The Fountain Is There

Today’s Prompt is to write an unlucky poem. I’m going to pull a phrase from the Leonard Cohen quote at the top of today’s list, and follow the ideas of Rob Brezsny in the quote at the end of the list.

Bahati Mbaya
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

All the lengths we go to
to armor ourselves against fate,
to shield our hearts from destiny:

Bad luck, we say. Just tough luck.
Dumb luck, 
we tell ourselves.
Lady Luck has not seen fit
to reward the risks we’ve taken.

I’m talking in my own ear here,
singing myself a lullaby,
crooning in Swahili:
Bahati mbaya, Mdogo.

Maybe I just can’t get there
from here. It’s not in the cards
or the gods are not smiling
upon my endeavors.

How we do make ourselves unlucky.
How we do call the losing hand.
How we do set up the game for failure.
How we do fail to take a stand.

I’m racking up my rejections,
calling in my losses,
wrangling my failures,
bearing my crosses.

Bad luck is luck all the same
and the odds are good
if we hang on to hope
that the next roll of the dice
could turn this game around.

“It is fabled that we slowly lose the gift of speech with animals, that birds no longer visit our windowsills to converse. As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder.” —Leonard Cohen
Denise Levertov:
Don’t say, don’t say there is no water
to solace the dryness at our hearts.

I have seen
The fountain springing out of the rock wall
and you drinking there. And I too
before your eyes
found footholds and climbed
to drink the cool water.

The woman of that place, shading her eyes,
frowned as she watched–but not because
she grudged the water,
only because she was waiting
to see we drank our fill and were

Don’t say, don’t say there is no water.
The fountain is there among its scalloped
grey and green stones,
it is still there and always there
with its quiet song and strange power
to spring in us,
up and out through the rock.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
—Leonard Cohen
“Remember that day in the woods
when everything was so dark, so dreary
and you were so terrifyingly alone?

How can it be that these are the same woods
and you the same soul
and everything shines so,
and everything is filled with life?” —Beth Weaver-Kreider
“Acquiring problems is a fundamental human need. It’s as crucial to your well-being as getting food, air, water, sleep, and love. You define yourself–indeed, you make yourself–through the riddles you attract and solve. The most creative people on the planet are those who frame the biggest, hardest questions and then gather the resources necessary to find the answers.” —Rob Brezsny

Gratitude List:
1. How everything shines so in autumn
2. Breathing
3. Stretching
4. Untangling threads
5. Listening for deeper rhythms

May we walk in Beauty!

Protecting the Nestlings

Mockingbird Says:
“Protect your nestlings with every ounce of courage and ferocity you can muster.  Whether it be Monsanto or a kitty cat, zip in in a whir of flashy feathers and nip them on the nether regions–just like this!  Aha!”

–Oh, Mockingbird!  Yes.  I do get your point, and so, unfortunately, does little Miss Winky.  Poor Kitty Cat.

2013 August 116

Gratitude List (the typical 5, plus a few bonus from an amazing weekend with my gang of college friends and their children):
1.  Lasting friendships, powerful in their intentionality and their serendipity
2.  Scott’s rock and sand collection
3.  Awakeners
4.  A happy gang of kids, riding bikes, playing games, swimming, giggling, sharing jokes. . .
5.  Being part of the cold and broken hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
6.  Late late night conversations around the fire, sharing the bitter/sweets
7.  Walking out of the labyrinth
8.  This moment: We were sitting around in the shade yesterday morning discussing shame and the impact it has on our parenting, and how it is used in schools.  Before long three of the children had gathered with us in the circle, and they started telling us their own ideas about effective and ineffective behavior management in school, about what seems fair and right and what is a violation of their sense of self.
9.  Taking pictures of the fire with Luke
10.  Africa House, where we stayed

May all beings be blessed.