Posts Tagged ‘love’

            with a nod to Basho
my teenage girl
slips her hand into mine—
from the hand, I learn about hands

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One Faith

at the edge of a wish
choosing to jump—
you my parachute

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  for Shawnee
This morning, knowing you were coming,
I went to the garden and cut the largest sunflower
to put in a vase on the table.
It was the loveliest of all the garden’s flowers,
planted from seed four months ago.
When I was younger than you are now,
my grandmother gave me voluptuous roses
in a simple blue glass vase.
I felt so connected to her this morning
as I made a bouquet for you.
I understood something new of devotion.          
Unable to thank her, I thanked
the sunflower. Her love from three decades ago
pulsed through the stem like sunshine.
How did I not feel the full magnitude then?
I give all that love to you.

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There is a light inside the light,
   a light that ever burns.
     It’s easy not to notice it
when it’s surrounded with other light,
   but it is there, shining.
     It is, perhaps, like a candle
lit at noon in a sun-bright room—
   almost imperceptible, and yet
     to the one who lit the candle,
the light it offers
   is so much more than photons.
     It requires trust to receive
the light no one else can see,
   this light that weaves through
     the light of the world to reach you,
this light that shines for you.

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What I Can Offer

for S & J

I want to give you something
necessary as rain and lasting as honey,
something useful as a spoon,
something helpful as wheels.

Sometimes it feels so inadequate
to offer you a poem, a prayer,
the small light of a candle,
a hammock woven only of blessings.

Still, as you meet these difficult hours
I wish you the peace of the amber field,
wish you the rose quartz of dawn.

Because it’s what I can do, I offer you poems,
prayers, the small flame of a candle, and
a hammock of blessings woven with dark, with light.

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By now, of course,
I know things change—
the leaves of love,
the nest of grief,
the map of yes,
the certainty
of together.
But to know love,
to know yes
for even a moment
is to know it forever.

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We measure the afternoon in wild raspberries,
pulling to our mouths the abundant ripe fruits
like the feral beings we are.

Fingers stained red and lips stained red
and the moments stained red as love.
If it is not smart to speak of love,

then let me not be smart.
Let me speak of love that flourishes
like wild raspberries in a rainy summer.

Let me live into love as undomesticated
as these brambles that line the creeks.
Let me remember today

by the sweet and tart taste of wild berries,
how softly they fell into our palms.
Let me be eager for love

as the look on my daughter’s face
when she dragged me by the hand
back to the raspberry patch saying more, more.

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Exactly a year ago I posted a message instead of a poem, explaining I needed a time away. Two weeks later I explained why. It was almost two months later I posted my son Finn’s obituary. In the last year, I have been so humbled by the love and support and kindness of people. So many of you reached out to me in some way, and whether it was with a letter, an email, a gift, a call, a prayer, your thoughts, a song, or your energetic presence, I am grateful. It has mattered. You, with your love and goodness, you have not only buoyed me, you have changed me. I don’t know how anyone would ever survive such a loss without such an outpouring. I thank you, every one of you, I thank you, I thank you. I am sobbing now thinking of it–all the love. This poem tries to touch it, but, well, it’s just the surface. I am swirling gratefulness around all of you. I honor your losses that have made you who you are, that have made you so tender and generous toward others.
With abiding awe, 

Though I Knew Love Before

Not until my world dissolved
in an instant did I begin to understand
the communion of hearts.
Not until I could not put one minute
in front of the next did I begin
to understand infinite devotion.
Not until I lost my own flesh did I begin
to understand the muscle of spirit.
I will never love the loss, never,
but I love the life that rushes in after.
I love the intimacy
of those who have lost—
how we find each other and offer
our open embrace, our unwalled affection,
our wildest wishes for peace.
Not until I was consumed
by the great wave of love
did I know not to fear
the great wave of love.
Only then did I learn the beauty
of ceding the self to something much greater.
Only then did I learn how love
not only carries us,
it transforms who we are forever.

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Warning Label

In the small print that doesn’t appear on my wrist
when you shake my hand, it says, Not advised
for those with low tolerance to weeping. It says,
For those allergic to intimacy, recommend low dosage.
It says, Close contact is associated with a high risk
of being included as a subject in poems.
Oh, blah, blah, blah. Everything comes with a warning label
these days. So many potential risks when we connect.
Like irrational happiness. Like loss. Like grief.
Like a deepening love that will never go away.

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Once love was tsunami,
a great wave of love
that crashed into me,
and though I was pulled under
and held there,
somehow I did not drown.
Once love was the buzz of a red laser,
precise and powerful.
It focused on my heart
and rewrote me, cell by cell.
Now, I put an ear to the wall of my heart
and I hear the steady thrum of love,
how it moves in me
the way a river never stops singing in its bed,
the way stars naturally resonate,
albeit at frequencies too low to hear,
but that doesn’t mean
they are not making music.
Perhaps I needed the crashing,
the buzzing, the proof.
Now, I trust the love that courses there.
I trust love’s constant hymn.
I do not know how it works,
but I trust I will be sung.  

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