To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear,
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Poem/ Joy Harjo
I see or hear
that more or less
It is what I was born for–
to look, to listen,
to lose myself
inside this soft world–
inside this soft world–
over and over
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help
but grow wise
with such teachings
the untrimmable light,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?
Mindful/ Mary Oliver
Some little splinter
Of shadow purls
And weals down
The slewed stone
The riverrock wall
Into the light.
I Looked for Life and Did a Shadow See/ James Galvin
it will make no forms but twisted forms
Elms/ Louisen Glück
An open door says, “Come in.”
A shut door says, “Who are you?”
Shadows and ghosts go through shut doors.
Doors/ Carl Sandburg
I walk in late winter
some unscripted ledge
leading down to the river.
Landscape as wish.
Look at the way the bluff
breaks and holds, like desire.
Look: no doves or boys,
only a hunk of rock
somebody gave a name
because they wanted a way back to it.
Self-Portrait as a Series of Bluffs/ Chris Hayes
Sometimes if I am quiet and still,
I can hear a small hum inside me,
an appliance left running.
I’ve started calling the hum the soul.
Today I have to hold
my breath to hear it.
The Hum/ Maggie Smith
Show’s over, folks. And didn’t October do
A bang-up job? Crisp breezes, full-throated cries
Of migrating geese, low-floating coral moon.
The days throw up a closed sign around four.
The hapless customer who’d wanted something
Arrives to find lights out, a bolted door.
November/ Maggie Dietz
I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
I’ll wait until November
And sing a song of gray.
The Crazy Woman/ Gwendolyn Brooks
happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.
Happiness/ Jane Kenyon
Lately when sorrows come—fast, without warning—
whipping their wings down the sky,
I know to let them.
Not inviting them, but allowing each
with a deep breath as if inhaling a wish I can’t undo.
[Lately when sorrow come]/ Susan Laughter Meyers
I’m looking through the trees,
their torn and thinning leaves,
to where chill blue water
is roughened by wind.
Day by day the scene opens,
enlarges, rips of space
appear where full branches
used to snug the view.
Soon it will be wide, stripped,
I’ll see right through
the twining waves, to
the white horizon, to the place
where the North begins.
Magnificent! I’ll be thinking
while my eyeballs freeze.
View to the North/ May Swenson
were tossed like coins against the sky. Stunned gold
and bronze, oaks, maples stood in twos and threes:
some copper bright, a few dull brown and, now
and then, the shock of one so steeled with frost
it glittered like a dime.
Like Coins, November/ Elizabeth Klise Von Zerneck
Who said November’s face was grim?
Who said her voice was harsh and sad?
I heard her sing in wood paths dim,
I met her on the shore, so glad,
So smiling, I could kiss her feet!
There never was a month so sweet.
More welcome than voluptous gales
This keen, crisp air, as conscience clear:
November breathes no flattering tales;—
The plain truth-teller of the year,
November/ Lucy Larcome
The arctic fox and aardvark
would be absent from the zoo,
and vowels, as you know them,
would be E, I, O, and U.
The Letter A/ Darren Sardelli