A nice poem on kindness, via Tenneson and Teresa.
From American / Palestinian poet Naomi Shihab Nye.
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes any sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and send you out in the day to mail letters and
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
Excerpt from: What I must tell myself
Watching the geese
Go south I find
Even in silence
And even in stillness
And even in my home
Without a thought
Or a movement
I am part
Of a great migration
That will take me to another place.
And though all the things I love
May pass away and
The great family of things and people
I have made around me
Will see me go,
I feel them living in me
Like a great gathering
Ready to reach a greater home.
When one thing dies all things
Die together, and must live again
In a different way,
When one thing
Is missing everything is missing,
And must be found again
In a new whole
And everything wants to go home
And the geese travelling south
Are like the shadow of my breath
Flying into the darkness
On great heart-beats
To an unknown land where I belong.
This morning they have
Full of faith,
Like a blind child,
Nestled in their feathers,
Following the great coast of the wind
To a home I cannot see.
-- David Whyte
A harvesting of poems from the book "Teaching With Fire". Teachers select their favourite poems and tell why.
I'm preparing for a small convening this week and searching for a poem to use as a start-point. Sparked my curiosity - what are the favourite poems or quotes you use as start-points or after check-outs? Would love to discover them and add to the harvest on the ning (http://artofhosting.ning.com/forum/topics/great-and-inspiring-poems...)
Another little poem shared on the web that I cam across today:
If a sadness
Rises in front of you,
Larger than any you have ever seen;
If an anxiety, like light and cloud shadows,
Moves over your hands and everything you do.
You must realize that something is happening to you,
That life has not forgotten you,
That it holds you in his hand And will not let you fall.
Another lovely one:
by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Shared on the email list February 2013
If I Stood There, Could I Stand the Standing?
May I pray at the Step
On which you stood for Aeons?
For all Time
If I stood there,
Could I stand the Standing?
What would I see?
What would I believe
To throw forward
A lifeline from the Future
To the Culture
The turning of the Tides
Would I have the Courage
What is flowing
From the depths
Of the Centre,
From the Belly of it All
To seed and breathe
The seeds that ripen
Amongst the grass
And are threshed
When all is seemingly lost
This is the Birthing
Of the New
The true flow
Translated Into the Soul-Fullness
Of the actors
That pass on
No longer theirs
Release the Winged Ones © 2013
Cross-posting this thread on the ning that also contains some great poems:
Sharing a poem I came across in Mark Nepo's book The Exquisite Risk...
Anyway by Kent Keith
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
The good you do today, people will Often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.
(some googling shares different versions of this text e.g. http://www.thenewamericanmedia.com/great-poem-by-kent-m-keith-pleas...)