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Poems of Connection

Updated on April 29, 2012

An Anthology: Poems of Connection


"We all flow from one fountain; - Soul. All are expressions of one love. God does not appear, and flow out, only from narrow chinks and round bored wells here and there in favored races and places, but He flows in grand undivided curents, shoreless and boundless over creeds and forms and all kinds of civilizations and peoples and beasts, saturating all and fountainizing all."

~ John Muir ~

artwork left: "Connection" at jenotey / photobucket

A Ritual To Read To Each Other - by William Stafford

Photo: Buddhist _Painting photobucket


If you don't know the kind of person I am

and I don't know the kind of person you are

a pattern that others made may prevail in the world

and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,

a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break

sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood

storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,

but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,

I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty

to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,

a remote important region in all who talk:

though we could fool each other, we should consider-

lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,

or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;

the signals we give - yes or no, or maybe -

should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

Waxwings

by Robert Francis

Four tao philosophers as cedar waxwings

chat on a February berrybush

in sun, and I am one.

Such merriment and such sobriety--

the small wild fruit on the tall stalk--

was this not always my true style?

Above an elegance of snow, beneath

a silk-blue sky a brotherhood of four

birds. Can you mistake us?

To sun, to feast, and to converse

and all together--for this I have abandoned all my other lives.

photo right: Jason_Hobbie / phorobucket

Poem for a Chorus - by Marie Cartier

Photo: Peace Memorial in Hiroshima / stvn_310 photobucket


I am a woman with paper.

My lover's flesh, apricot silk, under my hand.

On the TV, a special on Hiroshima.

In nine seconds, 100,000 people killed.

Whose arms would I reach out to in nine seconds?

Apricot silk ripples

How many hours do we spend apart?

In Hiroshima people died in factories.

Children at their desks.

I was 8:11 a.m.

8:11 a.m. My lover at work.

I am at work.

A space between us -- and then, nine seconds.

An elderly Japanese gentleman weeps.

He remembers a baby suckling a lifeless breast.

"These hands turned the pages of a book,

held a baby," he sees the mother's hands.

"Her fingers curled into stumps,

oozed a strange, grey liquid.

The baby did not understand, and cried."

He wipes his eyes carefully,

"There were burns. Flesh ripped by wind.

People impaled under parts of buildings.

Politely asking for 'Some help. Please. If you can.'

At the center, you see,

it was really very quiet."

Yet, I am simply a woman with paper.

my hand my home skin peach cream honeysuckle

I see their faces their arms and legs.

sores running like split fruit

their faces taut,

They did not cry out.

At the center there was silence.

The significance I want to bring to my words

echoes strongest in the spaces between them.

Silence. Nine seconds. Then silence.

my lover's flesh peach silk

torn back open mouthed silent screaming

What can I tell you, out there

beyond this small Colorado night?

100,000 people killed in nine seconds, 1945.

1987, a bomb 1,000 times more powerful,

will leave 70 percent of the world's population -- silent.

I tell you -- I want us to live.

At the center there was silence.

These hands turn the pages of books.

Sit with paper and pen.

I fold the paper into an airplane.

Aim it towards a center of voices.

Of voices.

The least movement is of

importance to all nature.

The entire ocean is affected

by a pebble.

~ Blaise Pascal ~

The Pebble

by Zbigniew Herbert

The pebble

is a perfect creature

equal to itself

mindful of its limits

filled exactly

with pebbly meaning

with a scent which does not remind one of anything

does not frighten anything away does not arouse desire

its ardour and coldness

are just and full of dignity

I feel a heavy remorse

when I hold it in my hand

and its noble body

is permeated by false warmth

--Pebbles cannot be tamed

to the end they will look at us

with a calm and very clear eye

Translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Peter Dale Scott

drawing above: sarazdenka / photobucket

ONE THING POETRY TEACHES US, IF ANYTHING, IS THAT EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.

~ Lucille Clifton

Our Houses - by Linda Hogan


When we enter the unknown

of our houses,

go inside the given up dark

and sheltering walls alone

and turn out the lamps

we fall bone to bone in bed.

Neighbors, the old woman who knows you

turns over in me

and I wake up

another country. There's no more

north and south.

Asleep, we pass through one another

like blowing snow,

all of us,

all.

