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Posts Tagged ‘kindness’

 

 

Mom, she said, is it true? And it wasn’t

that I’d tried to keep the truth from her,

it just never came into conversation,

old horses are sometimes used for glue.

 

Yes, I said, wishing I could soften the message. It’s true.

She knew its truth already, but don’t we all

sometimes long to be wrong? New tears dammed

in her eyes before they fell. Is that really

 

the world I belong to? she rued, then buried

her face in the couch. Two hours later,

I thought her same thought as I read the news:

Anti-Semitism. Bribery. Child sexual abuse.

 

I wanted to hear the stories weren’t true.

Oh world, so broken, still, unglued, I choose you.

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From a brown envelope sent by Amazon,

I pull out Bread and Miracles, a book

of poems I’ve admired for years.

I wrote the author long ago

to tell her I love her poems,

the way she makes devotion

of earthworms and camas lilies.

But there is no way to explain why

her words arrive here in my own kitchen

except through some miracle, which is,

I suppose, another name for kindness.

 

Whoever you are, sweet sender

of poems, thank you. Thank you

for knowing exactly what book

I might like to receive, though

I’ve never told anyone. Thank you

for knowing there would be a day

when a dear man died and I would need

to remember that goodness thrives,

that generosity flourishes, that

there are people out there who,

out of pure benevolence,

extend themselves to others.

 

There is a fairy tale in which

bread crumbs are insufficient to save

a brother and sister. But they are saving

this woman, and though I don’t know

where the trail began, I follow it forward

saying thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

 

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Of Strangers

 

 

And so it is that kindness stays with me,

the way the woman in the store smiles at me

when she can tell I might start to cry.

 

I carry her smile in my pocket all day,

like a coin, something I carry everywhere

with no effort, but sometimes forget, and then,

 

when my fingers again find the ridged edges,

when I feel the weight of the coin in my palm,

I am struck by how something so small

 

carries value, carries meaning. All day

the smile stays with me. All day, I touch

it again and again, feel how its weight

 

tips some invisible scale, how I remember

again to say hello to fate and fall in love.

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Dear Friends,

A week or so ago, I sent a poem titled Secret Agents, which outlined the story of a woman I have not yet met (Sherry Richert Belul) who sent me $5 in the mail as a reminder that abundance is everywhere. Since then, a small secret agent revolution has been happening, and Sherry and I have launched Secret Agents of Change!

On Feb. 17, Random Acts of Kindness Day, we will start our Secret Agent Challenge: Operation Love–seven days of simple “assignments” that spread secret joy, good-will and kindness in the world around you. Will you join us?

Here is a link to a video in which we talk about how we met through small acts of kindness and how we decided to create the Secret Agents of Change.

And here is a link to join our Facebook group, which is how we will be giving out the secret missions.

If you are eager to be part of the Secret Agent Challenge but don’t belong to Facebook, then email me. I am sure we can come up with some way to get you involved and in the loop! It’s a kindness revolution!

Rosemerry

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And after the boy

hugs his sister

and tells her

she did a great job,

 

after he wipes

her tears and holds

her and wraps her

in his awkward arms,

 

after she leans

into him, their

sapling trunks

sloping toward

 

each other,

I want to tell him

how proud I am

of the ways

 

he is growing,

want to affirm

how much depends

on love, want

 

to say I see his tenderness,

but the soil beneath

them is unstable,

precious, and my voice

 

is full of heavy clouds,

so I wait until

they sway apart,

then I walk closer

 

and manage to say

through invisible rain,

It’s time.

Let’s go home.

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for Jack Ridl and all the rakers

 

 

Pulling the rake through the cottonwood leaves,

I think of Jack in Michigan pulling his rake

through beech, birch, oak and ash leaves.

I stop to lean on my rake and I think

of him stopping to lean on his rake

and talk to the gods. I’m not so sure I believe

in gods, but I believe in Jack. I believe in kindness.

I believe in friendship that grows despite distance.

I believe that these rhythms of raking and making piles

bring us closer together—all of us rakers, all of us

who step into the slow cadence of pull and reach,

and pull and reach. There is something unifying

in this annual act of tidying the world. Every day

the news is full of all we can’t set right. But we

can drag the rake through the yard so that we

can see the path again. And we can set the rake

aside and stare at the sky and think of all

the people we love and all the people

we’ll never know who join us in this simple act,

reach and pull, reach and pull, reach and pull,

the sound of metal tines grating, the beat

of our own hearts scraping against our chests.

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Kindness is invincible.

—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 11.18.ix

 

 

And though I barely know her,

she met me on the street to give me

a small bottle of perfume. Scent of rose,

amber, white musk, scent of friendship

just beginning, scent of how we might choose

to meet each other—with the wisdom

of blossoms, opening. Already

I’m dreaming of ways to continue

her mischievous generosity,

imagining how each act will carry

a hint of citrus, rose, precious wood.

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Preferably Purple

 

 

 

 

I need nothing more today

than a bit of string—not

to hold things together, no,

but to wrap around my wrist

and touch each time I need

to remember to be kind.

Which is all day. The trick

is remembering to touch it,

remembering the invitation

to choose what is kind.

A fierce wind blows.

All day, I imagine I am kite,

that I am the one who holds

it on a slender string,

the one who eventually lets it go.

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Kindness

Consider the tulip,
how it rises every spring
out of the same soil,
which is, of course,
not at all the same soil,
but new. How long ago
someone’s hands planted a bulb
and gave to this place
a living scrap of beauty.

Consider the six red petals,
the yellow at the center,
the soft green rubber of the stem,
how it bows to the world. How,
the longer we sit beside it,
the more we bow to it.

It is something like kindness,
is it not? The way someone plants
in you a bit of beauty—a kind word,
perhaps, or a touch, the gift
of their time or their smile.
And years later, in the soil that is you,
it emerges again, pushing aside
the dead leaves, insisting on beauty,
a celebration of the one who planted it,
the one who perceives it, and
the fertile place where it has grown.

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the wind tugs the leaves

off the aspen trees, many

before they’re golden—

 

children, I say, I love you,

and kiss their green ears

their green heads as I send

 

them to school,

tell them to go

do beautiful things

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