Wednesday, January 14, 2015

love flows down

Love comes with a knife, not some 
shy question, and not with fears 
for its reputation! I say 
these things disinterestedly. Accept them 
in kind. Love is a madman 

working his wild schemes, tearing off his clothes, 
running through the mountains, drinking poison, 
and now quietly choosing annihilation. 

You've been walking the ocean’s edge, 
holding up your robes to keep them dry. 
You must dive naked under and deeper under, 
a thousand times deeper! Love flows down. 

The ground submits to the sky and suffers 
what comes. Tell me, is the earth worse 
for giving in like that? 

Don’t put blankets over the drum! 
Open completely. Let your spirit-ear 
listen to the green dome’s passionate murmur. 

Let the cords of your robe be untied. 
Shiver in this new love beyond all 
above and below. The sun rises, but which way 
does night go? I have no more words. 

Let soul speak with the silent 
articulation of a face.

Coleman Barks version
Photo:  Peter Bowers
with thanks:  Love is a Place

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Listen to your life.
See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.
 In the boredom and the pain of it
no less than the excitement and gladness: touch, taste,
smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it
 because in the last analysis all moments are key moments,
 and life itself is grace.

Frederik Buechner
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Monday, January 5, 2015

what we offer up

I have filled all the paper made in Egypt,
and all that made in Baghdad too,
with this longing-talk poetry.

It must  be that I must have forgotten
how an hour of actual friendship,
being in your presence for just that long,
is worth a world of verbal imaginations.

Dear one, let this living
be what we offer up.

Soul Fury
Translation:  Coleman Barks

Sunday, January 4, 2015

without hope

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope,
for hope would be hope for the wrong thing.
And wait without love.  For love would be love, 
of the wrong thing. 
Yet there is faith.
But the faith and the hope and the love, are all in the waiting.
And the darkness shall be the light
and the stillness the dancing.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

To deliver oneself up

To deliver oneself up,
to hand oneself over,
entrust oneself completely to the silence
of a wide landscape of woods and hills,
or sea and desert; to sit still while
the sun comes up over the land
and fills its silences with light.

...few are willing to belong completely
to such silence, to let it soak into their bones,
to breathe nothing but silence, to feed
on silence, and to turn the very substance of their life
into a living and vigilant silence.

Thomas Merton
Photo:  Peter Bowers

What to Remember When Waking

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

To be human is to become visible
while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.

You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents
you were invited from another and greater night
than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?

David Whyte 
Photo:  Peter Bowers

The Holy Longing

Tell a wise person, or else keep silent.
Because the mass man will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
what longs to be burned to death.

In the calm water of the love-nights,
where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you
when you see the silent candle burning.

Now you are no longer caught
in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher lovemaking
sweeps you upward.

Distance does not make you falter,
now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light,
you are the butterfly and you are gone.

And so long as you haven't experienced
this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest
on the dark earth.

translated by Robert Bly
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Thursday, January 1, 2015

great gifts

Love and death are the great gifts that are given to us; 
mostly, they are passed on unopened. 

Rainer Maria Rilke
Photo:  Peter Bowers


May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.

The Upanishads
Photo:  Peter Bowers

happy new year

Time is very slow for those who wait;
very fast for those who are scared;
very long for those who lament;
very short for those who celebrate; but for those who love, 
time is eternal.

William Shakespeare
Photo:  Peter Bowers