I am wordless tonight, my friends. There are a lot of things running through my head and my heart, but I can’t seem to get them to shoot out my fingers and onto the keyboard. So I will lean a little on the words of others.
I Feel Sorry for Jesus
People won’t leave him alone.
I know He said, wherever two or more
are gathered in my name . . .
but I’ll bet some days He regrets it.
Cozily they tell you what He wants
and doesn’t want
as if they just got an e-mail.
Remember “Telephone,” that pass-it-on game
where the message changed dramatically
by the time it rounded the circle?
People blame terrible pieties on Jesus.
They want to be his special pet.
Jesus deserves better.
I think He’s been exhausted
for a very long time.
He went into the desert, friends.
He didn’t go into the pomp.
He didn’t go into
the golden chandeliers
and say, the truth tastes better here.
See? I’m talking like I know.
It’s dangerous talking for Jesus.
You get carried away almost immediately.
I stood in the spot where He was born.
I closed my eyes where He died and didn’t die.
Every twist of the Via Dolorosa
was written on my skin.
And that makes me feel like being silent
for Him, you know? A secret pouch
of listening. You won’t hear me
mention this again.
The Peace of Wild Things
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 a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
My idea of camping involves at least a Holiday Inn, so I can’t honestly say I have lied down where the wood drake rests, but I do resonate with the image of the day-blind stars and searching for rest.
The News of the World
Like weather, the news
is always changing and always
the same. On a map
of intractable borders
armies ebb and flow.
In Iowa a roof is lifted
from its house like a top hat
caught in a swirl of wind.
Quadruplets born in Akron.
In Vilnius a radish
weighing 50 pounds.
another city falls
to its knees.
See how the newsprint
comes off on our hands
as we wrap the orange peel
in the sports page
or fold into the comics
a dead bird
the children found
and will bury
as if it were the single
sparrow whose fall
God once promised
to note, if only
on the last page.
— Linda Pastan
The more I read of Pastan, the more I love her stuff. I found this link to a free e-book of nineteen poems. I also found this harbinger of better weather at The Writer’s Almanac this week:
While We Wait for Spring
The last three days snow has fallen.
No thaw this year, no day even above
twenty since the end of December.
Climbing the hill, my two boys slip, fall,
stand again. They complain, but there’s nothing
to be done except to make it to the top
where above the trees we will look down
upon the river. Near the peak a barred owl
releases from the limb of a burr oak, sweeps
over our heads and out above the tree line.
Our eyes follow its flight to the river ice,
current moving beneath its blue surface.
Like the owl, our breath rises, drifts
toward something warmer, something better.