Overnight, without warning, all the ginkgo trees
dropped their leaves, an orchestra
guided by an unseen hand – compelled
with single unannounced, extravagant display,
to release all they held, all that covered them.
What grace, to shed protective covering. To shed
the golden glory of leaves and stand blessed, delighted
and delighting in the gift of their thin brown arms
extended towards the sky in celebration, open.
Te estas saliendo del huacal he said.
Whatever you want to call it —
stripping bark from myself, says Alice Walker
learning joy from dogs without collars, says Lauralee Summers
this is what it means to be free:
I’m on a mountaintop, and
there’s no railing, but
I choose this view
of the ground.
photo credit: Jennifer Gardner
Strip everything down to essence.
Let go of what you think you need.
Learn to trust what is.
Embrace happiness without grasping.
Happiness will break your bones as it slips out of your clenched fist.
Trust sorrow; It allows the soul to lie fallow and expand.
Embrace the daylight without demanding permanence.
Light fades into evening with or without your approval.
Trust darkness; It faithfully reveals the unseen.
Embrace tranquility without insisting on its presence.
Tranquility is a condition and not a promise.
Trust anger; It acknowledges the truth of your experience.
Embrace relationship without needing to control.
Relationship is a dance of constant movement and change.
Trust solitude; It is a centering space always available to you.
Understanding what is yours, release your grip.
Trust what is true to hold you up.
Wind-swept clean, the pale empty sky
burns against an army of brittle pines. Nowhere
is as hungry as this raw desolation. Stark,
even the light turns inward, turns to patient
silent shadows, pilgrims of the unknown.
The hope and despair of the woods, the wind, the longsuffering shadows
echo in the skylark’s cry – “We are waiting. We are hungry.”
Today reminds me of you: the way your hands look
and your eyes burn.
Eternity surrenders to the temporal
the Infinite is constrained
the Limitless is bound
The Greatest becomes the least
as the Ultimate assumes humility
and gives Himself away
Through His life she’s redeemed
and through His death she lives,
Oh heart, why this sudden sorrow? Why now this ache?
Is it the crying, lonely wind that beats
against my flimsy jacket; the twinkling window lights that glow
along dark streets of shadow?
Is it the aching clouds that roll, invading ocean waves in moonlit sky;
Or the weary figure that stoops and lifts
heavy loads in a shop window?
Is it the unhooked gate that bangs
and clamors without mercy; or the cigarette left lying there,
and all the benches empty?
Is it these? Or is it your words
that so wound and hurt me?
Mornings to me
Are blindness –
a black shawl bound tightly against my retinas
compressing my head,
my sleep an enclosed tomb,
an infertile womb.
Are reluctance –
the beginning again unwelcome,
with old familiar fear and shame
reclaiming my consciousness,
a hazy desire to avoid the day, the light,
the call to struggle.