Horizon

On one of the poem-a-day prompts lists one of my students dug up at the beginning of April, the prompt for the 25th is to write a poem about the word Horizon. The events of my April have meant I have fallen a few days behind on my poeming. (Well, that’s my excuse anyway!)

Horizon
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

The horizon
lies on
the edge of
the world

and you never
can reach it
though you seek
with your whole heart.

It is always
a day’s journey
away from the place
where you start.


Gratitude List:
1. The way the horizon always leads onward
2. Guests. Guests require a little housecleaning, and a clean house is nice. Plus, guests are nice.
3. The hostas are coming up!
4. I think I saw my friend the oriole this morning. It could have been something else with the sun hitting it just so. But he should be here any day now. I am listening for you, Friend!
5. How poetry holds feelings.
May we walk in Beauty!


“To love, my brothers and sisters, does not mean we have to agree. But maybe agreeing to love is the greatest agreement. And the only one that ultimately matters, because it makes a future possible.” —Michael B. Curry


“The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.” —Barry H. Gillespie


“Immature people crave and demand moral certainty: This is bad, this is good. Kids and adolescents struggle to find a sure moral foothold in this bewildering world; they long to feel they’re on the winning side, or at least a member of the team. To them, heroic fantasy may offer a vision of moral clarity. Unfortunately, the pretended Battle Between (unquestioned) Good and (unexamined) Evil obscures instead of clarifying, serving as a mere excuse for violence — as brainless, useless, and base as aggressive war in the real world.” —Ursula K Le Guin


“There is room for you at our table, if you choose to join us.” —Starhawk, The Fifth Sacred Thing


“For beautiful to happen, the beautiful has got to be seen.” —from the musical “Ordinary Days”


“You will be found.” —from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen”
****”
“How do you become the person you’ve forgotten you ever were?” —from the musical “Anastasia”


“The universe is not made up of atoms; it’s made up of tiny stories.” ―Joseph Gordon-Levitt


To all the children
by Thomas Berry

To the children who swim beneath
The waves of the sea, to those who live in
The soils of the Earth, to the children of the flowers
In the meadows and the trees of the forest,
To all those children who roam over the land
And the winged ones who fly with the winds,
To the human children too, that all the children
May go together into the future in the full
Diversity of their regional communities.


Carl Jung: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”


“Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.” ―Rumi (Barks)


“You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend, or not.” ―Isabel Allende


“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ―Bréne Brown, Wholehearted

Rebirth

A magnolia leaf from my classroom. Didn’t quite make it safely home. But now it’s here, and you can receive its message too.

I’m behind again on the daily poetry, so I’ll pull another from a previous day. The prompt was to write a 3-5-line poem which was a story of loss and redemption. I cheated (it was my own prompt anyway) and made it six lines. Not sure where the angels came from, but there they were. I’ll receive them.

Rebirth
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

The onslaught may feel like it’s carrying you away,
but in the morning, though fear remains,
though pain, though worry,
though the guardian still waits at the gateway,
Resolve will awaken within you,
and you will have the strength of angels at your back.


Listening to Mamuse’s “We Shall Be Known By the Company We Keep” over and over and over again these days. If that’s the case, Friends, I am in a good place. The company of You is so wise, so tender, so articulate, so compassionate, so justice-serving, so playful, so winsome, so deep.


Gratitude List:
1. “Always we begin again,” said St. Benedict, and I am finding his message a simple and comforting reminder.
2. So many people committed to justice and democracy and goodness and saving the planet.
3. Pink, pink, pink, pink trees!
4. Dawn chorus
5. Wise friends. Such wise friends.
May we walk in Beauty!


