Leaves of Faith

Dear Earth

Author: 
Max Kapp

Often I have felt that I must praise my world
For what my eyes have seen these many years
And what my heart has loved.
And often I have tried to start my lines:

"Dear Earth," I say, and then I pause
To look once more.

Soon I am bemused
And far away in wonder.

So I never get beyond "Dear Earth."

Praise

Author: 
Rainer Maria Rilke

Tell us, O poet, what do you do?—I praise

But those dark, deadly devastating ways,

How do you bear them, suffer them?—I praise.

And the Nameless, beyond guess or gaze,

How can you call it, conjure it?—I praise.

And whence your right, in every kind of maze

In every mask, to remain true?—I praise.

And that the mildest and the wildest ways

 

Know you like star and storm?—Because I praise.

Don't Hesitate

Author: 
Mary Oliver

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happened better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.

Perfection, Perfection

Author: 
Kilian McDonnell

(“I will walk the way of perfection.” Psalm 101:2)

I have had it with perfection.
I have packed my bags,
I am out of here.
Gone.

As certain as rain
will make you wet,
perfection will do you
in.

It droppeth not as dew
upon the summer grass
to give liberty and green
joy.

Perfection straineth out
the quality of mercy,
withers rapture at its
birth.

Before the battle is half begun,
cold probity thinks
it can’t be won, concedes the
war.

I’ve handed in my notice,
given back my keys,
signed my severance check, I
quit.

Hints I could have taken:
Even the perfect chiseled form of
Michelangelo’s radiant David
squints,

the Venus de Milo
has no arms,
the Liberty Bell is
cracked.

Food is not merely something we eat

Author: 
Marc David

Food is not merely something we eat. It is a ceaseless

reminder that we are mortal, earthbound hungry and in need.

We are bound by a biological imperative that forever keeps us

returning to the soil, plants, animals, and running waters for

replenishment. Eating is life. Each time we eat, the soul

continues its earthly journey. With every morsel of food

swallowed a voice says, “I choose life. I choose to eat, for a I

yearn for something more."

What We Need

Author: 
David Budbill

The Emperor,

his bullies

and henchmen,

terrorize the world

every day

which is why

every day

we need

a little poem

of kindness,

a small song

of peace,

a brief moment

of joy.

Power and Capitalism

Author: 
Stokely Carmichael

If a white man wants to lynch me, that's his problem. If he's got the power to lynch me, that's my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it's a question of power. Racism gets its power from capitalism. Thus, if you're anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist. The power for racism, the power for sexism, comes from capitalism, not an attitude.

The Common Good

Author: 
Kathleen McTigue

We breathe the common wind of the earth
no matter where we live, who we love,
what language we speak.

We drink the common water of the earth
no matter what our color, how long we live,
the coverings we drape on our forms.

We travel the common paths of the earth
no matter our beliefs, how far we move from home,
the gold that we carry, or its lack.

May we live from these truths: our hearts
open to the holiness all around us,
and our hands turned always toward the common good.

God Says Yes To Me

Author: 
Kaylin Haught

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic

and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

Honey

Author: 
Connie Wanek

Luxury itself, thick as a Persian carpet,
honey fills the jar
with the concentrated sweetness
of countless thefts,
the blossoms bereft, the hive destitute.

Though my debts are heavy
honey would pay them all.
Honey heals, honey mends.
A spoon takes more than it can hold
without reproach. A knife plunges deep,
but does no injury.

Honey moves with intense deliberation.
Between one drop and the next
forty lean years pass in a distant desert.
What one generation labored for
another receives,
and yet another gives thanks.

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