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Denise Levertov wrote many poems with spiritual themes throughout her career. For example respect for nature and life, nothingness and absence, and despair with the world. There were also positive ideas and images about peace in death, wandering search, gratitude to give, wonder at mystery, and dance of delight. It is as if she had … Continue reading Denise Levertov: The Stream & the Sapphire.
It’s when we face for a moment the worst our kind can do, and shudder to know the taint in our own selves, that awe cracks the mind’s shell and enters the heart: not to a flower, not to a dolphin, to no innocent form but to this creature vainly sure it and no other … Continue reading On the mystery of the incarnation.
After so long an absence At last we meet again: Does the meeting give us pleasure, Or does it give us pain? The tree of life has been shaken, And but few of us linger now, Like the Prophet’s two or three berries In the top of the uttermost bough. We cordially greet each other … Continue reading The Meeting
Conscience is instinct bred in the house, Feeling and Thinking propagate the sin By an unnatural breeding in and in. I say, Turn it out doors, Into the moors. I love a life whose plot is simple, And does not thicken with every pimple, A soul so sound no sickly conscience binds it, That … Continue reading Conscience.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive … Continue reading Things desired as essential
In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth) punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever. Some days I am Sisyphus and groan as I roll my rock Gasp, as … Continue reading Some days I am Sisyphus
“Well” the consultant said, “There is no sign of cancer”, Just like that out of the blue, no one had said any thing. For scans and tests to someone with a bad chest Are normal things. No one said “Now Worry” I am glad now that I did not know, I was spared the Scary … Continue reading “No Cancer” he said
Incarnation When the source of everything chose to dwell within one fragile body of a nobody, greater than the universe, yet barely traversing more than a double span; God became a man. Omnipotent, now impotent, dependent, vulnerable to all life’s troubles; no cheating here nor chance of unfair advantage, but just life at its harshest. … Continue reading Poem for Christmas
Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat. My shoulder is against yours. You will not find me in the stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals: not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables. When … Continue reading Are you looking for me?