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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

 

 

 

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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Preferably Purple

 

 

 

 

I need nothing more today

than a bit of string—not

to hold things together, no,

but to wrap around my wrist

and touch each time I need

to remember to be kind.

Which is all day. The trick

is remembering to touch it,

remembering the invitation

to choose what is kind.

A fierce wind blows.

All day, I imagine I am kite,

that I am the one who holds

it on a slender string,

the one who eventually lets it go.

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all four legs midair

the horse thrusts forward—

loving you like that

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Isostasy

 

 

 

Danny says the continent is rising,

it rises as the glaciers melt, it’s rising

for the last ten thousand years.

 

How slowly things change, invisibly

until the time we cannot recognize

the world we thought we knew.

 

How slowly things change, beyond

our ability to measure, but they do, love,

the crust now floating above the mantle.

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Fully commit your weight to one foot.

Every skate skier knows this. To trust

the ski. To trust the snow. To trust the inner

balancer that will not let us fall.

 

The commitment allows us to glide,

to fly, to find bright wings inside our weight.

 

And sometimes we fall.

 

And though it’s been years since I had to change

into the blue gym shorts and white shirt,

sometimes when I fall I remember all my fallings,

and a sharp voice returns, You can’t do this,

it says. It dredges up decades

of shame, of dropping the ball, missing

the hit, not making the catch, letting down

the team. You’re no good, says the voice

that recalls what it’s like to be the last one

picked in junior high p.e., how I stared

at the floor, at the far away ceiling.

 

You’re weak, says the voice, but here

amongst the aspen and spruce,

there is no one to let down, but me,

so I untangle the skis and the poles

and rise and breathe and fully commit

my weight to one foot. And glide.

And fly. Become wing. First one foot.

And then the other.

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Revelation

 

 

 

Perhaps when we don’t know what to say

we have at last arrived at the one true thing—

and in our thrill to share it with words, dilute it.

 

It is like the seed, perhaps, that in sprouting

at last understands its purpose, only

now it is no longer a seed.

 

How easy it is to lose revelation.

Not that it is ever gone—more that it

drops its petals, and we are left

 

holding an empty stem, trying

to remember how beautiful it was,

failing to see how beautiful it is.

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It was my biology teacher who taught me

to let things go. It was true, I didn’t like him,

no one did. And that is why, when he left

his coffee cup on our table and we

were dissecting rabbits, Kathy looked

at me with a small pink part

in her hands, then eyed his cup.

My face lit up with the wickedness

of it, but I mouthed to her, No,

then watched as she dropped

the bit in. It didn’t float. There

are moments of our lives

we will forever revisit and wish

we had been more brave—

but I was scared to betray my friend,

scared to make waves. As it is,

we waited for him to pick up the cup,

and when he did, tried not to stare

as we wondered when he would

take a sip. Five minutes before

the bell rang, we rebagged

our strange accomplice and wiped

the table clean, then left the room

not seeing what happened next.

What happened next. I thought all night

about the effects of formaldehyde.

I thought he might die. I thought

of how I could have taken his cup

from his desk and quietly poured it out.

I thought of the twist in his heart

when he found bit at the bottom.

But the next day in biology, there

he was, corduroy coat and big brown glasses,

his awkward smile, his coffee cup.

He didn’t mention the crime.

I could barely look up. I had never felt

so small. And if he knew, he never said.

Sometimes the worst punishments

involve lack of consequence,

leaving us to live with our offenses.

And though I don’t recall his name,

I do recall his grace. I swore never again

to keep silent for such a prank.

I’d like to think that if we met, I’d tell him

about that day. And how sorry I am

I didn’t speak up. And how much I admired

the way he let it go. Could I? To this day,

what I remember most, the horror

blossoming in my stomach

the color of rabbit flesh. And

when I dared to look at him, his smile.

 

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tossing my gloves

to pull carrots with naked hands—

this, how I long to speak with you

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You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.

            —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

 

And though the leaves blush golden and red

and though the sun cups my face like a hand

and though the chill air makes me catch my breath

 

the wind whispers, friend, remember your death.

And I feel so deeply, so wildly alive

as I climb the hill, slight burn in my thighs

 

but I cannot pretend I am deaf

as the wind whispers soft, remember your death.

The Roman generals had their slaves

 

whisper to them in their moments of greatness,

remember your death—even as the crowds cheered—

to help them remember be humble, be here.

 

And the wind whispers yes, whispers yes to me.

And reminds me to take each step gratefully.

Remember your death, it says. Live now.

 

And with every step, though I don’t know to whom,

I say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

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500px-Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder-_The_Harvesters_-_Google_Art_Project

 

 

written after The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1565

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.

–Ecclesiastes 3, 1-2

 

Bless those who attune to ripening,

those who hoist baskets, who wield

 

hoes, pitchforks. Bless those who

cut and stack and carry. Bless those

 

who pick and gather and sort. Meanwhile,

all around them, others play and lounge,

 

engage in callous sport. But bless those

who notice the work to be done

 

and do it. Bless those who feel

the sweet press of days and allow

 

the hours to avail them. Bless those

who sense the fullness of time,

 

who say yes to the moment

and rise to meet it.

 

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