Posts Tagged ‘survival’

It’s Christmas and the yard,
grassy again from unseasonal rain,
is abloom with dozens of robins—
robins flitting and bobbing
and weaving unpredictable paths
with their dark gray wings.
They seem harbingers
of an unexpected spring,
as if life is asking them to be more alive
just when it seems as if
everything is dead.
How could I be more alive?
I love that these birds know
how to survive—love that
come winter, they flock.
Because more eyes means
more chances to spot food.
Because more eyes means
fewer chances to become food themselves.
I, too, have been flocking
this winter—surrounding myself
with other eyes, other hearts,
other wings, other minds.
It feels good to be one of many,
to trust my kind. It feels good
to fly together for this
tenderest time. The truth is,
it isn’t easy. The truth is,
we were made for this.

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Choosing Truth

And if I find I’d rather not meet the truth,
then I can notice the little girl in me,
the one who hides in the closet
when she is afraid, the one who plays dead,
the one who ends all her stories with happily
ever after, and I can choose to love her.
I don’t need to drag her out or force her to look
or tell her that sometimes the villain wins in the end.
Instead, I can remind the rest of me how alive I feel
when I meet it all, when I choose to enter the day
eyes open, ears open, hands open
and let the world in. That is how,
on this day when I know the truth
of how cruel we humans can be,
I can lean into that pain at the same time
I watch the sky turn pink behind the white aspen
and feel the cold air kiss my cheeks,
my breath rising in visible prayer
meeting difficult truths I walk right through.

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“Sometimes it is what is beautiful that carries you,” said Weasel weakly from his bed. “Yes, it can carry you to the end. It is your relationship to what is beautiful, not the beautiful thing itself, that carries you,” said Grizzly Bear.

—Barry Lopez, Crow and Weasel


And so, after years of wanting to be river

and calendula, cottonwood and aspen,

larkspur and evergreen, at last the poet

longs to be herself—longs not to be

what is many petalled nor golden leafed,

not to be what merges with ocean,

what thrives in cold. Rather, she longs

to be the one who might uncover beauty

in the garbage dump, find splendor in the mess.

It is no small thing to want to be yourself.

Look, there she sits in the prison of her thoughts.

See her smile as the bars begin to bend,

watch her marvel as what she thought was a cage

becomes wings.

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Today it is enough

to pour the orange juice.

To push down the lever

on the toaster.

To feed the fish and the kids

and water the orchid

and return one call.

A woman could be buried

by all the things

she thinks she should do.

It might take her years

to crawl out from beneath that weight.

And so today

I find refuge in the fact

that I made the bed.

That I was a lap

for a cat.

That I caught a mouse

in the carrot row

and I let him go.

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One Survival

devouring the crumb trail

from beauty to beauty—

no going back

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One Up a Creek


leak in the lifeboat—

some small part of me rejoices

for this excuse

to jump into the waves

and see what these arms can do

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In the Nest

Three open

beaks, oddly

pink, bony.

Their silent

hunger pre-


Some of us

learn it is

safer to

hunger in

silence. And

some of us

learn that with

so many

mouths and so

many hearts

to feed, it

feels safer

not to list-


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