Posts Tagged ‘saying yes to the world as it is’




After hoping and trying

and failing and hoping

and trying and failing

and hoping and trying

and failing the mind

perhaps will finally say

I don’t know what comes next

and, startled by the sweet

clarity of this, the body

raises both arms, though

the mind didn’t tell it to—

yes, the arms rise weightless

and open, as if there is nothing

they aren’t ready to embrace,

as if the world as it is

might come rushing in.


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Sure you’ve delighted in mud before,

slathered it all over your skin

beside the brown currents of the Gunnison

until the only unmuddied parts of you

are your teeth, your tongue, your eyes.


Sure you’ve been baptized before

with gray muck by your best friend

on the edge of the Blue Lakes Road,

her slender hands anointing your forehead

with the color of high mountain shale.


You’ve painted with mud on desert rocks

and rolled in mud with your son,

but that doesn’t mean you want

to get muddy now, not when you’re so clean

and on retreat, not when you’re so so very very


not not muddy. So you skirt messy ruts

and you gingerly side step, you pussy foot,

weaving your way on the spring-puddled road,

but one slip and one oops and you’re in it again, ankle deep,

and what to do now but laugh


and notice how the path expands

when you no longer need to watch

where you’re going—how much more open

the world has become, how available you are

to any step that comes next.


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tall and clear

wholly illumined by sun

slowly I learn to see

the vase as lovely

even without the sunflowers

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“Come on,” I say, “come on,

this is your only chance.”

Every day for a month

I have walked into the garden

to speak to the sunflowers.

I try not to sound too urgent.

I don’t want to scare them,

but it is September and they

are still tall green stalks

with small tight buds.

“Come on,” I say. “There is still

warmth enough for you to bloom.

It’s what you are here to do.”

Just yesterday there was an inch

of hail on the divide. Every day,

it seems less likely that there will

be sunflowers this year. I notice

how much I want them to bloom,

how they have become more to me

than sunflowers in the garden.

What is it in us that wants

to see things flourish, especially

seeds sown by our own hands?

The sunflowers will bloom or they

will not. The moment I relax into this—

saying yes to the world just as it is—

inside me, I feel acres and acres

of golden heads all nodding.

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with gratitude to Christie and Dave for their generous hearts and abundant backyard

The thickets are always thicker than I think,

climbing the branches of nearby trees and snaking

through the grass. And red berries are always greener

than I wish, full of pucker and startling bite.

But the blackest of berries, the duller ones, bulbous,

and days past their shine, they are sweeter than I dream.

Sometimes I imagine the way a thing will be—

invent it as something grander than itself.

But the blackberry, ripened in its woodland bramble,

stains the fingers and sings on the tongue

with all the sweetness late summer can gather

and spends all its pleasure at once. Sometimes

there is no better fantasy than the thing itself—

the thorns an integral part of the story. Sometimes

I wish that the stain would never leave.

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I am too tired to argue.

I just want to sit with you

in the quiet night

and let the peace return.

Instead, the geese come in,

all honk and strangle

and flap. I am not too tired

to find them beautiful,

loud though as they are.

There is no peace, not

tonight. Still, this

exhortation of wings,

this invitation to find peace

in the world exactly

as it is.

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Between the moth wing

and the fire,

between the river

and the road,

between the moon

and what we’re told,

between loss

and a kiss,

there is this sense

that anything

might happen—

a wound, a word,

a wondering,

an opening

to the world

just as it is.

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