Tuesday, June 30, 2009


By: Rumi

You suppose you are the trouble
But you are the cure
You suppose that you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it
It's too bad that you want to be someone else
You don't see your own face, your own beauty
Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Praise Song for the Day

By: Elizabeth Alexander

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues. “

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.

I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,
picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,
praise song for walking forward in that light.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

From Out the Cave

By: Joyce Sutphen

When you have been
at war with yourself
for so many years that
you have forgotten why,
when you have been driving
for hours and only
gradually begin to realize
that you have lost the way,
when you have cut
hastily into the fabric,
when you have signed
papers in distraction,
when it has been centuries
since you watched the sun set
or the rain fall, and the clouds
drifting overhead, pass as flat as
anything on a postcard;
when, in the midst of these
everyday nightmares, you
understand that you could
wake up,
you could turn
and go back
to the last thing you
remember doing
with your whole heart:
that passionate kiss
the brilliant drop of love
rolling along the tongue of a green leaf,
then you wake,
you stumble from your cave,
blinking in the sun,
naming every shadow
as it slips.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Different Shore

By: Kyle Elden

Everything that could be said
of our love has been spoken

Tirelessly I tried to keep you near
you, a boat adrift briefly pulled in – me,
wrapping the rope around the dock cleat and chock
with my words, giving of myself
spiraling in overlapping figure eights
around and around this silver anchor
held steady at the shore where we met

indecision, circumstance, and fear
unwittingly fray what kept us connected
until it snapped, broke apart

I am left here
with the short busted end of the rope
flapping in the wind

I tried to grasp for what has already floated away
waking suddenly from a dream, reaching for
what is not there, calling your name into
an empty room

I watch the silhouette of you
fade into the horizon
of a different shore
far away from here

You took the turn
you needed to take
steering to a place
you told me you must

You leave me with the words
“I will love and adore you forever”
these tiny agates I gathered here,
bright and warm as a fiery sunset,
I carry in my pocket for some comfort

Monday, June 22, 2009


By: Galway Kinnell

The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing

Saturday, June 20, 2009


By: Mary Oliver

It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sonnet 2 From "The Autumn Sonnets"

By: May Sarton

If I can let you go as trees let go
Their leaves, so casually, one by one;
If I can come to know what they do know,
That fall is the release, the consummation,
Then fear of time and the uncertain fruit
Would not distemper the great lucid skies
This strangest autumn, mellow and acute.
If I can take the dark with open eyes
And call it seasonal, not harsh or strange
(For love itself may need a time of sleep),
And, treelike, stand unmoved before the change,
Lose what I lose to keep what I can keep,
The strong root still alive under the snow,
Love will endure--if I can let you go.

The Hush of the Very Good

by Todd Boss
You can tell by how he lists
to let her
kiss him, that the getting, as he gets it,
is good.
It’s good in the sweetly salty,
deeply thirsty way that a sea-fogged
rain is good after a summer-long bout
of inland drought.
And you know it
when you see it, don’t you? How it
drenches what’s dry, how the having
of it quenches.
There is a grassy inlet
where your ocean meets your land, a slip
that needs a certain kind of vessel,
when that shapely skiff skims in at last,
trimmed bright, mast lightly flagging
left and right,
then the long, lush reeds
of your longing part, and soft against
the hull of that bent wood almost im-
perceptibly brushes a luscious hush
the heart heeds helplessly—
the hush
of the very good.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


By: Tera Freese

If you sit on the fence
for too long,
each side is equally sorrowful
and lovely
Over there - dandelions daisies joy
Over there - cinnamon leaves quick river rage
Over here - vines of empowerment
Over here - puddles of loneliness.

Make a move - says the Goddess -
reach your fingertips high in sun salute-
Feel the glory - says the Christ - God is
a circle of doves around your own moon
Stay and witness - says Siddhartha -
under the bodhi tree- all pain, all joy
waves receding, entering.

And I - I believe them all -
That I must stay and feel
as long as the loam of earth will hold me-
That I must shift like the seasonal light
across the plains, behind the hills, ahead of
the tide - grounded in love

But, I am heavy as a star falling out of atmosphere,
This brown mud in my center
This sand in my veins.

Yet, I must choose.
I cannot stay much longer at these crossroads
watching, agonizing....
The tender lilac clouds of past rise
on the one side
And on the other
sun presses down toward its
gorgeous bloody setting.


By: Jennifer Derrick

Overturning the rock
I find an ants' nest.
A city of burrows lies before me,
each tiny tunnel an exquisite excavation.

How quickly the worker ants move larvae
to the deep safety of those tunnels,
pushing the rice-like bodies ahead of them.

I am tempted to stop weeding,
let the quack grass and thistle
keep choking the bleeding heart,
let the ants have their dark solace.

