Mindful Musings Blog

Poems of Presence – Oct 2020

We live, we love, and we let go. Again and again. These verses reflect our recent weekly class explorations of mindfulness, equanimity and compassion. [Photo: Nancy Beckerman]

Wind On A Hill (A.A. Milne)

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.
 
It’s flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn’t keep up with it,
Not if I ran.
 
But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
For a day and a night.
 
And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.
 
So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes . . .
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows.

At Blackwater Pond (Mary Oliver)

At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have
settled
after a night of rain. 
I dip my cupped hands. I drink
a long time. It tastes
like stone, leaves, fire. It falls cold
into my body, waking the bones. I hear them
deep inside me, whispering
oh what is that beautiful thing
that just happened?

Timeless (Nalini)

Now
It is time
To give yourself up.
 
Surrender,
Abandon all struggle,
Thoughts, worries and hopes.
 
Now
It is time
To be Silent.
 
Be as heavy and still
As the highest mountain.
 
Be as light and serene
As the delicate flower.
 
Now
It is time
To listen.
 
Listen in pure silence
As if trying to hear the voice of the sun
Rising at dawn.
 
Listen to the one who hears
And rest in this
Timeless equanimity.

The One-Inch Journey (Wendell Berry)

Always in big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place, there will be–along with the feeling of curiosity and excitement–a little nagging dread. It is the ancient fear of the unknown and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.

You are undertaking the first experience, not of the place, but of yourself in that place. It is an experience of our essential loneliness, for nobody can discover the world for anybody else. It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves that it becomes a common ground and a common bond, and we cease to be alone.

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.

 

The Word (Tony Hoagland)

Down near the bottom
of the crossed-out list
of things you have to do today,
 
between "green thread"
and "broccoli," you find
that you have penciled "sunlight."
 
Resting on the page, the word
is beautiful. It touches you
as if you had a friend
 
and sunlight were a present
he had sent from someplace distant
as this morning—to cheer you up,
 
and to remind you that,
among your duties, pleasure
is a thing
 
that also needs accomplishing.
Do you remember?
that time and light are kinds
 
of love, and love
is no less practical
than a coffee grinder
 
or a safe spare tire?
Tomorrow you may be utterly
without a clue,
 
but today you get a telegram
from the heart in exile,
proclaiming that the kingdom
 
still exists,
the king and queen alive, 
still speaking to their children,
 
—to any one among them
who can find the time
to sit out in the sun and listen.
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