So Close

If this comes creased and creased again and soiled
as if I’d opened it a thousand times
to see if what I’d written here was right,
it’s all because I looked too long for you
to put in your pocket. Midnight says
the little gifts of loneliness come wrapped
by nervous fingers. What I wanted this
to say was that I want to be so close
that when you find it, it is warm from me.
~Ted Kooser “Pocket Poem”

A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,
the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.

A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.
~Naomi Shihab Nye from “The Rider”

One who has loved is never quite alone,
though all the hills declare our solitude.
Having known you, I am no more afraid,
the essential singleness of blood and bone
when dispossessed, comes never in return;
one who has loved is never quite alone.
~Jane Tyson Clement from  The Heart’s Necessities

I’ve written about petals in your pocket
but have never left a poem alone in your pocket
to keep it warm.

Instead, to stave off loneliness
I match poems and pictures together
to share before leaving for my day’s work.

Still warm to the touch,
these spill from my fingertips
as dawn pours over the eastern hills.

Here’s to another good morning with you, my love ~
I tuck this poem into your empty pocket from mine,
to keep it close and forever warm
today, tomorrow and always.


Tenderness Brushing Tenderness

Abandon entouré d’abandon, tendresse touchant aux tendresses…
C’est ton intérieur qui sans cesse se caresse, dirait-on;
se caresse en soi-même, par son propre reflet éclairé.
Ainsi tu inventes le thème du Narcisse exaucé.
~Rainer Maria Rilke “Dirait-on” from his French Poetry collection ‘Les chansons de la rose’

Translation:

Abandon enveloping abandon, Tenderness brushing
tendernesses,
Who you are sustains you eternally, so they say;
Your very being is nourished by its own enlightened
reflection;
So you reveal to us the theme of Narcissus redeemed.

So like the Valentine sunrise brushing the sky this morning:

There is nothing so tender as love in full bloom–
no longer an enclosed bud with potential
but opened fully
petal unfolding upon petal
in caressing abandon.

Love Stored Up

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the finale this morning

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today’s sunrise at its peak

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As it began this morning

Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.
~Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet

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The sunrise this morning kept giving and giving, vanquishing the darkness through an illumination that made all things, even the sorry and the plain, beautiful.

So is the love of one person for another, reflecting the Light that illuminates us all, even to the depths of our shadows.

May we too give and give without ceasing, our plainness made beautiful, our shadows no more.

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Shades of Graying

Featuring fifty shades of farm gray

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I could weep for a quiet love like this, the kind of love they don’t write movies about, but the Maker writes down in a book of His own.
It’s not the kind of flashy that makes any red carpet, but it’s the kind of unforgettable love that runs red.
It doesn’t matter one iota what the checkout glossies tout: Sacrifice is the most attractive of all.
And boring love is what touches the deepest– our lives boring down deep into each other’s hearts.
And I have loved you as the hero-of-few-words who has rescued me day in and day out, without any fanfare or flash.
You have lived and bore the weight of it —- I am far worse than I ever dreamed.
And yet you have loved me beyond what I could ever dream.
You have lived Gospel to me.
~Ann Voskamp  from aholyexperience.com

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On a day celebrated for honoring Love,
I grieve that women — mothers and daughters
who know nothing of slavery,
who know nothing but freedom,
seek out and pay out
for a fantasy of seduction,
blinded and bound by books and movie
that have nothing to do
with honor or love.

Give me boring gray love rich in so many shades:
love that bores deep into the other’s heart
and stays,
enduring,
before, throughout and beyond the gray.

The shades of gray in my life
will not be covered with dye and make believe,
but celebrated as reflecting
love not forsaken,
not for any one
or any reason.

We declare it to all who are to come after.

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graybarn

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grayfencetop

Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
Psalm 71:18

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graybarndoor

grayfoundationcrack

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grayladder

graylichen1

graymaple

graymirror

grayshingles

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graybolt

graypeeling

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graykindling

grayreflection

grayrocks

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graypoplar

graystonefrog

graywall

graywalnutscars

grayswing

graytreehouse

grayplum

graymapletree

graywalnutbark

graystairs

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graystonepile

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graystump

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Tenderness Upon Tenderness

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Abandon entouré d’abandon, tendresse touchant aux tendresses…
C’est ton intérieur qui sans cesse se caresse, dirait-on;
se caresse en soi-même, par son propre reflet éclairé.
Ainsi tu inventes le thème du Narcisse exaucé.
~Rainer Maria Rilke “Dirait-on” from his French Poetry collection ‘Les chansons de la rose’

Translation by Clarissa Aykroyd

Abandon upon abandon,
tenderness upon tenderness…
Your hidden self unceasingly
turns inward, a caress;

caressing itself, in and of its own
reflection illuminated.
Thus you’ve invented the tale
of Narcissus sated.

 

The dozen red roses from my husband for Valentine’s Day brought this beautiful piece to mind:
There is nothing so tender as a rose in full bloom–
no longer an enclosed bud
but an opening,
petal unfolding upon petal
in caressing abandon.

Morten Lauridsen’s choral version –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWXVZlrLa6E

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