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Posts Tagged ‘heart’


The heart doesn’t have perfectionism.
            —Joi Sharp


All night I dreamt
I was teaching a class
I’d never prepared for.
I’d never even seen
the textbook,
didn’t have a roster
for the students,
and couldn’t understand
how I’d arrived in this place
where I seemed destined
to let everyone down.
Even the chalk wouldn’t work
on the chalkboard.
All night I fought
an inner monster,
the one that says,
You are not enough.
All night it chased me
through the channels
of my fears, those
synaptic paths
well-traveled for years.
Oh world, let me be
the student.
Let me be one
who learns to live
through the heart,
who loves with confidence.
Let me study the ways
love meets the monster—
not with a fight
but with indifference.

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inspired by Leigh Gage


I try to make it beautiful—a spacious place
with room enough for blue birds to migrate,
where whole herds of elk can bed down,
and with fields so vast they hold
every memory of you—
not just the warmhearted memories,
but the hardest ones, too.
Those I hold up to the soft light of morning,
grateful for room enough to walk around them
and give them the space they need.
Those I hold up to the sharp light of noon
and say, yes, yes, it was like that.
I fill my heart with the scent of apple pie and cinnamon,
lemon zest and the river in spring.
Sometimes, when I am most vulnerable,
there’s a floral fragrance of forgiving.
I try to keep my heart soft. I try not to clench,
not to harden, not to set. I try to create
a place where you can rest, where you can stay.
It is full of blank books, each one waiting to be filled
with stories of how it is with you living here in my heart,
this place where you have always lived,
this place even death cannot take away—
this place death has made more holy, more real.

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feeling it inside me
tender and tired
your heart

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The Bailiff of the Heart wears comfortable shoes—
she knows she’ll be standing
outside the heart’s door
for a long, long time,
while inside the many voices of love deliberate.
It’s never so simple as innocent or guilty.
The heart is full of what ifs and if onlys
and the jury’s aware of what’s at stake—
nothing less than everything.
The bailiff doesn’t mind.
She can hear them in there bellowing,
pleading, reasoning, stonewalling.
She gets them water. She tells the court to wait.
It’s her job to protect their conversation.
She long ago gave up believing in justice.
Still, she believes in love.
 

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Compass




Every day we become
the self we once tried to imagine
but couldn’t. Though we planned
future paths. Though we trained.
Though we took steps. Nothing
can stop us from becoming
exactly who we are. Sometimes
I see them, the ghosts
of the women I thought I would be—
I pass them in the airport or
see them in restaurants.
Can they see me, too?
I did not know, when I imagined them,
how the path that would come to matter most
would be the path that has heart.
I still can’t see the woman
I will become. But I know how
to find her.

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After the heart broke like a porcelain bowl,
when it shattered in pieces, scattered,
life itself reassembled the shards.
Friends bring their melted gold
to seal the bits together again.
I trace my fingers across the shining scars.
Some pieces will be missing forever.
Let me fall in love with what has been broken.
Let me dare to call it beautiful.

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The Naked Heart Goes into Town




The heart walks down the street
with its big brim hat, its sunglasses,
its four chambers stepping up
onto the curb. It hopes it doesn’t
run into anyone it knows.
It’s hard enough to keep pumping,
pumping, one hundred thousand times
a day. That’s all the heart can manage right now.
No conversation. No small talk.
No big talk. The heart has nothing to say—
a heart is made to feel,
and feel it does as it makes its way
to the post office, stops at the crosswalk,
feels it all.
Feels the cool breeze that buffets it.
Feels love for the scent of autumn,
love for the low-glancing light.
And it grieves for the loss
of what once it pumped for.
Grieves for the boy who still
lives in its walls. Grieves for
all who grieve, who weep.
Oh the heart, it feels so exposed
as it stands at the door of the coffee shop,
wonders if it can go in.
The other hearts in the coffee shop
wear so much skin.
The heart sniffs at the dark and bitter scent,
remembers what it was like  
to go inside, sip a latte, talk about weather.
It pounds against itself,
walks on down the road.

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One Eventual Path

 
 
so long I dreamt of a key—
now it crumbles to dust
this old cage around my heart

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Navigation




Abducted, drugged and left
abandoned in a field, a bee
will still discover a way back
to its hive. Though day is night
and night is day, though
anesthetized, disrupted,
foggy, dazed,
the faithful bee returns.
Is it any wonder then,
the heart with its
ecstatic buzz, though dissuaded
by time, discouraged by
loss, deterred by neglect
or rejection, still manages
to navigate its way home?
Sometimes I feel it—
its beat, like the flutter
of wings, saying trust me,
I’ll lead you, finding home
is what I do best,
though the field is unfamiliar,
though I have
lost the path.  

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How Much Wider?


 
 
Tonight the heart
is a vase filled
with thistles
and lilies, burdock
and roses, knapweed
and voluptuous peonies.
It is perhaps not
the bouquet I would choose,
but it is what is here.
But it’s hard to hold it all,
I say to the world.
And it is. It’s too much,
I say. But is it?
And I’m scared
the vase will break.
But it doesn’t.
Instead it widens
to contain what is in it—
stems of puncturevine
and poppies,
leafy spurge and
delicate lisianthus.
And so I hold it,
I hold it all.
And the vase doesn’t break,
but oh, as it widens,
the ache.

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