“The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.” —Diane Ackerman


“I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.” ―Wendell Berry


“A crone is a woman who has found her voice. She knows that silence is consent. This is a quality that makes older women feared. It is not the innocent voice of a child who says, “the emperor has no clothes,” but the fierce truthfulness of the crone that is the voice of reality. Both the innocent child and the crone are seeing through the illusions, denials, or “spin” to the truth. But the crone knows about the deception and its consequences, and it angers her. Her fierceness springs from the heart, gives her courage, makes her a force to be reckoned with.” —Jean Shinoda Bolen


“Go as far as you can see; when you get there you’ll be able to see farther.” —Thomas Carlyle


“At the end of the day, I’d rather be excluded for who I include than included for who I exclude.” —Eston Williams


“Free me. . .from words, that I may discover the signified, the word unspoken in the darkness.” —Byzantine Prayer


“Father, Mother, God,
Thank you for your presence
during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.
For those who have no voice,
we ask you to speak.
For those who feel unworthy,
we ask you to pour your love out
in waterfalls of tenderness.
For those who live in pain,
we ask you to bathe them
in the river of your healing.
Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the
world that which we need most—Peace.”
—Maya Angelou


“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
—Leonard Bernstein


Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.”
—Mary Oliver


“If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” —Harper Lee


“Some days, you don’t know whether
you are stepping on earth or water or air.
Place each foot carefully before you
and offer your weight gratefully to
whatever it is that holds you.”
—Beth Weaver-Kreider

Is a Rose a Rose?

This is actually not a rose, but a carnation, I believe. Visual irony?

I wrote this one a week or so ago. It’s a form called a zejel, which requires this rhyme scheme in the stanzas: AAA, BBBA, CCCA, DDDA. I decided to edge it toward a sort of pantoum by actually repeating the A lines in the last three stanzas.

Is a Rose a Rose?
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

I’ve always thought a rose is a rose.
What you see is what you get, the saying goes,
so what a person is ought to be the part that shows.

Each heart must hold its own singular reality
and secrets belong to the keeper of the keys of that city,
no matter how lonesome or rageful or gritty.
Still, what a person is is eventually the part that shows.

Our innermost isness, no matter how hidden,
will come out in daily living, often unbidden,
to show our deep truths, holy or forbidden.
What you see (looking deeper) is what you get, the saying goes.

A secret self that is anchored by Love
will, under duress, be inspired to move
and to act accordingly, thus-and-such, and thereof:
A rose ought to be, in its essence, a rose.


Gratitude List:
1. People who are what they seem no matter what keep private to themselves.
2. The Ones Who Love. Sometimes you leap, and it’s not a net that appears, but a thousand waiting arms.
3. Possibilities. Oh, the possibilities!
4. These sunny days and frothy pink trees.
5. Birdsong, and poems about birdsong.
May we walk justly, with mercy, and humbly.


“You know you’re on the right path if your capacity for holding paradox expands, your sense of humor broadens, your commitment to justice deepens, your compassion for and protection of life grows, and your love of people transcends race, color, creed, tribe, religion, politics and sexual [orientation].” —Rabbi Rami Shapiro


“It’s not fair,” Linus said, staring off into nothing. “The way some people can be. But as long as you remember to be just and kind like I know you are, what those people think won’t matter in the long run. Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but as long as you remember you’re not alone, you will overcome.” —excerpt from The House in the Cerulean Sea, T.J. Klune


“As truly as God is our father, so truly is God our mother.” —Julian of Norwich


“Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have died in other people’s.” ―Anaïs Nin


“Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.” ―William Wordsworth


Forever Oneness,
who sings to us in silence,
who teaches us through each other.
Guide my steps with strength and wisdom.
May I see the lessons as I walk,
honor the Purpose of all things.
Help me touch with respect,
always speak from behind my eyes.
Let me observe, not judge.
May I cause no harm,
and leave music and beauty after my visit.
When I return to forever
may the circle be closed
and the spiral be broader.
―Bee Lake (Aboriginal poet)


“We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.”
―Joseph Campbell


“I can’t tell you why your story is important, only that it is.” ―Mara Eve Robbins


“Time is like dragons.
They are both imaginary, yet can eat you anyway.” —The Cryptonaturalist


Heather Havrilesky:
“The antidote to a world that tells us sick stories about ourselves and and poisons us into thinking we’re helpless is believing in our world and in our communities and in ourselves.”

