation, the way lemon

and honey change the bitter tea.

They remind you who you are,

invite you to look out the window

and see how beautiful the world

when the shadows are long.

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Les Jardins de Mérida

 

for Colette and Bob

 

 

Tonight I wear gratitude

like perfume made of jasmine

and violet. Wear it

on my neck, my forearms,

in my hair, on my wrists.

If I could, I would find

the poem’s pulse points

and spritz it here, too,

so that as the poem warms,

it would release its greener

middle notes of basil and rose

so you might enjoy them, too.

 

Gratitude, like perfume,

changes the longer you wear it—

you think it is one thing,

but then it opens in new layers

and eventually, becomes one with the skin.

Only then does it reveal

its lingering base—in this case

vanilla and cedar,

creamy and sensual.

 

To wear gratitude is

like slipping into a long

and silken robe. Like sitting

beside a fire made by people you love.

Like walking alone in the house,

and knowing for certain

you’re not at all alone.

 

 

 

 

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I woke up giddy, because

on rising, there was still

a world. Snow out the window,

and a window! And a cover

on the bed. And a bed!

And a body that ached

from the fall in the trees,

but dang, I had a body.

And it woke up! And yeah,

there is work to do, lots

and lots of work to do,

and love to make and

messes to clean, and

yes, here we are to do it.

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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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