Posts Tagged ‘meditation’



I try to see myself

the way I see the trees

far off beyond the field—

something not at all singular

but a tiny part of a whole

that extends beyond sight,

beyond knowing.


It is a long time

before my thoughts

are airy as the silences

between their dark trunks,

quiet as the leaves

that are not yet there.






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Let yourself be danced.

            —Augusta Kantra



The poem sits down to be written.

Instead, it stares at the bay.

There’s a highway in the distance

that could take it all the way to California.

The poem doesn’t want to go to California.

It wants to be present, just here,

on the sandy bank beside the driftwood.

It wants to find its inner poem.

It wants to get out of its own way,

to obey its emerging form.

Instead, it watches the tall grass

getting danced by the wind.

It sighs. The poem wants to know

what it doesn’t know yet.

And the poem wants to be good.

Dammit. It tries to lower its standards,

then judges, compares and tries to fix itself.

It lists. It sits cross legged till its legs

fall asleep. It is a book of sorrows,

a tree of anxiety, a wave of failure.

It’s a cage of empty lines. How

did it get into this straight jacket?

The poem gives up. It stares at the bay.

Watches the grasses sway. Notices

how the wind blows its hair,

lifts its hands. The poem doesn’t know

why it’s weeping. In that moment,

the poem is danced.

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Who Am I?



I thought I wanted

a harmonium of answers,

a key of certainty,

a hymn of how to,

but silence gave me

the most beautiful gift—

one true question.

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Inner Locating



Close to the waves,

I hear only waves.

Close to the cars,

I hear cars.

Come closer,

says the silence.

Come closer,

says the heart.

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The pelican dives

into the water,

rises again. Hovers.

Dives. Rises.

Each time, the water is quick

to forget the intrusion

loses its ripples,

stills. A thought

is a kind of a pelican.

A woman is a kind

of a bay. The pelicans

will always dive.

The bay will always

return to stillness.

A woman might

learn to live this way.


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“Focus on your breathing,” Susie says.

“Imagine this next breath is your first.”

And for a while, it works. I feel the inhale move

from nose to throat to lungs, feel the new air travel

through my legs and arms. Then breathe it out.

I’m curious. I follow as the breath becomes my

daughter, and I wonder how her first day

of climbing went yesterday. And that was so weird

how she was in my dream last night when

I swallowed a spider. Oh yeah. Exhale. Inhale.

The breath. My chest is rising, my hands are still,

and wouldn’t it be nice to go walk in the redwoods?

How long has it been since we were there? ’97?

’98? And inhale. There it is again, the invitation

to take the first breath, and wow, feel all that air

as it rushes in and fills the body like

the balloons at Finn’s birthday party last weekend.

That was so fun, the boys in the waning sun

playing out on the lawn. I can’t believe how sweet

they were to each other and breathe. Right. Here.

Paying attention to the places where my body

meets the ground. Butt. Knees. Shins. And isn’t

it wild how the hum of the cars on the highway outside

at first sound just like a gong. Wrong. Wrong. Think breath.

Or not wrong. Just an other invitation to embrace the process,

each thought like wind, and I, I’m rowing a small canoe.

Is silence always this loud? Someone across the circle

is snoring, and from the kitchen it smells like, mmm,

Thai curry. And Susie says, “Return to the breath,”

and for another moment, I breathe in, breathe out.

And I thank you, mind, for all this practice. You’re

so good at what you do. It matters, this dance,

this chance to be present, to show up and meet

the all that is. I so want to know what is true.

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One Walking





learning to rhyme my thoughts

with the air

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sitting with flowers in the garden

until I am

flower in the garden

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All afternoon, each time

I think I should hurry,

I pull out a comma,

such humble punctuation,

and invite it into the moment—

and the comma does

what it always does, which

is to invite a pause, a small pause,

of course, but a pause long enough

to breathe, to notice what else

is happening, a slight

suggestion that right here

is a perfect place to rest,

yes, how funny I never noticed

before that the comma itself

looks as if it’s bowing, nodding

its small dark head to what is,

encouraging us to find

a brief silence and then,

thus refreshed, to go on.


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Consider the generosity of silence,

how it holds the space between icicle drips,

how it meets squawk and howl

and laugh and sob with the same acceptance,

the same respect. How it asks nothing of the world

and yet is always there waiting

beneath the passing car, the passing thought.


I don’t want to live my life without knowing you,

silence, you the great loom on which all life is woven,

you the wisdom with nothing to say.


I want to invite you into all the rooms of my heart,

want to know the ways you permeate me,

how you inform every cell.


I want to find you inside every word, to know

in all my speech the silence that supports it.


I want to know you, silence, you who was here

before the big bang and you who continue to grow.

You who touch the seas and the barren rock,

the snow covered mountain, the meadow of mud,

who touched the first leaf and met the first cry,

who will touch the last leaf, who will meet

the last song. And go on.


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