Stand Clear

St. Martha tames the Dragon, by Beth and AI

Today, I wrote an ekphrastic poem for my prompt: ekphrasis is a Greek term referring to a written description of a piece of visual art.

I used Andrea Kowch’s piece titled “In My Mind” for my inspiration for today’s poem. You’ll have to click the link to her page there. I feel like this is too much of a re-publishing for me to put it here without permissions. Instead, I put up an AI collab of St. Martha taming the dragon, which has some of the similar feeling. But please check out Kowch’s piece that inspired my poem for today, and explore more of her good, good work.

Gratitude List:
1. For the last two days, in the green field in the dogleg of Ducktown, three deer have stood watching us as we passed in the dawn gloaming.
2. My comfortable shoes
3. Poetry
4. A new red shirt
5. The loving care and concern of people who rush to care for someone in need.
May we walk justly, in mercy, humbly, in Beauty!


“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.” —Terry Pratchett


The Happy Virus
by Hafez
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.”
—Joseph Campbell


“Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.” —Annie Lennox

Weathering

Some days feel like the lightning rods of days. Today has been one of those. People attacking people and institutions I love. Attacking me. People working together to answer with love, to hold out our arms, to support each other. Good, hard work–Good Good Work. It’s wearying. And still, there’s the daily and the mundane work to get done in the midst of this other.

I am glad I’ve chosen the path of poetry this month to get me back to the inner work of writing and get me out of my own head.

I don’t know how to withstand the onslaught of the culture wars, especially when they begin so directly to affect me and those I love. Offer love. Offer a hand. Offer a word of wisdom or care. Hold steady. Be the conduit for the Holy One.

My own path, while embracing a wide and universal understanding of the spiritual, is grounded in the Anabaptist Christian tradition. I don’t think I have ever asked myself so frequently, “What would Jesus do?” as I have in the past week, the past months. Is this the moment to turn over tables? Is this the moment to offer stories? Is this the moment to bear witness silently? Is this the moment to ignore the ones who rage and spit, and simply do the Work I am called to do?

Today’s poem form is the mondo. I used this form to try to express some of this inner processing:

Gratitude List:
1. Friends who walk with each other and share the burden.
2. So many kinds of daffodils! (Read that Wordsworth poem over and over and over).
3. Finding center. Holding center.
4. The open-armed ones who welcome all to the table.
5. Writing again. This fog that has held me in the past six months lifts faster as I find my way back to words.
May we walk Justly, in Mercy, and Humbly–in Beauty!


“We write to taste life twice.” —Anais Nin


“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.” —Maya Angelou


“If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform.” —Thich Nhat Hanh


“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.


“When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope.” —Wangari Maathai

Some See One Moon

Today’s poetic task is an anagrammatic poem. What fun! What fun! The power of limits indeed. This forced my brain in a tangle which all my intellectualizing could not save me from, and I had to swim through the wordplay.

Gratitude List:
1. Found that light at the end of the tunnel. Whew!
2. The dawn chorus
3. Leafing greenly spirits of trees
4. Companionable silences
5. Mondos–a collaborative poetic form that my Creative Writers were working on today. Such a lovely form.
May we walk in Beauty!


“I must have flowers, always and always.” —Claude Monet


“Nobody’s on the road
Nobody’s on the beach
There’s something in the air
The summer’s out of reach…” —Don Henley


‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.” —Roger Ebert


In a mist of light
falling with the rain
I walk this ground
of which dead men
and women I have loved
are part, as they
are part of me. In earth,
in blood, in mind,
the dead and living
into each other pass,
as the living pass
in and out of loves
as stepping to a song.
The way I go is
marriage to this place,
grace beyond chance,
love’s braided dance
covering the world.
—Wendell Berry
(The Wheel)


”You have to begin to tell the story of your life as you now want it to be, and discontinue the tales of how it has been or of how it is.” —Esther Hicks

I Am Only Here to Love

Kite-flying as a metaphor for parenting.

