Poems For Your Soul on Thanksgiving

Dear Friend,

Holidays are rich times in the life of your soul.
Complex emotions may surface.

Give your heart space for all you may be feeling today.
I offer you a collection of poems to assist your soul-self
to open and receive all that’s present for you on this day.

I’ve sent these poems before on Thanksgiving
because I find they speak to many levels and layers.

When you have time, read one or more of these poems,
and let it be an invitation to write.
Take the first line of a poem, or any line that calls to you,
write it down as if it’s your first line,
and just let yourself write, whatever comes,
for at least five minutes.

May you be blessed with a container wide enough
to hold all that arises for you today, and every day.

May writing be one of the ways you hold, honor,
heal and transform all that your life offers you.
Blessings to you today, and every day.

W.S. Merwin

I have to trust what was given to me
if I am to trust anything
it led the stars over the shadowless mountain
what does it remember in its night and silence
what does it not hope knowing itself no child of time
what did it not begin what will it not end
I have to hold it up in my hands as my ribs hold up my heart
again in the mountain I have to turn
to the morning
I must be led by what was given to me
as streams are led by it
and braiding flight of birds
the gropings of veins the leaning of plants
the thankful days
breath by breath
I call to it Nameless One O Invisible
Untouchable Free
I am nameless I am divided
I am invisible I am untouchable
and empty
nomad live with me
be my eyes
my tongue and my hands
my sleep and my rising
out of chaos
come and be given

W.S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow for the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions.
back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
looking up from tables we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you
with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

More Honey Locust
–Mary Oliver

Any day now
the branches
of the honey locust
will be filled
with white fountains;
in my hands
I will see
the holy seeds
and a sweetness
will rise up
from those petal-bundles
so heavy
I must close my eyes
to take it in,
to bear
such generosity.
I hope that you too
know the honey locust,
the fragrance
of those fountains:
and I hope that you too will pause
to admire the slender trunk,
the leaves, the holy seeds,
the ground  they grow from
year after year
with striving and patience;
and I hope that you too
will say a word of thanks
for such creation
out of the wholesome earth,
which would be, and dearly is it needed,
a prayer for all of us.

—-Mary Oliver

Everyone should be born into this world happy
and loving everything.
But in truth it rarely works that way.
For myself, I have spent my life clamoring toward it.
Halleluiah, anyway, I’m not where I started!

And have you too been trudging like that, sometimes
almost forgetting how wondrous the world is
and how miraculously kind some people can be?
And have you too decided that probably nothing important
Is ever easy?
Not, say, for the first sixty years.

Halleluiah, I’m sixty now, and even a little more,
and some days I feel I have wings.