my birthday present

my birthday present
My awesome birthday present 1/26/11 (see story under my first post)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Forget resolutions, let go

i am running into a new year

i am running into a new year
and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what i said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen and
twenty-six and thirty-six
even forty-six but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me

—Lucille Clifton

published in Good Woman: Poems and A Memoir 1969-1980

My favorite lines are the last ones. When we undertake change, there seems to be some necessary apologies, regret, or  second guessing. The general consensus, with those I have discussed this, seems to be that such change is  a step in the right direction. Hopefully we will have the courage to let go of those old, self-limiting beliefs.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Present in the Moment

I was blessed to take a walk in the snow today, across smooth white fields broken by meandering tracks of deer, squirrels, and birds. I love the snow, I love walking in it..  I have not the words to describe the beauty, but this poem does. I snapped a few photos today and earlier. I hope you enjoy the snow while it lasts.

Shoveling Snow
Kirsten Dierking

If day after day I was caught inside
this muffle and hush

I would notice how birches
move with a lovely hum of spirits,

how falling snow is a privacy
warm as the space for sleeping,

how radiant snow is a dream
like leaving behind the body

and rising into that luminous place
where sometimes you meet

the people you've lost. How
silver branches scrawl their names

in tangled script against the white.
How the curves and cheekbones

of all my loved ones appear
in the polished marble of drifts. 

"Shoveling Snow" by Kirsten Dierking, from Northern Oracle. © Spout Press, 2007


Monday, January 9, 2012

animal wisdom

Each of these poets recognizes the beauty of animals and the advantage they have over humans, the "superior" species. It is interesting to see how differently each communicates this message. The photos are all from National Geographic. Don't miss the video near the bottom!


Mary Carvell Bragg

When we stopped listening
they stopped talking
and we lost the wisdom
the animal were gifting us

We became drunk
with the power of language
even believed we had
all the answers

But we couldn’t learn
while we were talking
and our other half withered
like a dried up snakeskin

The animals agreed long ago
there is no point in talking to the deaf
So now through looks and body language
they speak, hoping we will finally get it


To Learn From Animal Beings
John O’Donohue

Nearer to the earth’s heart
Deeper within it’s silence
Animals know this world
In a way we never will.

We who are ever
Distanced and distracted
By the parade of bright
Windows thought opens:
Their seamless presence
Is not fractured thus.

Stranded between time
Gone and time emerging,
We manage seldom
To be where we are:
Whereas they are always
Looking out from
The here and now.

May we learn to return
And rest in the beauty
Of animal being,
Learn to lean low,
Leave our locked minds
And with freed senses
Feel the earth
Breathing with us.
May we enter
Into lightness of spirit,
And slip frequently into
The feel of the wild.

Let the clear silence
Of our animal being
Cleanse our hearts
Of corrosive words.

May we learn to walk
Upon the earth
With all their confidence
And clear-eyed stillness
So that our minds
Might be baptized
In the name of the wind
And the light of the rain.


Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

 Please watch this video about Samburu Elephants 
from  National Geographic. Poetry in video!