It seems too enormous just for a man to be
Walking on. As if it and the empty day
Were all there is. And a little dog
Trotting in time with the heat waves, off
Near the horizon, seeming never to get
Any farther. The sun and everything
Are stuck in the same places, and the ditch
Is the same all the time, full of every kind
Of bone, while the empty air keeps humming
That sound it has memorized of things going
Past. And the signs with huge heads and starved
Bodies, doing dances in the heat,
And the others big as houses, all promise
But with nothing inside and only one wall,
Tell of other places where you can eat,
Drink, get a bath, lie on a bed
Listening to music, and be safe. If you
Look around you see it is just the same
The other way, going back; and farther
Now to where you came from, probably,
Than to places you can reach by going on.
The Highway by W.S. Merwin
Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines
creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky
sugars of the sun.
Come with me
to visit the sunflowers,
they are shy
but want to be friends;
they have wonderful stories
of when they were young –
the important weather,
the wandering crows.
Don’t be afraid
to ask them questions!
Their bright faces,
which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds –
each one a new life!
hope for a deeper acquaintance;
each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,
is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. Come
and let us talk with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.
Sunflowers by Mary Oliver
what does fear gain us?
what’s the upside of my refusal to let go?
why was my before so much better than my now?
does letting go mean I’ll just sit down…
stay here forever…
in my misery…
in this less than glamorous corner I find myself in?
everybody I know lives on the edge of a page
turning softly as the answers
arriving on the wind
clearing the cloud obscured vision
of our wandering wondering
everybody I know lives on the rocks of the active volcano
hanging onto the burning questions
waiting for the miles to find the nightingale’s broken-hearted love song
sometimes we say things we don’t mean to help us get through this hard moment we stand in
sometimes we truly think we mean these words declared
the heart given so freely
while in bondage to another
until we step into a new chapter and find they were just a wish
a desperate plea of hoping to find an easy way out
a numbing poultice to relieve the pain
while the infection remains ignored
the flamingo shakes her tail feathers
The grackle’s shadow invades our dreams
We keep meeting our own colors in every one of these beauteous spirals
messages left in each exquisite feather dropped on our pathway
patience is a virtue very few are rich enough to pay the humble price to gain
hearts are very fragile when allowed to keep breaking
“Imagine the world of our voices sing out the Sterling news”
Imagine all the people living in light and love within themselves
Imagine what a changed world that would be
what if we were no longer afraid of light shining within us
what if it no longer matters if we live in the now of ourselves
what if we look at the larger question of ‘oughtness’
My God, what happens then??
On this day of your life, I believe God wants you to know …
… that the next step is the most important step. Take it
now. Do not wait.
Life is not going to come down there and sprinkle
glitter dust on your shoulders to let you know that you
are Good…or that you are walking the Right Path…or
that you are making the Best Decision.
Take the next step. Right now. Stop waiting for a “sign”
from the “gods.” Your sign is your intuition, wrapped
in your desire.
Hesitation is not a stopping place on the road to heaven.
⁃ Neale Donald Walsh