Uncover the Sun

Rituals

 

For the dead,

we swallow past

the lump in our throats

 

We stand up to speak

in the face of those

whose misery matches ours

 

We struggle for words

to share our hearts

and our loss

 

Birth and death dates

are inscribed in newspaper articles

or etched on stone

 

to become part of a story

of a life that no one

wholly knows

 

Most of us only meet

in the middle, missing

the birth or maybe the final moment

 

And every day

and some day

each person here

 

will have to grieve

the dead or be grieved

by the living

 

Year after decade

we mourn

and remember

 

Our rituals for the dead

become love

honoring love

Uncover the Sun

The Third Death

 

The first death is the physical,

the shock of the person gone,

no longer there to hold

or see or hear,

all of their possessions

no longer theirs

 

The second death is the realization

that they will not be here

for the rest of your life;

at any occasion of family and friends,

through further losses and celebrations,

they will be missing

 

The third death

is how they disappear

from most conversation

into the realm of thought and feeling only,

as if being alive is a requirement

for inclusion

 

The third death

includes the awareness

that most of the living shun the dead

and that someday, we too

will be an occasional thought or feeling

unspoken

Uncover the Sun

Dreams

 

There’s a dream country

unfamiliar, unknown

only reached when imagination

leaps from now

to someday

 

Like words that send

sentences careening

into paragraphs

and lift an old plot

into something novel

 

Some dreams vanish

into never,

while others take time,

love, and courage

to create

 

Such dreams

move us past the loss

of what once was

to fascinating places

we could not imagine

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Great Measure

 

Every soul wants to breathe

in the rich round sound

of true voice

curling up inside the chest

and spilling out of the throat

like the coolest clearest water

drunk on life and love

 

Every heart wants to beat

more closely

to that first melody

that danced every babe

out the womb into the world,

singing a welcome

to be

 

Every thought wants to touch

the tune

that keeps open

wonder and hope

and putting the best song forward

into creation’s soft longing

for itself

 

Every foot wants to dance

in great measure

with the music of the world,

the essence of beauty

in rock and tree

plant and creature,

you and me

 

Uncover the Sun

Look Up

 

Look up

through tree branches

to sky patterns

of angels opening to flight

and chubby pears dancing

out of still-life bowls

and rounded clouds resembling

anything mind allows

 

Look up

through leafy possibilities

high above

any human here

and imagine

the top of your own head,

hair parted and scalp smiling

right into the sun

 

Look up

past airplane trails

and azure sky

to see every person

you have ever loved

gazing right back at you

wherever you are

right now

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Great Measure

 

Every soul wants to breathe

the air of your true voice

for the rich round sound

curling up inside your chest

and spilling out of your throat

like the coolest clearest water

drunk on life and love

 

Every heart wants to beat

more fiercely

along with that first melody

that pulled you from the womb

into the world

and made you welcome

to be

 

Every arm wants to reach

for the touch of the tune

that keeps you open

to wonder and hope

and putting your best song forward

into creation’s soft longing

for itself

 

Every foot wants to dance

in great measure

with the music of the world,

the essence of beauty

in rock and tree,

plant and creature,

you and me

 

Uncover the Sun

Great Wealth

 

There is great wealth

in releasing

out of your life:

clothes you never wear,

unhelpful ideas,

unsatisfying work,

and unkind people

 

If you sit quietly

and feel love inside you

it will be easier to tell

what is missing around you,

what supports that inside peace

and what does not

bring you joy

 

There is great wealth

in knowing

who you are

and who you aren’t

while still

not knowing

who you may become

 

Uncover the Sun

Surprises

 

Earth surprises

in flowers

never planted

 

in love peeking out

of unexpected places

and unfamiliar faces

 

in relinquished dreams

suddenly coming

to fruition

 

in terrible losses

that simultaneously

destroy and create

 

in each day folding

into the next

like Origami

 

in bursts of freedom

knocking down walls

and opening cages

 

in the quiet pauses

between each note of life,

earth surprises

Uncover The Sun

Mother’s Day

 

The earth holds the bones

of every tree that ever held

leafy children aloft

 

and the ashes

of every human mother

that ever nursed a babe

 

and the fur of every mammal

that ever carried

their young front to back

 

and the shells of every turtle

that ever guided

offspring to the sea

 

and the skins of every reptile

that ever hatched

tiny slitherlings

 

and the feathers of every bird

that ever nested

their brood

 

the earth gently holds the bones

of every child

ever created

 

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Buddha’s Footprints

 

Follow Buddha’s footprints,

each heel to toe

pressed into stone

 

They will take you

further than mind allows

and body knows

 

They will last longer

than a life,

and no less than a heartbeat

 

Others have walked this way,

barely touching the earth

yet leaving deep impressions

 

Follow Buddha’s footprints

far enough

and there will only be your own

 

barely lingering

like dusty sand gently swept

into the wind