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Inspirational Poetry


For a New Beginning
by John O'Donohue

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight,
when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back,
learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
 
~ John O'Donohue
From: To Bless the Space Between Us
 
For a New Beginning
by John O'Donohue

Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its path.
Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.
May anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.
 
~ John O'Donohue
From: To Bless the Space Between Us

Birdwings

Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror up to where you are bravely working.
Expecting the worst, you look and instead,
here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.
Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birdwings.

From the Essential RumiTranslations by Coleman Barks

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan,
and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—the one who has flung out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass,
how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed,
how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
                                                 
Wild Geese
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 your 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.
 

Where Does the Temple Begin, Where Does It End?
By Mary Oliver

There are things you can’t reach. But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of God.
And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier.
The snake slides away; the fish jumps, like a little lily,
out of the water and back in; the goldfinches sing
from the unreachable top of the tree.
I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.
Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around
as though with your arms open.
And thinking: maybe something will come, some
shining coil of wind,
or a few leaves from any old tree–
they are all in this too.
And now I will tell you the truth.
Everything in the world
comes.
At least, closer.
And, cordially.
Like the nibbling, tinsel-eyed fish; the unlooping snake.
Like goldfinches, little dolls of goldfluttering around the corner of the sky
of God, the blue air.

Enough
by David Whyte

Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to life we have refused again and again until now.
Until now.

The Opening of Eyes
by David Whyte

That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out, 
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.
It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.
It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished, 
opened at last, 
fallen in love with solid ground.
 
What to Remember When Waking
by David Whyte

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other more secret,
moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day which closes the moment you begin your plans.
What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enoughfor the vitality hidden in your sleep.
To be human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.
To remember the other world in this world
is to live in your true inheritance.
You are not a troubled guest on this earth,
you are not an accident amidst other accidents
you were invited from another and greater night than the one from which you have just emerged.
Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window toward the mountain presence of everything that can be what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of youto grow and spread its branches against a future sky?
Is it waiting in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life you can imagine for yourself?
In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?

Untitled
by Dawna Markova

I will not die an unlived life,
I will not live in fear
Of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days
To allow my living to open me,
To make me less afraid,more accessible,
To loosen my heart
Until it becomes a wing,
A torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live
So that which came to me as seed
Goes to the next as blossom
And that which came to me as blossom
Goes on as fruit.

By Dawna Markova,
from the book I Will Not Die an Unlived Life
 
Out Beyond Ideas

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language,
even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.
 
~ Rumi translated by Coleman BarksFrom Essential Rumi
 
Rumi Poetry 

Beyong a hundred steps of wisdom.
I will be free from good and bad.
Behind the veils I will find
Such splendour. Such Beauty
That I will fall in love
with Myself

Aloneness
by Aisha Wolfe

Our true friends
Who want us to be all that we can be
Will never rescue us from aloneness

Sometimes the only place intimacy can be found is in the arms of the darkness of or solitude

In this place, the soul deepens 
In this place, we can become still enough to witness the hidden pearl as it forms

Making love with the darkness
Takes a certain kind of courage
You will meet some shadows 
And they may seem real and threatening
But they are teachers, one and all

In the darkness
You will come to know your own light
So you need not fear it anymore
The light of others is always changeable and prone to flickering

When you welcome home your emptiness 
It is a mansion to the infinite 
Which the banks will not foreclose

So take a breath 
Look all around you at the fading colours and simply drop in

You can quote me on this
"There is a pearl diver out there 
Just waiting for you to be ready"


Millenium Blessing 
by Stephen Levine

There is a grace approaching
that we shun as much as death,
it is the completion of our birth.

It does not come in time,
but in timelessness
when the mind sinks into the heart
and we remember.

It is an insistent grace that draws us
to the edge and beckons us to surrender
safe territory and enter our enormity.

We know we must pass
beyond knowing
and fear the shedding.

But we are pulled upward
none-the-less
through forgotten ghosts
and unexpected angels,
luminous.

And there is nothing left to say
but we are That.

And that is what we sing about.
 
Breaking Surface

by Mark Nepo 

Let no one keep you from your journey,
no rabbi or priest, no mother
who wants you to dig for treasures
she misplaced, no father
who won't let one life be enough,
no lover who measures their worth
by what you might give up,
no voice that tells you in the night
it can't be done.

Let nothing dissuade you
from seeing what you see
or feeling the winds that make you
want to dance alone
or go where no one
has yet to go.

You are the only explorer.
Your heart, the unreadable compass.
Your soul, the shore of a promise
too great to be ignored.