Then, with a quick sweep of my hand
I tear the grass out
the tunnels cave in
and like the survivors everywhere,
they scramble to rebuild.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Dark Honey

by: Ellie Schoenfeld

The dark honey of you
drips through my mind
thick and sweet
I lick it off my fingers
feel it slide
over every part of me
then your warm tongue
and salty words
a secret recipe
just between us
every heavy drop
its own particular kind
of fragrant feast

Monday, June 15, 2009

This Love

By: Kyle Elden

This is a love
that stains the heart
leaving its mark forever
like smeared raspberry
on a white shirt
from the fingers of
a delighted child
the bright crimson
smudge that always
reminds you of the
innocence in her eyes
the pure bliss in a sloppy
juice covered face
the red teeth gleaming
through her smile
the desirous laughter
that enchants what is
simple and good

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Cure for Depression (an oldie written in high school)

By: Kyle Elden

Get dumb drunk off of sunlight.
Sing to yourself in busses, hallways,
bathrooms et cetera.
Fill up blank pages with joy of
pen streaking madness.
Dance naked through your house.
Go for long walks alone.
Tongue kiss your dog.
Don’t let anyone take your heart
in their hands
pack it like a snowball
and throw it at a window
so you can watch it melt
against the warmth so something
somewhere else
Don’t expect anyone to fill the
void inside.
Be careful with your heart
ya’ know
cuz it’s fragile like ice, glass, or life
and you only get one.
Don’t worry cuz someday it’ll all
come together
life’s just stubborn sometimes
like thread stuck in a zipper.
Pick flowers…
Make daisy wreaths
and wear them in wind blown
sunburnt hair…
Forget sunscreen
let your skin peel and curl
like expensive lace.
Collect odd stones.
Get high off of laughter
and take drags off of fresh air.
Come gather here
cuz really there ain’t nothing broken
that can’t be fixed
and we all hold the tools
underneath our ribs.
Make love with your life…
Get intimate with a fire…
Go skinny-dipping and gather goosebumps.
Don’t let the colors fade,
this isn’t black and white TV.
Run across rocky backroads
and pavement barefoot..
Dig deeper into the dirt &
let it stain your fingers…
Please sing…
And cry, but not too much,
everything is good
but only in moderation.
Don’t be afraid to look
when you pass a mirror
because, you’re beautiful.
Go to Lake Superior for answers..
And although Dr’s prescribe
Prozac and Welbutrin
I’ve heard the best cure
for depression is a nice
tall glass of sweet sunlight.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Center

by: Kyle Elden

This is the center of our love
a convergence
a place
where roots unfurled into gritty dirt
a most unlikely and dark place
splitting the seed of possibility
breathing life into barren land

This is letting go
not goodbye, but a departure
a place
where the tree divides from a hearty
trunk into branches
each making their way towards
the sky, reaching for the light
on their own

This is living in the center
of life
a place
where both grief and joy
grab hold of us
touch us gently on our cheek
look deeply into our eyes
and kiss us sweetly on our lips
and we fall wildly in love with our life
even when, at first glance,
it appears to be a devastating mess

This is the center
of God
a place
where we stop turning away, stop
grasping for illusions of what we think we want
and who we think we are
stop trying to transform the shape of the stone
before it is rolled away from the tomb
marking the doorway to freedom
and we sit in the darkness
here in this uncertain place
and trust that this too
is grace

Saturday, June 6, 2009

As You Leave

by: Deborah Gordon Cooper

to take your face
so far away from me,
turning to go,
hands patting at your pockets
for assurance,
the broad back
of your brown jacket
the hunger rushing up in me,
right here in public.
I buy a hershey bar
with almonds
to appease it,
and to keep
the calling you back
pushed down inside.

in a knot
of wrong faces,
chocolate melting,
in my hand,
I watch you free yourself
and fly away ...

swallowed up
by the sky
like a stone
by a lake.
in ripples
through my body.

Something Great

The magnetic pull of transformation
draws me forward
like the whisper of my love
the touch that lures me into
a tangled mess of limbs, skin to skin
and sweat, hair in disarray
looking deep into the blue of his eyes
this trembling memento
burned forever in my mind
a moment I dared to delve into
a slippery fish I caught with my
bare hands and held long enough
to be scale covered and shimmering
with water from the lake

transformation calls me
bells ringing, signaling
the beginning of something
I could almost miss
and I’m running down the
street hiking up my skirt
stumbling in heels
heart thumping, jumping
beyond choice or reason
to forge forward
to grab hold of the metal bars
on the side of the train
that is noisily clanking, chugging
into motion up an unknown hill
toward something great that is
waiting, waiting, waiting
for me

Thursday, June 4, 2009


by: Deborah Gordon Cooper

We are just passing through
these bones,
the way this wind
inhabits the ravine,
the way this light, in its
alloted time, illuminates
the hollow.

We are just passing through
these bones,
folding and opening
these limbs.

We work these hands,
making our sandwiches
and love;
look out at one another
from these faces,
watch a raven
trace the sky.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

leaning up against invitations of creativity 5.27.o9

Erin O'Daniel

I woke up early
with compassion for the fiery sun.
who today is also reconciling the life long process
of coming in and out of hiding.

I woke up early thinking about
how last night’s rain decided to fall on us for hours
lending itself to the perfect, misty wet electric invitation.

I laughed (with absolutely no remorse
or self consciousness) all the way home.
one of the day’s most beautiful gifts-
finding the truth, being free enough to
put exactly what I was feeling into words-
one sentence!

‘I want you to come home with me.’

I offered. I’m still carrying around the flavors of extending myself-
like dark curry stays in the hair or on the clothes of a lover
hours after a late night celebratory dinner on the lower east side.

the only thing I wish now
is that I had leaned you up against the warmest of the two cars
and kissed your blue lips. taking your hand while
using the weight of the vehicle
to press my body into yours.
letting you know that I’m serious-
And having fun with creative invitations.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Late Fragment

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Ramond Carver