The Laughing Heart

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

Advice to Beginners

Begin.  Keep on beginning.  Nibble on everything.  Take a hike.  Teach yourself to whistle.  Lie.  The older you get the more they’ll want your stories.  Make them up.  Talk to stones.  Short-out electric fences.  Swim with the sea turtle into the moon.  Learn how to die.  Eat moonshine pie.  Drink wild geranium tea.  Run naked in the rain.  Everything that happens will happen and none of us will be safe from it.  Pull up anchors.  Sit close to the god of night.  Lie still in a stream and breathe the water.  Climb to the top of the highest tree until you come to the branch where the blue heron sleeps.  Eat poems for breakfast.  Wear them on your forehead.  Lick the mountain’s bare shoulder.  Measure the color of days around your mother’s death.  Put your hands over your face and listen to what they tell you.

~~ Ellen Kort ~~

To Learn From Animal Being

Nearer to the earth’s heart,
Deeper within its silence:
Animals know this world
In a way we never will.

Stranded between time
Gone and time emerging,
We manage seldom
To be where we are:
Whereas they are always
Looking out from
The here and now.

May we learn to return
And rest in the beauty
Of animal being,
Learn to lean low,
Leave our locked minds,
And with freed senses
Feel the earth
Breathing with us.

May we enter
Into lightness of spirit,
And slip frequently into
The feel of the wild.
Let the clear silence
Of our animal being
Cleanse our hearts
Of corrosive words.

May we learn to walk
Upon the earth
With all their confidence
And clear-eyed stillness
So that our minds
Might be baptized
In the name of the wind
And the light and the rain.

~~ John O’Donohue ~~

The New Quilt of Humanity

The old threads are unraveling,
Get your needles ready.
We are stitching a new quilt
of humanity.
Bring your old t-shirts,
worn out jeans, scarves,
antique gowns, aprons,
old pockets of plenty
who have held Earth’s treasures,
stones, feathers, leaves,
love notes on paper.
Each stitch
A mindful meditation.
Each piece of material
A story.
The more color the better,
so call in the tribes.
Threads of browns, whites,
reds, oranges
Women from all nations
start stitching.
Let’s recycle the hate, the abuse,
the fear, the judgment.
Turn it over, wash it clean,
ring it out to dry.
It’s a revolution
of recycled wears.
Threads of greens, blues, purples
Colorful threads
of peace, kindness,
respect, compassion
are being stitched
from one continent to the next
over forests, oceans, mountains.
The work is hard
Your fingers may bleed.
But each cloth stitched together
Brings together a community.
A world, our future world
Under one colorful quilt.
The new quilt of humanity.


~~ Julia Myers ~~