Poem ~ “Write With Spirit,” by Allison Nappi

fuji_at_dawnBut can you love me in the deep? In the dark? In the thick of it?

Can you love me when I drink from the wrong bottle and slip through the crack in the floorboard?

Can you love me when I’m bigger than you, when my presence blazes like the sun does, when it hurts to look directly at me

Can you love me then too?

Can you love me under the starry sky, shaved and smooth, my skin like liquid moonlight?

Can you love me when I am howling and furry, standing on my haunches, my lower lip stained with the blood of my last kill?

When I call down the lightening, when the sidewalks are singed by the soles of my feet, can you still love me then?

What happens when I freeze the land, and cause the dirt to harden over all the pomegranate seeds we’ve planted?

Will you trust that Spring will return?

Will you still believe me when I tell you I will become a raging river, and spill myself upon your dreams and call them to the surface of your life?

Can you trust me, even though you cannot tame me?

Can you love me, even though I am all that you fear and admire?

Will you fear my shifting shape?

Does it frighten you, when my eyes flash like your camera does?

Do you fear they will capture your soul?

Are you afraid to step into me?

Surely you have seen the jungles: meat-eating plants and flowers armed with poisonous darts.

Do not worry. They belong to me, and I have invited you here.

Stay to the path revealed in the moonlight and arrive safely to the hut of Baby Yaga: the wild old wise one… she will not lead you astray if you are pure of heart.

You cannot be with the wild one if you fear the rumbling of the ground, the roar of a cascading river, the startling clap of thunder in the sky.

If you want to be safe, go back to your tiny room: the night sky is not for you.

If you want to be torn apart: come in. Be broken open and devoured. Be set ablaze in my fire.

I will not leave you as you have come: well dressed, in finely threaded sweaters that keep out the cold.

I will leave you naked and biting. Leave you clawing at the sheets. Leave you surrounded by owls and hawks and flowers that only bloom when no one is watching.

So, come to me, and be healed in the unbearable lightness and darkness of all that you are.

There is nothing in you that can scare me. Nothing in you I will not use to make you great.

A wild woman is not a girlfriend. She is a relationship with nature. She is the source of all your primal desires, and she is the wild whipping wind that uproots the poisonous corn stalks on your neatly tilled farm.

She will plant pear trees in the wake of your disaster.

She will see to it that you shall rise again.

She is the lover that restores you to your own wild nature.

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D.H. Lawrence ~ “The Hummingbird”

hummingbird_green

I can imagine, in some otherworld

Primeval-dumb, far back

In that most awful stillness, that only gasped and hummed,

Humming-birds raced down the avenues.

Before anything had a soul,

While life was a heave of Matter, half inanimate,

This little bit chipped off in brilliance

And went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems.

I believe there were no flowers, then,

In the world where the humming-bird flashed ahead of creation.

I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak.

Probably he was big

As mosses, and little lizards, they say were once big.

Probably he was a jabbing, terrifying monster.

We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time,

Luckily for us.

~ D.H. Lawrence

Paradigm Shift ~ The Man In The Mirror

man-in-the-mirrorWhen you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself.

For it isn’t a man’s father, mother or wife
Whose judgment upon him must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in his life,
Is the man staring back from the glass

He’s the fellow to please, never mind the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

(This poem was found written on
the wall of a cell in death row)

Seeds for Meditation ~ Lessons from Geese

geese1034-800Fact:
As each goose flaps it’s wings, it creates uplift for the bird following.
By flying in a ‘V’ formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if the bird flew alone

Lesson:
People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are traveling quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Fact:
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

Lesson:
If people have as much sense as geese, they will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go and be willing to accept their help as well as give help to others.

Fact:
When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies the point position.

Lesson:
It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership with people as, with geese, we are interdependent on each other.

Fact:
The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those
up front to keep their speed.

Lesson:
People need to make sure honking from behind is
encouraging – and not something else.

Fact:
When a goose becomes sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then they launch out on their own to try and catch up with their flock or they join another formation.

Lesson:
If people have as much sense as geese, they too will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when they are strong.

Paradigm Shift ~ Living For The Weekend

tragedy living dead
i hope i never start living for the weekend
only to see it turn into a monday morning
i hope i never compete with my neighbors
to buy things i cannot really afford
i hope if i ever get married
i won’t refer to my spouse as a ball and chain
i hope my life never revolves around
so-called entertainment like monday night football
because i don’t want to be that family

i hope i never start living for the weekend
and calling in sick so i don’t have to go to work
i hope i don’t ever assume that others think just like me
and get caught up in my own idealism
i hope watching the dog chase the neighbors cat
doesn’t become the highlight of my day
i hope my evenings don’t revolve around tittie bars
and hot wings to keep me out of the house
because i don’t want to be that guy

i hope i never start living for the weekend
and forget how to relax
i hope i don’t get stuck in a job i hate
and do nothing about the situation but complain
i hope if things don’t work out
i can handle the situation
i hope i don’t end up like all those people
who let their lives pass them by
because i don’t want to live for the weekend

— Derek del Barrio
derek.delbarrio@gmail.com

 

“If”, by Rudyard Kipling

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(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

If you can keep your head when all about you

    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

    But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

    And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

    And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

    To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

    If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

The Cold Within

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Six humans trapped by happenstance
In bleak and bitter cold.
Each one possessed a stick of wood
Or so the story’s told.

Their dying fire in need of logs
The first man held his back
For of the faces round the fire
He noticed one was black.

The next man looking ‘cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn’t bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes.
He gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy shiftless poor.

The black man’s face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight.
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

The last man of this forlorn group
Did nought except for gain.
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

Their logs held tight in death’s still hands
Was proof of human sin.
They didn’t die from the cold without
They died from the cold within.

Maya Angelou ~ I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

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The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

 

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

~ Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

 

Dylan Thomas, poet ~ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” (1951)

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Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

For more information about Dylan Thomas visit http://www.dylanthomas.com