Great Spirit

Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have
hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my Spirit may come to you without shame.

(translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887)
published in Native American Prayers – by the Episcopal Church.

Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me By Mary Oliver


Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,

what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again

in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,

smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches

and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing

under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,

and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment

my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars

and the soft rain—
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.

my garden blooms

 

 

 

 

 

Grace’s Gardens Publications

it is you who belong to the land

your one wild and precious life- I love this poem

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean– the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver, The House Light Beacon Press Boston, 1990.

 

Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Grace’s Gardens Publications

Winter wonderland in Maine

Grace’s Gardens Publications

Grand Canyon

Grace’s Gardens Publications

From Blossoms


BY LI-YOUNG LEE

From blossoms comes

this brown paper bag of peaches

we bought from the boy

at the bend in the road where we turned toward

signs painted Peaches.

 

From laden boughs, from hands,

from sweet fellowship in the bins,

comes nectar at the roadside, succulent

peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,

comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

 

O, to take what we love inside,

to carry within us an orchard, to eat

not only the skin, but the shade,

not only the sugar, but the days, to hold

the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into

the round jubilance of peach.

 

There are days we live

as if death were nowhere

in the background; from joy

to joy to joy, from wing to wing,

from blossom to blossom to

impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

 

 

Women’s Voices For Change

Poetry Sunday: Therése Halscheid, An American Original

 

This Sunday’s poet has been without a permanent residence for 18 years.  In 1993 she sold her belongings and set out as a house-sitter in order to, in her words, “write in and of varied settings.”  As we close a week of celebrating the independence Americans are said to treasure and begin the rest of the season when we flock together, let us sit in awe at the transient’s table where we find Therése Halscheidwriting of true independence, singular courage, and how nature is the alpha of human nature.

 

 

In Seclusion
house-sitting in the pinelands
 
When, finally,
I learned how not to be in the world,
the earth turned trusting

the forest began sharing
its old rhythms

gradually I wore less
until it was
that I stood unclothed
on the deck each night
glad for the beginning of fur
on my body.

And my own sound came
from me then—
that primal noise I had,
for years, swallowed.

That noise, the slow starting of fur,
was there for
what darkness allowed—

that soft opening below,
of the dirt breaking
for when the flesh springs.

 

“In Seclusion” first appeared in Reed Magazine and was later printed in Kritya and is included in Therése Halscheid’s book of poems, Uncommon Geography (Carpenter Gothic, 2006).

Therése Halscheid has lived simply as an itinerant writer for nearly two decades.  Her poetry collections are entitled “Uncommon Geography” (which won a Finalist Award for the Paterson Poetry Book Prize and a Greatest Hits chapbook award from Pudding House Publications), “Without Home” (Kells), and “Powertalk.”  She has been widely published and has won numerous awards, recognitions, and fellowships.  To find out more about this fascinating poet and prose writer, go to www.ThereseHalscheid.com 


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