Accepting Heaven at Great Basin

20140707-164324-60204109.jpg

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

1935760_142466655801_6505249_n

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

IMG_1873

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

IMG_2371

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

Gratitude

f0feb-13712261_1038101136243014_497324213_n

Photo by TJ Parker

It softens want
into nothing mean
and lack is not
so dark anymore.
Things can be
a little dim,
less than ideal
and still amaze,
as when there’s been
enough grief
and you aren’t any longer
bowing to it.
One day,
the pain having stopped,
isn’t a moment.
It isn’t brief.
It keeps going.

~Lia Purpura

Mysteries, Yes

IMG_1926

Photo by TJ Parker

Mysteries, Yes
Truly, we live with mysterious too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stone are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds will
never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

~Mary Oliver

Uncertainty

img_1171

Photo by TJ Parker

It’s not a place,
but I am grateful to be in it,
where endings and known things
complicate,
and I, the judge I know myself to be,
go to review
the very heavy declarations
I so often lay down like law.
It’s not a place at all.
I just practice there, assemble
some beliefs, disturb
others and put the extras
into a pile for mosaics,
one of my big projects
for the future.

~Lia Purpura