Detail of the Woods

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Photo by TJ Parker

I looked at all the trees and didn’t know what to do.

A box made out of leaves.
What else was in the woods? A heart, closing. Nevertheless.

Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else.
I kept my mind on the moon. Cold moon, long nights moon.

From the landscape: a sense of scale.
From the dead: a sense of scale.

I turned my back on the story. A sense of superiority.
Everything casts a shadow.

Your body told me in a dream it’s never been afraid of anything.

~Richard Siken

B by Sarah Kay

I’m still reading the book of Sarah Kay’s poetry called, “No Matter The Wreckage”. I read this gem, then found her performance of it as part of her TED talk.  It’s worth a listen, probably more than one listen.  When I read it, then listened to it, I thought of my grand daughter.  It will do that to you, make you think of your daughter, your mother, your grand daughter if you have one.  It will make you think of the daughter you haven’t yet had.  It will make you think, and feel.

Hands by Sarah Kay

I’m currently reading a book of poetry by Sarah Kay called “No Matter The Wreckage”.  I can tell you, as a person who has read a lot of poetry, this girl is fantastic.  I just read the following poem in the book, went to look for it online to post, and found this video.  She is known for her spoken word poetry, which I didn’t know until I went looking for the poem online.  This video was made a while ago.  In it she is only 18.  I can’t tell you how impressed with her I am.  Her use of language, the visual impressions she leaves, not to mention the emotion in it.  Wow.  Just… wow.

In my head I read this more slowly than she speaks it here, but her performance of it adds so much to the meat of it.

I give you… “Hands”, by Sarah Kay

Accepting Heaven at Great Basin

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Photo by TJ Parker

When you doubt the world
look at the undivided darkness

look at Wheeler Peak
cliffs like suspended prayers

contemplate the cerulean
the gleaming limestone

the frozen shades
the wildflowers

look at the bristlecone pine
a labyrinth to winding wonders

listen to the caves
sing silently

remember the smell of sagebrush
after a thunderstorm

that Lexington Arch
is a bridge of questions

in the solitude of dreams
that here

distances disturb desire
to deliver a collision of breaths

the desert echoes
in this dark night sky

stars reveal the way
a heart can light a world.

~Nathalie Handal

Love Poem #137

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Photo by TJ Parker

I will wake you up early
even though I know you like to stay through the credits.

I will leave pennies in your pockets,
postage stamps of superheros
in between the pages of your books,
sugar packets on your kitchen counter.
I will Hansel and Gretel you home.

I talk through movies.
Even ones I have never seen before.

I will love you with too many commas,
but never any asterisks.

There will be more sweat than you are used to.
More skin.More words than are necessary.

My hair in the shower drain,
my smell on your sweaters,
bobby pins all over the window sills.

I make the best sandwiches you’ve ever tasted.
You’ll be in charge of napkins.

I can’t do a pull-up.
But I’m great at excuses.

I count broken umbrellas after every thunderstorm,
and I fall asleep repeating the words thank you.

I will wake you up early
with my heavy heartbeat.
You will say, Can’t we just sleep in, and I will say,
No, trust me. You don’t want to miss a thing.

Kindness – Naomi Shihab Nye

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Photo by TJ Parker

KINDNESS

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

~ Naomi Shihab Nye

Probability

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Photo by TJ Parker

Most coincidences are not
miraculous, but way more
common than we think –
it’s the shiver
of noticing being
central in a sequence
of events
that makes so much
seem wild and rare –
because what if it wasn’t?
Astonishment’s nothing
without your consent.

~Lia Purpura