Poetry


ENOUGH

by David Whyte

Enough.  These few words are enough.

If not these words, this breath.

If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life

We have refused

Again and again,

Until now.

THE BREEZE AT DAWN

by Rumi

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 wide and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

 

 YOUR HISTORY IS HERE INSIDE YOUR BODY

by Rumi

Your history is here, inside your body

Your body is a storehouse

Of learnings, of feelings, thoughts, and experiences

Only waiting to be invited to

Reveal your treasures to yourself.

Help yourself

As you let the learning emerge

And take shape, you can

Appreciate the wisdom of the body

Each cell alive with spirit, emotion and intelligence.

Ready to help you at any moment,

Always with you and for you.

BEYOND RIGHTDOING AND WRONGDOING

by Rumi

Out beyond Ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing,

There is a field.

I will meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

The world is too full to talk about

Ideas, language, even the idea each other

Doesn’t make any sense

There is a community of the spirit

Join it, and feel the delight

Of walking in the noisy street

And being the noise.

Drink all your passion

And be a disgrace.

Close both eyes to see with the other eye.

THE PEACE OF WILD THOUGHT (excerpt from)

by Wendell Barry

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For the time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

LOVE AFTER LOVE

by Derek Walcott

The time will come

when, with elation

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door,

in your own mirror

and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

HOKUSAI SAYS

by Roger Keyes

Hokusai says look carefully.

He says pay attention, notice.

He says keep looking, stay curious.

He says there is no end to seeing

.

He says look forward to getting old.


He says keep changing,
 you just get more who you really are.

He says get stuck, accept it, repeat 
yourself as long as it is interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.


He says keep praying.

He says every one of us is a child,

every one of us is ancient
, every one of us

has a body.

He says every one of us is frightened.

He says every one of us has to find 
a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive –


shells, buildings, people, fish,
 mountains, trees,

wood is alive.

Water is alive.

Everything has its own life.



Everything lives inside us.

He says live with the world inside you.

He says it doesn’t matter if you draw,
 or write books.

It doesn’t matter
 if you saw wood, or catch fish.

It doesn’t matter if you sit at home

and stare at the ants on your veranda


or the shadows of the trees 
and grasses in your garden.


It matters that you care.

It matters that you feel.



It matters that you notice.



It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.


Joy is life living through you.


Satisfaction and strength 
is life living through you.

He says don’t be afraid.

Don’t be afraid.

Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.

Let life live through you.

Let The Beauty We Love Be What We Do

by Rumi

Today like every other day

We wake up empty and scared.

Don’t open the door of your study

And begin reading.

Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do

There are a hundred ways to kneel

And kiss the ground.

THE GUEST HOUSE

by Rumi

This being human is a guest-house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

Who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture.

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you

out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

The Journey

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice-

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do-

determined to save

the only life you could save.

Mindful

Every day

I see or hear

something

that more or less

kills me

with delight,

that leaves me

like a needle

in the haystack of light.

It was what I was born for –

to look, to listen,

to lose myself

inside this soft world –

to instruct myself

over and over

in joy,

and acclamation.

Nor am I talking

about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,

the very extravagant –

but of the ordinary,

the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.

Oh, good scholar,

I say to myself,

how can you help

but grow wise

with such teachings

as these –

the untrimmable light

of the world,

the ocean’s shine,

the prayers that are made

out of grass?

The Summer Day

by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-the one who the one who has flung

herself out of the grass, the

one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down –

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

 Kindness

 by Naomi Shihab Nye

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 everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.

Poem 
by Lama Gendun Rimpoche

Happiness is not to be found with many efforts or will, but is here, nearby, in your relaxing and surrendering.

Don’t worry, there is nothing to be done.

Everything that comes up to your mind has no importance because it has no reality.

Don’t conceive any attachment for it.

Don’t judge yourself.

Let it be.


Let it come up and down without changing a thing.

It all vanishes and begins again, endlessly.

Nothing but the quest for happiness prevents us from seeing it.

It is like a rainbow that one is always chasing without ever reaching it.


It is because it has no existence.
It has always been here and goes with you all the time.

Don’t believe in the reality of experiences, good or bad.

They are like rainbows.


Because we want to grasp what is not to be grasped,

We exhaust our strength in vain.

As soon as we relinquish our hold, space is here, open, welcoming & comfortable.

So, do enjoy it.

Everything is yours already.

Stop searching.

Don’t go into the jungle to look for the elephant that is quietly waiting for you at home.

There is nothing to do.

There is nothing to force.

There is nothing to desire.

And all comes by itself.

Willing to experience aloneness,

I discover connection everywhere.

Turning to face my fear,

I meet the warrior within

Opening to my loss,

I gain the embrace of the universe.

Surrendering into emptiness,

I find fullness without end.

Each condition I flee from pursues me.

Each condition I welcome transforms me

And becomes itself transformed

Into its radiant jewel-like essence.