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Easing the Journey Through Shadow & Light

  • Dawn

Even After All This Time

Today I want to share a few poems that have touched me recently. Perhaps they can all serve as anti-anxiety tools. The first one is by 14th c. Persian mystic, Hafiz:



all this time

the Sun never says to the Earth

"You owe me."


what happens

with a love like that.

It lights the whole sky.

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees, especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness. I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself, in which I have goodness, and discernment, and never hurry through the world but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.” The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say, “and you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”

Mary Oliver

Walking in a Swamp

When you first feel the ground under your feet

Going soft and uncertain,

Its best to start running as fast as you can slog

Even though falling

Forward on your knees and lunging like a cripple.

You may escape completely

Being bogged down in those few scampering seconds.

But if you’re caught standing

In deep mud, unable to walk or stagger,

Its time to reconsider

Your favorite postures, textures and means of moving,

Coming to even terms

With the kind of dirt that won’t take no for an answer.

You must lie down now,

Like it or not: if you are in it up to your thighs,

Be seated gently,

Lie back, open your arms, and dream of floating

In a sweet backwater.

Slowly your sunken feet will rise together,

And you may slither

Spread-ottered casually backwards out of trouble.

If you stay vertical

And, worse, imagine you’re in a fearful struggle,

Trying to swivel

One stuck leg at a time, keeping your body

Above it all,

Immaculate, you’ll sink in even deeper,

Becoming an object lesson

For those who wallow after you through the mire

In which case you should know

For near-future reference: muck is one part water,

One part what-have-you,

Including yourself, now in it over your head,

As upright as ever.

David Wagoner

Bilbo's Last Song

Day is ended, dim my eyes,

but journey long before me lies.

Farewell, friends! I hear the call.

The ship's beside the stony wall.

Foam is white and waves are grey;

beyond the sunset leads my way.

Foam is salt, the wind is free;

I hear the rising of the Sea.

Farewell, friends! The sails are set,

the wind is east, the moorings fret.

Shadows long before me lie,

beneath the ever-bending sky,

but islands lie behind the Sun

that I shall raise ere all is done;

lands there are to west of West,

where night is quiet and sleep is rest.

Guided by the Lonely Star,

beyond the utmost harbour-bar,

I'll find the heavens fair and free,

and beaches of the Starlit Sea.

Ship, my ship! I seek the West,

and fields and mountains ever blest.

Farewell to Middle-earth at last.

I see the Star above my mast!

J.R.R. Tolkien

published posthumously

Until next time,


Photo credits:

Sun and earth, David Marcu, unSplash

Leaves, Kai Pilger, unSplash

Mud, Kind and Curious, unSplash

Ocean, Christopher Kuzman, unSplash

Starry sea, Johannes Plenio, unSplash


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