Sunday, September 09, 2007

As the year cycles through toward the High Holy Days I feel introspective - examining what it means to me to thrive - thinking in poems. These are reclaimed and pulled together, not written tonight, but they fit my mood.

To Thrive?

In the absence of Nazis
shattering glass or
cancer cells exploding
internal order,
In the presence of
food, not merely
sufficient, but
savory and warm,
to live seems automatic,
and insufficient, the
simple imperative of
body operating in space.
But to thrive?
To cherish each moment,
to make my live a gift,
a blessing, an act of
love, a clean piece of
performance art worth
observing, emulating.,
To thrive challenges each
brain cell, every measure of will,
hope, love, patience,awe
courage, creativity and
comprehension.

2

I Need

To thrive, I need
paradox, layered
on paradox.
Silence sweet as rain
and conversation
to challenge and
maintain connection.
Books, music, history,
tenets of old faiths,
discoveries of new
generations, and
stillness at root beneath
words, where I simply know.
To thrive I need
flesh on flesh and
commitment to action.
To hold on, to be held,
To work with passion
to do the next right thing.
And I need to let go
of those I love, of love,
of the illusion of control,
of results, outcomes,
of needing to know
that I was right about
the last thing I did.
To thrive I need to
do my best - to achieve
never ending improvement -
and I need to rest.
I need to do, and simply be.

3

making it concrete

To thrive I buy books about racism, the sixties,
McCarthyism and fear of terrorism, and throw
a mystery and a set of medicine cards on top
of the stack. I watch election returns ten hours
running and then walk through the dunes to
a chorus of meadow larks and run into the
waves at the end of the trail and don't think at all.
I keep a candle burning for Ruth's fertility and
don't ask her every fifteen minutes if she's pregnant yet.
I help my grandchildren with homework when they
ask but I let Danny wiggle away from ten more minutes
of addition facts before he masters three plus four.
I throw myself into Bob's arms as if I could not live
without him, and I know I could if I had to.

1 comment:

Bob H. said...

Wonderful poems! And wonderfully self-revealing!