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Posts Tagged ‘poem’

moments of wonderSometimes my breath catches

Somewhere near my throat

And my heart leaps up

In there too

So my breath

And my heart

Mingle and touch

Like a little bit of heaven

With a whole lot of earth

Like a veil pushed aside

Or ripped from top to hem

And I see clearly

Or maybe not so clear

The transient moments of life

Weaved with the eternal essence of love

The poignant blend

Catches in my spirit

In my throat

Makes my heart leap

And spirit, soul, heart

Me

Mingle and wonder if that isn’t

Perhaps

The way it’s meant to be

 

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While crossing the campus at Fresno City College, I spotted an English instructor from whom I took a class a few semesters ago. As soon as she greeted me, she searched through her backpack and presented me with a piece of paper. “It’s poem in your pocket day,” she told me. The slip of paper had three poems. The first, “Ars Poetica,” was written by Archibald MacLeish, who died the year I was born.

If you enjoy the read as much as I did, print it out, put it in your pocket, or share it with a friend.

Happy “Poem in your Pocket Day”!

 

Ars Poetica

A poem should be palpable and mute

As a globed fruit,

Dumb

As old medallions to the thumb,

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone

Of casement ledges where the moss has grown–

A poem should be wordless

As the flight of birds.

A poem should be motionless in time

As the moon climbs,

Leaving, as the moon releases

Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,

Memory by memory the mind–

A poem should be motionless in time

As the moon climbs.

A poem should be equal to:

Not true.

For all the history of grief

An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

For love

The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea–

A poem should not mean

But be.

 

– Archibald MacLeish

(1892 – 1982)

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thanks, a poem prayerLast time, you remember

I asked you for help

 

I asked

For a lot of reasons

And spoke

A lot of things

In that one word

 

And you did it

You helped me

In ways I recognize

In ways I sense but don’t necessarily see

 

In ways I’ll never know

But can only believe

 

So today

I just want to say

 

A simple word, I know

That falls so short

Of all I want to say

 

It’s not enough

Never can be

And its tone

Can sometimes mean

The opposite of thanks

 

But here

And now

It comes from that place

So full of feeling

It wells up and over

With something akin to tears

And laughter

And a full heart

At all you’ve done

And answered

 

All this, in my heart

And mind

And hidden, even from me

In my soul

Is in this thanks

 

So here it is

For you

 

Thanks

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The air moves

In ways strange

It doesn’t explain

The winds change

From gentle to gale

From rushing to ripple

And I feel the urge

To clean out my house

Or my heart

Or even to disappear

Into the wind

And let it carry me

Far

A mountaintop perhaps

Or even a star

I can’t track the movement

Of the wind

Its cycles and cold fronts

Colliding with heat

Piling cumulus over nimbus

And stratus beneath cirrus

All I know is the rain

And the magic scent

Of sky before it falls

A smell like the sound of skittering leaves

Whispering the approach of a storm

This wind change

Will it be a storm

A calm

Perhaps a little bit of both

Settling and stirring me

At the same time

I don’t know

And at times

All I can do is close my eyes

To better feel the change

Skirting the edge of the wind

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broken heart mendedA thousand broken promises

As many shattered dreams

You wish that you could find somewhere to cry

But you must put on a smile

And keep it there a while

No one permits you to ask the question, why

 

Endurance now a trademark

And sorrow still your cloak

You try to brave the storm and fiercest gales

Raindrops mingle with your tears

Which have seemed to fall for years

Each one telling their own sad and lonely tales

 

Dreams no longer now a hope

Just an effort to cling and cope

As a fragile cry pours from your spirit

It seems all that you can do

Calling out that you are through

Your strength is gone. But hush now, can you hear it?

