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Posts Tagged ‘growth’

 

 

 

Sometimes, she said, being uncomfortable

is what we need to do.

 

And I think of the scald of hot water,

how it cleans the stain.

 

How being covered in abrasive fuzz

is the only way to harvest the peach.

 

How the seed is carried by the burr.

It is human to seek pleasure, shun pain.

 

But think of the tree, how it lets

the gale rip away what is dead.

 

And the grape, how it bubbles

and foams before it becomes wine.

 

And the cactus, how it needs the drought

as much as it needs the rain.

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One Almost 5’10

 

 

 

the tree I planted

now taller than I—

my empty hand

still remembering

the weight of the acorn

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More and more, I have come to admire resilience.

            —Jane Hirshfield, “Optimism”

 

 

And when the snap peas ran out of fence to climb,

they created a living trellis of leaf and vine

and climbed up themselves, winding

and twisting toward the sun—

there’s green inside your limbs.

There’s braiding to be done.

 

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The garden rows are visible now,

the slender shoots of carrots,

 

the succulent leaves of calendula,

the curly beginnings of kale—

 

after many years these first green shapes

feel like old friends.

 

I greet them as I walk the rows,

tell them they are doing fine.

 

And then there are the gaps

between the sprouts, the places

 

where I can only guess about

why the seeds don’t grow.

 

A lack of water? Planted too deep?

A shadow? A dud of a seed? A slug?

 

Of course I take it personally

and wonder what else I should have done.

 

And then I pull out the extra seeds

and fill in the spots where there is no green.

 

There is no use in blaming. Just plant the seed

where nothing is growing. It’s so simple,

 

the task, so lacking in blame.

There are gardens in me begging

 

for me to do the same—to notice

where there is failure to thrive,

 

and to seed again, then bring water,

bring nourishment, wait.

 

 

 

 

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How Soon Things Change

 

for e.m.m.

 

 

The amaryllis

you gave us

three weeks ago

grew two inches

just today—

so much life

in such a short time.

Already, the two

thick buds

are swelling,

twin green

chambers.

So much of

any miracle

is invisible,

though it happens

right before

our eyes.

I can hardly stop

watching the buds

and thinking

of you, wishing

for a miracle

and knowing

that even if

one is rising

up right now,

it wouldn’t

be like the amaryllis—

miraculous

as this flower is,

we know

it’s red petals

that emerge. No,

what I wish

for you

is something

I couldn’t possibly

know—something

I couldn’t name

or predict, something

that will rise out of

what seems to be

nothing and render

us astonished,

humbled, delirious

with its impossible

grace.

 

 

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carrying that sled

uphill for so long, I forgot

it was for riding

*

shedding the roof

when the house no longer fits—

now nothing between us and the stars

*

but I miss the weight

say the hands, too free after

setting down the stone chest

*

running full speed

into my own fear, I ricochet

into the arms of god

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While

saying the words
I knew you did not
want to hear I tried
to shape my voice
like the flowers
we know will
eventually
come in more fully
only after the stem
has been
broken.

I forced myself
to keep my eyes
open.

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In the loss
is a branch
with a brittle
stem
where an old
fruit hangs
rust-colored
and dried
beside
a tight cluster
of rose-tipped buds
where something
fragile
and white
is just
beginning
to form.

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I grieved
that the rose had stopped blooming
when in fact
it was opening
only very, very, very slowly

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Like a pinecone
after it’s been trod on

and snowed on and
summered and rained on,

that is how I find myself.
Softer now, and with less

sense of separateness.
The earth has a fine way

of saying here, here.
And gravity, it makes things

so easy. I would not have thought
it sounded so good,

all that wearing down,
lessening to dust.

I could not have imagined
sharing my browns, much less

losing my sharpness, my articulate
serration, spilling my seeds.

Though spilling, that is what seeds
are for. And the opening beyond.

And losing the self, that is perhaps
what a self is for.

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