Posts Tagged ‘yes’

One Indestructible



just when the sledgehammer of no

takes its best shot,

finding in me an invincible yes

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When It Comes to Ideas




I am perhaps like the mama sheep

who rejects the lamb that is not her own—

snorts at it, won’t let it suckle,

shoves it away with her nose.

Though her own lamb was born lifeless,

though her teats are full to leaking,

she will have nothing to do with the alien.

It’s not the lamb’s fault it has the wrong scent,

just as it’s not the idea’s fault it was born

in another’s mind. It’s likely a good idea,

just needing a bit of nourishment.


But there are skilled herders who know the art

of grafting, who make of the dead lamb’s skin

a jacket and wrap it around the alien lamb,

tricking the ewe into taking it on as her own.

Then it’s a matter of bonding.


Don’t think I didn’t see you as you stripped the skin.

Don’t think I’m unaware of what you’ve done.

The truth is, I wanted to foster it, to claim it

as my own, to see it frolic in these fields of sage.

I was made for nurturing. It’s just that loss is difficult.

It’s just that sometimes it’s hard to say yes.

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Saying yes to too many things at once

is like eating dark chocolate truffles one

after another after another. The first


is infused with wild raspberry, which leads

to a caramel truffle with fleur de sel, which leads

to two smooth champagne truffles, which leads


to a tummy ache, bittersweet. My calendar

has a tummy ache. Its numbered squares

are filled in with rows of rich invitations…


a book club infused with Louise Erdrich

and Sauvignon Blanc, a meditation retreat

handcrafted with extra silence, a trail run


through aspen groves filled with silky light.

How could I pass on any of these delights?

Saying yes to too many things at once


is like crossing a remote border at midnight,

and though your pulse races with the thrill,

you have no idea if you will ever know


what home means again. Saying yes

to too many things at once is in fact

a disguise for saying no. No to openness,


no to spontaneity, no to whatever surprise

might have found its way into the vacant

possibility of that deliciously empty square.

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Could be you feel

like a tiny bird

flapping hard, hard

as you can

into the wind.

Though there

is no sign that says

Dead End,

you are not going

anywhere and can’t

imagine you ever will.

Could be

all that fluttering

exhausts you


you stop all that trying

and turn away

from whatever it is

you think

you are flying toward.

And then


you understand—

not with your head,

with your whole being—

that wherever the wind

is going to go

it will go. Could be

you find yourself

saying yes to the wind,

the same wind,

you know this, that fills

your lungs.

Could be that it

is so beautiful,

this new kind of flying,

that you forget

to be frightened

that you do not know

what will happen next.

Could be you’ve never

been quite so aware

how infinite

the sky.



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Looking for something great to read? Drew Myron has a fabulous site, Push Pull Books, and she polls artistic folks about what they’re reading on a certain topic … the theme she gave me, aptly, was “yes.” I had a great time reading the other themes and book recommendations … thanks, Drew, what fun!

You can read my three top picks at her site here.

I’ll just say here that the other book I would have put on the list is “Don’t Think of an Elephant,” by George Lakoff, which among other things explains cognitive research around why it is so important to frame things positively.

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You are my blizzard, my tempest, my hail,
you my cloudless sky.
I learn to say yes to your everywhere
and yes to your nowhere.
Yes to your hawk, your sparrow.
Yes to your desert, your orchards of plums
ripe and fat with sweetness.
Yes to your knives and yes to your blossoms.
Yes to your silence, yes to your growl.
Yes to the part of me that says no.
Yes to the fear of yes.
Yes to your flash flood, yes to your drought.
Yes to the angry red ache and yes to infinite tenderness.
Yes to the walls and the walls falling down.
Yes to the prison, the skeleton key.
Yes to you, yes, I say yes, yes again,
yes to your killing frost,
yes to your warm morning after.

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If You Ask Me Why I Tattooed Yes to My Forehead, It Is Because

when the moon says,
I will teach you my language
if you give me everything,
there is still part of me
that might say, let me sleep on it

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