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“What if the world is holding its breath – 
waiting for you to take the place that only you can fill?”
David Whyte

Why, in the middle of your busy life, would you pause to read poetry?

Because good poetry points us to what truly matters, which is why I use poetry so much in my work.  A good poem offers sanctuary, reminding us of the necessity, power and beauty of contemplation.  In a world hell-bent on filling space with activity and silence with noise, this is a subversive act.  So slow down, digest a poem, let it take you by the hand.  Allow yourself be touched, even changed.  Indeed, poetry has been know to save lives.  Nuff said.  Onward!

Image: Paul Cezanne, Still life, pitcher and fruit

September 2018 ~ On the Long, Lonely Search for the Rare Calypso Lily

 

 

 

 

 

These words in a letter by John Muir entranced me.  Immediately, I saw in them as a poem.  I share this because it’s a beautiful teaching in the art of contemplation.  His exquisite attention to detail and the joy he describes in the encounter offer guidance.      

On the Long, Lonely Search for the Rare Calypso Lily

…when the sun was getting low
and everything seemed
bewildering
and discouraging, I found
beautiful Calypso
on the mossy bank
of a stream, growing
not in the ground
but on a bed of yellow mosses
in which its small white bulb
found a soft nest from which
its one leaf
and one flower
sprung.

The flower was white,
of the utmost
simple purity.

No other bloom was near it,
for the bog below
the surface was still
frozen, and the water
ice cold.

It seemed the most spiritual
of all the flower people
I had ever met.

I sat down beside it
and fairly cried
for joy.

K. Castelbaum, Found Poem.  Source: letter written by John Muir.

Read the full letter here:
https://vault.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/writings/calypso_borealis_by_muir.aspx

Reflection:  When we hurry, attention is divided and cursory.  Consequently, we miss simple joy and revelations that remind us of what matters.  Try this: bring your full attention to details in people and things you overlook or take for granted, so you can truly see.  What do you notice?

By |September 1st, 2018|Tags: , |

August 2018 ~ St. Francis and the Sow

 

 

 

 

 

 

May this poem wrap you in a cloak of compassionate warmth.
May it help you recollect the loveliness of all life.  Especially in these times.  Amen. 

The bud

stands for all things,

even for those things that don’t flower,

for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;

though sometimes it is necessary

to reteach a thing its loveliness,

to put a hand on its brow

of the flower

and retell it in words and in touch

it is lovely

until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;

as Saint Francis

put his hand on the creased forehead

of the sow, and told her in words and in touch

blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow

began remembering all down her thick length,

from the earthen snout all the way

through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,

from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine

down through the great broken heart

to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering

from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:

the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

 

Galway Kinnell from Mortal Acts, Mortal Words
Copyrighted material, for educational/therapeutic uses only.

By |August 24th, 2018|Tags: , |

July 2018 ~ Singularity (after Stephen Hawking)


A stunning tribute to Stephen Hawking (1942 – 2014), who understood the universe itself
is poetry.  Howe’s heart-felt poem is full of ache and wonder and celebration of our shared reality.

Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity
we once were?

so compact nobody
needed a bed, or food or money —
nobody hiding in the school bathroom
or home alone

pulling open the drawer
where the pills are kept.

For every atom belonging to me as good
Belongs to you.
   Remember?

There was no   Nature.    No
them.   No tests

to determine if the elephant
grieves her calf    or if

the coral reef feels pain.    Trashed
oceans don’t speak English or Farsi or French;

would that we could wake up   to what we were
— when we were ocean    and before that

to when sky was earth, and animal was energy, and rock was
liquid and stars were space and space was not

at all — nothing

before we came to believe humans were so important
before this awful loneliness.

Can molecules recall it?
what once was?    before anything happened?

No I, no We, no one. No was
No verb      no noun
only a tiny tiny dot brimming with

is is is is is

All   everything   home

By Marie Howe, composed for The Universe in Verse event at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Full program here: brainpickings.org/the-universe-in-verse/

For added enjoyment, take 2:34 minutes to check out this most amazing Song of the Universe:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWVshkVF0SY

By |July 1st, 2018|Tags: , |

Lucky’s Corner

lucky

Here’s a tasty morsel of poetic medicine from Lucky.
Down the hatch!

“You are a living landscape,
a vast humming presence,
a biosphere of wonder.”

Krayna

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