Someday, after mastering the winds,
the tides and gravity,
we shall harness for God the energies of love.
for the second time in the history of the world,
man will have discovered fire.
~Teilhard de Chardin
May we not forget~
the energy of love was harnessed
within one Man:
God come to our side
to help us master ourselves
in the name of the Master.
Once the fire of the spirit is within us
it can never be extinguished.
We want to reach the kingdom of God,
but we don’t want to travel by way of death.
And yet there stands Necessity saying:
‘This way, please.’
Do not hesitate to go this way,
when this is the way that God came to you.
We too easily forget;
we are not asked to bear more
than God endured for us,
always pointed to the well-worn path
bearing the footprints
coming to lead us home.
I watch where I step and see that the fallen leaf, old broken glass, an icy stone are placed in exactly the right spot on the earth, carefully, royalty in their own country.
~ Tom Hennen, “Looking For The Differences” from Darkness Sticks To Everything: Collected and New Poems.
If the pebble, the leaf, the mushroom
are placed exactly right
where they belong,
then so am I~even when I would rather be elsewhere,
even when I could get stepped on,
even when I would rather hide in a hole,
even when exactly right feels exactly wrong.
I’m placed exactly here,
not as royalty,
but as peasant.
Some ask for the world and are diminished in the receiving of it. You gave me only this small pool that the more I drink from, the more overflows me with sourceless light. ~R.S. Thomas “Gift”
A silence slipping around like death, Yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath, One group of trees, lean, naked and cold, Inking their crest ‘gainst a sky green-gold, One path that knows where the corn flowers were; Lonely, apart, unyielding, one fir; And over it softly leaning down, One star that I loved ere the fields went brown.
~Angelina Weld Grimke “A Winter Twilight”
I am astonished at my thirstiness
slaked by such simple things
as a moment of pink,
a burst of birdsong,
the softness of fluff about to let go,
a glimpse of tomorrow over the horizon of today.
How do you know, deep underground, Hid in your bed from sight and sound, Without a turn in temperature, With weather life can scarce endure, That light has won a fraction’s strength, And day put on some moments’ length, Whereof in merest rote will come, Weeks hence, mild airs that do not numb; O crocus root, how do you know, How do you know? ~Thomas Hardy from “The Year’s Awakening”
Only a handful of days with temperatures over 50 degrees F and the ground begins to crack with sprouting bulbs. They are emerging early, sadly misled that winter is done. In any case, it is glorious to see them. I won’t be surprised to hear the peepers starting their night chorus before long.
The year awakens despite the darkness when I leave for work in the morning and the darkness when I return. We are turning a corner, staggering and bleary-eyed, emerging from the underground, preparing to face the light.
Then we shall be where we would be, Then we shall be what we should be, Things that are not now, nor could be, Soon shall be our own. ~Thomas Kelly from his hymn “Praise the Savior, Ye Who Know Him”
Because I finished my term on earth and had no knowledge of either fear nor care, no morning knowledge, no knowledge of evening, and those who came before and those following after had no more knowledge of me than I had of them. ~Mary Ruefle from “Marked”
Whether we are coming or going,
beginning or ending,
leading or following,
rising or setting,
north or south,
east or west,
one day we shall be
where or what we should be,
even if not now
even if not now
even if not now~
we soon shall be.
If your everyday life seems poor to you, do not accuse it; accuse yourself, tell yourself you are not poet enough to summon up its riches; since for the creator there is no poverty and no poor or unimportant place. ― Rainer Maria Rilke
As a child, I would sometimes spend long rainy afternoons languishing on the couch, complaining to my mother how boring life seemed. Her typical response was to remind me my boredom said more about me than about life – I became the accused, rather than the accuser, failing to summon up life’s riches. Thus convicted, my sentence followed: she would promptly give me chores to do. I learned not to voice my complaints about life was treating me because it always meant work.
Some things haven’t changed all these decades later. Whenever I am tempted to feel pitiful or bored, accusing my life of being poor or unfair, I need to remember what my accusation says about me. If I’m not poet enough to celebrate the gilded edge of the plain and ordinary, if I’m not poet enough to articulate beauty even in the sharp thorns of life, if I’m not poet enough to recognize the Creator’s brilliance in every molecule, then it is my poverty I’m accusing, not His, and a poet I will never be.
So it’s back to work then.
There is a world to admire, a life to be lived and yes, poems to be written.