Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

By the Numbers

 

 

 

Two hundred ninety million.

That’s how many dollars Monsanto

was ordered to pay the dying man

 

when the company failed to warn him

about how the poison they made

to kill weeds would also kill him.

 

Two hundred ninety million.

That’s how many miles

the Voyager 2 moves away

 

from the earth every year. And though

it was made to do so—to travel

past our sun’s magnetic field—who

 

could blame it for moving away

from this dying planet at

thirty-four thousand one hundred ninety-one

 

miles per hour. If that number were dollars

today, it would be equivalent to eight thousand dollars

in 1977 when the Voyager 2 was launched.

 

And eight thousand, that’s how many sacred

elephants there were on the banks

of the Six Tusker Lake in the Himalaya,

 

elephants who flew in the air, and sages say

the Buddha himself was once born as son

to the chief of these eight thousand elephants.

 

Yes, sacred and magical things happen here

on the earth, despite the greed,

despite the poison. I was seven

 

when the Voyager 2 left, and since then

it’s travelled eighteen and a half billion miles.

If those miles were pounds,

 

that would equal more than a million

large African elephants, though in all of Africa,

there are only four hundred fifteen thousand

 

elephants left, down from five million

just a hundred years ago. What I am saying

is that as the Voyager 2 enters interstellar space

 

things are strange here on Earth, and we seem

hellbent on our own destruction, but I

am so grateful to be here, still. Even as

 

the Voyager 2 hurtles beyond the heliosphere,

I find myself still falling in love

with the twenty-seven thousand three hundred seventy-five

 

days I have to live,

and the earth’s twelve thousand

species of grass, and the five thousand stars

 

visible to the naked eye and the two hundred six

bones in the body, all of them working to help

us run toward beauty, yes, grateful

 

for two hands to hold one beloved face

and, amidst all this enormity, the absolute absence

of sufficient words to say how holy, how incalculable is love,

 

and how marvelous, really, to stare up

into the familiar night sky and imagine

all boundaries we’re just beginning to cross.

 

 

 

check it out:

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/10/675324587/voyager-2-bids-adieu-to-the-heliosphere-entering-interstellar-space

 

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

bird in the cage

so intently singing

its sad, caged song

never noticing

the door long ago opened

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

Forgive me. I do not mean

to be sharp, stark, sterile.

I’ve read of the salt mines

 

at Salzburg, how if you throw

a stick, leafless and dead,

into one of the abandoned workings,

 

then return months later and pull it out,

it will be covered in crystals,

“a galaxy of scintillating diamonds,”

 

writes Stendahl, “the original

branch no longer recognizable.”

I want to be like that stick.

 

Take my winter soul

and throw it into the mystery,

though it’s dark and cold

 

and easy to get lost.

What knows how to attract

the light will grow, will change me

 

until I barely recognize myself.

I do not mean to be short,

but I hear it in my words.

 

Stranger things have happened.

What is dead is sometimes

a chance to find new life,

 

to become a thing shining,

something the same, only fresh,

a thousand times more brilliant.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

all day the upright

grand piano dreams of hands

that play sonatas

Read Full Post »

 

for Art

 

sparring with an old friend,

each round, loving

him more deeply

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

Already the mind

has put on its tool belt

grabbed its manuals,

consulted its experts

and rolled up its sleeves,

but the heart just wants

to know itself,

pours a cup of Sumatra,

sets out another cup,

and waits to see

who will arrive.

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

and we will go

to the haiku cottage

in the mountains

where there are no roads

and there are no pens

and there we let ourselves

be written, the seasons

will shape our syllables,

the moon shall be

our cutting word,

and every time we think

we know what line comes next

we will thrill at how new

the world can be, sliding,

escaping, unswirling,

and calling follow me,

bring only wonder,

follow me

 

 

Read Full Post »

The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.

            —Joanna Macy

 

 

Give me a heart that breaks—

ears willing to hear the difficult news

and legs that do not choose to run from it.

 

Yes, give me a heart big enough

to accommodate a wrestling match inside,

a mind that knows no one wins a war,

 

hands that move to help no matter

what the mind might say.

Give me a heart that opens

 

long after it thinks it’s already open,

and lips that know when to listen.

Give me a heart that knows itself

 

as other hearts. Give me feet

that will stand when someone must stand

for justice. And a spine flexible enough

 

to turn and see all sides. Snow falls

on all my thoughts. It sometimes

takes a long time to melt, a long time

 

before I remember again to pray

to be open, to pray for a heart that breaks,

to notice the stars shining from the inside.

 

Read Full Post »

One Forever

 

still winging in the field

that snow angel that melted

years ago

Read Full Post »

Almost to Solstice

 

 

There is a light and it never goes out

            —The Smiths, There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

 

 

And even in these darkest days

in the darkest rooms

with the darkest thoughts

and the darkest words

with the darkest songs

in the dark-full ears

and when the darkening dreams

weights the darkest fear

even then there’s a light

and it never goes out,

even then, when the eyes

know only doubt, even then,

even then, there’s a hand

eager to spill shine

into our cup and all

we need to do is drink,

then pour a bit of shine

for someone else.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: