Posts Tagged ‘perception’




Besides learning to see, there is another art to be learned, — not to see what is not.

            —Maria Mitchell, pioneering astronomer



Give me eyes that see only what is,

eyes not fooled by veils, by scars.

Give me ears that hear only the words that are said,

ears that clearly translate silence.

But give me a heart that feels into

what is possible, a heart that believes

in goodness, despite reports

from ears, from eyes. Give

me a heart that speaks only love,

that leans toward kindness, that opens

again and again like an O’Keefe petunia—

larger than anticipated, mind stopping,

soul rousing, haloed by wonder

and wholly true to itself.

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Looking for god under the bed—

finding dust bunnies.

Sacred dust bunnies.

Of course, I think,

but to be honest, friend,

I don’t really see

the divine

in these drifts of abandoned hair

and fuzz and grit,

no matter how much I’d like to.

Now I know how I get in my own way.

For here on, I’ll need to question

my eyes more often.

Lower my standards? Perhaps

feel myself being held

up to the light

to see what shines.



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One Conviction




in the knapweed field

a butterfly moves

from flower to flower—

trying to quiet the part of me

that only sees a problem

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(translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy, poem I,1 from “Book of a Monastic Life”)

We are lonely,
the tea and me
and nine o’clock.
So I ask Rilke
to join us. He tells me,
just as the sun
leaps over the mesa
and enters the window,
that nothing has ever
been real without
my beholding it.
I sit a long,
long time considering
his words. Not the sun?
Not the tea? Not
the gray moth?
The Holocaust?
He tells me this:
All becoming
has needed me.
Looking over the white field
to the blue spruce in the grove
I do not hear
one of them fall.

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