Posts Tagged ‘sunshine’

Learning to Lie Still

It isn’t easy.
Good, then, to have a cat
come lie in the curve of my arm
with her full weight on my weight,
her warmth against my side.
If she purrs, so much the better.
How could I rise and disrupt
her low gravelly song?
So I lie still. Awake, but not scrolling.
Not speaking. Not running to fix.
It comes to this—my great hope
for learning to lie still
is to become a cushion for cat.
It’s a noble hope—to lie still
as a cat in the curve of an arm,
still as a pool of daylight on the sill,
still as the sun itself, holding the center
as the whole world moves around it.

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The way the sunshine warms me
through my coat, through my clothes,
that is the way I want to listen to you—
want to listen so closely I feel
your words permeate anything
that covers me, listen so closely
to your thoughts and fears and hopes
that they slip in and touch me.
When you are quiet, it is as if the sun
has gone behind a cloud.
I want to listen, too, to that—
to know the shadows of your silences.
Even then, there is so much
you are saying. I think of how,
on cloudy days, too, my skin
becomes brown. I want to understand
you—not just to listen but to learn,
not just to learn but to open to you,
to let you see how it is you change me.

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After Softening

Sometimes, like today,
when I have opened my heart so wide
that anything at all might fly in—
a sweetness or a curiosity—
sometimes when I am most expansive,
a sinister whisper comes.
It flutters through my blood,
shudders in my heart.
Then I find on the floor
a slender rectangle of light
and lie for a time in the warmth.
The sun soaks in through my skin,
and I invite it deeper in.
I soften.
I rest my hands on my belly, my chest,
Notice their weight,
how the simple rise of breath
is enough to lift them.
Outside, there are chickadees
calling to each other.
I imagine them calling to me.
Swee-tee. Swee-tee.
Oh, fear that I am too much,
oh, fear that I dare to be too big,
I am not surprised you showed up today.
But see how the sun showed up, too,
the enormous sun with its unfailing radiance,
the giant sun with its unstinting glow
the generous sun came
and met me on the floor
to remind me what I can do.

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We used to sing

You are my sunshine,

sang it like

a children’s song,

all glitter and wing.

That was before

we knew

how dark it can get,

sky without stars,

night without moon.

Even the brightest songs

can be sung in a minor key.

That is no reason

to stop singing.

That’s the time

to ask someone

to dance, please,

slow, your bodies

practicing how

to make light.

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One minute you’re sitting on the porch

in the warm morning sun and ten minutes later


it’s been an hour or more and you have forgotten

your name, forgotten the year, forgotten


who’s president, all that you know is the sky

has never been so clear and your body


has never been this starved for blue—the way

it steeps so deeply into you that by the time


you enter yourself again, you forget to wonder

how to make this radiance last,


can’t imagine you could ever feel

any other way.


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