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Posts Tagged ‘peace’



from our birth … to our death … the wonderment …
             —Dr. Charles Henry Wahtola, Jr., November 19, 2021


And so as the priest leads us
in the litany for the time of death,
and though we are sincere
as we pray, Have mercy on your servant,
we laugh as my father tells Father Keith
the sermon can only be as long
as the pole at the entrance to the building.
We pray, Grant him your peace,
and I weep for the impending loss,
and then we laugh as I tell Dad
for the first time he has a front-row seat
for the service (he strongly
prefers the back row).
And mom delivers an impromptu sermon
and the priest steps back and listens.
And we fondly remember how my childhood priest
would sing the longest rite in the book,
and my brother and I look at each other
and recite in unison, this fragile earth our island home,
and we break into irrational joy.
We pray The Sursum Corda, The Sanctus,
The Lord’s Prayer, my voice
barely a whisper through tears,
then we’re laughing again as we remember
how Dad and my brother would escape
the service as fast as they could to go cast
in the river behind the church, and
there in the hospice room, we keep the feast,
Alleluia, alleluia. And all day long,
though perhaps we speak of football
or grilling or ducks, with every word, every tear,
every laugh, we are saying, Peace be with you.
With every hug, every kiss, every
touch, every breath, we respond,
And also with you.

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Physics of Grief




Before I could feel grief’s full weight,
love came to meet it, and though love did not
take away the grief, not even a picogram,
it dispersed the grief into its smallest bits,
as if to increase the surface area interface
so now every single atom of grief
is surrounded, is cushioned by love.

My friend offers me words in Igbo.
Udo diri, he says. There is peace, somehow.
How, when my bright beamish boy is dead?
Yet here in the unlikely physics of grief,
love holds so tenderly each smallest bit,
and somehow, my boy, can you feel it? peace.

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Make the most of peace.
            —Holiday Mathis, horoscope February 9, 2021


This morning I wake to notice
that nothing hurts. I notice
I am warm beneath the comforter
and the air in the house is cool on my face
and the only sound is a chickadee at dawn
singing its two-note “sweetie” song.

There are mornings I wake already stunned
by the pain of the broken world,
but this morning, I lie for a while
in quiet and savor the thin trace of first light
as it develops grays in the room, savor
the rhythmic rise and fall of my own chest,
savor the feel of my palm on my belly,
welcome its slight weight, its small warmth.

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Surrender

 

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Some mornings I wake and the peace

that I tried to find yesterday finds me—

arrives in the open palms of the river scent,

in the erratic path of the warbler,

in the low golden angle of sun as it slants

through the gray knuckled branches of cottonwood trees.

Even the broken watering can seems to bring me

news of what’s been here all along—

the peace that holds up the turmoil, the mess.

And the dried grasses in the field

and the tiny new leaves on the currants

gather me into them. They’re like old friends who say,

It’s okay, make all the mistakes you want

around us. Some mornings, through no effort

of our own, we are gathered into the peace

of the patient lichen and the still pond.

It’s the difference between breathing

and being breathed, between asking for grace

and finding that grace has been asking for us.

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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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Part of me wants to give you

the book of answers, the solution key,

to help you know which decision, A, B, C or D,

will bring the most healing, the most happiness.

I no longer believe in such a book, such a key.

 

Instead I wish for you the peace

that comes only with surrender—

a word that sounds beyond reason

until it becomes beacon, becomes

north star, becomes map.

 

May you know for certain

that in every case, you are beloved.

May you know beyond doubt

that no matter what happens,

you always become more essential, more you.

 

 

 

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Nothing happened today

as I sat for five minutes in the dark,

but all day I could feel the everywhere of it,

 

even as the car was sliding sideways down the hill,

even as my daughter wept, even as my singing group

laughed until we cried, I could feel it still there,

 

the silence that holds up all sound, the stillness

that cradles all motion, the peace that supports

every disaster, the blue sky behind the clouds.

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Love Poem

 

 

in the snowstorm

finding the spaces between the flakes

where it’s clear

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A Passing Truce

 

 

 

Beside the fire, inside

the dark, and lost amidst

the tide of thoughts,

there is a momentary warmth

that steeps into our every inch

and make us doubt

that we could ever feel

sharp cold again—

the mind, thus warmed,

forgets to quarrel and simply

nestles closer—and the dark itself

comes nearer by and we

lean in together.

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Dear __________,

 

 

 

You are warmly invited to join our conspiracy of joy,

a growing cabal of strangers and friends who collude

to create delight, who initiate random acts of bliss, who

scheme of ways to help all others find authentic jubilance,

who tear down walls that would separate us and them.

If you enjoy such subterfuge, there certainly is room

for you. To be clear, you may be charged with pleasure,

ecstasy, and truth. Next meeting, now. And now. And now

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