Beannacht

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

~~ John O’Donohue ~~

Ten Years Later

When the mind is clear
and the surface of the now still,
now swaying water

slaps against
the rolling kayak,

I find myself near darkness,
paddling again to Yellow Island.

Every spring wildflowers
cover the grey rocks.

Every year the sea breeze
ruffles the cold and lovely pearls
hidden in the center of the flowers

as if remembering them
by touch alone.

A calm and lonely, trembling beauty
that frightened me in youth.

Now their loneliness
feels familiar, one small thing
I’ve learned these years,

how to be alone,
and at the edge of aloneness
how to be found by the world.

Innocence is what we allow
to be gifted back to us
once we’ve given ourselves away.

There is one world only,
the one to which we gave ourselves
utterly, and to which one day

we are blessed to return.

~~ David Whyte ~~

“The thought ma…

“The thought manifests the word;
The word manifests the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let them spring forth from love
Born out of compassion for all beings.
As the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become.”

~ Juan Mascaro

Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches?

Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches
of other lives–
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey,
hanging
from the branches of the young locust trees, in early summer,
feel like?
 
Do you think this world is only an entertainment for you?
 
Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over
the dark acorn of your heart!
 
No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!
  
Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself
continually?
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?
    
Well, there is time left–
fields everywhere invite you into them. 
And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?
Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!
  
To put one’s foot into the door of the grass,
which is the mystery, which is death as well as life,
and not be afraid!
 
To set one’s foot in the door of death, and be overcome
with amazement!
 
To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,
nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird’s pink mouth,
to the tiplets of the honeysuckle, that have opened
in the night,
 
To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!
    
Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?
 
While the soul, after all, is only a window,
and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.
     
Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses:
deny me not,
but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them. Maybe
 
I even heard a curl or two of music, damp and rouge red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.
 
For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!
      
A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves,
and what’s coming next
is coming with its own heave and grace.
 
 Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?
 
And I would touch the faces of the daises,
and I would bow down
to think about it.
 
That was then, which hasn’t ended yet.
 
Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean’s edge.
 
I climb, I backtrack.
I float.
I ramble my way home.
 
~~ Mary Oliver ~~