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Posts Tagged ‘poem’

 

 

no ribbons, no bows,

no fancy wrapping, no box—

you, the very gift

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Into Your Stocking

 

 

 

I slipped some magic markers

for coloring the world—

the leaves, the river, the moon.

You can write messages

in the sky and the wind

will blow them where

they need to go.

You can color thoughts—

give them stripes or polka dots.

You can change the hue

of a mood with a few broad strokes.

There’s one that will make you

invisible. Some markers I

don’t know what they do.

One is the color of laughter.

Another the color of forgiveness.

Don’t be surprised if other people

can’t see them. Don’t be

surprised when they graffiti

the walls around your heart.

Don’t be surprised when

you start to think in color—

when you start to believe

every idea, every word,

every dream can change

the shade of the world.

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blurting out thorns

when for weeks I practiced

how to speak in rose

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            for Jude Janett

 

 

All day, I replay these words:

Is this the path of love?

I think of them as I rise, as

I wake my children, as I wash dishes,

as I drive too close behind the slow

blue Subaru, Is this the path of love?

Think of them as I stand in line

at the grocery store,

think of them as I sit on the couch

with my daughter. Amazing how

quickly six words become compass,

the new lens through which to see myself

in the world. I notice what the question is not.

Not, “Is this right?” Not,

“Is this wrong?” It just longs to know

how the action of existence

links us to the path to love.

And is it this? Is it this? All day,

I let myself be led by the question.

All day I let myself not be too certain

of the answer. Is it this? I ask as I

argue with my son. Is it this? I ask

as I wait for the next word to come.

 

 

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One Recipe

 

 

 

making my mother’s cookies

with my mother—

the same recipe, sweeter

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One Reveal

 

 

 

long bright meteor

unzipping the night—

now the dark so naked

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for it is not so much to know the self   

as to know it as it is known

   by galaxy and cedar cone

—A.R. Ammons, “Gravelly Run”

 

I want to know the self

the way a nest might know

the eggs it holds, the way

a feather might know a wing.

I want to know the self

as a bank knows a river,

as wave knows water,

as night knows the night.

There is a kind of knowing

that has less to do with certainty

and more to do with meeting

the world again and again as it is.

I want to know the self

with no name, with no story,

as a stone might know it,

or a song.

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In these darkened days,

I think of the potato

that, left in the pantry,

will grow long white arms

to reach for the light.

 

There is, of course,

a beauty in reaching.

But today I think of Augusta

who taught me

the beauty of softening—

 

how the same reaching effect

can be achieved

by focusing on the part

that isn’t reaching,

letting it soften.

 

Soften, she said.

Soften. And it was as if

I were new in my body.

The effect was the same,

the method the opposite.

 

I love how I didn’t know

there was something

so beautiful yet to learn

about letting go. I love

these lessons in softening—

 

how, on this morning I learn again

to relax, to unstrive, to unreach,

to lean into ease, and like a camellia blossom,

in the dark of winter to open,

to find such sweet release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 billion atoms from Shakespeare

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The rules are simple. One person chooses

an ornament on the tree. The others ask

yes/no questions until they guess it correctly.

It was my mother who taught me.

I taught my own children. It’s a ritual

as important as the tree itself. Is it red?

Is it round? Is it cloth? Handmade?

 

So many questions we never can answer.

So many questions elude yes or no. But here,

in the soft glow of Christmas tree lights,

we share moments when every question

leads us closer to a treasure, where

the moments are treasures themselves.

 

 

 

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Shabbat

for Peter and Lisa

 

 

We covered our eyes with our hands

and repeated the sacred words that Peter said,

blessing the pomegranate juice, blessing

 

the challah bread. And when we were done

with the prayer, we removed our hands

from our eyes and the candlelit world

 

was surprisingly bright. Such a simple faith,

kindness. The willingness to invite another in,

to make them bread, to offer them soup,

 

to say to the other, Here. Feast. Rest. To share

ancient stories and offer new wisdom.

To pass the braided bread, hand to hand,

 

and eat it together. To listen to each other

until the candles had burned through all their wax.

To continue to listen after the light goes out.

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