Rainbow Connection (video) - sung by Jason Mraz

Look At Love

by Rumi

Look at Love...

how it tangles

with the one fallen in love

look at spirit

how it fuses with earth

giving it new life

why are you so busy

with this or that or good or bad

pay attention to how things blend

why talk about all

the known and the unknown

see how unknown merges into the known

why think separately

of this life and the next

when one is born from the last

look at your heart and tongue

one feels but deaf and dumb

the other speaks in words and signs

look at water and fire

earth and wind

enemies and friends all at once

the wolf and the lamb

the lion and the deer

far away yet together

look at the unity of this

spring and winter

manifested in the equinox

you too must mingle my friends

since the earth and the sky

are mingled just for you and me

be like sugarcane

sweet yet silent

don't get mixed up with bitter words

my beloved grows

right out of my own heart

how much more union can there be

pic above: stevescrivensents / photobucket

Everything the Power of the World . . .


Everything the Power of the World does

is done in a circle. The sky is round,

and I have heard that the earth is round

like a ball, and so are all the stars.

The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.

Birds make their nests in circles,

for theirs is the same religion as our.

The sun comes forth and goes down again

in a circle. The moon does the same,

and both are round. Even the seasons

for a great circle in their changing,

and always come back again to where they were.

The life of man is a circle from childhood to childhood,

and so it is in everything where power moves.

~ Black Elk ~

told through John G. Neihardt

Circles . . .

Connection Library - Earth Prayers From around the World: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth

Earth Prayers: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations from Around the World
Earth Prayers: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations from Around the World

This book brings together poems and prayers from all sorts of cultures honoring nature. There's a Navajo chant, Zuni chant, Hindu prayer, songs by Eskimos, poetry by Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson and more and more. Four hundred pages of wonderful words for the earth. (merrymousies, amazon reviewer)

 

Mystic Connections: Poems of Nature and Relationships

Mystic Connections: Poems of Nature and Relationships
Mystic Connections: Poems of Nature and Relationships

This volume of seamlessly-woven poems of joy and loss, mysticism and sensual earthiness, begins on a supernatural shamanic plane. Though the poems are mostly lyrical, there's narrative, too; and lists, lamentations, prayers and eulogies as well. This book is crafted like a sacred circular hoop, and by the end, we're returned to the ethereal state with which the poet began, leaving us in a place of transcendent joy. (amazon)

 

ONE LIFE: Healing Poems of Higher Awareness For the Earth and Humanity

ONE LIFE: Healing Poems of Higher Awareness For the Earth and Humanity
ONE LIFE: Healing Poems of Higher Awareness For the Earth and Humanity

Through the universal law of harmony, all people, all creatures, and all life on earth were born from one great divine source. The poems in this book express this spirit of oneness through a new perspective, melting the barriers that separate us from our true, divine Self. These poems fill us with a deep sense of joy, hope, and courage that well up from within. Even one poem can awaken us to a new awareness, a new energy, and a new enthusiasm for life. (amazon)

 

The Earth Speaks

The Earth Speaks: An Acclimatization Journal
The Earth Speaks: An Acclimatization Journal

A collection of images and impressions captured by those who have listened to the earth with their hearts --- John Muir, Walt Whitman, Annie Dillard, John Burroughs, Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, Henry David Thoreau, and more...

The Earth Speaks can be read by individuals in moments of solitude, shared among friends around a trailside campfire, and used by leaders to help their learners develop a love for life and the systems of the earth that sustain it.

Brought to life by the beautiful block prints of Gwen Frostic, this book contains the writings of naturalists and natives, poets and philosophers, plus ordinary people who were able to capture in words some of the magic and meaning of the earth's marvels. (amazon)

 

Life Prayers : From Around the World : 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey

Life Prayers : From Around the World : 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey
Life Prayers : From Around the World : 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Affirmations to Celebrate the Human Journey

The mysteries and delights of life on earth are illuminated in this richly eclectic collection of poetry, wisdom, prayers, and blessings from thinkers and writers around the world. Here you will find the poetry of Hildgard of Bingen and Gary Snyder; the political wisdom of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr.; a treasury of women's prayers, classical verse from China and Japan; and beautiful chants and prayers by Native Americans. A joyous affirmation of the human journey in all its forms, in all its struggles and glories. (amazon)

 

One Heart: Universal Wisdom from the World's Scriptures

One Heart: Universal Wisdom from the World's Scriptures
One Heart: Universal Wisdom from the World's Scriptures

One Heart illuminates the common sacred ground at the heart of seven faiths: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism. Its method is to identify 65 essential principles and illustrate each principle with one, two, or three quotations (adding up to more than 600) from a wide variety of texts sacred to each of the seven faiths. (amazon)

 

The Irish Cliffs of Moher

by Wallace Stevens

Who is my father in this world, in this house,

At the the spirit's base?

