Poems for Healing

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At the height of the pleasures of the summer fruit season, the perfect poem from Rilke, of course!

Summer Fruit 

Full round apple, peach, pear, blackberry.
Each speaks life and death
into the mouth. Look
at the face of a child eating them.

The tastes come from afar
and slowly grow nameless on the tongue.
Where there were words, discoveries flow,
released from within the fruit.

What we call apple—dare to say what it is,
this sweetness which first condensed itself
so that, in the tasting, it may burst forth

and be known in all its meanings
of sun and earth and here.
How immense, the act and the pleasure of it.

Sonnets to Orpheus I, 13

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I wonder if Hildegard knows that over 800 years later, her words are still inspiring?

  Mountain Meadow

I am the one whose praise echoes on high.

I adorn all the earth.

I am the breeze that nurtures all things green.

I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits.

I am led by the spirit to feed the purest streams.

I am the rain coming from the dew

that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life.

I am the yearning for good.

~Hildegard Von Bingen


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Rilke’s Bowl of Roses


Do we know anything that’s quite like this?

And then, like this: that such a feeling comes

from flower petals touching flower petals?

And this: that one should open like an eyelid,

while underneath lie only further eyelids

shuttered tight, as if through ten-fold sleep

they had to tamp in place some inner vision.

And this above all else: that through these petals,

the light must pass. That from a thousand skies,

they slowly filter out that drop of darkness

in whose fiery glow the tangled bunch

of stamens stirs, and rises up erect.

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Learning from other species.


I am 52 years old, and have spent
truly the better part
of my life out-of-doors
but yesterday I heard a new sound above my head
a rustling, ruffling quietness in the spring air

and when I turned my face upward
I saw a flock of blackbirds
rounding a curve I didn’t know was there
and the sound was simply all those wings
just feathers against the air, against gravity
and such a beautiful winning
the whole flock taking a long, wide turn
as if of one body and one mind.

How do they do that?

Oh if we lived only in human society
with its cruelty and fear
its apathy and exhaustion
what a puny existence that would be

but instead we live and move and have our being
here, in this curving and soaring world
so that when, every now and then,
mercy and tenderness triumph in our lives
and when, even more rarely, we manage to unite
and move together
toward a common good,

we can think to ourselves:

ah yes, this is how it’s meant to be.

—Julie Cadwallader-Staub


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After rain after many days without rain…

Lingering in Happiness

After rain after many days without rain,
it stays cool, private and cleansed, under the trees,
and the dampness there, married now to gravity,
falls branch to branch, leaf to leaf, down to the ground
where it will disappear — but not, of course, vanish
except to our eyes. The roots of the oaks will have their share,
and the white threads of the grasses, and the cushion of moss;
a few drops, round as pearls, will enter the mole’s tunnel;
and soon so many small stones, buried for a thousand years,
will feel themselves being touched.
dancing in the rain
~Mary Oliver

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Hmmm….ahhh….Imagine this. Happy for no reason.


Only our searching for happiness
prevents us from seeing it.
It’s like a vivid rainbow which you pursue
without ever catching,
or a dog chasing its own tail.

Although peace and happiness
do not exist as an actual thing or place,
it is always available
and accompanies you every instant.

Don’t believe in the reality of good and bad experiences;
they are like today’s ephemeral weather,
like rainbows in the sky.

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you open and relax
this tight fist of grasping,
infinite space is there –
open, inviting and comfortable.

Make use of this spaciousness,
this freedom and natural ease.
Don’t search any further
looking for the great awakened elephant,
who is already resting quietly at home
in front of your own hearth.

Nothing to do or undo,
nothing to force,
nothing to want,
and nothing missing –

Emaho! Marvelous!
Everything happens by itself.

Gendun Rinpoche


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Finding the sacred in everyday life…


The Patience of Ordinary Things

It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?

By Pat Schneider