Today, I gave my self the task of writing an Eavesdrop poem. Like many found poems, it can become more about the word play and the intellectual game than about the artfulness. Occasionally, I find I’m creating one that really rings. I’m not sure today’s quite meets the artful edge, but I have grading to finish, and I think I’ll call it done here. I’ll post my prompt page and the “harvest page” where I wrote the random eaves drops, and then the poem.

Gratitude List:
1. Leading singing with the Children. As I was leading the first song this morning, I noticed that three or four of the young children were actually waving their arms around along with me, so when I led “I See a New World Coming,” I asked the young song leaders to come up on stage and lead with me, and about ten kids joined me, and it might have been the most fun I have ever had leading singing.
2. Kite-flying with the whole family. Henry asked my dad to pull out the kites after lunch, and it was a blast (though I ended up going inside because I was cold).
3. Lunch and the afternoon with a lot of the family. It’s such a relief to spend time together again.
4. There are lights at ends of tunnels. Though I don’t see mine yet in the work of the rest of the day, I know it too will come.
5. Communities of people committed to the work of loving, of healing, of growing and evolving human compassion and empathy, of listening, of learning together. My friends, my family, my colleagues, my church, my online circles. You, Beloveds, you!
May we walk, always, in Beauty!


“Sound or vibration is the most powerful force in the universe. Music is a divine art, to be used not only for pleasure but as a path to Awakening.” —Yogananda


“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.” —Hermes Trismegistus


“The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” —Jane Goodall


“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” —Henri Nouwen


“In the end, we’ll all become stories.” —Margaret Atwood


“Privilege is when you think something’s not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally.” —attributed to many authors


Dea Ex Machina
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

What we speak
we create.
Writing,
we make meaning
into existence.

These words, cogs
and gears, shift
meaning to matter:

“Let there be. . .”
And there is.

And it is good.


Make space in this house
for all of the people you are.
Make room for the schemer,
the doubter, the cynic,
but open some space
for the credulous child
and the mystic, the dreamer,
the wild one, the quiet one.

Open a space within
for the glass-half-full to dance
with the glass-half-empty,
for the monk to sing songs
of revolution with the fury.

There in those rooms,
the One may enter
and speak your many names,
saying, Peace be yours.
—Beth Weaver-Kreider

Blathering

Here are today’s pages from my Poem-a-Day for April:

Gratitude List:
1. Faces. Full faces with smiles. I love seeing smiles, smiling back. I’ve missed this. And now I can read lips again, too. I didn’t realize how much I relied on reading lips and expressions to help with understanding before we lost that part of our faces.
2. Feral Flaming Forsythia Hedges–not the tidily trimmed ones, but the ones that look like they’re on fire.
3. Horses. I love horses in fields.
4. The BeeGees. How Deep Is Your Love?
5. Young people. Spending my days with young people. Tonight was the Youth Group Auction at church, and a whole church-full of people investing in our young people while having fun.
May we walk in Beauty!


“What we seek, at the deepest level, is inwardly to resemble, rather than physically to possess, the objects and places that touch us through their beauty.” —Alain de Botton


“We are capable of suffering with our world, and that is the true meaning of compassion. It enables us to recognize our profound interconnectedness with all beings. Don’t ever apologize for crying for the trees burning in the Amazon or over the waters polluted from mines in the Rockies. Don’t apologize for the sorrow, grief, and rage you feel. It is a measure of your humanity and your maturity. It is a measure of your open heart, and as your heart breaks open there will be room for the world to heal.” —Joanna Macy


“We should have respect for animals because it makes better human beings of us all.” —Jane Goodall


“Let yourself be silently drawn
by the strange pull of what you love.
It will not lead you astray.” —Rumi


