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Posts Tagged ‘poem’

Two Loaves

 

 

 

Oh, this alchemy of wheat,

salt, water, yeast and heat.

Something so holy about the art

 

of transforming grain into loaves,

how the scent of the baking infuses

the whole house with earthy incense.

 

I whisper poems into the bread,

sing to it as it rises, as it rests.

I think of every other woman,

 

every other man who, for over 14,500 years,

has kneaded and shaped the living dough.

I imagine all of us, flour on our cheeks,

 

pressing our hands into service,

all of us certain of one thing:

we are called to feed each other.

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I said to my daughter, This time

let’s go without the map.

Never before did it occur to me

it might be more fun to be lost.

There were paths through tall dry stalks,

yes, but perhaps they were more—

an intimate landscape inviting me

again and again to lose myself now,

to lose myself now. It is harder to do

that it seems. The rustle of dry leaves,

the scent of earth, the blue sky overhead

like true north. But lost, I kept finding,

and found, I kept losing, and all

the while I kept laughing, oh, the joy

of putting one foot in front of the other,

the joy in not knowing which way

the path might turn next.

 

 

 

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One Unbaptized

 

 

filled with golden leaves,

the pond, and shimmering with sky

and me, too dry, too dry

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The broccoli was a disappointment this year—

planted from seed, it had finally begun to sport

small knobby green heads when the frost came.

And though the broccoli didn’t die, it stalled.

Perhaps I fear I am like this broccoli—destined

to grow but never to fruit. Perhaps this is why

I feel such urgency, this need to write faster,

heal quicker, mature sooner, love more. Because

what if the freeze comes? What if I die before

doing what I have come here to do?

 

There is a part of me who is patient. A part of me

who says, Sweet One, you could not possibly be

any more you than you are right now. She tells me,

You are exactly enough. And sometimes I believe her.

But sometimes I roll my eyes at her and tell myself,

Hurry up, hurry up. I know myself as barren stalk.

I try to will my own ripening. Not once has it worked,

not once, and still this strange drive:

go faster, do it better, do it now.

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That time of year thou mayst in me behold …. Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

            William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73

And though the leaves may fall and molder,

though the winter nights get colder,

and though, my love, we both grow older,

may the choir in me that sings for you

be ever clear and ever blue—

the stream beneath your red canoe.

And though it seems that time’s a thief

and leaf subsides to crumbled leaf

and though the days are gnawed by grief,

may I sing for you forever sweet

in tunes both tame and indiscreet—

sing bare, unruined, my heart, my beat.

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You’re hesitating, says John from behind his mask.

Each time I invite you to strike, you wait. And he’s right.

Each time before I extend and lunge, I drop my sword.

It’s crazy. I tell myself not to do it, but every time

he motions to strike, instinct says: drop the sword.

John, I say, I’ve trained myself not to be aggressive.

When people are vulnerable, I do everything I can

to make them feel safe. It helps that John

is gentle. It helps that he beams at me a genuine smile.

Don’t think of it as aggression, he says. If someone

you love gives you the signal to touch them,

aren’t you always ready to meet them then?

And I am. Think of it as an invitation to touch.

I wonder how many stories I’ve hardwired into me.

Thou shalt not hurt. Thou shalt not strike.

Thou shalt not stab another with a sword.

I wonder that I struggle so instinctively now

when this is so clearly a game.

John drops his sword. I extend, I lunge.

I touch his chest through his silver vest

with the tip of my sword, then retreat.

Good, he says. Good. Again. Again.

Is this the way we learn all the rules

we have written for ourselves?

By breaking them. Is this the way

we might choose to meet our opponents?

By loving them.

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It’s something the hands learn

with practice—how thin to slice

the apples for drying, how close

to cut to the core. In the same way

the hands learn to touch a lover,

how gently, how firmly, just where.

Oh the apple. What it knows

of desire. What it knows

of bruising, of bite. Oh the hands,

what they know of precision.

Of the pleasure of practice.

Of the joy in getting it right.

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amber moon rise—

the heart, as if seeing it for the first time,

gives a standing ovation

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They say you left your house just once

in your last fifteen years—

you slipped alone through veil of night

to see a new-built church.

And rumor says the moon was full

when you escaped your walls—

you had no need for candlelight,

the evening led you well.

Tonight round shines the Hunter’s moon—

so dazzling is the dome

that all the world feels like a church

and night itself a poem.

Perhaps that’s what you understood

and lost your need to leave—

each room, each place is holy

and has a gift to give.

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Pushing Buttons

 

Doing something typically feels better than doing nothing.

—Ellen Langer, Harvard Psychologist quoted in “Illusion of Control: Why the world is full of buttons that don’t work,” CNN

 

 

The world is full of buttons

that do nothing—buttons

at crosswalks, in elevators,

in hotel rooms—buttons

that can be pushed, but in

fact have no functionality.

The Harvard psychologist

suggests that these buttons

serve a purpose: they help

people feel as if they have

some control: she says

it feels good to have

something to do.

 

We could, I suppose, make

buttons to press for these

careening days when we

realize just how little control

we have. Not over death.

Not over weather. Not

over anyone’s heart—not

even our own.

 

Or we could press

our own belly buttons—

a reminder there are

a few things we can do:

Write letters. Walk. Say

thank you. Practice peace.

Protest. Wear a raincoat.

Take Vitamin B.

And, of course, the most

difficult thing of all—

to say yes to not being in control,

to dance in that uncomfortable

place, laughing like a stream.

 

 

 

*

 

read the full article here: http://edition.cnn.com/style/article/placebo-buttons-design/index.html

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