A Beautiful Poem

A beautiful poem by Stanley Kunitz:

The Layers

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

~ Stanley Kunitz

a Poetic iSpy~May 27

So Much of the World

by Gregory Djanikian

So much of the world exists
without us

the mountain in its own steepness

the deer sliding
into the trees becoming
a darkness
in the woods’ darkness.

So much of an open field
lies somewhere between the grass
and the dragonfly’s drive and thrum

the seed and seedling,
the earth within.

But so much of it lies in someone
standing alone at the edge of a field
with a life apart

feeling for a moment
the plover’s cry
on the tongue

the curve and plumb
of the apple bough
in limb and bone.

So much of it between
one thing and another,

days of invitation,
then of release and return.

“So Much of the World” by Gregory Djanikian

A poem to love

It has been a long while since I posted a poem.

This one just fits a fall-inspired rainy day pondering…this thought by Ann Voskamp, “When you have an overwhelmed world, you don’t have to have an underwhelmed soulif Christ fills the thoughts.”

“Coming Up for Air” by Diana Der-Hovanessian

I who never learned
to swim right
walk through this water
with you, with tanks,
new lungs, on our backs,
new eyes that show me
creatures who do not fear
us any more than
other fish.
You float above me and
there is no such thing
as fire to feed or tamp.
My former life is swallowed
by deaf tides.
The songs are all new
and wordless. I open
my hand as if it were a fin.

“Coming Up for Air” by Diana Der-Hovanessian


Monday Words for the Soul~March 11~the bumble bee

a bumblebee flies into my apartment
it didn’t mean to be there
–it panics
and seeing the outside through a glass window
it proceeds to push and push against the glass
trying to get where it wants to go

in its panic never moving from its task long enough
to see the open window just inches away

how like the bumble bee I am in my work or my life

i see where i want to go

and in my panic

i forget to look for the open window

so i push and push and push
thinking i should be rewarded for all this hard work
when, in fact, i am so frantic
like the bee against the glass.

by Marybeth Fidler

RozArt bumblebee

artwork from RozArt

Bumblebee poem first seen in the book Life is a Verb by Patti Digh

New Year Resolve

New Year Resolve

by May Sarton

The time has come
To stop allowing the clutter
To clutter my mind
Like dirty snow,
Shove it off and find
Clear time, clear water.

Time for a change,
Let silence in like a cat
Who has sat at my door
Neither wild nor strange
Hoping for food from my store
And shivering on the mat.

Let silence in.
She will rarely speak or mew,
She will sleep on my bed
And all I have ever been
Either false or true
Will live again in my head.

For it is now or not
As old age silts the stream,
To shove away the clutter,
To untie every knot,
To take the time to dream,
To come back to still water.

“New Year Resolve” by May Sarton, from Collected Poems 1930-1993. © W.W. Norton & Co., 1993.

This Weekend~Easy Weekend Activity~Grab Spines

Consider a creative break this weekend.

Create a spine poem. Spine poems are word-filled expressions connected by the titles of books as seen on their spines.

Survey your books. Gather them. Arrange them. Express a tiny poem with them.

It’s fun. A mini vacation.

Here is my humble attempt but there are glorious examples at this link and this one.
The second link I found, in splendid synchronicity, is for a spine poetry content at LibraryThing.

Happiness Is
Eternal Echoes
Forward From Here
On the blue shore of silence
The band that played on
Emily and Einstein

Look Homeward, Angel


Additional Weekend Activities

Color Poems~special night posting

There are a bunch of windows open on my taskbar. Kind of a cafeteria-style approach day where I am trying to sift, decipher, learn, respond, and create all at once.

Perhaps it’s best to think less and pray more, as friend Carl urges. Especially after reading this post by Rick Hanson, in the window that’s currently open.

…Our ancestors probably experienced more physical but less mental fatigue than most people today in the developed nations. Consequently, our bodies are adapted to weariness – but our minds are not. For a brief time – finals week, an intense month at work, a demanding year with a new baby – OK, sometimes we just have to crank the mind up into overdrive and tough it out. But as a way of life, it’s nuts.

