Poem a Day: 21

Today’s prompts were Galaxy (or galaxy-type things) and love/anti-love:

by Beth Weaver-Kreider

Sometimes when I say
I am seeking the Beloved,
it is your wise eyes I see,
your expectant face, your
eloquent and tender hands.

Sometimes when I listen
for the humming of the stars,
it’s your voice my ears remember,
your quiet murmur, your
trilling whistle, clear and bright.

Sometimes when I pause
in the middle of the trail
and catch the aroma of lilac
or hyacinth sifting into the clearing,
it’s your scent I’m sensing,
and I am held in your arms
as surely as if you were here.

In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, I have recorded Jane Yolen’s “Earth Day.”

Fierce and Tender

This is a rock we found on the beach near Provincetown. Joss says he thinks it looks like a woodsy landscape reflected in a lake. Can you see it?. I ran it through a starry filter, and it looks like a night-time lake.

Gratitude List:
1. Fierce and tender friends. People who hold the world in their hearts, and hold our hearts in their hands. You know who you are, Friends, and if you think I am talking about you here, I probably am.
2. Stories that teach me not to start with rage, but to start with compassion.
3. Honesty. Truth-telling. Getting it straight and clear. Cutting through the fog of lies.
4. Water. Purifying and cleansing. Refreshing. Rain on dry earth.
5. The smell of the rain on dry earth. That scent of impending hope.


Tuesday’s Thoughts:
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” ―Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
“In order to arrive at what you are not you must go through the way in which you are not.”
—T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets
“We grow spiritually much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right.” —Richard Rohr
“Whatever gets in the way of the work is the work.” —Jason Shinder
“An agricultural adage says the tiny animals that live below the surface of a healthy pasture weigh more than the cows grazing above it. In a catalogue selling composting equipment I read that two handfuls of healthy soil contain more living organisms than there are people on the earth. What these beings are and what they can be doing is difficult to even begin to comprehend, but it helps to realize that even though they are many, they work as one.”
—Carol Williams
“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.” —Flannery O’Connor
“I don’t know about you, but I didn’t become an environmentalist because someone made a rational argument that convinced me that the planet was in danger. I became an environmentalist out of love and pain: love for the world and its beauty and the grief of seeing it destroyed. It was only because I was in touch with these feelings that I had the ears to listen to evidence and reason and the eyes to see what is happening to our world. I believe that this love and this grief are latent in every human being. When they awaken, that person becomes an environmentalist.” —Charles Eisenstein
“You can’t dismantle the master’s house with the master’s tools.” —Audre Lorde
“The owl,” he was saying, “is one of the most curious creatures. A bird that stays awake when the rest of the world sleeps. They can see in the dark. I find that so interesting, to be mired in reality when the rest of the world is dreaming. What does he see and what does he know that the rest of the world is missing?” ―M.J. Rose, Seduction

Mercy and Fear

Today’s prompt is to write a triangle poem:

Triangle: The Spell, The Sleep, The Waking
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

First is the spell, the incantation, the bright blessing.
First is the curse of the jealous fairy.
First is the vain step-mother, the anxious interloper.
First is the dawn of the golden child.
First is three wishes and a wild, wild wind.

Second is when she loses the golden ball of her voice.
Second, the falling asleep.
Second is ball gowns and tea cakes.
Second is the pampered pedestal.
Second is a red bird in a golden cage.

Third, the clocks booms midnight.
Third, the wolf howls.
Third, the cock crows.
Third, the red rider races across the pathway.
Third, she opens her eyes.

“Mercy is the willingness to enter into the chaos of another.” –James Keenan
“The heavens are sweeping us along in a cyclone of stars.” –Teilhard de Chardin
Expose yourself to your deepest fear. After that, you are free.” –Jim Morrison
“You need not wade through the mists and bogs to reach the moon.
You need not climb a ladder of cobweb.
You need not ride the stallions that wicker in the sea’s pounding surf.

Draw back the curtain and open the window.
Breathe the bracing air and listen:
The whinny of an owl, the click of the bat,
The grunt of a buck and the distant roar of the train.

The full moon will spill a milky road before you.
That is all the pathway you will need.”
–Beth Weaver-Kreider
Joseph Campbell: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.”

Gratitude List:
1. Robins gathering in the hollow in the growing dusk
2. Russet. Nice word. Nice color.
3. The steeples of Wrightsville. This really is a lovely little town nestled into the hills of York County.
4. Falling leaves. Rilke’s poem really got into me. There’s nothing quite like translation to put a poet inside your head.
5. Moon moon moon moon mooooooooooooon

May we walk in Beauty!



here is how holy
in the center of waiting
there is a river
if you lift your eyes, listen
the moment will come to you

Gratitude List:
1. I love my job, but sometimes it’s just such a blessed relief to be on the outward arm of the week.
2. The little Zen garden my mother gave me years ago.  It’s been my kid bait.  They come up to my desk and make order in the universe while they talk to me, sometimes handing me golden nuggets of story while they work.  There’s one in each class who takes responsibility for tidying the Zen garden.
3. The satisfying alignment of planets in the mornings lately.  And Orion standing watch.
4. My Humans of New York Stories book came in the mail a couple days ago.  I would like to just sit in a little cocoon and pore through it.
5. Sugar maples.

May we walk in Beauty!

Only Time

Poem-A Day Day 21 Prompt: Write a Song Title Poem.  Choose 5 song titles at random and write a poem which weaves them together.  I stood at the CD shelf and closed my eyes and chose 5 CDs, then chose the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th songs on the CDs.  I had a pretty negative feeling about the potential layers of the 5 songs that came up with that pattern initially–an angsty darkness that is not mine to claim, even accidentally.  So I shuffled the 5 CDs and chose the odds again.  So, mostly random, and for some reason, that matters a great deal to me.  The list of songs follows the poem.

This is not the only time
when we eat this bread,
when we shine like stars,
when we are filled with plenty
from the horn of abundance,
from that curling cornucopia
showering goodness upon us
from the fields of the beautiful ones
who shine, the watery ones,
those western stars.

Who is this old man
stepping slowly along the path
out of the twinkling shadows
the moon makes over the hills,
a rangy hound at his heels?

Will we remember to ask his name
when he stands before us?
Will we think to thank him
for the names he will bestow upon us?
Only time will reveal the story.
Only the stars will hear the answer.

(“Western Stars,” K.D. Lang, Shadowland; “Only Time,” Enya, A Day Without Rain; “Horn,” Nick Drake, Pink Moon; “This Old Man,” Pete Seeger, A Child’s Celebration of Song; “When We Eat This Bread,” The Dave Brubeck Quartet with the Cathedral Choral Society Chorus and Orchestra, to Hope!)