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Poem Bathing

Poem Bathing

Poem Bathing by Gail Onion

Poem bathing.
An hour spent reading 
favorite poetry.
Sometimes there is ecstasy, 
a respite from care, 
sometimes reassurance 
that the world has meaning
there is wonder and awe
and how to find peace in the mystery.
Sometimes there is rejoicing  
Sometimes there is lamenting
Sometimes, the words are a beautiful music 
or a necessary silence
as the poem ends in a soft hush, ineffable beauty
as in the forest. 
Sometimes the poem is like a letter
that begins, my dearest, I am so sorry
or I love you. 
Even on days when I do not have an hour
for a full poetry bath
a sponge bath made of Haiku
or one precious line or two,
murmured over and over,
restores the deep breath that calms, 
recalls what is of value,
melts the knots of doubt,
the mute voice in me is liberated,
the poem has left me its wings and wisdom,
the windows of perception are cleansed,
I sing myself awake again.

Three more poems to help you sing yourself awake again

Self-Portrait by David Whyte, Fire in the Earth

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God

or many gods.

I want to know if you belong or feel

abandoned.

If you know despair or can see it in others.

I want to know

if you are prepared to live in the world

with its harsh need

to change you.  If you can look back

with firm eyes

saying this is where I stand.  I want to know

if you know

how to melt into that fierce heat of living

falling toward

the center of your longing.

I want to know

if you are willing

to live, day by day, with the consequence of love

and the bitter

unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even

The gods speak of God.

Mornings at Blackwater by Mary Oliver

For years, every morning, I drank
from Blackwater Pond.
It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt,
the feet of ducks.
And always it assuaged me
from the dry bowl of the very far past.

What I want to say is
that the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what that will be,
darling citizen.

So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,
and put your lips to the world.

And live

your life. 

Confucious – 

“The Master said, At fifteen I set my heart upon learning.
At thirty, I had planted my feet firm upon the ground.
At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities.
At fifty, I knew what were the biddings of Heaven.
At sixty, I heard them with docile ear.
At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart; for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.” 

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