Posts Tagged ‘trust’




You do not need to know what comes next.

There is always another storm, and you

cannot hang the tent out to dry before

it has gotten wet. You cannot shovel snow

that has yet to fall.


Put down the shovel. Breathe

into the dark spaces of your back,

feel how they open like cave doors

to let in the light.

Let your face soften. Let the creases

fall out of your brow. The mind,

no matter how clear, will never become

a crystal ball.


The wisest part of your body

knows to run when it hears

the first crashes of rock fall.

It does not pause then to consider

metamorphic or igneous,

nor does it hesitate to wonder

what might have pushed them down.

It is no small thing to trust yourself.


It’s okay to cry. It is right

that love should shake your body,

that you should find yourself trembling

in the rubble and dust

after all your certainties come down.


Your breath has not left you.

Here is the morning rain. It opens

the scent of the leaves, of the air.

All around you the world is changing.


What are you waiting for?

Here is the cup of mint tea

growing stronger in itself.

Here on this cliff of uncertainty

there is a stillness in you

so spirited, so alive

the wisest part of your body

is dancing.

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Skipping a Beat




Climbing down

the makeshift

ladder, the


lesson is

trust, and

the second-

ary lesson

is trust more.

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We wait until the plants are dead.
That’s the time to harvest. First,
we pull away the straw. The dirt

below is damp and rich. We rake
with our fingers lightly then,
so as not to scrape the skin of

potatoes near the top. And oh,
that first glimpse of gold, how
we laugh and remind ourselves,

Go slow. After all, we’ve been
waiting all summer. But sometimes,
in the company of delight,

it’s hard to wait a second longer.
I want to say something to my son
about trust, about the way

that marvelous things sometimes
need the dark in order to grow. But
it is the quiet, now, that I love.

The silence of four hands moving
the dirt. Finn pulls another potato
from the earth, holds it up for me to see.

We shake our heads in what, awe?
Dumb wonder at our luck? And plunge
our hands deeper, deeper into the darkness.

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Too Late

but it usually works
says the man with the saw
to the woman cut in half

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Dear Rumi,

After reading “The Guest House,” by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

The house, remember how it was swept
so clean last time you came around?
Not a book left on the shelves. The closets,
hangerless. The drawers, bare. Not even
a dust bunny under the bed. It was terrifying,
really, to inhabit all that emptiness. No cup,
not even a dirty one, to offer you. And you,
unphased, led me to the river to drink.

I am almost afraid to tell you I bought new cups.
And the shelves, well, there are lots of new books.
Many I have not yet opened. I just bought them
hoping to know, know something, something more,
something about nothing. That is ridiculous,
I know, and I can laugh at myself and still
I order more books.

There are rugs in the halls, and lamps, and I could even
offer you a stool. Is it so wrong, Rumi, to have brought
all the furniture in again? Shame, she came again
last week. She spit on my mirror and it won’t come off.
And Fear, he trampled mud all over the new white carpet.
And Anger, he tossed two of the new tea cups
on the floor where they shattered like hope.
And Hope, she picked up the pieces and made
a mosaic of wings.

I am learning, perhaps, to better greet
these visitors and laugh as you suggest.
Sometimes I even get excited to hear
the doorbell ring. And sometimes when I hear
footsteps at the door, I run to the closet,
curl myself into a ball, cover myself with old coats
and boots and shudder.

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Not one leaf left,
not one green thing.
Even the algal pools
beside the river
hinge toward brown.

The grass, brown.
The empty tomato vines,
brown. Even the bindweed
on the fence. Dead
and brittle and brown.

There is still a moon,
though, and it shines
when it isn’t in hiding.
Like tonight. The moon hasn’t yet risen
but I can look east

where it’s just as black
as the west, as the north and south,
and I know for certain
it’s not about prayer or hope,
it’s just a question of time.

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