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Finding the Miracles

How often do I miss miracles dressed in ordinary clothes? That’s the theme of this sonnet published today in Gratefulness.org. Check it out and share it!

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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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They call it the Jesus lizard

because it walks on water,

yes, walks—or rather runs—

upright on two feet.

It was Matthew who wrote

how Jesus Christ walked

on the Sea of Galilee.

Christ had to tell his disciples not

to be afraid. But the Jesus Lizard

runs on water because he is afraid—

up to five feet per second.

It’s either run on water

or burrow into the sand—

and the lizard has a ring

of muscles around both nostrils

to prevent sand from getting in.

Is that miracle? or just practical?

But to run! To run on water!

After fifteen feet,

the lizard sinks to all fours

and swims. But imagine!

To be part of the miracle,

if only for a moment,

to do what seems as if

it cannot be done.

The scientists say it’s no miracle at all.

The lizards have flaps between their toes

that create a larger surface area

and also small pockets of air—

this gives the lizard buoyancy.

What part of me would rather believe

in miracles than science? Or, is it possible

we’ve made the definition

of miracle too small? Perhaps

flaps between toes is an miracle of evolution.

Perhaps, this too, is a miracle:

two feet, ten toes that walk

on land, one foot moving forward at a time.

 

check out this crazy critter here: https://www.google.com/search?q=jesus+lizard+animal+wikipedia&oq=j&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j35i39j69i61l3j69i59.2991j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

 

 

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Open your hands, lift them.

            —William Stafford, “Today”

 

 

The parking space beside the store when you

were late. The man who showed up just in time

to hold the door when you were juggling five

big packages. The spider plant that grew—

though you forgot to water it. The new

nest in the tree outside your window. Chime

of distant church bells when you’re lonely. Rhyme

of friendship. Apples. Sky a trove of blue.

 

And who’s to say these miracles are less

significant than burning bushes, loaves

and fishes, steps on water. We are blessed

by marvels wearing ordinary clothes—

how easily we’re fooled by simple dress—

Oranges. Water. Leaves. Bread. Crows.

 

 

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then I guess it’s fair to say

that today, we walked on water—

how easy it is to not notice

how our every step

is miracle

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Day of the Dead

it’s a miracle, I tell you

—Laura Kasischke, “Near Misses”

 

It’s a miracle, I tell you,

that I am here to make the breakfast

and spread the jelly

on the stale bagel,

a miracle for me to walk

down the icy street

in these scuffed up boots

with these scuffed up feet

and my scuffed up dreams

and my scuffed up love,

a miracle to wander through

the smear of the days,

the spill of the years,

my cells slowing down,

my candles blown out

and relit and blown out

and relit again,

yes a miracle, not just

biology, to feel it so profoundly,

this gratitude that I might stumble

and stride through the world,

a little hum finding my lips

as one foot falls again

in front of the other,

and is lifted, then falls,

and is lifted again.

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How Soon Things Change

 

for e.m.m.

 

 

The amaryllis

you gave us

three weeks ago

grew two inches

just today—

so much life

in such a short time.

Already, the two

thick buds

are swelling,

twin green

chambers.

So much of

any miracle

is invisible,

though it happens

right before

our eyes.

I can hardly stop

watching the buds

and thinking

of you, wishing

for a miracle

and knowing

that even if

one is rising

up right now,

it wouldn’t

be like the amaryllis—

miraculous

as this flower is,

we know

it’s red petals

that emerge. No,

what I wish

for you

is something

I couldn’t possibly

know—something

I couldn’t name

or predict, something

that will rise out of

what seems to be

nothing and render

us astonished,

humbled, delirious

with its impossible

grace.

 

 

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In the same breath that I curse the world
I praise it. It is impossible not to see
what a mess we’ve made, and yet … how
relentlessly beautiful the rabbit brush
blooms in the ditch, all yellow and vigorous,
growing out of the busted up asphalt
and Marlboro boxes and twisted beer cans.
It’s no miracle, you might say. It’s just a weed.
But I know a miracle when I see one.
It looks a lot like whatever is happening
outside the window right now.

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Not even a gust
tonight
and for no
apparent reason
the heart
blows open
and just
like that
innumerable stars
rush in
not to mention
all the space
between them

of course it’s
miraculous,
and on the other,
well, after marveling
there’s nothing to do
but invite the universe
in for a cup
of decaf chai
then tuck us
all in
for a good night’s
rest

who knows
what could happen
tomorrow.

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I went in
expecting a miracle.

I wanted to be healed
when I walked out the door.

Instead, the doctor
told me there was nothing

he could do. Told me
the problem. Told me

the solution. Long and
painful. And then

he said he could help me.
I left feeling hopeless.

Frustrated. Spent. And still
in so much pain.

I went in expecting a miracle.
I think that’s what

he gave you,
my friend later said.

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