Posts Tagged ‘warmth’


The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.
—Thich Nhat Hanh

Today the miracle is to sit
in the sunlit room and be
in the sunlit room,
to be here and only here,
here in the bountiful silence,
here in the shifting shadows,
here in the hands of midwinter,
not in this same room five years ago,
but now as the tulips
drop the soft curls of their petals
like lingering pink praise.
So seldom in these grief ridden days
do I feel a feeling so pure
as this peace that arrives
on the low-angled light
when I am quiet and still
and the world invites me
to show up for whatever
slim warmth there is, and
know it is enough.

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Every step through the deep snow
of the field, I noticed your footprints
not there beside your dad’s, your sister’s
and mine. I noticed the silence
when no one argued about which tree
was best. I noticed the hands
that didn’t hold the saw, the arms
that didn’t carry the tree. I think
you’d like to know we laughed
as the snow sifted from the high branches
and down our necks. And we chose
the most beautiful spruce. Tall.
It would have been about as old
as you. I wore your coat—the blue
with the orange lining. It kept me
warm. Though the shade was deep.
Though the cold reached in. Though
I knew it wasn’t really you warming me.
But it was.

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Perhaps because I am cold

I want to bring you warmth—

isn’t that how it goes?

We wish for each other

what we most want for ourselves.

And so I wish you real love,

the kind that is as familiar

as brushing your teeth, as spectacular

as the sky tonight drenching the world

in pink just before

the dark took everything.

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A Passing Truce




Beside the fire, inside

the dark, and lost amidst

the tide of thoughts,

there is a momentary warmth

that steeps into our every inch

and make us doubt

that we could ever feel

sharp cold again—

the mind, thus warmed,

forgets to quarrel and simply

nestles closer—and the dark itself

comes nearer by and we

lean in together.

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Five Cents




Finding by chance a buffalo nickel

my son decides to spend his fortune

on a girl he’s never met

who woke one morning

with cancer in her marrow—


he tells me he’s thinking

a lot about death,

and he’s scared,

and I tell him yes,

it’s scary.


Later, I look out the window,

and though there’s not a hint

of leaves on the trees outside,

I feel some certainty

about green and summer,


and I’m amazed at how

just when we think the world

could not get any colder,

we are reminded what even

a tiny bit of warmth can do.

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Two for Warmth




the long bloom of my body

the long bloom of your body—

all night rearranging our stems




wondering why

the candle doesn’t give light—

never offering it flame

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Watching the PBS Special on the Ice Age

They are like tree rings, the tusks of the wooly mammoth.

The announcer explains how they show years of abundance

and years of scarcity. Even to a woman sitting on her couch

watching the NOVA special, the difference is obvious. Thick bands,

narrow bands. It all had to do with weather, says the voice.

Well, that is a simplification, but that’s basically what he says.

The last few years of this specific mammoth’s life were tough.

The announcer speculates many consecutive seasons of drought

or cold. I wonder what if the heart could show such trends.

What if the right camera lens or carbon test could show

which years of a life were full of warmth and love and which

were marked by chill? They are worth something, the tusks,

regardless how thick or thin the rings. They are valuable

just because they are what they are. And the heart, well,

I imagine the announcer, how he might say, “We can see

how in this season the environment was less favorable.”

And there would be no judgment in his voice. Not really

compassion, either. Just a well-modulated narration

of how things are. Sometimes it is difficult. Sometimes we thrive.

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When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.
—John Muir

and so when I tug at the blue green ice
that marbles the top of the river, it’s no
surprise to find it connected to those mornings
when I was a girl and the lake was frozen
and I could skate all the way to the middle,
could follow the cracks and skate so far
I could hardly see my small yellow house.
I would lay down, face to the ice, and feel
the way the cold rose up to sting my check,
feel the chill seep through my winter clothes.
I would roll over and stare at the white sky
and wave my arms and legs in the angel pattern,
though there was no snow. And I’d stay there
a long, long time. In this way, I learned
it is possible to be warm even held by the cold,
and tugging at this, it is no surprise
to find it connects to everything.

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The Real Deal

no darling, I am
not like peaches that grow
sweeter with cold—
this woman needs your warmth,
I ain’t talkin’ flannel shirts

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Sometimes midsummer the body
simply refuses to go inside. Though
reason would say to hide from the sun
midday, the body goes out anyway
to the garden, the orchard, the river,
the field and gathers warmth, as if
it could store this wealth of light, as if
one winter night it might from some fold
of pallid skin produce a secret radiant skein,
something fulsomely warm still smack
with peonies and wild mustard scent,
something not bitter and not at all slant
that we might wrap our shivering bodies in,
oh wheeling swallows, oh sun so high.

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