Saturday, April 07, 2007

I Tasted a Cloud (a poem)

Today I received
a most amazing gift.
I tasted a cloud in my vegetable soup.
The cloud, which made the rain,
which fell on the rich brown fields,
which watered the seeds,
which became the meal,
I brought to my lips today.

Today I received
a most amazing gift.
I tasted the sun in my bread.
The sun, which shone brightly
onto the rich brown fields,
which warmed the seeds,
which became the manna,
I fed to my body today.

Today I received,
a most amazing gift.
I tasted the tears in my food.
The tears, which fell poignantly
onto the rich brown fields,
and joined rivers of sorrow over time,
and flowed into the ocean,
in which I washed myself today.

Today I received
a most amazing gift.
I tasted the joy in my repast.
Joy, which burst through the sadness,
drying the rich brown fields,
balancing the sorrow over time,
that living things could grow,
and nourish at this blessed table.

Beautiful gifts from other voices . . .(poems)

I don't usually post the work of others here, as this is primarily a place for my own heart to overflow and spill onto the screen. Today I attended a meditation retreat, and these two poems were read. They were such gifts, that I want to share them here . . .

Tripping Over Joy

What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”
Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.



Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

~Naomi Shihab Nye

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Sprouting Heart (a poem)

At the end of the halcyon days,
came spring,
came spring.
The moon, though beautiful,
set at last,
and the sun warmed my earth.

The small and fragile seed
planted itself,
planted itself.
The weeds, though persistent,
and also beautiful,
yielded to a fresh and hopeful green.

And finally it was heard,
the Truth,
the Truth.
The heart, though watery,
whispered, hushed,
"I just want to Be, myself."

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Heart Knows (a poem)

When, my love,
does the heart know?
When it freezes drops of water
into ladybug-sized diamonds on diminutive branches?

When does the heart know?
When it laughs into the 'morrow,
when it laughs into darkness,
when it smiles on another burst of light?

The heart knows when to run,
and as the web of us was woven
you vanished in mid-spin,
weaving a life of alone.

When does the heart know?
When it cowers at the thought
of the chance to fly,
fearful it could never soar with grace?