A Year of Being Here: Mindfulness Poetry, Curated by Phyllis Cole-Dai

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daily mindfulness poems by wordsmiths of the here & now (January 1, 2013 - January 1, 2016)

phyllis cole-dai
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Marlene Cookshaw: "Over the Shoulder"

Guilt is a bag someone has carried up the hill from the pub. A brown bag the size of a good catch, or darkish, and bigger than that: duffel over the shoulder. Guilt is a pool with ladders rising in every direction. We climb and fall back and climb again. Who can make the connection between what snaps underfoot and what drenches us? We are not taught how to do nothing. We’re dragged from our busy infancy and distracted for years till our balloon of competence shreds. There are secrets you…

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John O'Donohue: "For Grief"

When you lose someone you love, Your life becomes strange, The ground beneath you gets fragile, Your thoughts make your eyes unsure; And some dead echo drags your voice down Where words have no confidence. Your heart has grown heavy with loss; And though this loss has wounded others too, No one knows what has been taken from you When the silence of absence deepens. Flickers of guilt kindle regret For all that was left unsaid or undone. There are days when you wake up happy; Again inside the…

Teddy Macker: "A Poem for My Daughter" Life appears to be fundamentally ambiguous. For evidence of this, spend time with trees. Over and over they say, There is no final word.

Teddy Macker: "A Poem for My Daughter"

It seems we have made pain some kind of mistake, like having it is somehow wrong. Don’t let them fool you— pain is a part of things. But remember, dear Ellie, the compost down in the field: if the rank and dank and dark are handled well, not merely discarded, but turned and known and honored, they one day come to beds of rich earth home even to the most delicate rose. ❖ God comes to you disguised as your life. Blessings often arrive as trouble. In French, the word blesser means to wound and…

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Barbara Crooker: "Solstice"

These are dark times. Rumors of war rise like smoke in the east. Drought widens its misery. In the west, glittering towers collapse in a pillar of ash and dust. Peace, a small white bird, flies off in the clouds. And this is the shortest day of the year. Still, in almost every window, a single candle burns, there are tiny white lights on evergreens and pines,and the darkness is not complete. "Solstice" by Barbara Crooker. Text as posted on Kingdom Poets (12/15/2014). © Barbara Crooker…

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David Wagoner: "The Lessons of Water"

The best way to conduct oneself may be observed in the behavior of water. —Tao te ching When given a place to wait, it fills that place By taking the shape of what contains it, Its upper surface poised and level, Absorbing, accepting what it can as lightly Or heavily as it does itself. If pressed Down, it will offer back in all directions Everything it was given. If chilled, it will shatter Daylight and whiten to stars, will harden and sharpen And turn unforseeably dazzling. Neglected, It…

Naomi Shihab Nye: "Adios" If you are known for anything, let it be the way you rise out of sight when your work is finished.

Naomi Shihab Nye: "Adios"

It is a good word, rolling off the tongue; no matter what language you were born with use it. Learn where it begins, the small alphabet of departure, how long it takes to think of it, then say it, then be heard. Marry it. More than any golden ring, it shines, it shines. Wear it on every finger till your hands dance, touching everything easily, letting everything, easily, go. Strap it to your back like wings. Or a kite-tail. The stream of air behind a jet. If you are known for anything, let…

Ron C. Moss: Selection of Haiga (illustrated haiku)

Ron C. Moss: Selection of Haiga

Today we have a selection of haiga (illustrated haiku) submitted by Ron C. Moss, an award-winning visual artist and poet from Tasmania, Australia. Ron has been published in numerous journals and anthologies including Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013) and Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2013). Among his many current activities, he is an Artisan at The Awakened Eye. As A Year of Being Here draws to a…

A Year of Being Here (final poem): Phyllis Cole-Dai: "On How to Pick and Eat Poems" Stop whatever it is you’re doing. Come down from the attic. Grab a bucket or a basket and head for light. That’s where the best poems grow, and in the dappled dark. Christmas Tree Holder, Cabin Christmas, Rustic Christmas, Take Off Your Shoes, Fru Fru, Cozy Cabin, Barn Finds, Handmade Home Decor, Farmhouse Table
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Phyllis Cole-Dai:"On How to Pick and Eat Poems"

Friends, I'm not a poet. But for today, as we mark the end of A Year of Being Here (and the start of 2016), I've written you a poem. It was the best gesture of gratitude I could think to offer you. Before presenting the poem, let me thank you one last time, in every language of the world, for the gift of the past three years. You readers are out there by the thousands, in at least 50 countries. What has united you in this reading community has been your love of poetry—and not just any…

