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Posts Tagged ‘wanting’

Two Nearlys

Two Nearlys

these empty hands—

there was a time

they grasped for emptiness

*

just before the words

there’s the chance to say nothing—

trees don’t have this problem

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After begging the stone
after asking the stone
after wishing the stone
after entreating the stone
after bribing the stone
after wanting the stone
after beseeching the stone
to become a butterfly
I sit with the stone
and notice how quiet
it is in my head when
a stone is a stone.

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On the spiritual path, there’s nothing to get, and everything to get rid of. Obviously, the first thing to let go of is trying to ‘get’ love, and instead to give it. That’s the secret of the spiritual path. How can we give ourselves? By not holding back. By not wanting for ourselves. If we want to be loved, we are looking for a support system. If we want to love, we are looking for spiritual growth.

– Ayya Khema, “What Love Is,” Tricycle Magazine

 

Forgive me for wanting, dear.
I have wanted so much. Your eyes,
for instance. Your hands. Your arms.
Your thoughts. I have wanted your name.
Your time. Your words. I have wanted
your now. Your yes. Your forgiveness.
Yesterday I read about dying wood cells,
how they dissolve themselves as they die,
leaving their cellulose walls as infinitesimal
tubes in the stems and veins of the leaves.
And water pushes through the tubes
and nourishes the plant. It’s elegant,
this dying, this giving at the end.
There’s more. The dying cells
in fact release a hormone that fuels new growth.
And the growth leads to death, and death
leads to growth and on and on it goes.
What I’m saying is what if thoughts are like plant cells,
and as they die, they leave more space.
And what we once thought we knew for certain
becomes an empty frame. And the new thoughts
flow in like water and become us as we grow.
Thoughts such as there is nothing to get
and everything to let go.

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You are the path
beside the stream
and you the snowmelt,
too. You the cumin
in the curried soup,
and you the empty spoon.
You the wreath
of dried flowers hung
on my door, and you the hinge,
the lock, the knob,
the latch, the key,
the draft
that whispers in.
I have wanted you
to be other things
because that is how
I am. But you are
the sky that holds
the moon, and you
are the moon and
the finger that points.
And you are the night
that craves the sun
and then disappears when
so lightly it comes.

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I’m sorry I didn’t let you
watch a movie when we got home tonight.
And I’m sorry I didn’t let you
have a piece of gum before bed.
And I’m sorry it was too late tonight
for a story. I’m sorry.
Not sorry in a guilty way,
but sorry in that I know
how hard it is to want something
and not get it. I know what it’s like
to convince yourself that your happiness
depends on that thing, that whatever thing
that you don’t have.
All those tears. I have cried them, too.
It did not matter that I was loved,
that the bed was warm, that
my belly was full, that the sky
was a lovely shade of peach.
I did not have what I thought
I must have. It does not change
when you’re older. Oh, the whatevers
change, but the longing
is part of being alive.
Tonight I wanted you
to stop crying. I wanted it enough
it nearly made me cry.
But even more than that
I wanted something else
I can’t explain to you.
That greater wanting,
some kind of peace—
could you feel it, too, as it fell on us
like the most gentle rain,
how it fell on your anger,
my helplessness, your wanting,
my wanting—the kind of peace
that touches everything just as it is
and doesn’t change a thing
and changes everything.

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I want to hear that you have forgiven me.
I want to hear that you see how we sail
on the water of our mistakes.
I do not know how to sail, love,
and I get sick at sea,
but here we are
like two drunks
in a tiny boat
with no map
and big waves
and darling,
we might just
go back in that sea,
I’m not saying we won’t,
but for this moment,
it all seems so funny,
so funny, we have no life vests,
no oars, and the sail has holes,
We’re surrounded by water
we cannot drink, and I don’t
see any land, but here we
are, darling, here we are,
with just the right weather
for me to forget that there’s anything
I think I need to hear.

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Bluster

All day the wind thrusts
against the house.
It does not want
to get in, it is doing
what wind does.
All day, these thoughts,
these driving thoughts.
But they are not
like wind. They want
very much
to get in.

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the wind blows
both ways at once
my thoughts, too

*

fingers covered
in syrup my daughter reaches
to hug me

*

me and the falling snow
both of us
shadowless today

*

crow in the empty
tree, it did not sing to me
like a crow

*

in evergreens
drifting snow and how can it be?
scent of lilac

*

rushing to dance
with the moon, I tripped
on my own wanting

*

January and I
recall over tea we forgot
to make resolutions

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