The Enclosure of the Heart

Like a sprouting seed, love climbs

the enclosure of the heart

that has at last allowed

the light of grace to reach it,

tendrils — fragile and leggy —

pull it up and out

of its dark place,

deep in the dank ragged

edges of loneliness

until it flowers, spilling

all its fragrance and color

on any one who will stop and listen.

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Up From the River Smiling

A friend once told me she met

her future husband just after

a turbulent river tossed

her out of her small kayak.

My friend, being who she is, showed

up from beneath the icy water

laughing — her bright smile stretched

across her triumphant face.

The man, knowing his own need,

asked, “who is this woman

that came up from dangerous

water smiling?”

He asked to meet her on dry ground.

They loved well and married,

carried out to the sea of life

by that river-smiling moment.

I wonder how I, being who I am,

could meet another who is able

to come up from the river smiling.

I’m familiar with icy water, dangerous

and turbulent; I watch it carefully,

hopeful to someday see the one

who comes up from the river

with a smile on his face.

Listen

Listen to me,

Since you are willing to risk all,

Though the earth dissolve,

What have we to fear?

All power on earth can be overcome

By the will of Love,

Which is so soft that it melts

at a touch.

So splendidly beautiful that

the embrace will forever be

rooted far down into the earth.

The Color of Your Heart

(Written for my art students at Howard Street Charter School, 2012)

The color of your heart is deep and wide–

It gathers all around me

And fills my days with laughter rich

And teaches me to be

More colorful myself, spilling all

My deepest hues

(Those I tend to hide inside)

Instead of showing them, like you.

Together we can paint the world to

Create a masterpiece

Of love and harmony and then

Our world can be at peace.

No Monsters Here

(a poem written for my students in 2011, after news of a school shooting incident)

Four walls around us protect

Not only from the elements,

But from the ‘Out There’;

 

In here, there are no monsters;

Hydras, Chimeras, Griffins

and Dragons, STAY OUT!

 

There is a bubble around

Us–we are safe and sound.

Even if you pound, pound, pound,

 

We won’t worry because

In this room no monsters

Roam; we shine in this room.

Anarchy of Love

There is disorder:

No one can understand why we are loved

when we are so unlovable.

Love flows unceasing, nonetheless.

It is deeper and wider and more permanent

than anything we can fathom.

 

A lawlessness of love governs:

where there is unkindness,

there is forgiveness;

free of judgement, love comes down

and surrounds each one of us–

whether we are ready or not.

 

There is a wildness in this love–a wideness and permanence

that grows around each of us and so softens the brambles of our humanity.