Browsing Category "Poems"
28 Sep
2012
Posted in: Poems, Practice
By    Comments Off on Good Choice

Good Choice

The Noah Levine passage wasn’t exactly right for Wednesday night’s sitting…although, who knows, maybe I should have given it a go. Instead, I closed the sit by reading Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver. (Always a good choice)

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
The world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things. 

(image from A Whole World, by Couprie and Louchard)

1 Aug
2012
Posted in: Poems, Talks
By    Comments Off on Listen to This (without the all-CAPS)

Listen to This (without the all-CAPS)

I subscribe to Dharma Seed podcasts, so I listen to a lot of dharma talks. Most of them are very good…a few, I must admit are tedious…but some are so beautiful and inspiring that it’s all I can do not to fire off e-blasts to everyone I know, saying LISTEN TO THIS!!!! (We all know how welcome those emails are.)

So instead, I’ll just post the link here!

Pascal Auclair has a terrific talk, titled: On Unconditional Friendliness, Concentration and Other Things. It was recorded during a Metta retreat at True North Insight in Montreal. In the talk, Pascal reads a wonderful poem by Galway Kinnell, which I offer here (as an incentive to listen to the whole talk here.)

St. Francis and the Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to teach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of
the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking
and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

(image from A Whole World by Couprie and Louchard)