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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

 

 

I like my body when I’m in the woods

and I forget my body. I forget that arms,

that legs, that nose. I forget that waist,

that nerve, that skin. And I aspen. I mountain.

I river. I stone. I leaf. I path. I flower.

I like when I evergreen, current and berry.

I like when I mushroom, avalanche, cliff.

And everything is yes then, and everything

new: wild iris, duff, waterfall, dew.

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A mallard swims

in the beaver pond,

the sunlight makes

green praise of its head

 

and for an instant

the whole world

revolves around

emerald sheen.

 

There is little else

that’s green here,

though it is late spring—

but over 10,000 feet

 

the snow tends to linger.

This is a place where

the mind doesn’t hesitate

to offer its attention

 

to the sharp scent of trees,

to the snaking trickle of snowmelt,

to the thrill of cold air

in the lungs. And in giving

 

itself away, the mind

becomes clearer, becomes

a shining and natural thing,

like a mallard wing, like

 

a tree just before leafing,

like a canyon in which

the lush green world

is just about to emerge.

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So much to learn from the fallen leaves,

the barren trees, the still green moss,

the skittish deer, the unturned stone,

the smooth gray limbs of loss,

fog hung like garland in the woods,

a secret spring, the brittle grass,

the yet unfurling truth in us,

the path that forgets it’s a path.

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You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.

            —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

 

And though the leaves blush golden and red

and though the sun cups my face like a hand

and though the chill air makes me catch my breath

 

the wind whispers, friend, remember your death.

And I feel so deeply, so wildly alive

as I climb the hill, slight burn in my thighs

 

but I cannot pretend I am deaf

as the wind whispers soft, remember your death.

The Roman generals had their slaves

 

whisper to them in their moments of greatness,

remember your death—even as the crowds cheered—

to help them remember be humble, be here.

 

And the wind whispers yes, whispers yes to me.

And reminds me to take each step gratefully.

Remember your death, it says. Live now.

 

And with every step, though I don’t know to whom,

I say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

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Invitation

 

 

 

When my shoulders feel too slight

to carry injustice and my arms

reach too short to hold the world

 

and my bones are too weak

to carry even a single aching heart,

I walk amongst the aspen and the spruce

 

and notice how the light shines through

the changing leaves—such radiance,

such golden shine—and slowly

 

the rational part of me that believes

in doom is forced to fade.

It’s not so simple, of course,

 

as walking out into the forest.

But there is something there

that grows the soul and breeds

 

a sense of possibility and tells

the aching heart to rise up, rise up

and do the work that must be done,

 

rise up and carry with it the light.

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Misty

 

 

And sometimes when I move

at the edge of a greatness—

a lake or a sea or a mountainside—

my insignificance thrills me

and the largest of my sadnesses

dwindles smaller than the space

between grains of sand

and in that moment,

knowing my place,

comes a love so enormous

I can love anyone, anyone,

even myself.

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hello friends, back from a glorious few days of being unplugged … here are a few poems from the last five days. 

 

 

 

falling asleep beside the stream

it carries away

the day, the years

 

 

*

 

whatever a partial moon means—

cradling it in my hands

to give to you

 

*

 

inviting Audrey Hepburn

for pancakes and tea—

she arrives with two tiaras

 

*

 

familiar path—

a year later

this new woman walks it

 

*

 

it takes four days

before my hands open enough

to let in the world

 

*

 

riding our bikes

on the old dirt road—

baptized in scent of pine

 

*

 

sitting on a rock

long enough

no one feels like an enemy

 

*

 

beside the path

one ripe wild raspberry—

walking through its door

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Come, she says, let me show you

my secret place in the woods,

and she grabs my hand

 

and walks me past the pond through

the forest and along a ditch

until we arrive in a small clearing

 

rung with birch and old spruce.

It’s secret, she says, but not

too far away. Will you help me

 

get it ready? We return with

loppers and a small hand saw

and clear away what is dead. The sun

 

discovers new ways to touch the ground.

When we leave, the clearing

comes with us. All day, I feel it,

 

the light as it finds its way in.

 

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One Way to Walk

 

 

 

the old road to the mine—

getting lost without making

a single turn

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Arriving at the starting line

I think of the marathon to come—

somewhere there’s a man

 

with a gun and a timer.

Somewhere there’s another line

I hope to cross.

 

Somewhere there’s a woman

who doesn’t know there is a race.

She knows only that the juncos

 

have come, and if she is still enough

she can see their white tail feathers

flashing in flight.

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