“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” —Harriet Tubman


“The little grassroots people can change this world.” —Wangari Maathai


“Some form of the prayer of quiet is necessary to touch me at the unconscious level, the level where deep and lasting transformation occurs. From my place of prayer, I am able to understand more clearly what is mine to do and have the courage to do it. Unitive consciousness—the awareness that we are all one in Love—lays a solid foundation for social critique and acts of justice.” —Richard Rohr


“You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.” —Anonymous

Living with Covid’s Aftershocks

Yesterday, my father helped me to articulate what it feels like to live with the after-effects of Covid for weeks after I have supposedly recovered. It feels like languishing. It’s like that word was made for people like me, who can’t quite get out from under the rug of this thing.

There’s that meme of Count Rugen from The Princess Bride, where he has just tortured Westley on his Machine, and he says, “I’ve just sucked one year of your life away. Tell me, how do you feel?” Covid has been my Count Rugen. I always assumed that the year of life was taken away from the far end, that when people say, “It took a year off my life!” they mean that year 99 is now gone. After Covid, I feel like I’ve lost a year or three from my life, but they’ve been taken from right here, like I’ve gone from 53 to 55 or 57 in six weeks.

Here’s the part where I sit with the folks in the Nursing Home and enumerate my aches and pains, so feel free to skip down to gratitude and inspiring quotes here. Since this blog is also my personal archive and chronicle, I feel like I need to set it all down here.
* I am definitely regaining my energy, but I still crash. I can’t push myself or overdo it, and expect to rest for an hour or two and bounce back. If I push myself too hard, I crash hard, and end up on the recliner for the rest of the day, my body exhausted and my brain foggy. This is definitely improving as time goes by–fewer crashes.
* I have always been forgetful. I prefer to think of it as engagingly flaky. It just feels like I’m more forgetful now, like my brain enters fogs and mists more regularly. I need to really slow down and breathe in order to focus. This is also less intense six weeks out.
* Before Covid, my body had been sort of toying with the idea of menopause for several years. I’d have periods of time when I would have a hot flash very morning at 3 am, or months of unbearable insomnia. I’d skip a period once in a while, or be late or early, or have really intense and heavy periods for a while and then really light ones. But my body would always re-regulate. In the time since I have had Covid, I’ve skipped two periods in a row.
* About two weeks ago, I developed pain in my shoulder and upper arm. I figured I had just slept on it wrong, but it persisted and worsened, and I realized it wasn’t actually all muscle pain, but mostly nerve pain in my brachial nerves. The pain became excruciating at night, and has been manageable during the day. I did some research, and discovered that brachial neuritis occurs after injury, virus, or vaccine. The primary treatment is painkillers, yoga, and breathing exercises until it subsides. Several nights in the past week and a half, I have gotten very little sleep because of the pain, but the last three night are getting much better, and last night, I only woke up twice, and was able to get back to sleep almost immediately after doing some yoga stretches on the arm.
* The other day when I was eating, I noticed that a piece of enamel had chipped off the back of one of my front teeth. Later in the day, as I was exploring the spot with my tongue, the top edge of the tooth just crumbled away. My brother is a dentist, and he didn’t think I should be too alarmed, that it’s not uncommon as people age. I have also heard that one side effect people are noticing after Covid is that their teeth crack or fall out. I’m getting it fixed this week.


Gratitude List:
1. The fiercely creative students at my school. This is school play weekend, and I am the head usher for plays, so I go to every show (which means I need to especially guard my energy this weekend), and this play offers them the perfect chance to collaborate in ensemble acting, and to sing and dance and do comedy and drama.
2. The little beans of Tanzanian Peaberry are such cute little peas, and it’s just the perfect coffee.
3. Every little noticeable bit of ground regained in my recovery. I slept most of last night, with very little nerve pain in my arm. This is huge.
4. Hugging people again. Carefully and with full consent, but hugging.
5. These cat-folx and their varied personalities. Interspecies communication.

May we walk in Beauty!


“The only time incorrectly is not spelled incorrectly is when it is spelled incorrectly.”


