Monday, July 20, 2015

Initiation Song from the Finders Lodge, by Ursula Le Guin

Gaudete - with East Carolina University Women's Choir
Erin Plisco, conductor

Please bring strange things.
Please come bringing new things.
Let very old things come into your hands.
Let what you do not know come into your eyes.
Let desert sand harden your feet.
Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.
Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps
and the ways you go be the lines on your palms.
Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing
and your outbreath be the shining of ice.
May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.
May you smell food cooking you have not eaten.
May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.
May your soul be at home where there are no houses.
Walk carefully, well-loved one,
walk mindfully, well-loved one,
walk fearlessly, well-loved one.
Return with us, return to us,
be always coming home.

from Always Coming Home (University of California Press, 1985)
poem found on A Year of Being Here
post inspired by TreeSisters

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Eagle poem, by Joy Harjo

 Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
with Leonard Bernstein  

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can't see, can't hear
Can't know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren't always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River.  Circles in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon, within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Twenty-One Love Poems, VI, by Adrienne Rich

This is a re-post, for Adrienne, may you rest in peace.

Prelude in B minor, arranged for piano by Alexander Siloti
from Prelude in E minor BWV 855a by J. S. Bach
with Emil Gilels

Your small hands, precisely equal to my own -
only the thumb is larger, longer - in these hands
I could trust the world, or in many hands like these,
handling power-tools or steering-wheel
or touching a human face...such hands could turn
the unborn child rightways in the birth canal
or pilot the exploratory rescue-ship
through icebergs, or piece together
the fine, needle-like shreds of a great krater-cup
bearing on its sides
fingers of ecstatic women striding
to the sibyl's den or the Eleusinian cave -
such hands might carry out an unavoidable violence
with such restraint, with such a grasp
of the range and limits of violence
that violence ever after would be obsolete.

in The Fact of a Door Frame: Poems Selected and New, 1950-84, WW Norton & Co (1985)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Flower Chorus, by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gioachino Rossini - Overture, Il Barbiere di Siviglia

O such a commotion under the ground,
When March called: "Ho! There! Ho!"
Such spreading of rootlets far and wide
Such whisperings to and fro!
"Are you ready?" the Snowdrop asked,
"'Tis time to start, you know."
"Almost, my dear!" the Scilla replied,
"I'll follow as soon as you go."
Then "Ha! ha! ha!" the chorus came
Of laughter sweet and low,
From millions of flowers under the ground,
Yes, millions beginning to grow.

"I'll promise my blossoms, " the crocus said,
"When I hear the black bird sing."
And straight thereafter the Narcissus cried,
"My silver and gold I'll bring."
"And ere they are dulled," another spoke,
"The Hyacinth bells shall ring."
But the Violet only murmured, "I'm here,"
And sweet grew the air of Spring.

O the pretty brave things, thro' the coldest days
Imprisoned in walls of brown,
They never lost heart tho' the blast shrieked loud,
And the sleet and the hail came down;
But patiently each wrought her wonderful dress
Or fashioned her beautiful crown,
And now they are coming to ligthten the world
till shadowed by winter's frown.
And well may they cheerly laugh "Ha! ha!"
In laughter sweet and low,
The millions of flowers under the ground,
Yes, millions beginning to grow.

poem from the Parabola website

Friday, March 20, 2015

Clearing, by Morgan Farley

Franz Schubert - Impromptu No 3 in G flat major Op 90 D 899
with Grigory Sokolov

I am clearing a space
here, where the trees stand back.
I am making a circle so open
the moon will fall in love
and stroke these grasses with her silver.

I am setting stones in the four directions,
stones that have called my name
from mountaintops and riverbeds, canyons and mesas.
Here I will stand with my hands empty,
mind gaping under the moon.

I know there is another way to live.
When I find it, the angels
will cry out in rapture,
each cell of my body
will be a rose, a star.

If something seized my life tonight,
if a sudden wind swept through me,
changing everything,
I would not resist.
I am ready for whatever comes.

But I think it will be
something small, an animal
padding out from the shadows,
or a word spoken so softly
I hear it inside.

It is dark out here, and cold.
The moon is stone.
I am alone with my longing.
Nothing is happening
but the next breath.

poem from the website

Many blessings to you all on this New Moon-Eclipse-Equinox time of clearings and new beginnings.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Say Yes Quickly, by Rumi

Ludwig Van Beethoven - Fifth Symphony, I - Allegro con brio

Forget your life. Say God is Great. Get up.
You think you know what time it is. It’s time to pray.
You’ve carved so many little figurines, too many.
Don’t knock on any random door like a beggar.
Reach your long hands out to another door, beyond where
you go on the street, the street
where everyone says, “How are you?”
and no one says How aren’t you?

Tomorrow you’ll see what you’ve broken and torn tonight,
thrashing in the dark. Inside you
there’s an artist you don’t know about.
He’s not interested in how things look different in moonlight.

If you are here unfaithfully with us,
you’re causing terrible damage.
If you’ve opened your loving to God’s love,
you’re helping people you don’t know
and have never seen.

Is what I say true? Say yes quickly,
if you know, if you’ve known it
from before the beginning of the universe.

poem from The Threshold Society website
translated by Coleman Barks

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lost, by David Wagoner

Vincenzo Bellini - Casta Diva, from Norma
with Angela Gheorghiu (2001)

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

poem from Riverbed
(Indiana University Press, 1972)