 

A voice like many waters

In the whisper of the wind

Its very sound embracing, holding tight

A gentle warmth transcending

Pouring healing, mending

Bathing you in iridescent light

 

With words soft and kind and wise

From one who heard your deepest cries

He brings peace into your very soul

Giving joy where there was pain

Cleansing guilt’s pervasive stain

The process has begun to make you whole

 

What message, though, was spoken

To a heart so deeply broken

What words brought healing to a hurting life

Words from one whose sacrifice

Paid forever the only price

Restoring hope where once was hate and strife

 

“Some disappoint

And some bring pain

And some will break their promises and vows

Although it stings

The hurt it brings

Is something that my love and plan allows

 

I have a plan

And it will span

Beyond the threshold of this passing time

Love will endure

And all that’s pure

And one day you will see my perfect rhyme

 

‘Til then, believe

You will receive

Grace to keep upon the path you tread

When your strength wanes

And life brings pain

Do not forget the things that I have said

 

My love is ever near

My peace will cast out fear

My presence in your life will ne’er depart

My promise is for you

It will hold forever true

For I will never, ever break your heart”

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The questions burn within my soul

The passion fills my being

The desire for a hardened heart

To open and find healing

 

And as I feel it touch my own

The questions slowly rise

If I had walked that same sad path

Would my life hold its matching cries?

 

Would I still have found my way?

Or would questions be my life?

Would skepticism wrest my world

And try to mold my mind?

 

Would I have found His tender heart?

My destiny therein?

Would I have known I play a part?

A dying world to tend?

 

Would I have closed my eyes to truth?

Pretended there was none?

Would I have tried to comprehend

No life beyond this one?

 

I am told belief takes faith

Yet what but truth is shown?

Is it harder to believe in love

Or in a heart of stone?

 

Does it bring light in life to say

That faith is nothing but a curse?

To claim there is no deeper rationale

I can’t perceive much worse

 

Than living life as if it had

No purpose and no reason

Nothing more than an existence

That passes with life’s swift season

 

I close my eyes and feel the breeze

Whisper to my seeking soul

I feel a love caress my heart

A touch that always makes me whole

 

Although the way, it might be long

Though tears at times may flow

Though darkness sweeps across the land

Casting shadows over the way I go

 

Yet still the purpose brightly shines

Its way into my heart

A destiny I know is mine

From this I’ll never part

 

The heart that seeks is sure to find

A love greater than mind’s reason

A love abiding that cannot die

Or fade with passing seasons

 

A love that framed the world we see

The very reason and source of life

Creating a bridge to realms beyond

Cutting through the veil like a knife

 

Pouring passion and love upon these lands

By blood that flowed from a broken heart

The sacrifice fulfilled sin’s demands

And pledges a fresh and spotless start

 

In choosing love, I’m choosing life

Reaching out with an eternal soul

Speaking hope into a wilting heart

Knowing only love can make it whole

 

One day a heart will break out and rise

From disbelief’s grey, cheerless prison

Embracing light, and truth and love

Speaking with a heart of joy those glad words:

“He is risen!”

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Purpose

You bow your head and wonder whyheart aflame

You grit your teeth and try and try

You can feel the world’s swift turning

Within your heart, the fire burning

Questions, wonders, dreams and hope

Churning within, how can you cope

Is it possible to reach deep within

The answers find and pull out again

Is it possible to stretch up high

And pluck the answers from the sky

And yet, and yet, I think you know

The reason your heart sways to and fro

There is a purpose deeper still

Than what you see and hear and feel

Close your eyes; you then will see

The truth that can set your heart free

The reason for the spinning and turning

The cause for your heart’s inner burning

You know the hope for which you long

That eternal purpose, the perfect song

The one your soul already sings

Daily toward your future it brings

Reach out, reach out and close your eyes

Let love’s kiss silence your mind’s cries

The truth is given, the purpose known

The light upon your heart has shone

Let it fill you to more than full

Let it make every part now whole

Until it pours out to every soul

Likewise healing, making whole

Close your eyes; you then will see

The love that can set your heart free

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