When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound...
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.
— “The Peace of Wild Things,” Wendel Berry
Like a bird, am I beautiful?
Always flying to faraway places in my mind
How the places look so beautiful
No one but me know the toxics that lay underneath
The glamour the places hold over me
They slowly rot me from the inside out
Their color slowly bleeds away
Leaving a decaying world
It was dying, slowly rotting away
I slowly enter this world
What happened to the beautiful world?
I am worried. Why does this world seem familiar?
Realization sets in. It is reflecting me
I slowly sink to my knees into the mud of ashes
My inside is rotting and dying like this world
Where did my beauty go?
‘Depression, loneliness, ugly’ words stab into my heart, making me cry out
I slowly watch water soak the ground, my tears silently falling
Why am I changing this way? I feel the mud on my body
I slowly roll over and lay there, starting up at the grey sky
As I sob and my hair becomes tangled and my body slowly shakes
I see a small green bulb on the tree
I reach for it, desperate to have some form of life in my hands
My whole body aches for that little piece of life
How can it survive in this world? Where everything dies?
I slowly wrap my fingers around it and I gasp out loud
As I pull my closed hand down, warmth feels me
I slowly pull my dirty body up and look down with big, sad eyes
As I open my hand, a small flower sits there
Where did it come from?
Slowly I feel the warmth spreading and I look around
‘Hope, faith, believe’ the words flash in my mind
I see other bulbs and flowers blossoming on the trees, the bushes
Grass slowly grows around me and finally the sun comes out
The beauty is back, and I realize as I put the flower in my hair
As long as I have those, my life will slowly stay as this beautiful world
And the rotting, decaying world will slowly crease to non-existent
As long as I hold on to the beauty, I will be able to live
— Sherry Yost
Stop listen and feel
Stop listen and feel
— Rosilee Sherwood
― Jayber Crow
North of Russel
Warm hard pavement beckons
Steady the dull street carries on
― Caleb Ratzlaff
Why wait for your awakening?
The moment your eyes are open, seize the day.
Would you hold back when the Beloved beckons?
Would you deliver your litany of sins like a child’s collection of sea shells, prized and labeled?
“No, I can’t step across the threshold,” you say, eyes downcast.
“I’m not worthy” I’m afraid, and my motives aren’t pure.
I’m not perfect, and surely I haven’t practiced nearly enough.
My meditation isn’t deep, and my prayers are sometimes insincere.
I still chew my fingernails, and the refrigerator isn’t clean.
“Do you value your reasons for staying small more than the light shining through the open door?
Now is the only time you have to be whole.
Now is the sole moment that exists to live in the light of your true Self.
Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain.
Please, oh please, don’t continue to believe in your disbelief.
This is the day of your awakening.
― "Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga"
Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet;
She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.
In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.
― W.B. Yeats