Poem for a Sunday Morning

The Panther {Rainer Maria Rilke} His vision, from the constantly passing bars, has grown so weary that it cannot hold anything else. It seems to him there are a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world. As he paces in cramped circles, over and over, the movement of his powerful soft strides is likeContinue reading “Poem for a Sunday Morning”

Poem for a Sunday Morning

Shipwreck {Kay Ryan} I was shipwrecked beneath a stormless sky  in a sea shallow enough to stand up in. — Fernando Pessoa They’re laughable  when we get there— the ultimate articulations  of despair: trapped  in a tub filling with  our own tears; strapped to a breadstick mast a mouse could chew  down; hopping around  theContinue reading “Poem for a Sunday Morning”

Poem for a Sunday Morning

Scaffolding {Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013} Masons, when they start upon a building, Are careful to test out the scaffolding; Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points, Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints. And yet all this comes down when the job’s done Showing off walls of sure and solid stone. So if, my dear,Continue reading “Poem for a Sunday Morning”

Poem for a Sunday Morning

I Happened To Be Standing {Mary Oliver} I don’t know where prayers go, or what they do. Do cats pray, while they sleep half-asleep in the sun? Does the opossum pray as it crosses the street? The sunflowers? The old black oak growing older every year? I know I can walk through the world, alongContinue reading “Poem for a Sunday Morning”

Poem for a Sunday Morning

Among the Intellectuals They were a restless tribe. They did not sit in sunlight, eating grapes together in the afternoon. Cloud-watching among them was considered a disgusting waste of time. They passed the days in an activity they called “thought-provoking,” as if thought were an animal, and they used long sticks to poke through theContinue reading “Poem for a Sunday Morning”

Poem for a Sunday Morning

Some poems lodge themselves within us and at the right moment, given the smallest opening, emerge to break down the last few bricks that enclose revelation. This is one of those poems for me. I have heard David Whyte recite it many times, always commenting on how totally un-Irish it is for an Irish poetContinue reading “Poem for a Sunday Morning”

Poem for a Sunday Morning

Beannacht {John O’Donohue} On the day when The weight deadens On your shoulders And you stumble, May the clay dance To balance you. And when your eyes Freeze behind The grey window And the ghost of loss Gets into you, May a flock of colours, Indigo, red, green And azure blue, Come to awaken inContinue reading “Poem for a Sunday Morning”