“There is no such thing as one-sided generosity. Like one ecosystem, we are each at different times receiving or purging, growing or pruning. In those moments when you believe you aren’t receiving enough, consider what you most want to receive might be the thing you need to give away.” —Toko-pa Turner


“Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw.” —Henry David Thoreau


“Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art. Yet we so easily take this gift for granted. That is why so many spiritual traditions begin with thanksgiving, to remind us that for all our woes and worries, our existence itself is an unearned benefaction, which we could never of ourselves create.” —Joanna Macy


“What if the Creator is like the poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s God: “like a webbing made of a hundred roots, that drink in silence”?
What if the Source of All Life inhabits both the dark and the light, heals with strange splendor as much as with sweet insight, is hermaphroditic and omnisexual?
What if the Source loves to give you riddles that push you past the boundaries of your understanding, forcing you to change the ways you think about everything?
What if, as Rusty Morrison speculates in “Poetry Flash,” “the sublime can only be glimpsed by pressing through fear’s boundary, beyond one’s previous conceptions of the beautiful”?
Close your eyes and imagine you can sense the presence of this tender, marvelous, difficult, entertaining intelligence.” —Rob Brezsny

NPM Day 30: Doors

Student poetry on my white board. Both poems are apt messages for standing in the doorway to May.

Today is the last day of Poetry Prompts for April. I might take a break from the blog for a few days when this is done.

Today, as we stand in the doorway to May, write a poem about doorways and doors. Doors can be portals from one world to another, the symbol of the step of faith we take from one stage to the next. Doors can also be symbolic of the space between ourselves and others. What doors keep us apart or invite us in? Or write about the doors of your town.

Doorways are about liminal spaces. Write about thresholds, about standing poised between one thing and the next. What holds you in the past? What pushes you into the future? What are the spiritual lessons you learn from standing in the in-between? Or write about the doorway to another world.

Who or what is on the other side of that door?


Today is May Day Eve, one of those special moments in the solar calendar, situated between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. We’ve watched the riot of spring creeping over the gardens and fields, delighted in the shining colors of flowers and the tender greening of leaves, paid attention to what is hatching within us.

May Day, or Beltane, is about celebrating the freedom from that egg, about jumping into the green of the season, feet first, taking risks, whooping with joy. Dust off your wild barbaric yawp. Wanton is the word of this season. We’re stripping off the constricting cloaks and coats and scarves of winter, and running through the fields, barefoot and maybe naked (some of us keep that purely in the realm of metaphor).

What do you need to release and let go of in this season? What are the names of the items of clothing you drop in your wake as you run to the fields? What is the name of the green field before you, the thing you give yourself to with every ounce of your passion?

As we enter the season of Beltane, consider all that has kept you from living fully and joyfully and passionately into your purpose. Name the habits and boxes and dogmas that keep you from living in the world with you Whole Heart. Drop them. And run for the fields.


Gratitude List:
1. That phoebe, calling his name into the dawn.
2. The oriole who called from the sycamore trees yesterday as we left school.
3. Although I was disappointed that opening night of the school play was cancelled because of the rain, our whole family needed the rest of being cozy together in our house last evening.
4. Living by the seasons means that every year has its reminders and rituals of letting go, paying attention, living fully, resting, growing. On the threshold of May, I commit to ditching the constricting habits that keep me from living joyfully.
5. The dawn keeps coming earlier and the twilight comes later, even when the day is cloudy and grey.

May we walk in Beauty!


“Things aren’t so tangible and sayable as people would have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsayable than all other things are world of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.” —Rainer Maria Rilke


“We don’t think ourselves into a new way of living. We live ourselves into t anew way of thinking.” —Richard Rohr


“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.” —Georgia O’Keeffe


“Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency. Hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth’s treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal… To hope is to give yourself to the future – and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable.” ―Rebecca Solnit


“The child’s hand
Folding these wings
Wins no wars and ends them all. “
―Thomas Merton