Poetry and Inspiration

Whatever concept you may have of Grace, even if it is an intuitive and insightful one . . . that’s not it. Grace is literally and very forcefully present, and you will never know that by merely listening to those words. You must be open to Grace and let it transform you.
~Lee Lozowick


“You do not need to do anything; you do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You do not even need to listen; just wait. You do not even need to wait; just become still, quiet and solitary and the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” ~Franz Kafka


Bugs in a Bowl

Han Shan, that great and crazy, wonder-filled Chinese poet of a thousand years ago, said:
We’re just like bugs in a bowl. All day going around never leaving their bowl.
I say, That’s right! Every day climbing up
the steep sides, sliding back.
Over and over again. Around and around.
Up and back down.
Sit in the bottom of the bowl, head in your hands,
cry, moan, feel sorry for yourself.
Or. Look around. See your fellow bugs.
Walk around.
Say, Hey, how you doin’?
Say, Nice Bowl!
~~~David Budbill


The Duck

(reworked by Karen Sprute-Francovich from the original – by Donald Babcock)

Now we are ready to look at something pretty special.
It is a duck riding the ocean a hundred feet beyond the surf.
She is cuddled in the swells.
There is a great heaving in the Atlantic,
And she is a part of it.…
She can rest while the Atlantic heaves because she rests in the Atlantic.
Probably she doesn’t know how large the ocean is.
And neither do you.
But what does she do, I ask you?
She sits down in it.
She reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity – which it is.
She has made herself a part of the boundless,
by easing herself into it just where it touches her.
Because You love the Burning-ground,
I have made a Burning-ground of my heart —
That You, Dark One,
hunter of the Burning-ground,
May dance Your eternal dance.

~Bengali Hymn


Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the strangers who
has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

~Derek Walcott


Last Night, as I Was Sleeping

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt–marvelous error!–
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt–marvelous error!–
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt–marvelous error!–
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night, as I slept,
I dreamt–marvelous error!–
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

~Antonio Machado


Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the strangers who
has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

~Derek Walcott


The Quiet Power

I walked backwards, against time
and that’s where I caught the moon,
singing at me.

I steeped downwards, into my seat
and that’s where I caught freedom,
waiting for me, like a lilac.

I ended thought, and I ended story.
I stopped designing, and arguing, and
sculpting a happy life.

I didn’t die. I didn’t turn to dust.

Instead I chopped vegetables,
and made a calm lake in me
where the water was clear and sourced and still.

And when the ones I loved came to it,
I had something to give them, and
it offered them a soft road out of pain.

I became beloved.

And I came to know that this was it.
The quiet power.
I could give something mighty, lasting,
that stopped the wheel of chaos,

by tending to the river inside,
keeping the water rich and deep,
keeping a bench for you to visit.

~Tara Mohr