Today is Maundy Thursday. If you live your life by stories, and if the Jesus story is one of those, this is a night about the intimacy of friendship, about vulnerability and awkwardness, about love and impending loss, about betrayal and suspicion. It’s about the revolution of upside-down: the last will be first and the first will be last.
If this and the coming days are important parts of your story, I wish you blessings in the contemplation. Meanwhile, Passover continues, and blessings to those of you who mark that season. Meanwhile, the fasting month of Ramadan continues, and blessings to you who mark that season. Meanwhile, we are in the season of Ostara which leads to Beltane, and blessings to you who mark that season.
Last night my friend Tim sent me a message. He’d pulled six evocative lines from an article he was reading about dreaming in different languages, and he suggested that we each write poems using those lines. I love this challenge.
Here is my first poem. The first and last lines of the poem are the first phrase he suggested. I am playing with form here. I was teaching my Creative Writers today about Terrance Hayes’ Golden Shovel form, in which he takes Gwendolyn Brooks’ Poem “We Real Cool” and ends each line with a word of her poem. If you just read down the right side of his poem, you’ll see hers embedded at the ends of the lines. He has two parts to his poem, and the second stanza is incredibly innovative, fracturing words in odd places, giving the sense of something having broken in between the two stanzas, which are labeled 1981 and 1991.
So I took the idea of the Golden Shovel. I began and ended the poem with the same line. In the first stanza, I embedded the words of the phrase down the left side of the lines, and in the second, I embedded the words at the right, as in a Golden Shovel. I feel like I made a box, hemming in the poem with the starter line on top and bottom and running down parts of left and right sides.
1. Community rituals
2. Knowing how to breathe and ground when I begin to feel anxious and panicky
3. Kind, loving souls who live with grace
4. Learning, always learning to Become
5. Re-Wilding my spirit
May we walk in Beauty!
“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.” —Terry Pratchett
The Happy Virus
I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious—
So kiss me.
“It is our mind, and that alone,
that chains us or sets us free.” —Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind.” —George Orwell
“We must live from the center.” —Bahauddin, father of Rumi
“Some days I am more wolf than woman and I am still learning how to stop apologising for my wild.” —Nikita Gill
“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” —Albert Einstein
“Writer’s block results from
too much head. Cut off your head.
Pegasus, poetry, was born of Medusa
when her head was cut off.
You have to be reckless when writing.
Be as crazy as your conscience allows.”
“Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.” —Annie Lennox
“Anyone out there want to sing with me while we finish this march? I realize it may seem a little counter-intuitive right now, with so many in a somber mood, but the harder the walk gets, the more I think we need to meet its challenge with strong hearts and voices. The singing becomes our anthem, a rebuke to the powers of pain and an exaltation of the indomitable human spirit. If we must move forward against all odds, then let us do so singing. Let them hear us coming. Let them know we have only just started to hit our stride.” —Steven Charleston