Monday, March 18, 2013

I Happened to be Standing

I don’t know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflower? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
With my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can’t really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.

While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
Just outside my door, with my notebook open,
Which is the way I begin every moning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe
Or whatever you don’t. That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.

Beautiful useless is Mary with her pen in the air. 
Isn’t this who we are, all of us, all the time?
Isn’t this what a prayer is? A cat? A wren?
The triumphant trees?

My fingers are typing out a prayer, as is my breathing, my being, my being – every act a gift and a petition for life to flow easily, fully, in me, which silly me, always does no matter what.
May it be so.
(Alas, another petition, silly me)
At last, hallelujah!
It is so.

What do you ask for with your very being?
How is your life a prayer?

Monday, March 11, 2013

I Go Down to the Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall-
What should I do?  And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.

What is the longest amount of days in a row you have been miserable?  I am thinking that I might for myself say 400, and am currently just now finishing that long stretch where it has been hard to work, and wondering if I could even return to work.

Silly me. Silly humans.  We are always working - like a hummingbird flying around a flower, eating, surviving, fighting, dying.

I think God knows no particulars of this and that work.  That is a box we humans create, and into which we attempt to stuff as much activity as possible. What's the use of damning the river, caging the bird, or boxing ourselves into this or that?  

We are here to be beautiful useless.