Category Archives: Poetry

It rained tonight and I thought about crying

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It rained tonight and I thought about crying.

Last week I read about a drought in Yemen and a dying camel.
The severity of the drought was unclear
Until they saw the dying camels under a tree.
Apparently the dormant grass was about to open, as it always had
But the rains never came and the seeds never opened.

We don’t get camels here.
But I can feel them dying anyway.

 

Parenting…

Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Celestial Love

Celestial Love – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Higher far,
Upward, into the pure realm,
Over sun or star,
Over the flickering Daemon film,
Thou must mount for love,
Into vision which all form
In one only form dissolves;
In a region where the wheel,
On which all beings ride,
Visibly revolves;
Where the starred eternal worm
Girds the world with bound and term;
Where unlike things are like,
When good and ill,
And joy and moan,
Melt into one.
There Past, Present, Future, shoot
Triple blossoms from one root
Substances at base divided
In their summits are united,
There the holy Essence rolls,
One through separated souls,
And the sunny Aeon sleeps
Folding nature in its deeps,
And every fair and every good
Known in part or known impure
To men below,
In their archetypes endure.

The race of gods,
Or those we erring own,
Are shadows flitting up and down
In the still abodes.
The circles of that sea are laws,
Which publish and which hide the Cause.
Pray for a beam
Out of that sphere
Thee to guide and to redeem.
O what a load
Of care and toil
By lying Use bestowed,
From his shoulders falls, who sees
The true astronomy,
The period of peace!
Counsel which the ages kept,
Shall the well-born soul accept.
As the overhanging trees
Fill the lake with images,
As garment draws the garment’s hem
Men their fortunes bring with them;
By right or wrong,
Lands and goods go to the strong;
Property will brutely draw
Still to the proprietor,
Silver to silver creep and wind,
And kind to kind,
Nor less the eternal poles
Of tendency distribute souls.
There need no vows to bind
Whom not each other seek but find.
They give and take no pledge or oath,
Nature is the bond of both.
No prayer persuades, no flattery fawns,
Their noble meanings are their pawns.
Plain and cold is their address,
Power have they for tenderness,
And so thoroughly is known
Each others’ purpose by his own,
They can parley without meeting,
Need is none of forms of greeting,
They can well communicate
In their innermost estate;
When each the other shall avoid,
Shall each by each be most enjoyed.
Not with scarfs or perfumed gloves
Do these celebrate their loves,
Not by jewels, feasts, and savors,
Not by ribbons or by favors,
But by the sun-spark on the sea,
And the cloud-shadow on the lea,
The soothing lapse of morn to mirk,
And the cheerful round of work.
Their cords of love so public are,
They intertwine the farthest star.
The throbbing sea, the quaking earth,
Yield sympathy and signs of mirth;
Is none so high, so mean is none,
But feels and seals this union.
Even the tell Furies are appeased,
The good applaud, the lost are eased.

Love’s hearts are faithful, but not fond,
Bound for the just, but not beyond;
Not glad, as the low-loving herd,
Of self in others still preferred,
But they have heartily designed
The benefit of broad mankind.
And they serve men austerely,
After their own genius, clearly,
Without a false humility;
For this is love’s nobility,
Not to scatter bread and gold,
Goods and raiment bought and sold,
But to hold fast his simple sense,
And speak the speech of innocence,
And with hand, and body, and blood,
To make his bosom-counsel good:
For he that feeds men, serveth few,
He serves all, who dares be true.

The difficulty of death…

Journey of the Magi – T.S. Eliot
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.”
.

The above is the end of Eliot’s poem describing the Three Wise Men when they gave up their previous world view and accepted the truth that is Christ.

Kalidasa

The Dawn – Kalidasa

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!

Look to this Day!

For it is Life, the very Life of Life.

In its brief course lie all the

Verities and Realities of your Existence.

The Bliss of Growth,

The Glory of Action,

The Splendor of Beauty;

For Yesterday is but a Dream,

And To-morrow a Vision of Hope. Look well therefore to this Day!

Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

Wisdom…

Ralph Waldo Emerson is too much of a machine!

Indifference

Indifference – Studdert Kennedy

When Jesus came to Golgotha, they hanged him on a tree,
They drove great nails through hands and feet
and made a Calvary;
They crowned him with a crown of thorns,
red were his wounds and deep,
For those were crude and cruel days,
and human flesh was cheap.

When Jesus came to Birmingham,
they simple passed him by,
They never hurt a hair of him, they only let him die.
For men had grown more tender
and they would not give him pain,
They only passed him down the street
and left him in the rain.

Still Jesus cried ‘Forgive them,
for they know not what they do’
And still it rained the wintry rain
that drenched him through and through.
The crowds went home and left the streets
without a soul to see,
That Jesus crouched against a wall, and cried for Calvary.