Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘poem’

Wednesday of Hope – Wait

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, 
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.

– T.S. Eliott

Finding a Joyous Field

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense.

– Rumi

Wednesday of Hope – How Hard Is It to have Hope?

Blue heron with fish

It is hard to have hope. It is harder as you grow old,

for hope must not depend on feeling good

and there is the dream of loneliness at absolute midnight.

You also have withdrawn belief in the present reality

of the future, which surely will surprise us,

and hope is harder when it cannot come by prediction

any more than by wishing. But stop dithering.

The young ask the old to hope. What will you tell them?

Tell them at least what you say to yourself. 

Because we have not made our lives to fit

our places, the forests are ruined, the fields eroded,

the streams polluted, the mountains overturned. Hope

then to belong to your place by your own knowledge

of what it is that no other place is, and by

your caring for it as you care for no other place, this

place that you belong to though it is not yours,

for it was from the beginning and will be to the end. 

Belong to your place by knowledge of the others who are

your neighbors in it: the old man, sick and poor,

who comes like a heron to fish in the creek,

and the fish in the creek, and the heron who manlike

fishes for the fish in the creek, and the birds who sing

in the trees in the silence of the fisherman

and the heron, and the trees that keep the land

they stand upon as we too must keep it, or die. 

This knowledge cannot be taken from you by power

or by wealth. It will stop your ears to the powerful

when they ask for your faith, and to the wealthy

when they ask for your land and your work.

Answer with knowledge of the others who are here

and how to be here with them. By this knowledge

make the sense you need to make. By it stand

in the dignity of good sense, whatever may follow.

Speak to your fellow humans as your place

has taught you to speak, as it has spoken to you.

Speak its dialect as your old compatriots spoke it

before they had heard a radio. Speak

publicly what cannot be taught or learned in public. 

Listen privately, silently to the voices that rise up

from the pages of books and from your own heart.

Be still and listen to the voices that belong

to the stream banks and the trees and the open fields.

There are songs and sayings that belong to this place,

by which it speaks for itself and no other. 

Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.

Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground

underfoot. Be it lighted by the light that falls

freely upon it after the darkness of the nights

and the darkness of our ignorance and madness.

Let it be lighted also by the light that is within you,

which is the light of imagination. By it you see

the likeness of people in other places to yourself

in your place. It lights invariably the need for care

toward other people, other creatures, in other places

as you would ask them for care toward your place and you. 

No place at last is better than the world. The world

is no better than its places. Its places at last

are no better than their people while their people

continue in them. When the people make

dark the light within them, the world darkens.

 

~ Wendell Berry ~

(This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems)

Surrender

Surrender

The boat I travel in is called Surrender.
My two oars are instant forgiveness and gratitude—complete gratitude for the gift of life.
I am thankful for the experience of this life,
for the opportunity to dance.
I get angry, I get mad, but as soon as I remind myself to put my oars in the water,
I forgive.

Balbir Matbur, Heron Dance Interview (Issue 11)

Wednesday of Hope – Hope is with You

Hope  

Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
That sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all things you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.  

You cannot enter.
But you’re sure it’s there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.  

Some people say we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
These are the ones who have no hope.
They think that the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hands of thieves.

– Czeslaw Milosz

Wednesday of Hope – An Astonishing Mix

What the Day Gives

Suddenly, sun. Over my shoulder
in the middle of gray November
what I hoped to do comes back,
asking.

Across the street the fiery trees
hold onto their leaves,
red and gold in the final months
of this unfinished year,
they offer blazing riddles..

In the frozen fields of my life
there are no shortcuts to spring, 
but stories of great birds in migration
carrying small ones on their backs,
predators flying next to warblers
they would, in a different season, eat.

Stunned by the astonishing mix in this uneasy world
that plunges in a single day from despair
to hope and back again, I commend my life
to Ruskin’s difficult duty of delight,
and to that most beautiful form of courage,
to be happy.

– Jeanne Lohmann, The Light of Invisible Bodies

Wednesday of Hope – Saving Hope

Because we spill not only milk
Knocking it over with an elbow
When we reach to wipe a small face
But also spill seed on soil we thought was fertile but isn’t,
And also spill whole lives, and only later see in fading light
How much is gone and we hadn’t intended it
Because we tear not only cloth
Thinking to find a true edge and instead making only a hole
But also tear friendships when we grow
And whole mountainsides because we are so many
And we want to live right where black oaks lived,
Once very quietly and still
Because we forget not only what we are doing in the kitchen
And have to go back to the room we were in before,
Remember why it was we left
But also forget entire lexicons of joy
And how we lost ourselves for hours
Yet all that time were clearly found and held
And also forget the hungry not at our table
Because we weep not only at jade plants caught in freeze
And precious papers left in rain
But also at legs that no longer walk
Or never did, although from the outside they look like most others
And also weep at words said once as though
They might be rearranged but which
Once loose, refuse to return and we are helpless
Because we are imperfect and love so
Deeply we will never have enough days,
We need the gift of starting over, beginning
Again: just this constant good, this
Saving hope.

– Nancy Shaffer, Instructions in Joy