Evening Poetry, June 16

Shoreline

by David Whyte

Holding hands, we walk

to the very edge of the light,

shyly aware of the way

time radiates from

where we stand.

Our footprints behind us,

are a promise in the sand,

inscribing a joining,

a walking together,

our witness to the ocean,

and as they wait

to disappear

under the flowing tide,

the far, unknown,

and unspeakable

origin from which we came.

Then, all around us,

the felt sense of a courage

needed, a newness in the air,

a touch of the familiar

and ancient in all the tidal vows

the wind can speak,

the strands of your hair

across my face, and then,

suddenly, the sun in your eyes

and the way they closed in surprise

at the first kiss of your salt mouth.

You can find this poem in the collection The Sea in You.

Evening Poetry, June 15

Peonies at Dusk

by Jane Kenyon

White peonies blooming along the porch

send out light

while the rest of the yard grows dim.

Outrageous flowers as big as human

heads! They’re staggered

by their own luxuriance: I had

to prop them up with stakes and twine.

The moist air intensifies their scent,

and the moon moves around the barn

to find out what it’s coming from.

In the darkening June evening

I draw a blossom near, and bending close

search it as a woman searches

a loved one’s face.

This poem can be found in the collection Otherwise by Jane Kenyon.

Evening Poetry, June 14

gloria mundi

by Lucille Clifton

so knowing,

what is known?

that we carry our baggage

in our cupped hands

when we burst through

the waters of our mother.

that some are born

and some are brought

to the glory of this world.

that it is more difficult

than faith

to serve only one calling

one commitment

one devotion

in one life.

You can find this poem in the collection The Book of Light.

Evening Poetry, June 13

The Night Will Never Stay

by Eleanor Farjeon

The night will never stay,

The night will still go by,

Though with a million stars

You pin it to the sky;

Though you bind it with the blowing wind

And buckle it with the moon,

The night will slip away

Like a sorrow or a tune.

You can find this poem in Eleanor Farjeon’s Poems For Children.

Evening Poetry, June 12

The Sea in You

by David White

When I wake under the moon,

I do not know who I have become unless

I move closer to you, obeying the give and take

Of the earth as it breathes the slender length

Of your body, so that in breathing with the tide that breathes 

In you, and moving with you as you come and go,

And following you, half in light and half in dark,

I feel the first firm edge of my floating palm touch 

And then trace the pale light of your shoulder

To the faint, moonlit shadow of your smooth cheek

And drawing my finger through the pearl water of your skin,

I sense the breath on your lips touch and then warm

The finest, furthest, most unknown edge of my sense of self,

So that I come to you under the moon as if I had

Swum under the deepest arch of the ocean,

To find you living where no one could possibly live,

And to feel you breathing, where no one could

Possibly breathe, and I touch your skin as I would

Touch a pale whispering spirit of the tides that my arms

Try to hold with the wrong kind of strength and my lips

Try to speak with the wrong kind of love and I follow

You through the ocean night listening for your breath

In my helpless calling to love you as I should, and I lie

Next to you in your sleep as I would next to the sea,

Overwhelmed by the rest that arrives in me and by the weight

That is taken from me and what, by morning,

Is left on the shore of my waking joy.

You can find this poem in the collection The Sea in You.

At Night, When the Wind is Blowing (A Poem)

At Night, When the Wind is Blowing

At night, when the wind is blowing

And the Chestnut’s new leaves are rustling 

I think of the first time I climbed the hill

to this house and met you on the steps.

How the spirit of the place made room for me and

invited me to become part of its story.

I remember happy and conflicted days

of everything new and everything

breaking apart. Of wrenching grief and

the starry-eyed hope of starting over.

And I have started over with you.

Who were the first people to walk over

this ground and build their homes here?

To plant fields and grow food for themselves? 

Did they feel the land welcome them too?

Did they walk down this road, 

when it became a road, hand in hand 

in the moonlight, whispering promises?

Did they kiss under the stars and imagine

a life where every day burned bright 

like a summer afternoon because they had

found their hearts hidden in each other,

and their home in this place?

The land beneath my feet and the sky over my head

have moved on since that day,

unconcerned through the seasons

summer, fall, winter, spring.

How I have changed and how I have remained myself,

how we have grown together and have begun to live out

the truth about us–that we belong to one another,

that Fate put us in each other’s paths.

I think about this and other things,

at night, when the wind is blowing.

Poem by Kim Pollack/©2019 All Rights Reserved

Evening Poetry, June 11

Where Everything Is Music

by Rumi

Don’t worry about saving these songs!

And if one of our instruments breaks,

it doesn’t matter.

We have fallen into the place

where everything is music.

The strumming and the flute notes

rise into the atmosphere,

and even if the whole world’s harp

should burn up, there will still be

hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out.

We have a piece of flint, and a spark.

This singing art is sea foam.

The graceful movements come from a pearl

somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge

of driftwood along the beach, wanting!

They derive

from a slow and powerful root

that we can’t see.

Stop the words now

Open the window in the center of your chest,

and let the spirits fly in and out.

You can find this poem and many more in The Essential Rumi.