Posts Tagged ‘soul’

One Inspiration

white clouds blown by wind
losing shape to become one with blue—
what a soul can do

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It is night
that keeps the peach
from ripening too fast,
the cool of the dark
that allows the sugar
to develop, to grow—
oh soul, is it any wonder
I have started
to pray for longer nights?

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Stoic Threads

            after Ruth Stone, “Train Ride”

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.   

     —Marcus Aurelius

The soul is stained,

is stained with red

from wishing things were different—

dark plum of longing,

burnt umber of craving,

the rubicund ache of desire.

Is it true, the soul is dyed

by the color of its thoughts?

Or perhaps the hues

are shed like veils,

shed like flimsy gossamer shifts,

and the moment we see

that they are thoughts,

they drop away

like robes that have lost

their clasps, yes, drop away

like silken shawls

that slip from naked shoulders.

But of course it’s true

the soul is dyed with the color

of its thoughts—takes on the blue

of avarice, the sticky green

of fear. Becomes the shining

golds of bliss or the navy folds

of loss. Or is it this—

the soul just seems

to don a colored dress,

like the pale rose wrap at dawn

that’s here then gone,

and the sky itself is clear.

Sometimes I feel soul stained

through and through.

Sometimes I shed even

the darkest hues,

like veils, like gossamer shifts.

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Beyond Touch

And if a cheek should find a chest,

and if a tongue should graze a lip,

and if a hand should meet a curve,

and if a hip should stir a hip,

then we might know the flesh as kindling,

know the skin as eager spark,

know the lover as the flame

that helps unthaw the frozen dark.

But if a heart should stoke a heart,

and if a soul should fuel a soul,

then we might know the self as unself—

ravaged, ardent, blazing, whole.

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Hymn to What’s Bare




Last night’s wind scoured

the trees and stripped

their boughs—

it is easy in today’s calm

to wish my soul had been out

in the woods last night.

Emptiness reveals more

than all the gold, all design.

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vase of dried flowers—
why keep sniffing that dust?
all around us, souls in bloom


in the mirror
of the divine, every face
the same face

(Divan xiii)

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The rose petals are gone.
No way to know now
what color they were.
The only perfume here
the scent of November.
The rose hips are dried,
splayed into brown stars.
I once thought that I
could bloom forever.
In our hands the leaves
crinkle and crush.
This is what we were born
for. To grow. To fall.
To know ourselves as dust.

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The first things to break
are made of glass—
tumblers, vases,
window panes—

then the wood,
how it snaps,
the floors, the counters,
the entire frame,

and even the metal—
the stainless, the iron,
the rings,
it all shatters, collapses,

and it takes a long time
for the shards and dust,
for the wreckage and the whole ruined lot

to become what it is,
just a heap of stuff,
not what we are made of,
not at all what we are made of.

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Would I Sing More?

At dinner, I heard
about those in a tribe who,
as they die, will tie
around the dying one’s finger
a string long enough
to reach the sea. The other end
is attached to a boat
to carry away the soul.

I have wanted such a string,
not for when I am dead,
but for when I am alive,
something to secure me
to that most intangible part
of myself, as if it could be lost.

Perhaps the string would be less tether
and more reminder
that that distant land
wherever it is we go when we’re gone
is a lot closer than I think,
close enough that it’s probably
even now touching where the soft frayed ends
would be dangling so near my finger tip.

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The Process

Soul, you are the empty space
honored by the maker of lace,
you the holes that are always there,
and we the threads that frame the air.
You the gap, the empty, the naught,
and we the ones cutting away the cloth
to arrive at the nothing that links us all,
unweaving, unbraiding, elated, enthralled.

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