Saturday, June 26, 2010

mercy






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A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth.
A courageous man went and rescued the bear.
There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save
anyone who cries out. Like Mercy itself,
they run toward the screaming.

And they can't be bought off.
If you were to ask one of those, "Why did you come
so quickly?" he or she would say, "Because I heard
your helplessness."

Where lowland is,
that's where water goes. All medicine wants
is pain to cure.

And don't just ask for one mercy.
Let them flood in. Let the sky open under your feet.
Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton
of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music.

Push the hair out of your eyes.
Blow the phlegm from your nose,
and from your brain.

Let the wind breeze through.
Leave no residue in yourself from that bilious fever.
Take the cure for impotence,
that your manhood may shoot forth,
and a hundred new beings come of your coming.

Tear the binding from around the foot
of your soul, and let it race around the track
in front of the crowd. Loosen the knot of greed
so tight on your neck. Accept your new good luck.

Give your weakness
to one who helps.

Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.
A nursing mother, all she does
is wait to hear her child.

Just a little beginning-whimper,
and she's there.

God created the child, that is your wanting,
so that it might cry out, so that milk might come.

Cry out! Don't be stolid and silent
with your pain. Lament! And let the milk
of loving flow into you.

The hard rain and wind
are ways the cloud has
to take care of us.

Be patient.
Respond to every call
that excites your spirit.

Ignore those that make you fearful
and sad, that degrade you
back toward disease and death. 


–Rumi





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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sabbaths 1998, VI

 

By expenditure of hope,
Intelligence, and work,
You think you have it fixed.
It is unfixed by rule.
Within the darkness, all
Is being changed, and you
Also will be changed.

Now I recall to mind
A costly year: Jane Kenyon,
Bill Lippert, Philip Sherrard,
All in the same spring dead,
So much companionship
Gone as the river goes.

And my good workhorse Nick
Dead, who called out to me
In his conclusive pain
To ask my help. I had
No help to give. And flood
Covered the cropland twice.
By summer's end there are
No more perfect leaves.

But won't you be ashamed
To count the passing year
At its mere cost, your debt
Inevitably paid?
For every year is costly,
As you know well. Nothing
Is given that is not
Taken, and nothing taken
That was not first a gift.

The gift is balanced by
Its total loss, and yet,
And yet the light breaks in,
Heaven seizing its moments
That are at once its own
And yours. The day ends
And is unending where
The summer tanager,
Warbler, and vireo
Sing as they move among
Illuminated leaves.

~ Wendell Berry
(Given)


image tbradford, flickr.com

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Untitled





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"think of it: not so long ago
    this was a village"
"yes; i know"

"of human beings who prayed and sang,
    or am i wrong?"
"no, you're not wrong"

"and worked like hell six days out of seven"
"to die as they lived: in the hope of heaven"

"didn't two roads meet here?"
    "they did;
and over yonder a schoolhouse stood"

"do i remember a girl with blue-
    sky eyes and sun-yellow hair?"
"do you?"

        "absolutely"
     "that's very odd,
for i've never forgotten one frecklefaced lad'

"what could have happened to her and him?"
"maybe they walked and called it a dream"

"in this dream were there green and gold
    meadows?"
"through which a lazy brook strolled"

"wonder if clover still smells that way;
    up in the mow"
"full of newmown hay"

"and the shadows and sounds and silences"
"Yes, a barn could be a magical place"

"nothing's the same, is it?"
    "something still
remains, my friend, and always will"

        "namely?"
    "if any woman knows,
one man in a million ought to guess"

"what of the dreams that never die?"
"turn to your left at the end of the sky"

"where are the girls whose breasts begin?"
"under the boys who fish with a pin"

–E. E. Cummings

 



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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Separation




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 Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

–W. S. Merwin




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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Came to Me




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I took the last
dusty piece of china
out of the barrel.

It was your gravy boat,
with a hard, brown
drop of gravy still
on the porcelain lip.

I grieved for you then
as I never had before.


–Jane Kenyon



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