Gratitudes, Musings, Poems

Prayers and Rage

Okay, so I am getting more nervous about the coming winter by the moment here, as I watch the busy tribe of squirrels on the bank behind the house. They are eating and gathering at a furious pace. If they have inside information, we’re in for a tough one.

And this is one healthy, glowing gang of critters: Their fur is sleek, and their bodies are filled out and muscular. They look like they’ve been lifting little weights. One of them, gorging on berries six feet up in a bush, began to slip downward. She didn’t even pause in her eating, but grabbed a branch beside her, somersaulted downward, landed on her feet with the berry branch still in her mouth, and continued eating. Little parkour ninja folk. And I know that squirrels are already that way, but these are just. . .more so.

I don’t know if I have ever noticed just how russet-colored is the feathery fur on their breasts until a moment ago when one stood to greet an approaching comrade, and his breast shone chestnut-red in the morning sun. And that’s another thing. You know how squirrels stand to look around and greet each other, hands on hearts? I’ve always thought it made them look sort of timid and cute in a timorous “oh-my-heart” sort of way. These folks, whenever someone else approaches, stand like little warriors, feet apart, spines straight, eyes alert, hands on their chests in a greeting of solidarity.

These people are readying themselves for a hard winter ahead. May the walnuts and berries be plenty. May you grow ever healthier and sleeker, small ones, as you do the work to prepare your colony for what is to come.


Gratitude List:
1. Squirrels
2. There was a roseate spoonbill down on the Flats last week. They say it’s gone, but I think I’ll drive down there and just look around. I am grateful to know such a being was here.
3. Oak leaves
4. Clouds
5. All the people doing the good work. Let’s not let ourselves get too discouraged. So much wrongness has seeped out of the cracks recently, and for those of us who want to believe in the beauty and marvel and goodness of everyone, it has been particularly painful. A friend of mine reminded me this morning that often there are still noble elements that reside within the souls of those who are living openly by greed and power-mongering and death-dealing, and we need to find ways to hold conversations that enkindle those sparks of Goodness. I’ll keep searching for that nobility while remembering that there are so many out there who continue to work and live from the depths of their Divine Spark. Like you.

May we walk in Beauty!


Friday’s Doorway:
“Each moment from all sides rushes to us the call to love.” -―Rumi
*****
“The ancient rhythms of the earth have insinuated themselves
into the rhythms of the human heart.
The earth is not outside us; it is within:
the clay from where the tree of the body grows.”
―John O’Donohue
*****
“There were far worse strategies in life than to try to make each aspect of one’s existence a minor work of art.”
―Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline
*****
A Gift
by Denise Levertov

Just when you seem to yourself
nothing but a flimsy web
of questions, you are given
the questions of others to hold
in the emptiness of your hands,
songbird eggs that can still hatch
if you keep them warm,
butterflies opening and closing themselves
in your cupped palms, trusting you not to injure
their scintillant fur, their dust.
You are given the questions of others
as if they were answers
to all you ask. Yes, perhaps
this gift is your answer.
*****
“The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. Just go ahead and live positively; go to the side and do it differently. Don’t waste time with oppositional energy.” ―Richard Rohr, writing about the thinking of Dom Helder Camara
*****
“The heart of faith is the call to love one another. . .” ―Avis Crowe
*****
“A child looking at ruins grows younger but cold
and wants to wake to a new name
I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even in death for a reason
that none of us knows
and the wren laughs in the early shade now
come again shining glance in your good time
naked air late morning
my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf
and without turning I kiss the light
by an old well on the last of the month
gathering wild rose hips in the sun.”
—W. S. Merwin, The Love of October
*****
“I’m not funny. What I am is brave.”
—Lucille Ball
*****
“My soul is sore when I learn how our people are tortured, when I learn how the rights of those created in the image of God are violated.” —Óscar Romero

Poems, Poetry Prompts

Bramble and Thorn


Today’s  prompt is to write a danger poem:

Bramble and Thorn

Now you have endangered our children.
Your insatiable greed
and your ravening thirst
bring death to their doorways
and poison their waters.
You’ve sold your souls
to any devil who can pay
and you roll across the land
with your ravening hunger,
your howls and growls of need.

So we make ourselves into brambles.
We become the thorns
that stand in your path,
make the land into a maze
that will turn you and taunt you,
send you curling back upon yourselves.
Like the wild rose and the blackberry,
we dig ourselves into the soil
and new thorns rise.
You trample us,
and our broken stubs take root.
You cut us back, and we flourish.
More and more and more of us,
we rise in your pathway.
You cannot pass.


Words I am Grateful For:
1. Harbor: safe, protective, intentional, revolutionary
2. Revolution: turning, changing, fierce
3. Fierce: loving, protective, nurturing
4. Thorn: challenge, protection, secretive
5. Wilderness: wildness, safe, free

May we walk in Beauty!

Poems

Addressing Fear

Poem-a-Day Day 3 Prompt:  Write a poem that scares you.
This one is really challenging me.  The worst fears that I could
conjure are the negatives to the work that I have chosen to
do in the world.  I do not want to speak it.

This is the four o’clock ramble
the tumble into chasms
the angst that awakens me into the story
of the world I fear I have delivered these children to:

Where the grab and the fist
assure the rights and privilege
of Me and Mine above all else.

Where rage is the fuel that carries
the fool between apathies.

Where greed is the creed,
and the goal of existence
is the next shiny trinket
constructed of toxins by slaves
in some faraway land.

A world without spinners
and dyers and knitters and painters,
where poets write ad copy,
where wonders on a screen
fascinate more utterly
than feather, stone or tree.

I can write no more of this.
My hand is frozen into a claw
A roaring fills my ears.
I dare not let this story
see any more light of day.

I’ll tidy up the mess of negative emotions at the end here with a
Joseph Campbell quotation: “The cave you fear to enter holds
the treasure that you seek.”