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Posts Tagged ‘support’

 

 

And when Montaigne turned thirty-eight,

he began to paint inscriptions on the roof beams

in his library. Words of Socrates.

Euripedes. Sophocles. Horace. Ecclesiastes.

Theognis. Epictetus. Lucretius. As if to keep

himself looking up. As if to remember

where the world has been. As if to know

himself as part of this glorious conversation.

 

And who have I painted on the roof beams

of my heart? Rumi. Neruda. Mira. Rilke.

Szymborska. Hopkins. Ahkmatova. Bass.

Every day, I climb into that tower and trace

their words with my thoughts, wander

their paths, let them hold my hand. Sometimes

they take me by the face, the way a mother

or a lover would, and hold me there as if to say,

Now listen. I mean this. I mean you.  

Sometimes they stand passive, and

force me to find my own way in.

 

These are beams that never will burn,

the kind that hold up the sky.

Montaigne inscribed Horace, who

tells us: shelter where the storm drives you.

And wherever the storm, these beams

are there. Meanwhile, the thunder, the crackle

of lightning, the scent of the coming rain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reconciliation

 

 

We are all walking each other home.

—Ram Dass

 

 

There was that moment before

I read the letter, when you

were still invincible, that moment

when just seeing your name

made me think of sitting at your table

drinking wine, eating fresh tomato soup,

and my heart rose up like a good little dog

and begged me to read the news.

And then there was the moment

when I read the news. And read it again.

And let my eyes unfocus on the words

as I felt their terrible weight

settle in my chest, on my cheeks.

How soon the mind leans toward the worst.

It is hard to reconcile the two moments

together, side by side as they were,

the one so exuberant, the other

so grim. I try to imagine them

holding hands as if to steady the other.

As if they need somehow to be close,

fear and hope. If you feel a hand

slip into yours and no one is there,

perhaps it is mine, reaching

toward you through a letter

I will always be writing, the letter

of how beautiful it is to be alive

in this world so we can

shoulder together what frightens us most.

How beautiful it is to be alive

so that even in our most lumbered days

we might meet each other, hands open,

and steady the other, walking home.

 

 

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wanting to be your lifeboat

when what you really need

is someone to let you swim

 

 

 

 

and if you live nearby, you may want to consider this public speaking class I will be teaching for the next six Thursdays through Ah Haa … http://www.ahhaa.org/calendarize/public-speaking-rosemerry-wahtola-trommer/

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Only Four Inches Thick

 

 

How does it do it,

the skin of ice—

it holds our weight

we who skate

in circles around

the frozen lake.

Though it groans

and cracks,

it holds us,

this solid ground

made of what

is not always solid.

Is it too much

to hope that we, too,

might sometimes

be able to hold

the weight of others

with such clarity,

such polished grace?

Our skates carve

unreadable cursive

into the surface.

Below us, clouds blossom

in the ice—bouquets

for days such as these

when everything

seems possible,

even improbable strength,

even falling through.

 

 

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One Together

 

weeping under the weight

of the burden, still grateful

to help carry it

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What We Do When We Can Do Nothing Else

When trouble comes
with its long gray dress
and its hungry eyes
and its basket of woe,
when trouble comes
with its insomnia
and note past due
that you know you can never pay,
when trouble comes
with its refusal to let you
be bailed out this time
no matter how crisp
the hundreds are,
I do not want to be
the one who lies to you
and says it will all be okay.
I don’t want to play
the teacher and talk
about how the world
erodes us until we shine.
I want to be the one
who holds your hand,
though, even if it is
from many hundreds
of miles away, and
even if you do not hear me
say it, I will be thinking,
miracles happen,
and you are one.
I will write you a poem
made of doors, all
of them open,
even the one
that trouble walks in,
even the one
that trouble walks out.

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