Mary Oliver – Do you have time?

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Do you have time?
 
 
Oh do you have time

 

to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy
and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles
for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air
as they strive
melodiously
not for your sake
and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude—
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning

in the broken world.
I beg of you,
do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:

‘You must change your life.’

~ Mary Oliver
photograph Rose Cook

In Tall Grass- Carl Sandburg

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In Tall Grass – Carl Sandburg

 

photo Rose Cook

awe is what moves us forward

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awe is what moves us forward
The divine manifestation is ubiquitous,
Only our eyes are not open to it.
Awe is what moves us forward.

 

Live from your own center.
The divine lives within you.
The separateness apparent in the world is secondary.
Beyond the world of opposites is an unseen,
but experienced, unity and identity in us all.

 

Today the planet is the only proper “in group.”
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows,
but we can choose to live in joy.

 

You must return with the bliss and integrate it.
The return is seeing the radiance is everywhere.
The world is a match for us.
We are a match for the world.
The spirit is the bouquet of nature.

 

Sanctify the place you are in.
Follow your bliss. . . .

 

~ Joseph Campbell
photo Rose Cook

The Way It Is

The Way It Is
There’s a thread you follow.
It goes among things that change. 
But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
By William Stafford, from The Way It Is, 1998
photo Rose Cook

Poems for peace into the new year, blessings

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Thanks

W.S. Merwin

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

 

image by Iris Perrens

Peace can be found in the ordinary

 

The Ordinary

It may happen on a day
of ordinary weather—
the usual assembled flowers,
or fallen leaves
disheveling the grass.
You may be feeding the dog,
or sipping a cup of tea,
and then: the telegram;
or the phone call;
or the sharp pain traveling
the length of your
left arm, or his.
And as your life is switched
to a different track
(the landscape
through grimy windows
almost the same though
entirely different) you wonder
why the wind doesn’t
rage and blow as it does
so convincingly
in Lear for instance.
It is pathetic fallacy
you long for—the roses
nothing but their thorns,
the downed leaves
subjects for a body count.
And as you lie in bed
like an effigy of yourself,
it is the ordinary
that comes to save you—
the china teacup waiting
to be washed, the old dog
whining to go out.

Linda Pastan

(photo Rose Cook)