My father's father, his father's father, his--

Shadows like winds

Go back to a parent before thought, before speech,

At the head of the past.

They go to the cliffs of Moher rising out of the mist,

Above the real,

Rising out of present time and place, above

The wet, green grass.

This is not landscape, full of the somnambulations

Of poetry

And the sea. This is my father, or, maybe,

It is as he was,

A likeness, one of the race of fathers: earth

And sea and air.

Origins

by J Brehmer

computers evolve

because we remake them

to do a few things better

than we their makers

can we do a few things better

than our creators

perhaps our word evolve

is synonym for their concept re-vamp

there could be an unknown life form

or non-form

punching a holographic keyboard

and pushing a giant five dimensional mouse

scooting me around my carbon-based life

computers have amazing memory

with zippidee-doo-dah retrieval

and giga-tera-trilobytes

of calculation capacity,

thinking and socializing with ones and zeros

perhaps our designers

have grown us into organi-chines

which process five virtual sounds

that inform their world:

A.E.I.O. and U . . .

artwork: Coltmaverick / photobucket

A Name For All - by Hart Crane

above: LycanCat @ photobucket


Moonmoth and grasshopper that flee our page

And still wing on, untarnished of the name

We pinion to your bodies to assuage

Our envy of your freedom-we must maim

Because we are usurpers, and chagrined-

And take the wing and scar it in the hand.

Names we have, even, to clap on the wind;

But we must die, as you, to understand.

I dreamed that all men dropped their names, and sang

As only they can praise, who build their days

With fin and hoof, with wing and sweetened fang

Struck free and holy in one Name always.

I am a part of all that I have met.

~ Alfred Tennyson ~

A Blessing

by James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,

Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.

And the eyes of those two Indian ponies

Darken with kindness.

They have come gladly out of the willows

To welcome my friend and me.

We step over the barbed wire into the pasture

Where they have been grazing all day, alone.

They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness

That we have come.

They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.

There is no loneliness like theirs.

At home once more,

They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.

I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,

For she has walked over to me

And nuzzled my left hand.

She is black and white,

Her mane falls wild on her forehead,

And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear

That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.

Suddenly I realize

That if I stepped out of my body I would break

Into blossom.

Meditation (video)

The Pedestrian Woman - by Robin Morgan


She stands at the intersection, waiting

to stride across in that inimitable way of hers,

shoulderbag banging against one hip, head high,

her hair promiscuous to the wind.

Or sits at the typewriter, inconspicuous

as any other woman,

writing messages to the universe

which will get her in trouble with the boss.

No past, no future, flickers like a clue

in all those chance encounters

that accumulate a life.

See her ride the subway. See her

warm the leftovers for her supper.

See her feed her dog.

And can you see what vision

fires its shape in her sleep's kiln,

what passion, irony, and wit,

what love, what courage

are disguised

in all her daily movements?

Ordinary is a word that has no meaning.

Her life is a fine piece of Japanese pottery

in the Shibui style,

so crafted that to see the cup's exterior

is to be privy only to its dull sienna clay

and to the flavored warmth with which you choose to fill it.

But drained of all you preconceptions

you may discover the bowl inside --

a high-glazed hyacinth blue

that rushes to your heart

and there remains, like an indelible message

you remember from a fortune told in tea leaves once,

like a wet jasmine flower

that you can never rinse away.

Sunrise

By Mary Oliver

You can

die for it--

an idea,

or the world. People

have done so,

brilliantly,

letting

their small bodies be bound

to the stake,

creating

an unforgettable

fury of light. But

this morning,

climbing the familiar hills

in the familiar

fabric of dawn, I thought

of China,

and India

and Europe, and I thought

how the sun

blazes

for everyone just

so joyfully

as it rises

under the lashes

of my own eyes, and I thought

I am so many!

What is my name?

What is the name

of the deep breath I would take

over and over

for all of us? Call it

whatever you want, it is

happiness, it is another one

of the ways to enter

fire.

