Roaming in Thought
“Roaming in thought over the Universe, I saw the little that is Good steadily hastening towards immorality, And the vast all that is call’d Evil I saw hastening to merge itself and become lost and dead.” –Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
The Snow Light
In the snow light,
In the swan light,
In the white-on-white light
of a winter storm,
my delight and your delight
Kept each other warm.
The next afternoon
and love gone so soon!-
I met myself alone
In a windless calm,
Silenced at the bone
After the white storm.
What more was to come?
Out from the cocoon,
in the silent room,
pouring our white light,
opened in the night.
The cool petals shone
like some winter moon
or shadow of a swan,
echoing the light
after you were gone
Of our white-on-white.”
“A woman walking in a walker on the cliffs
recalls great bodily joys, much pain.
Nothing in her is apt to say
my heart aches, though she read those words
in a battered college text, this morning
as the sun rose. It is all too
mixed, the heart too mixed with laughter
raucousing the grief, her life
too mixed, she shakes her heavy
silvered hair at all the fixed
declarations of baggage. I should be dead and I’m alive
don’t ask me how; I don’t eat like I should
and still I like how the drop of vodka
hits the tongue. I was a worker and a mother,
that means a worker and a worker
but for one you don’t pay union dues
or get a pension; for the other
the men ran the union, we ran the home.
It was terrible and good, we had more than half a life,
I had four lives at least, one out of marriage
when I kicked up all the dust I could
before I know what I was doing.
One life with the girls on the line during the war,
yes, painting our legs and jitterbugging together
one life with a husband, not the worst,
one with your children, none of it just what you’d thought.
We took what we could.
But even this is a life, I’m reading a lot of books
I never read, my daughter brought home from school,
plays where you can almost hear them talking,
Romantic poets, Isaac Babel. A lot of lives
worse and better than what I knew. I’m walking again.
My heart doesn’t ache; sometimes though it rages.” —–Adrienne Rich
“if you will go forward to find Us, We will come forward to receive you.
Give Us all you have, and We shall give you all We possess.
In man We have designed Our image; in woman We have finished it.
In man We have shown Our nature benign; in woman We have expressed Our art divine.
Make God a reality, and God will make you the truth.
Give all you have, and take all that is given to you.” —excerpted from The Complete Sayings; Hazrat Inayat Khan