F i

1700 Montgomery St. Suite 101 | San Francisco, CA 94111 | 415.244.7711

Poetry
  • RumiOpen or Close
    Guest House
    This being human is a guest-house.
    Every morning a new arrival.
    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.
    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
    Who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture.
    still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you
    out for some new delight.
    The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
    meet them at the door laughing,
    and invite them in.
    Be grateful for whoever comes,
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.
    Birdwings
    Your grief for what you've lost lifts a mirror up to where you're 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 always a fist or always stretched open, you'd be paralyzed.
    Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird wings.
    Ways
    Today like every other day
    We wake up empty and scared.
    Don't open the door of your study
    And begin reading.
    Take down a musical instrument.
    Let the beauty we love be what we do
    There are hundreds of ways to kneel
    And kiss the earth.
    Breathe
    The morning wind spreads its fresh smell.
    We must get up and take that in, that wind that lets us live.
    Breathe, before it's gone.
    Two Insomnias
    When I'm with you
    we stay up all night
    When you're not here
    I can't get to sleep
    Thank god for these two insomnias
    and the difference between them.
    The Breeze
    The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
    Don't go back to sleep.
    You must ask for what you really want.
    Don't go back to sleep.
    People are going back and forth across the door sill
    Where the two worlds touch.
    The door is round and open.
    Don't go back to sleep.
    Healing Yourself
    Trust your wound to a teacher's surgery.
    Flies collect on a wound. They cover it,
    those flies of your self-protecting feelings,
    your love for what you think is yours.
    Let a teacher wave away the flies
    and put a plaster on the wound.
    Don't turn your head. Keep looking
    at the bandaged wound. That's where
    the light enters you.
    And don't believe for a moment
    that you're healing yourself.
    I'll Meet You There
    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.
    The Touch of Spirit
    There is some kiss we want
    with our whole lives,
    the touch of spirit on the body.

    Seawater begs the pearl
    to break its shell.

    And the lily, how passionately
    it needs some wild darling.

    At night, I open the window
    and ask the moon to come
    and press its face against mine.
    Breathe into me.

    Close the language-door
    and open the love-window.

