Thursday, February 27, 2014

why, then?



Why then have to be human?
Oh, not because happiness exists,
Nor out of curiosity...

But because being here means so much;
Because everything here,
Vanishing so quickly, seems to need us,
And strangely keeps calling to us...
To have been
Here once, completely, even if only once,
To have been at one with the earth -
This is beyond undoing.

–Rainer Maria Rilke


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

messengers of grief

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.

—Washington Irving




Sunday, February 23, 2014

section V of Little Gidding, excerpt


Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.

We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.

–T. S. Eliot
Four Quartets



Saturday, February 22, 2014

not to worry



The great sea
Has sent me adrift,

It moves me as the weed in a great river,
Earth and the great weather move me,

Have carried me away,
And move my inward parts with joy.

–Eskimo woman shaman


Friday, February 21, 2014



Everyone knows the great energies running amok cast
terrible shadows, that each of the so-called
senseless acts has its thread looping
back through the world and into a human heart.
And meanwhile
the gold-trimmed thunder
wanders the sky; the river
may be filling the cellars of the sleeping town.

Cyclone, fire, and their merry cousins
bring us to grief - but these are the hours
with the old wooden-god faces;
we lift them to our shoulders like so many
black coffins, we continue walking
into the future. I don't mean
there are no bodies in the river,
or bones broken by the wind. I mean
everyone who has heard the lethal train-roar
of the tornado swears there was no mention ever
of any person, or reason - I mean
the waters rise without any plot upon
history, or even geography. Whatever
power of the earth rampages, we turn to it
dazed but anonymous eyes; whatever
the name of the catastrophe, it is never
the opposite of love.

–Mary Oliver


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

from Romeo and Juliet


Friar Laurence: 

The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb; 
What is her burying grave that is her womb, 
And from her womb children of divers kind 
We sucking on her natural bosom find, 
Many for many virtues excellent, 
None but for some and yet all different. 

O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies 
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities: 
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live 
But to the earth some special good doth give, 
Nor aught so good but strain’d from that fair use 
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse: 
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied; 
And vice sometimes by action dignified. 

Within the infant rind of this small flower 
Poison hath residence and medicine power: 
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part; 
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart. 
Two such opposed kings encamp them still 
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will; 
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.






Monday, February 17, 2014

10 seconds



Saturday, February 15, 2014

science meets non-dualty


not to worry


It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble, how hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangle, how great the mistake. 

A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.

—Emmet Fox

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ode to Clothes


Every morning you wait,
clothes, over a chair,
to fill yourself with
my vanity, my love,
my hope, my body.
risen from sleep,
I relinquish the water,
enter your sleeves,
my legs look for
the hollows of your legs,
and so embraced
by your indefatigable faithfulness
I rise, to tread the grass,
enter poetry,
consider through the windows,
the things,
the men, the women,
the deeds and the fights
go on forming me,
go on making me face things
working my hands,
opening my eyes,
using my mouth,
and so,
I too go forming you,
extending your elbows,
snapping your threads,
and so your life expands
in the image of my life.
In the wind
you billow and snap
as if you were my soul,
at bad times
you cling
to my bones,
vacant, for the night,
darkness, sleep
populate with their phantoms
your wings and mine.
I wonder
if one day
a bullet
from the enemy
will leave you stained with my blood
and then
you will die with me
or one day
not quite
so dramatic
but simple,
you will fall ill,
with me,
grow old
with me, with my body
and joined
we will enter
the earth.
Because of this
each day
I greet you
with reverence and then
you embrace me and I forget you,
because we are one
and we will go on
facing the wind, in the night,
the streets or the fight,
a single body,
one day, one day, some day, still

–Pablo Neruda


Thursday, February 13, 2014

over, last lines


I say your name
again. It is a key, unlocking all the dark,
so death swings open on its hinge.

I hear a bird being its song,
piercing the hour, to bring first light this Christmas dawn,
a gift, the blush of memory.

Carol Ann Duffy


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Journal of an Ordinary Grief, excerpt


And if happiness should surprise you again, do not mention its previous betrayal.

Enter into the happiness, and burst.

—Mahmoud Darwish



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

what i leave behind


Loveliest of what I leave behind is the sunlight,
And loveliest after that, the shining stars and the moon’s face,
but also cucumbers that are ripe, and pears, and apples

Praxilla of Sicyon
5th century B.C.


Monday, February 3, 2014

how it works


... when the hour of his departure drew near—
"Ah,” said the fox, “I shall cry.”

"It is your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you …”

"Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

"But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince.

"Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

"Then it has done you no good at all!”

"It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.”

―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince 


Sunday, February 2, 2014

the waking


I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.
Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

–Theodore Roethke