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Highlights: Issue #4503, Saturday,
February 4, 2011
When Death Comes
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins
from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity,
what is it going to be like, that cottage of
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my
When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular,
I don't want to find myself sighing and
or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this
- Mary Oliver
Here there is nothing to fight
Some lean to far
into the past.
Others stretch way out
into the future.
The true warrior
stays in the moment,
into whatever comes,
or sometimes with
even more difficulty,
- Virabhadrasana II, posted to Allspirit
Perhaps not to be is to be without your being.
Perhaps not to be is to be without your being,
without your going, that cuts noon light
like a blue flower, without your passing
later through fog and stones,
without the torch you lift in your hand
that others may not see as golden,
that perhaps no one believed blossomed
the glowing origin of the rose,
without, in the end, your being, your coming
suddenly, inspiringly, to know my life,
blaze of the rose-tree, wheat of the breeze:
and it follows that I am, because you are:
it follows from `you are', that I am, and we:
and, because of love, you will, I will,
We will, come to be.
- Pablo Neruda
A Riddle Song
THAT which eludes this verse and any verse,
Unheard by sharpest ear, unform'd in clearest eye
or cunningest min
d, Nor lore nor fame, nor happiness nor wealth,
And yet the pulse of every heart and life
throughout the world
Which you and I and all pursuing ever ever miss,
Open but still a secret, the real of the real, an
Costless, vouchsafed to each, yet never man the
Which poets vainly seek to put in rhyme,
historians in prose,
Which sculptor never chisel'd yet, nor painter
Which vocalist never sung, nor orator nor actor
Invoking here and now I challenge for my song.
Indifferently, 'mid public, private haunts, in
Behind the mountain and the wood,
Companion of the city's busiest streets, through
It and its radiations constantly glide.
In looks of fair unconscious babes,
Or strangely in the coffin'd dead,
Or show of breaking dawn or stars by night,
As some dissolving delicate film of dreams,
Hiding yet lingering.
Two little breaths of words comprising it.
Two words, yet all from first to last comprised in
How ardently for it!
How many ships have sail'd and sunk for it!
How many travelers started from their homes and
How much of genius boldly staked and lost for it!
What countless stores of beauty, love, ventur'd
How all superbest deeds since Time began are
traceable to it--and
shall be to the end!
How all heroic martyrdoms to it!
How, justified by it, the horrors, evils, battles
of the earth!
How the bright fascinating lambent flames of it,
in every age and
land, have drawn men's eyes,
Rich as a sunset on the Norway coast, the sky, the
islands, and the
Or midnight's silent glowing northern lights
Haply God's riddle it, so vague and yet so
The soul for it, and all the visible universe for
And heaven at last for it.
- Walt Whitman
A Brave and Startling Truth
We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
If we are bold, love strikes away the chains of
fear from our souls.
Love costs all we are and will ever be.
Yet it is only love which sets us free.
A Brave and Startling Truth.
It is possible and imperative that we discover
A brave and startling truth.
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
And without crippling fear
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonders of this
That is when, and only when
We come to it.
- Maya Angelou
Again and Again
Again and again, however we know the landscape of
and the little churchyard there, with its
and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the
fall: again and again the two of us walk out
under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
among the flowers, face to face with the sky.
- Rainer Maria Rilke