After Years

by Ted Kooser

Today, from a distance, I saw you

walking away, and without a sound

the glittering face of a glacier

slid into the sea. An ancient oak

fell in the Cumberlands, holding only

a handful of leaves, and an old woman

scattering corn to her chickens looked up

for an instant. At the other side

of the galaxy, a star thirty-five times

the size of our own sun exploded

and vanished, leaving a small green spot

on the astronomer's retina

as he stood on the great open dome

of my heart with no one to tell.

cutting greens - by Lucille Clifton

Photo: eryhngreen / photobucket


curling them around

i hold their bodies in obscene embrace

thinking of everything but kinship.

collards and kale

strain against each strange other

away from my kissmaking hand and

the iron bedpot.

the pot is black,

the cutting board is black,

my hand,

and just for a minute

the greens roll black under the knife,

and i taste in my natural appetite

the bond of live things everywhere.

llama
llama

Come into Animal Presence

by Denise Levertov

Come into animal presence.

No man is so guileless as

the serpent. The lonely white

rabbit on the roof is a star

twitching its ears at the rain.

The llama intricately

folding its hind legs to be seated

not disdains but mildly

disregards human approval.

What joy when the insouciant

armadillo glances at us and doesn't

quicken his trotting

across the track into the palm brush.

What is this joy? That no animal

falters, but knows what it must do?

That the snake has no blemish,

that the rabbit inspects his strange surroundings

in white star-ssilence? The llama

rests in dignity, the armadillo

has some intention to pursue in the palm-forest.

Those who were sacred have remained so,

holiness does not dissolve, it is a presence

of bronze, only the sight that saw it

faltered and turned from it.

An old joy returns in holy presence.

Nostalgia

by Billy Collins

Remember the 1340's? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.

You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,

and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,

the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.

Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,

and at night we would play a game called "Find the Cow."

Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet

marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags

of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.

Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle

while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.

We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.

These days language seems transparent a badly broken code.

The 1790's will never come again. Childhood was big.

People would take walks to the very tops of hills

and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.

Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.

We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.

It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.

I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.

Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.

And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,

time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,

or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me

recapture the serenity of last month when we picked

berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.

Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.

I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees

and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light

flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse

and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.

As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,

letting my memory rush over them like water

rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.

I was even thinking a little about the future, that place

where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,

a dance whose name we can only guess.

I'd be grateful . . .

If you like this lens please click the thumbs up icon - you'll find it at the top, and the foot, of this page.

Nicely read & great photos . .

Mending Wall

by Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,

And spills the upper boulders in the sun,

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair

Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,

No one has seen them made or heard them made,

But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

We have to use a spell to make them balance:

'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of out-door game,

One on a side. It comes to little more:

There where it is we do not need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it

Where there are cows?

But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,

But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me~

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father's saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

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    • profile image

      mysterious2528 6 years ago

      Nice page. You did a great job putting this together and the poems you chose were very interesting. If you get a chance, check out my page as well http://www.squidoo.com/evolvingpoetry. Again, great job!

    • puerdycat lm profile image

      puerdycat lm 6 years ago

      Lovely Collection! You know (?) Wallace Stevens favorite of mine, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."

    • JakTraks profile image
      Author

      Jacqueline Marshall 6 years ago from Chicago area

      @puerdycat lm: I just read Thirteen Ways . . . - wow!!

    • puerdycat lm profile image

      puerdycat lm 6 years ago

      Having written my Wallace Stevens lens, and revisiting you, discovered the wonderful Rumi you included. Thank you!

    • james g pete profile image

      james g pete 6 years ago

      What a collection! So thanks for your work in assembling these, and the many photos! Such a selection reflects a love and openness in your reading. If I had to name one, and I would like to, I have a fondness for A Blessing by James Wright.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 5 years ago

      Cool poetry! Blessed this and I am putting it on my poetry review angel lens!

    • JakTraks profile image
      Author

      Jacqueline Marshall 5 years ago from Chicago area

      @ZenandChic: Awesome. I appreciate it!!

    • Northbright profile image

      Norbert Isles 5 years ago from Philippines

      Your lens appeals deeply to my holistic spirit and deep interest in the underlying connection of all of reality; and you have accomplished it through collections of poetry and images that capture my heart, mind and vision. This lens is very special.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The subject is great, the photos add a lot, and I really enjoyed this lens.

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 4 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Beautiful collection. Thank you!

    • Naakordai profile image

      Naakordai 4 years ago

      So refreshing and uplifting. Thanks ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wonderful choice of inspired poetry! Does the job! Thanks.

    • profile image

      Carlynda 2 years ago

      No quetison this is the place to get this info, thanks y'all.

    • profile image

      Analee 2 years ago

      My spouse and I abollutesy love your blog and find a lot of yourpost's to be just what I'm looking for. Does one offer guest writers to writecontent for yourself? I wouldn't mind writing a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write related to here. Again, awesome web log!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 14 months ago from london

      Truly beautiful and exquisite poetry. Thank You.

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