Real love stories never have endings.
All around your island
There’s a barricade
It keeps out the danger
Holds in the pain
Sometimes you’re happy
And sometimes you cry
Half of me is ocean
Half of me is sky
But you got a heart so big
It could crush this town
And I can’t hold out forever
Even walls fall down
And some things are over
Some things go on
Part of me you carry
And part of me is gone
Today again I am hardly myself.
It happens over and over.
It is heaven-sent.
It flows through me
like the blue wave.
Green leaves—you may believe this or not—
have once or twice
burst from the tips of my fingers
deep in the woods,
in the reckless seizure of spring.
Though, of course, I also know that other song,
the sweet passion of one-ness.
Just yesterday I watched an ant crossing a path, through the
tumbled pine needles she toiled.
And I thought: she will never live another life but this one.
And I thought: if she lives her life with all her strength
is she not wonderful and wise?
And I continued this up the miraculous pyramid of everything
until I came to myself.
And still, even in these northern woods, on these hills of sand
I have flown from the window of myself
to become white heron. gray whale,
fox, hedgehog, camel.
Oh, sometimes already my body had felt like the body of a flower!
Sometimes already my heart is a red parrot, perched
among strange, dark trees, flapping and screaming.
What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. It’s full tonight.
So we go
and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit, myself
thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s
perfect beauty and also, oh! How rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up into
my face. As though I were just as wonderful
as the perfect moon.
I broke something today, and I realized I should break something once a week to remind me how fragile life is.
Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity, and the mother of truth. To strangle freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, stifle humanity, and suppress truth.
Begin again. Little moments. Tending to the flowers. Cutting the fruit. Opening the curtains so that the entire sky can greet you. It’s never easy but, no matter. Steam from the tea so quiet. An open book, and door, and arms.
You have time. Time to create a life that you can stand up straight in. Even though life may beat you down. Hard. Even though things, situations, and people you love may be taken away from you so that your arms can memorize the grace of letting them go. Even then, especially then, begin again.
Remind yourself that nothing really dies, rather, it transforms. Everything and everyone you have ever loved lives in the mysterious memory of your cells. Turning. Healing. Renewing itself. Until one day, a photograph of something or someone very dear, long gone, visits your mind and you bow your head with appreciation.
Meanwhile, take your pain to the sea and your trouble to the mountain. Leave it there and walk home clean. When failure knocks and rattles and quakes, let it. Watch it make a fresh canvas of you. Failure, that great teacher, is kinder if you thank her as you are getting up off the floor. She knows something that you don’t know: that she is usually the last face you will see before breaking through. Such a little light in the crack of the door.
But today, if you are wading through the waters of loss or confusion: begin again. Open the avocado. Draw the bath. Call your best friend. Gather the books. Play your favorite album. Write. Create art. Open your arms. Move your legs. Lovely, little blessings. Whispering to life that you won’t give up. Not ever.
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.