Posts Tagged ‘hope’




Just as you give up,

there, through the trees,

you see a clearing

and though it’s exhausting

to be hopeful again

when there’s so little

to show for your hope,

you walk to the clearing

and there in the moss,

hundreds of chanterelles.


When you leave

to reenter the broken world,

some of the hope

sticks to you like tiny burrs,

able to seed themselves

anywhere you carry them.

By noon, nearly everything

seems possible.


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double rainbow to the east—

I stand in the rain and watch

as its colors deepen—

something small inside me

grows brighter, bright enough

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when it’s morning,

when the birds are already

weaving music through the trees.

Easier when the dew

still shines on the leaves

and the world is warming.

In these ripening moments,

it’s hard to remember,

was it only hours ago,

how darkness poured over you

like oil in the ocean.

How nothing seems possible then.

But here, here is the bright red neck

of morning, humming through the shadows

on emerald wings, and here you are,

rising to meet it, not even

because you want to, but

because something in you rises

and carries you with it into the day.

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Before the Sun Returns

Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.

            —Wendell Berry



On this gray morning,

I want to give you

the yellow of the oriole,

the way it weaves through

the invisible weight of the air.

So much touches us

that we can’t see,

and we wonder why

we feel heavy.

I would give you, too,

the gray whirr of the wings

of the hummingbird,

their improbable accuracy

as they negotiate the world

in search of what is sweet,

and I would give you

your own fine feet

still learning to master

one step at a time

and the long pause

in between.

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One Emergence




no moon in the sky

reaching for it anyway—

a siren wails in the night

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But darn if that scent of lemon

isn’t just so yellow, and though

I meant to write about the squeeze

of fear, there’s that bright perfume

on my fingertips and all I can think

is how full of sunshine it is, that scent,

though the room is dark,

though the last thing I thought

I could write about tonight

was hope.

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Already the frost has come,

both intricate and merciless,

and it has taken the basil,

the green beans, the zinnias

and whatever hope we had

that summer might never end.

We knew our hope was irrational,

but that’s never stopped a hope before.

Every day there’s more evidence

against hope—the headlines,

the angry boy down the street,

the child bride in Afghanistan.

And still it rises up, slightly

browned, but still shining

like that marigold bloom that was hiding

beneath a sunflower leaf—

it should be frosted and dead, but

it’s not. Damn hope. Never

acting the way we think it will.

May it trick us forever into choosing

to live another day. And after a long winter

when we’re sure it’s gone, may it always

reseed, putting up dozens of starts.

Not all of them will make it. Some will.

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One Unglimmering

before the dawn
the possibility of dawn—
all night holding that

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It’s true, sometimes the river can’t be wide enough
between me and you. God knows it’s cold in there.
And deep. And full of secrets I don’t ever want to know.

And that old bridge joining us, sometimes I pray it falls.
Tell myself it’s better that way, what, with you over there
and no way to get over here except to swim—and I know

you won’t do that. Yeah, I say, it’s better that way,
you and me just keeping our distance. In fact,
sometimes I pretend it’s gone already, that old bridge.

But then next thing I know, I’m making up smoke signals
to say hey, there’s a really pretty light on the water tonight,
and hey, I’m wishing you would tell me that story again, the one

your mama used to tell to you when you were scared.
And that’s when I know that if that bridge collapsed,
well, I would build a new one with all my resources—

my stubbornness, my hope, my hands. It is hard
to build a bridge out of stubbornness and hope.
But I would. Sometimes it’s all we have.

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But Sometimes I Forget

Is it truly dark, or is this darkness
like what we call night—

nothing more than our backs
turned to the sun.

It is not the light that has changed.
It’s a matter of where we stand.

Though I know this, the night
appears no less dark.

Sometimes, when I
lose hope for the world,

I ask myself if I have lost hope in you,
if I have lost hope in me.

Always the answer
is the same.

By now you would think
I would never forget

that the sun is only one
of many, many lights.

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