    The moon won't use the door,
    only the window.
  • Mary OliverOpen or Close
    The Journey
    One day you finally knew
    what you had to do, and began,
    though the voices around you
    kept shouting
    their bad advice-
    though the whole house
    began to tremble
    and you felt the old tug
    at your ankles.
    "Mend my life!"
    each voice cried.
    But you didn't stop.
    You knew what you had to do,
    though the wind pried
    with its stiff fingers
    at the very foundations,
    though their melancholy
    was terrible.
    It was already late
    enough, and a wild night,
    and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
    But little by little,
    as you left their voices behind,
    the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,
    and there was a new voice
    which you slowly
    recognized as your own,
    that kept you company
    as you strode deeper and deeper
    into the world,
    determined to do
    the only thing you could do-
    determined to save
    the only life you could save.
    After Rain
    After rain after many days without rain,
    it stays cool, private and cleansed, under the trees,
    and the dampness there, married now to gravity,
    falls branch to branch, leaf to leaf, down to the ground
    where it will disappear - but not, of course, vanish
    except to our eyes. The roots of the oaks will have their share,
    and the white threads of the grasses, and the cushion of moss;
    a few drops, round as pearls, will enter the mole's tunnel;
    and soon so many small stones, buried for a thousand years,
    will feel themselves being touched.
    The Summer Day
    Who made the world?
    Who made the swan, and the black bear?
    Who made the grasshopper?
    This grasshopper, I mean-the one who the one who has flung
    herself 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
    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 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.
    Sleeping in the Forest
    I thought the earth remembered me,
    she took me back so tenderly,
    arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
    full of lichens and seeds.
    I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
    nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
    but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
    among the branches of the perfect trees.
    All night I heard the small kingdoms
    breathing around me, the insects,
    and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
    All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
    grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
    I had vanished at least a dozen times
    into something better.
  • Wendell BerryOpen or Close
    The Peace of Wild Things
    (excerpt)
    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For the time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
    A Timbered Choir
    (excerpt)
    I go among trees and sit still.
    All my stirring becomes quiet around me
    like circles on water.
    My tasks lie in their places where I left them
    asleep like cattle.
    Then what is afraid of me comes
    and lives a while in my sight.
    What it fears in me leaves me
    and the fear of me leaves it.
    It sings and I hear its song.
    Than what I am afraid of comes.
    I live for a while in its sight.
    What I fear in it leaves it
    and the fear of it leaves me.
    It sings and I hear its song.
    Real Work
    It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
    we have come to our real work,
    and when we no longer know which way to go,
    we have begun our real journey.
    The Clear Days
    (excerpt)
    The dogs of indecision
    Cross and cross the field of vision.
    A cloud, a buzzing fly
    Distract the lover's eye.
    Until the heart has found
    Its native piece of ground
    The day withholds its light,
    The eye must stray unlit.
    The ground's the body's bride,
    Who will not be denied.
    Not until all is given
    Comes the thought of heaven.
    When the mind's an empty room
    The clear days come.
  • HafizOpen or Close
    We Have Not Come Here
    To Take Prisoners
    We have not come here to take prisoners
    But to surrender ever more deeply
    To freedom and joy.
    We have not come into this exquisite world
    to hold ourselves hostage from love.
    Run my dear, From anything
    That may not strengthen
    Your precious budding wings,
    Run like hell, my dear,
    From anyone likely to put a sharp knife
    Into the sacred, tender vision
    Of your beautiful heart.
    We have a duty to befriend
    Those aspects of obedience of our house
    And shout to our reason
    "Oh please, oh please
    come out and play."
    For we have not come here to take prisoners,
    Or to confine our wondrous spirits
    But to experience ever and ever more deeply
    our divine courage, freedom, and Light!

    trans. By Daniel Ladinsky
    The Whole World
    Even after all these years
    the sun doesn't say
    "You owe me."
    Look what happens!
    The whole world lights up.
    It Felt Love
    How did the rose
    Ever open its heart
    And give to this world
    All its beauty?
    It felt the encouragement of light
    Against its being,
    Otherwise,
    We all remain
    Too frightened
    Now is the Time
    Now is the time to know
    That all that you do is sacred.
    Now, why not consider
    A lasting truce with yourself and God?
    Now is the time to understand
    That all your ideas of right and wrong
    Were just a child's training wheels
    To be laid aside
    When you can finally live
    with veracity
    And love.
    . . .
    Now is the time for the world to know
    That every thought and action is sacred.
    That this is the time
    For you to compute the impossibility
    That there is anything
    But Grace.
    Now is the season to know
    That everything you do
    Is Sacred
    Admit Something
    Admit Something:
    Everyone you see, you say to them,
    Love me.
    Of course you do not do this out loud;
    Otherwise,
    Someone would call the cops.
    Still though, think about this,
    This great pull in us
    To connect.
    Why not become the one
    Who lives with a full moon in each eye
    That is always saying,
    With that sweet moon language,
    What every other eye in this world
    Is dying to Hear?
    The God Who Only
    Knows Four Words
    Every Child
    Has known God,
    Not the God of names,
    Not the God of Don'ts
    Not the God who ever does anything weird
    But the God who only knows four words
    And keeps repeating them, saying:
    "Come dance with Me"
    Come Dance
  • Victor FranklOpen or Close
    from Man's Search
    for Meaning
    Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.
  • Emily DickinsonOpen or Close
    Hope
    "Hope" is the thing with feathers -
    that perches in the soul -
    and sings the tune without the words
    And never stops at all.

Error : You must not have any spaces in your Teleport Key
[quote10]

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.
Helen Keller