Tuesday, April 30, 2013

National Poetry Month, Part 3


“I believe in the sun
though it is late
in rising

I believe in love
though it is absent

I believe in God
though he is silent..."

 -  translated from the French, the text is an unsigned inscription found on the wall of a cave in Cologne where Jewish people had been hiding during the Holcaust 

From Out the Cave

When you have been
at war with yourself
for so many years that
you have forgotten why,
when you have been driving
for hours and only
gradually begin to realize
that you have lost the way,
when you have cut
hastily into the fabric,
when you have signed
papers in distraction,
when it has been centuries
since you watched the sun set
or the rain fall, and the clouds,
drifting overhead, pass as flat
as anything on a postcard;
when, in the midst of these
everyday nightmares, you
understand that you could
wake up,
you could turn
and go back
to the last thing you
remember doing
with your whole heart:
that passionate kiss,
the brilliant drop of love
rolling along the tongue of a green leaf,
then you wake,
you stumble from your cave,
blinking in the sun,
naming every shadow
as it slips.

 by Joyce Sutphen


I don’t know about you,
but I practice a disorganized religion.
I belong to an unholy disorder.
We call ourselves,
“Our Lady of Perpetual Astonishment.”
You may have seen us praying
for love
on sidewalks outside the better
eating establishments
in all kinds of weather.
Blow us a kiss
upon arriving or departing,
and we will climax
It can be quite a scene,
especially if it is raining
cats and dogs.

by Kurt Vonnegut 

all that is glorious around us 

is not, for me, these grand vistas, sublime peaks, mist-filled
overlooks, towering clouds, but doing errands on a day
of driving rain, staying dry inside the silver skin of the car,
160,000 miles, still running just fine. or later,
sitting in a café warmed by the steam
from white chicken chili, two cups of dark coffee,
watching the red and gold leaves race down the street,
confetti from autumn’s bright parade. and i think
of how my mother struggles to breathe, how few good days
she has now, how we never think about the glories
of breath, oxygen cascading down our throats to the lungs,
simple as the journey of water over a rock. it is the nature
of stone / to be satisfied / writes mary oliver, It is the nature
of water / to want to be somewhere else, rushing down
a rocky tor or high escarpment, the panoramic landscape
boundless behind it. but everything glorious is around
us already: black and blue graffiti shining in the rain’s
bright glaze, the small rainbows of oil on the pavement,
where the last car to park has left its mark on the glistening
street, this radiant world.

by Barbara Crooker

today, like every other day 

today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. take down a musical instrument.

let the beauty we love be what we do.
there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

by Jalaluddin Rumi

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

National Poetry Month, Part 2


We are more than the worst thing that’s ever
happened to us. All of us need to stop apologizing
for having been to hell and come back breathing.
Your bad dreams are battle scars.
What doesn’t kill you cuts you fucking deep
but scars are just skin growing back
thicker when it heals.

Clementine von Radics

Stop Being So Religious

do sad people have in
It seems
they have all built a shrine
to the past
And often go there
to do a strange wail and
What is the beginning of
It is to stop being
so religious
like that.

by Hafez 

i thank you god for most this amazing
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today;
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

by e.e. cummings

Advertisement For the Mountain 
There are two versions of every life.

In the first one, you get a mother, a father,
your very own room.

You learn to walk, which is only done by walking.
You learn the past tense of have, which is hunger.

You learn to ask almost anything
is to ask it to be over,
as when the lover asks the other

“Are you sleeping? Are you beginning
to go away?”

(And whether or not you learn it, life does not penetrate
more than five miles above the earth
or reach more than three miles beneath the sea.

Life is eight miles long.

You could walk it, and be there before sundown.
Or swim it, or fall it, or crawl it.)

The second is told from the point
of view of the sky.

by Christina Davis


I'm never gonna wait
that extra twenty minutes
to text you back, 
and I'm never gonna play
hard to get
when I know your lfie
has been hard enough already
it's hard to watch
the game we make of love
like everyone's playing checkers
with their scars,
saying checkmate
whenever they get out
without a broken heart.
Just to be clear
I don't want to get out
without a broken heart.
I intend to leave this life
so shattered
there's gonna have to be
a thousand separate heavens
for all my flying parts.

by Andrea Gibson

Thursday, April 4, 2013

National Poetry Month, Part 1! And other things.

April is National Poetry Month, and is also now known as the only month where I get in a post a week. I don't know, it just seems so much easier to copy and paste someone else's beautiful words onto my blog than to find where my own words fit. And I can't tell if it's because I'm doing too little to blog about, or too much. Sometimes it feels like both at the same time. I wonder if anyone else feels like they work really hard while they're still just running in place. I feel like I'm never quite moving at the speed of the rest of the world - it's either going to fast for me, or too slow.

I think that's where gratitude comes in. Gratitude aligns us, grounds us, forces us to become more present with the tempo of the world again. And lately I've been royally bad at it. So back to the drawing board I go - I started journaling again, under the heading Five Smooth Stones, about five things I'm grateful for each day, so that I can start to slay the Goliath that is selfishness and regret and that last one, that last little thief of joy, Comparison. Comparison, you really suck sometimes. I want to punch you in the face sometimes.

I got new acting head shots (which I'll share in a few weeks), and I've been helping out with a family wedding (my family considers me a mini-expert, having just gotten married last October. Shhhh, don't tell them I made it up as I went along.)  I started attending acting class again, and attending yoga again, and attending church again, and all that attendance is quite tiring, I have to tell you. I've been good about taking care of others, and crappy about taking care of myself. Looks like I'm in it for the long haul with that last lesson. I updated my acting reel, shot a short film, updated my website, updated my IMDB acting page, and I'm looking at going to acting workshops within the next month or so. I am busy, busy, busy. And I am tired, tired, tired. But I'm learning that gratitude is a verb too.

Now let's give some other people a turn.

the world is heavy
but your bones
(just a cubic inch)
can hold 19,000 lbs
ounce for ounce
they are stronger than steel
atom for atom
you are more precious than diamond
and stars have died
so that you may live
you need to remember these things
when you say that you are weak
and worthless

for my mother when she doesn’t feel beautiful 

don’t worry about your body.
it isn’t as small as it once was,
but honestly, the world needs more of you.
you look in the mirror
like you’ve done something wrong,
but you look perfect.
anyone who says otherwise is telling a lie
to make you feel weak.
and you know better.
you’ve survived every single day,
for as long as you’ve been alive.
you could spit fire if you wanted.

the loneliest job in the world 

as soon as you begin to ask the question, who loves me?
you are completely screwed, because
the next question is how much?
and then it is hundreds of hours later,
and you are still hunched over
your flowcharts and abacus,
trying to decide if you have gotten enough.
this is the loneliest job in the world:

to be an accountant of the heart.
it is late at night. you are by yourself,
and all around you, you can hear
the sounds of people moving
in and out of love,
pushing the turnstiles, putting
their coins in the slots,
paying the price which is asked,
which constantly changes.
no one knows why.

we have not come to take prisoners

We have not come here to take prisoners,
But to surrender ever more deeply
To freedom and joy.

We have not come into this exquisite world
To hold ourselves hostage from love.

Run my dear,
From anything 
That may not strengthen 
Your precious budding wings.
Run like hell my dear,
From anyone likely 
To put a sharp knife
Into the sacred, tender vision 
Of your beautiful heart.

We have a duty to befriend
Those aspects of obedience
That stand outside of our house
And shout to our reason
"O please, O please,
Come out and play."

For we have not come here to take prisoners,
Or to confine our wondrous spirits,

But to experience ever and ever more deeply
Our divine courage, freedom and

by Hafez

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