Quote: "Come thick night, and pull thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, that my keen knife see not the wound it makes nor heaven peep through the blanket of dark. Afraid Of The Dark, Light In The Dark, Eslava, Music Heals, Day For Night, Psychopath, Names Of Jesus, Optimism, The Darkest
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Rolf Jacobsen: "Just Delicate Needles—"

It's so delicate, the light. And there's so little of it. The dark is huge. Just delicate needles, the light, in an endless night. And it has such a long way to go through such desolate space. So let's be gentle with it. Cherish it. So it will come again in the morning. We hope. "Just Delicate Needles—" by Rolf Jacobsen. Text as published in The Roads Have Come to an End Now: Selected and Last Poems of Rolf Jacobsen, translated by Robert Bly, Roger Greenwald and Robert Hedin (Copper Canyon…

Tom Hennen: "Looking for the Differences" I watch where I step and see that the fallen leaf, old broken grass, an icy stone are placed in exactly the right spot on the earth, carefully, royalty in their own country.

Tom Hennen: "Looking for the Differences"

I am struck by the otherness of things rather than their sameness. The way a tiny pile of snow perches in the crook of a branch in the tall pine, away by itself, high enough not to be noticed by people, out of reach of stray dogs. It leans against the scaly pine bark, busy at some existence that does not need me. It is the differences of objects that I love, that lift me toward the rest of the universe, that amaze me. That each thing on earth has its own soul, its own life, that each tree…

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Emily Dickinson: "#875" ["I stepped from Plank to Plank"]

I stepped from Plank to Plank A slow and cautious way The Stars about my Head I felt About my Feet the Sea. I knew not but the next Would be my final inch— This gave me that precarious Gait Some call Experience. "#875" ["I stepped from Plank to Plank"] by Emily Dickinson. This poem is in the public domain. Art credit: "Hussaini Hanging Bridge, Pakistan," across the Hunza River in the village of Hussaini in northern Pakistan, photograph by Jonathan Blair/Corbis. Caption: "Massive gaps between…

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi: Untitled ["The clear bead at the center changes everything"] The clear bead at the center changes everything. There are no edges to my loving now.

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi: Untitled ["The clear bead at the center changes everything"]

The clear bead at the center changes everything. There are no edges to my loving now. You've heard it said there's a window that opens from one mind to another, but if there's no wall, there's no need for fitting the window, or the latch. Untitled ["The clear bead at the center changes everything"] by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi. Text as published in Rumi: The Book of Love (HarperCollins, 2003), translated from the original Persian by Coleman Barks. Art credit: "The marble door that leads to…

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Wendell Berry: "2007, VI" ["It is hard to have hope"]

It is hard to have hope. It is harder as you grow old, for hope must not depend on feeling good and there is the dream of loneliness at absolute midnight. You also have withdrawn belief in the present reality of the future, which surely will surprise us, and hope is harder when it cannot come by prediction any more than by wishing. But stop dithering. The young ask the old to hope. What will you tell them? Tell them at least what you say to yourself. Because we have not made our lives to fit…

Ron C. Moss: Selection of Haiga (illustrated haiku)

Ron C. Moss: Selection of Haiga

Today we have a selection of haiga (illustrated haiku) submitted by Ron C. Moss, an award-winning visual artist and poet from Tasmania, Australia. Ron has been published in numerous journals and anthologies including Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013) and Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2013). Among his many current activities, he is an Artisan at The Awakened Eye. As A Year of Being Here draws to a…

Kjell Walfridsson: "Restricted Living" I have lived restricted for so many years the days they vanish the years disappear One day I feel from the ocean a breeze

Kjell Walfridsson: "Restricted Living"

I have lived restricted for so many years the days they vanish the years disappear One day I feel from the ocean a breeze It warms my inside and melts my ice There are doors forgotten that lead somewhere though I never dared believe they existed Jag har varit trångbodd i så många år dagar försvinner åren de går En dag jag känner från havet en bris Den värmer mitt inre och smälter min is Det finns glömda dörrar som leder någonstans fast jag aldrig vågat tro att de fanns "Restricted Living" by…

Ron C. Moss - Selection of Haiga (illustrated haiku)

Ron C. Moss: Selection of Haiga

Today we have a selection of haiga (illustrated haiku) submitted by Ron C. Moss, an award-winning visual artist and poet from Tasmania, Australia. Ron has been published in numerous journals and anthologies including Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013) and Where the River Goes: The Nature Tradition in English-Language Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2013). Among his many current activities, he is an Artisan at The Awakened Eye. As A Year of Being Here draws to a…