there are sorrows
a choir can’t reach when they sing.
Yama (Sanskrit: यम) or Yamarāja (यमराज) is the god of death, belonging to an early stratum of Vedic mythology. In the Vedas, Yama is said to have been the first mortal who died. By virtue of precedence, he became the ruler of the departed ...
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart
may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily
miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less
wondrous than your joy;And you would accept the seasons of your heart,
even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass
over your fields.And you would watch with serenity through the winters
of your grief.
There’s this shape, black as the entrance to a cave.
A longing wells up in its throat
like a blossom
as it breathes slowly.
What does the world
mean to you if you can’t trust it
to go on shining when you’re
not there? and there’s
a tree, long-fallen; once
the bees flew to it, like a procession
of messengers, and filled it
I said to the chickadee, singing his heart out in the
green pine tree:
The shape climbs up out of the curled grass. It
grunts into view. There is no measure
for the confidence at the bottom of its eyes—
there is no telling
the suppleness of its shoulders as it turns
Near the fallen tree
something—a leaf snapped loose
from the branch and fluttering down—tries to pull me
into its trap of attention.
It pulls me
into its trap of attention.
And when I turn again, the bear is gone.
Look, hasn’t my body already felt
like the body of a flower?
Look, I want to love this world
as thought it’s the last chance I’m ever going to get
to be alive
and know it.
Sometimes in late summer I won’t touch anything, not
the flowers, not the blackberries
brimming in the thickets; I won’t drink
from the pond; I won’t name the birds or the trees;
I won’t whisper my own name.
the fox came down the hill, glittering and confident,
and didn’t see me—and I thought:
so this is the world.
I’m not in it.
It is beautiful.
Stay, I saidto the cut flowers.They bowedtheir heads lower.
Stay, I said to the spider,who fled.
Stay, leaf.It reddened,embarrassed for me and itself.
Stay, I said to my body.It sat as a dog does,obedient for a moment,soon starting to tremble.
Stay, to the earthof riverine valley meadows,of fossiled escarpments,of limestone and sandstone.It looked backwith a changing expression, in silence.
Stay, I said to my loves.Each answered,Always.
what falls away with ease.
Not only the heavy apple,
but also the dried brown strands
of autumn iris from their core.
To let your bodylove this worldthat gave itself to your carein all of its ripeness,with ease,and will take itself from youin equal ripeness and ease,is also harvest.And however sharplyyou are tested --this sorrow, that great love --it too will leave on that clean knife.
I wish I had the capacity
to see through my own death.
Some flash light, some force of flame
Picking out diamond points
of falling leaves and the river of stars.This is the year I'm scraping the ice away from its sidewalks.
This is the year I've slid its shoes off.
This is the year I've started to keep it company,
and comb its hair.
I got out of bedon two strong legs.It might have beenotherwise. I atecereal, sweetmilk, ripe, flawlesspeach. It mighthave been otherwise.I took the dog uphillto the birch wood.All morning I didthe work I love.At noon I lay downwith my mate. It mighthave been otherwise.We ate dinner togetherat a table with silvercandlesticks. It mighthave been otherwise.I slept in a bedin a room with paintingson the walls, andplanned another dayjust like this day.But one day, I know,it will be otherwise.
Love is life.All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.Everything is, everything exists, only because I love.Everything is united by it alone.
Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love,shall return to the general and eternal source.–Leo Tolstoy
And now to the Abyss I passOf that unfathomable grass...
Dear relatives and friends, when my last breath
Grows large and free in air, don't call it death --
A word to enrich the undertaker and inspire
His surly art of imitating life; conspire
Against him. Say that my body cannot now
Be improved upon; it has no fault to show
To the sly cosmetician. Say that my flesh
Has a perfect compliance with the grass
Truer than any it could have striven for.
You will recognize the earth in me, as before
I wished to know it in myself: my earth
That has been my care and faithful charge from birth,
And toward which all my sorrows were surely bound,
And all my hopes. Say that I have found
A good solution, and am on my way
To the roots. And say I have left my native clay
At last, to be a traveler, that too will be so.
Traveler to where? Say you don't know.
But do not let your ignorance
Of my spirit's whereabouts dismay
You, or overwhelm your thoughts.
Be careful not to say
Any thing too final. Whatever
Is unsure is possible, and life is bigger
Than flesh. Beyond reach of thought
Let imagination figure
Your hope. That will be generous
To me and to yourselves. Why settle
For some know-it-all's despair
When the dead may dance to the fiddle
Hereafter, for all anybody knows?
And remember that the Heavenly soil
Need not be too rich to please
One who was happy in Port Royal.
I may be already heading back,
A new and better man, toward
That town. The thought's unreasonable,
But so is life, thank the Lord!
So treat me, even dead,
As a man who has a place
To go, and something to do.
Don't muck up my face
With wax and powder and rouge
As one would prettify
An unalterable fact
To give bitterness the lie.
Admit the native earth
My body is and will be,
Admit its freedom and
Dress me in the clothes
I wore in the day's round
Lay me in a wooden box.
Put the box in the ground.
I wanted to give you something —
no stone, clay, bracelet,
no edible leaf could pass through.
Even a molecule's fragrance by then too large.
Giving had been taken, as you soon would be.Still, I offered the puffs of air shaped to meaning.They remained air.I offered memory on memory,but what is memory that dies with the fallible inks?
I offered apology, sorrow, longing. I offered anger.How fine is the mesh of death. You can almost see through it.I stood on one side of the present, you stood on the other.