Home » poetry » Page 2

Tag: poetry

The Invitation

(by Oriah Mountain Dreamer)

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

You Say Grace

(by G.K. Chesterton)

You say grace before meals
All right.
But I say grace before the play and the opera,
And grace before the concert and pantomime,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing;
And grace before I dip the pen in ink.

busy being born

poetry on wasan island
wasan island, may 31, 2014

i’m sorry i didn’t answer your message

i was busy being born

the trouble is
it happens every day —

how do i live, when
being born
keeps getting in the way ¿

— March 28, 2006

 

The Door is Round and Open

(Rumi, version by Coleman Barks)

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

prometheus, 2009

(for earth day)

maybe god
left us with an irresponsible babysitter

all those aeons of loving care
since we were only hydrogen

and then some rube of a teenage sub-god
gave us a glimpse of fire, as a joke
and we were gone

out of the cradle,
over the rail,

taking in the fall
from this 21st-story balcony

stretching it in time
calling it a lifetime

making believe
we were born to achieve

this
terminal velocity

— March 26,  2007 / April 2009

 

 Oversoul, by Alex Grey (detail)

i hope that i will someday see

(with apologies to ogden nash)

i hope that i will someday see
that every they becomes a we

indeed, unless the theys all fall
there’ll never be someday at all

— Oct. 23, 2008

 

Circle Limit IV

just a moment to move a bicycle

just a moment to move a bicycle
and the full miracle is revealed to me again

quiet body of a mouse,
two tiny perfect blooms

damp grass, still air
all of life and death

here in a few square inches
and with them

the realization that
this year, i

did not slow down
enough to watch the spring

— May 18, 2007

 

just a moment to move a bicycle

tell me where new days begin

tell me where new days begin ¿
in facing up, in facing in,

in shedding sanctity and sin
like outworn layers of skin

— April 30, 2005

 

tell me where new days begin
Marc Chagall, America Windows, Art Institute of Chicago, detail (photo: Ben Wolfe)

How To Be a Poet

(by Wendell Berry)
(to remind myself)

i

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.

ii

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

iii

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.