Posts Tagged ‘hope’




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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Mine Tour



We sat in the stope, a small room

chiseled and blasted into the stone

1,800 feet below the surface.

Imagine, he says, it is 1899.

First the guide turned out the light.

Then he blew out the candles.

As we sat in the dark, he told us

that only those with a good memory

of how they got in here

would make it back out alive.

Then he turned back on the light.


Sometimes in a darkness,

we feel ourselves trapped,

find ourselves unable

to grope our way back

to some beginning.

In our attempts to emerge

we become increasingly lost.


Sometimes in a darkness,

we come to believe it will always

be dark. How could we know

to hope that by some strange

luck or chance or change

a light might appear

so bright that we would never

again lose our way?



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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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between the night
and the fear, a door appears
a dark bird sings, sings

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not right away
but at some point
it happened,
this barren, sterile field
began, so many shades, to bloom

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wet hair,
wet dress, wet feet
wet eyes
across the field
blue sky

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Even the tiniest
most distant
in the universe

my dear one
it is not
so dark


This is the first in a series of 84-character poems on radiance, one of the 11 powers of the universe that Brian Swimme outlines in EnlightenNext. He writes, “In my view, the power of radiance is an expression of the mysterious way in which the universe cannot contain the magnificence it houses. Instead, it is compelled to express itself in ten million different ways.”

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