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Poems I Love

Light

I want to write of the light
but I do not know
whether words can illuminate
the way it hangs
upon branches and bird wings
and broken things
returning beings to beauty.
Can words spin substance
from sunshine and decay?
Can words cajole
celebration from night-weary
birds?
Can words warm surfaces
of stones and sorrows?
Can words reveal richness
in mundane
and battered
things?
I do not know.
But if we would write
a tomorrow
which is wider than wounds
we have worn,
we might wield words
like benedictions
and remember
blessings
within brokenness,
beginnings
within endings,
and beauty
within all things.
-Bernadette Miller
 

Belonging

Belonging is a river
not a goal.
Every point is holy--
but you cannot linger there
without losing yourself
for you are the motion
of your journey.
No idea,
no attainment,
no goal,
can encompass
the truth
which lives only as it dies
into new life.
Your are the pain--
let it go.
Your are the joy--
let it go.
You are actions taken and not taken--
let them go.
Your are the dream--
let it go.
Move with the mark
of the unknown upon you
and life will enter your blood like a river.
This world was always holy
and you were always a rising flame
upon its altar.
-Bernadette Miller
 

Does time, as it passes, really destroy?

Part Two, Sonnet XXVII

Does Time, as it passes, really destroy?
It may rip the fortress from its rock;
but can this heart, that belongs to God,
be torn from Him by circumstance?

Are we as fearfully fragile
as fate would have us believe?
Can we ever be severed
from childhood's deep promise?

Ah, the knowledge of impermanence
that haunts our days
is their very fragrance.

We in our striving think we should last forever,
but could we be used by the Divine
if we were not ephemeral?

 

You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing

Part One, Sonnet IV

You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing
that is more than your own.
Let it brush your cheeks
as it divides and rejoins behind you.

Blessed ones, whole ones,
you where the heart begins:
You are the bow that shoots the arrows
and you are the target.

Fear not the pain. Let its weight fall back
into the earth;
for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.

The trees you planted in childhood have grown
too heavy. You cannot bring them along.
Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.

 

Quiet friend who has come so far

Part Two, Sonnet XXIX

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.


 

 
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