We have to take a stand against the crazy mental busyness that has become the new normal. We’re bombarded with things to think about all day long, flooded with words and images to process, and forced to juggle unprecedented complexities. Our minds are being hauled along behind a culture without a speed limit – but the human body and brain does have a limit, a natural carrying capacity, and when we exceed it there’s always a price. It’s like being trapped in rush hour your whole life. Each time you know this, each time you pull out of the mental traffic, it’s an act of freedom and kindness and wisdom. ~Rick Hanson

There are a bunch of windows open on my taskbar. One is a Pinterest picture of a favorite color of mine: Carnelian—take a click and look at the deep color  I have always had this color around, in varying intensities. It is the pendant stone of my favorite necklace made by friend Vicente.

Another open window contains a happy post by Jennifer called “This is the Day the Lord Has Made” over at Getting Down with Jesus

Jennifer wrote about her daughter’s experience writing a poem. And when she included the poem-writing website, I was hooked. There are so many great poems within her website comments and word pictures. I mean really. My favorite poem is Cerulean Green (scroll down in the comments and you’ll see).

What a fun vacation this last hour has been! Reading/Exhaling/Nodding/Smiling/Nodding some more

Might you also take a little vacation, think less, pray more and create a little color poem? Here is the website to create the poem: http://ettcweb.lr.k12.nj.us/forms/color.htm
Here is mine:   <blush>

deep sunset
the textured wallpaper of my room in high school
my favorite pendant, long and smooth, and slightly cool to touch
Dried Apricots
Hot Tamales
Applewood Smoked bacon
velvety protective cushions
hugs that envelope and sustain
glowingly radiating lampshade, forty years old
Restores vitality, gives courage, helps in trusting myself

Would you share your poem here?

Poetry~Just This Day

Just this Day

Help me stay in the present tense today.
Keep the past where it belongs.
Even the future can be a stumbling block
if it slows me down now.

There’s only so much room in my life
for what I need to carry.
If the world is an oyster
and inside it is a pearl,
open it for me.

Polish this day,
shine it up so I see it for the gift it is.
Allow me to be okay, right where I am,
even as I strive to be better.

Just once, filter out the static of what was
so I can be in this moment.

By Ruth Williams

Ritual~I breathe out the weight of my ego


I clear the space that surrounds us.
I set aside the clutter of my day
so the chaos does not obstruct my view of You.

I clear myself.
I breathe out the weight of my ego
so my heart is opened to You.
I open my eyes.
I find You at my side,
waiting for my frantic mind
to settle finally on You.

We meet,
joining in the sacred ceremony of our routine
in the quiet motions that still my wild heart.
It’s time to be in this moment.
I am with You and nowhere else.

~Abigail Wurdeman

Openness~Day 22 Be Gentle Be Love

Elizabeth Lesser Poem

I meshed the quote above by Elizabeth Lesser with the background for Day 22 in the Be Gentle, Be Love class.
Then, when re-reading the course content for Day 22, these words, previously read,  resonated loudly:

if you open your heart & mind, life begins to show you its greatness, that you would’ve never experienced had you kept your viewpoints sealed shut.  ~Amanda Oaks

The gentle challenge for me is to keep my eyes open and not retreat to the safe and familiar.

Maybe,  Because of Grace I can :)


A page from my journal caressed on a shimmering blanket of hearts

{Gently click on the picture to see what I am openly accepting}

I Come to Pray but Sit in Silence

Saturday Digest-March 19…Because of Grace

I shall rest while amidst the busyness… and …cut the strings of rush and dash. To read the rest of this poem, 
gently click here   

 Stop waiting for your big chance to arrive. To read the rest of this post, gently click here  

Such a gifted writer, Jen Lee,  writes as if she can see into my life. She writes about finding “gifts in surprising places and help from unexpected sources, to hibernate, to create, to say a hundred words and behold a hundred silences”  and this gem “To feel grace falling on my cheeks like that pretty kind of snow”
To read more, gently click here 

Beautiful necklaces with essential reminders: http://www.etsy.com/shop/lizlamoreux

My “unanswered questions cause me to seek God more”…To read the rest of this poem, gently click here 

Happiness Will Sleep


created by helen



Happiness will sleep
in the still places:
in cups of tea, picture frames
and the smell of hope
that wraps around walls.
~Miranda Claudius

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