Be Like the Flower

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No greater honor—
Be like the flower
Face the sun
Let its warmth fill you
Overturning whatever steals your joy

Be like the flower
Proud, but ever humble
Never too straight
Always able to bend
Flowing with the wind

Be like the flower
Use the day to grow
Give back to the Earth
Use the night to rest
Rejuvenate from a hard day’s work

Be like the flower
Always ready to live
And when the time comes
Be ready to die
Making room for another

Click here to see the picture going with this poem.

Spring Beauty in Focus

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Springtime
New beauty born
New beauty in our lives
Sharper focus on life’s becoming

Sometimes we try too hard
To be what we’re not
Possess what’s not ours
Fight who we are

Red tulips in a garden
No bucking the tide
Or clinging to anything
They simply are

We give the tulips our attention
They smile, their redness grows even brighter
We look beyond them
Life’s eternal fountain appears

We look inside ourselves
There our beauty lies
Eternal spring within our hearts
Our beauty comes into focus

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Secrets Locked Away Forever

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So much inside us
Locked away
Inaccessible until
We discover the combination
Releasing deep secrets buried in the soul

These secrets
No mystery to the deepest part of us—
That part belonging to something larger
Yet out of sight they remain
Until the rusted lock and chain are taken away

Never easy
Dealing with the hidden
Even terribly lost parts of ourselves
But once in
So much more becomes known

Once we find our way
Even the deepest secrets—
Those buried in the cave of our heart
Become known
Releasing our grip on what binds us to eternity

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Daffodil Hill

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There is this place
Called Daffodil Hill
Springtime magic covers it
Perky whites littering its base
A sea of brilliant yellows along the top

Sunlight graces this place
Touches your soul
Leaves you spellbound
Something larger ignites in your heart
When you hear the daffodils sing

I was a young boy once again
Speechless
No words to describe
Tears from nowhere filling my eyes
For an instant, connected to it all

Hard not to believe
In something divine, overwhelmingly powerful
Yet in its presence, a tenderness
Emanating from the magical chorus
On Daffodil Hill

Click here to view the photograph accompanying this poem.

New Life in Focus

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New life
Emerging each moment
With each breath
Hope is born
Bringing our deepest desires into focus

New blossoms on the tree of life
Pure, virgin whiteness
Against a burning blue sky
Each blossom a breath
Each breath a new beginning

Programmed from birth
To become the fruit of life
Sustaining us
Transforming us
Like the rain and sun give us rainbows

No pain
Unless we resist
Stand in tomorrow’s way
Accept the gift—
New life in focus

Click here to see the photograph accompanying this poem.

It’s Good to Be Alive

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Last night’s star-filled sky sang me fast to sleep
This morning’s warm sun graced my windowpane
Awakening me with its hypnotic laughter
Looking in the bathroom mirror this morning I thought—
It’s good to be alive

Things don’t always go our way
At times they totally run amok
Defying our sense of justice
Showing us how vulnerable we really are
It’s good to be alive

At times, we delude ourselves—
A good life is about getting our way
Having things as we want them
Stirring my morning coffee, I thought—
It’s good to be alive

Have you noticed how spring sunlight
Completely transforms the needles on a white pine
And how the sky and clouds peeking through the forest
Appear like blurry blue and white diamonds
It’s good to be alive

Sometimes we gravitate too much
In the direction of our dreams
Failing to appreciate the beauty, magic of life
Just as it presents itself
Truly, it’s good to be alive

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Depression Faces

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Like ghosts
Their faces linger in my mind
Can’t forget them
No matter how hard I tried
They’re still there
Feeding on what’s left of me

Which faces?
The Depression faces
Dark, hollow, hungry
Haunting faces
Men, women, children
Especially the children

They sold their shoes
For pennies, a scrap of bread
Their filthy faces and feet
Dirtied by their worst nightmare
No washing away their pain

It changes you
Having nothing left to lose
Even worse
Having something and losing it
It changes you
Even looking back and remembering

Blue Spring Beauties

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From a distance
I watched you dance
Like a sea of tiny blue stars
Dreamy circles you waltzed
Never missing a step
Perfect harmony with the wind

Inching closer
I saw your sweet smiles
Blue spring beauties
Forever in tune
With that something larger
Casting a spell over me

How lucky seeing you dance
Your heads held high
Identical green dresses you wore
Like velvet
Shimmering in the sun
Graceful as only a flower can be

I felt you so close
As only a chosen lover can be
Dance with you I did
My heart filled with glee
Now I must go
A date with Emily Dickinson to keep

Click here to see the blue spring beauties

Consider Life’s Outside Possibilities

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Too easy
Looking in obvious places
Those we already know
Possibilities already imagined

Imagine an open window
In the midst of your darkness
A place where light is possible
An opening for outside possibilities

Get used to the light
At first too much for your eyes
Then new images take shape
Filling your soul with hope

In this realm
The inevitable disappears
Taking its place
With all other known possibilities

Let the obvious possibilities fade away
Take a chance on the unknown
Bet the farm on it
Walk into the light

Robin Egg Springtime

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So much to delight about in springtime—
Fresh green buds on trees, crocuses, daffodils, tulips
But nothing matches a pastel blue robin egg
To ignite spring feelings within me

My robin egg infatuation traces back to first grade
When Miss Woods, using God and science in the same breath
Explained that robin eggs were blue to camouflage them
Among the sun-dappled leaves hovering about the robin’s nest

I decided then and there
That robin egg blue was my favorite color
Because it protected new life
And because it made me feel close to the sky

Even now, some fifty years later
Especially after a long hard winter
Spotting a robin egg shell on the ground
Makes me feel alive in a way only spring can do

We’re Never Really Alone

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Given a magic wand
I’d rid the world of loneliness—
What isolates us
Marginalizes us
Disconnecting us from the rest of the world

Mostly we do it to ourselves
We think we are alone
Separate from what sustains us
And sure enough
Our connection to life is broken

Yes, others can break the connection
Escalating our deepest fears of being alone
Heightening the pain of our cancer
Amplifying the weight of our depression
But mostly we do it to ourselves

We’re never really alone
You’re not, I’m not
Something Higher connects all of us
In your darkest hour, reach out
Touch it, let it touch you back

We Wait Too Long

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We wait too long
To do what’s most important
Things stirring our hearts
And riding the wild horses of our souls

The clock, time, busy schedules
Just excuses for not doing
What only we can do, and no other
Things making it all worthwhile

It’s gone before we know it
The best part of us
The things we equate to joy
Things worth doing for their own sake

It’s a mistake
To forget who we are
And then pretend truth was never there
Or something else was more important

We wait too long
To surrender to what really matters
To the only thing that can save us
From a life of hopeless despair and misadventure

You do it, and I see it in you
I do it, and you see it in me
If only we could see it in ourselves
Maybe we wouldn’t wait so long