Caretakers in the Garden of the Beloved

The prompt for today is two-fold: Write a love/anti-love poem.

You have heard it said,
though no holy book has said it,
“You shall love the sinner,
and you shall hate the sin,”
which some have interpreted to mean
that they shall cast away
all whose love does not resemble their own.
They have given themselves license
to harass, to bully, and to goad.

But I say unto you:
The world has had too much of hatred.
You shall turn your eyes
from the subject of sinning.
You shall love whom the Beloved loves.
You shall seek after love,
watch for love as a gardener
watches for tender shoots,
and nurtures them,
and breathes upon them.

You have no time for anything
abstract as hatred.
You shall be the Caretakers of love,
the Beloved’s own gardeners,
tending love wherever you see it,
in whatever form it takes,
nurturing bud to blossom.

Handing the Gift


Today’s prompt is to write a love/anti-love poem. I ended the day today sort of exhausted, partly because of the incredible resistance I am getting from some students in my Creative Writing class.

I see it in your eyes when you ask the question
(the loathing, the defiant refusal to accept)
“Why do we have to study poetry?”
And in this moment I do not know how,
after all these years of this work,
to hand you this gift
that I love so deeply,
which you so staunchly refuse.

It’s about your own power,
I want to tell you,
about your power to say
exactly what you want to say,
to take that roiling mass of uncertainty
that slides out from behind the tough mask
you put on for me,
to take all that and give it words,
to sort it, to speak your truth,
to know the beauty and the strength
of your own words, to find your way
into yourself.

Now. Close your eyes and open your hands.


Gratitude List:
1. My contemplative friend Handsome Joe, how he cocks his beak to look at me as I pass. Paddling in his pool in the creek, or strolling through the green grasses of his estate.
2. The red sprouts of peonies lifting their heads by the shop.
3. The first fern fiddleheads unfurling.
4. They say that every cloud has a silver lining, but it’s their azure and indigo underbellies that capture me.
5. The challenges and delights of belonging to a community.

May we walk in Beauty!

Which One to Grow

Today’s Prompt is to write a love and/or anti-love poem.

To Love the Monsters
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

I have been going on the assumption
that it is the calling of my soul
to love the ones I want to hate,
to find a way to live with heart so open
that I cannot help but part the veils
of rage and fury that encompass me
to see the tender shoots of something
human that lives within the monsters.

I have begun to doubt the truth of the call,
uncertain whether I possess the character
to turn calling to possibility.

Yet something deep within me knows
that this is the deeper truth:
that hate breeds hate and love breeds love,
and I get to choose which one to grow.


Gratitude List:
1. Putting together a chapbook
2. Making little booklets with the staff of Silhouette today
3. The monsters do not define us
4. Compassion
5. Reading The Phantom Tollbooth with Joss

May we walk in Beauty!

Fragments of a Letter I have been Meaning to Write

I
We handed you our trust, that egg,
so gently cradled in our palms,
our fingers making a cage to hold it
until we could be certain it was safe
in your own careful hands,
in the nest of your own heart.

II
I am thinking about freedom,
how you are free to do whatever you choose,
and how you are never truly free of consequence.
You may think you act alone,
but everything reverberates,
everything resonates.
It all ripples outward.

The tremors of one selfish choice
can grow into a quake that shakes a village.

So too must the good ones grow,
like instruments in an orchestra
building the sound together,
until a great and mighty
river of sound transports us.

III
You chose shame for shame.
So that will not be the name
I choose for this poem.
You chose the clothes you would wear for this one,
and soon enough the world will see your costume.
I will witness, but I can offer you nothing
but small pity, perhaps, for what broke you first.

IV
These angry squirrels gnaw and chase,
racing through my brain,
but I will not let them make me choose to hate.
I will not let them make me choose to hate.

 

Gratitude List:
1. The hope that good acts will grow and reverberate as surely as acts of cruelty and selfishness
2. Harvest, beautiful and lush and nourishing
3. How quickly the body can mend
4. Worms, down there under the soil, doing their work
5. Waking up to the clucking of the cuckoo in the bosque

May we all walk in Beauty