Posts Tagged ‘willows’

Only when it rains do coyote willows
turn their brightest red, as they do
today in the drizzle and gray, and oh,
how I fall in love with them now,
these slender stems that know
how to regenerate from brokenness,
bringing their brilliant vermillion
to the dim of the day.
Let us live this way. When it is dark,
let us find what is brightest in us
and share it with the soggy world,
a thicket of grace in the midst of gloom,
not fancy, but rampant and so deeply willing
to share radiance, to dazzle, to blaze.

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The willows beside the river

are practicing how to let go—

they lose the bright red hue

of their skin and their leaves

turn brittle and brown.

It would be easy to think

they were dead if all I did

was pass them by. But

bend one willow, and it’s clear

how alive they still are,

flexible and sincere.

How little rest I allow myself.

I insist on my own evergreen.

How much could I learn

from November’s willows

that take a break from living?

I listen, as if the willows

might offer a teaching.

I listen until it dawns in me,

that the quiet

is the teaching.

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You will remember how two weeks ago
I skied into you, right through the tall center
of your many red stems. How I fell.

I was transfixed by you at the base of the hill.
I forgot everything but willow. But
today I remember to train my eye

to corduroy snow, to follow its parallel
grooves through the gulley.
See how I slide up the other side with no effort.

It is not that I did not notice you,
your whispers, your slight bend
in the almost breeze, your tips waving

like sirens, your long slendernesses,
how easily you rise from snow toward sky.
I noticed and then curled my body into the curve,

looked ahead, became drift, became wind, became
current and passed you, slipping myself into
the next moment which is always, always passing.

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