Nancy: Caught sometimes in the never/forever, I’m reminded by the world that things change.
If the blackberry were a bitter tangle
of thorn, or were grudging of leaf, or sullen
of flowers, I would shrug. December.
Reason enough. For which of us
has not had Decembers, when cold gripped us,
times of dark days, iron nights? Then
Words like trust and love are nothing
but frost flowers, abstractions; we are
cold to the core.
But the blackberry arches green, not in denial
of December, but in affirmation of July,
and in the grace of its abundance
Crowns the meadow with flowers, and draws light
into the shadows of the trees.
Let Decembers come; they are passages
through which love and trust will come in their own time,
just as in the dark of the year
The blackberry had within it this green,
this grace of flowers, this affirmation of July.
Alan: To offer well-wishing to the universe seems like such a hopeless act. But then, who knows where the threads of our prayers may lead, and to what uses they may be put?
At Milarepa Center, Barnet, Vermont
Red and yellow,
blue, white, and green,
the prayer flags
in the morning mist,
their long lines
between farmhouse and flagpole,
pole and barn,
barn and farmhouse.
In every weather
they give blessings
to this sahā world,
and fade, fray,
thread by thread
to the air.
I have seen birds’ nests
woven with fur, hair,
bits of yarn,
bright plastic grass
from last Easter’s baskets.
I would like to find, somewhere
in the thicket behind us,
the nest of the catbird
that has kept us company all week:
a secret, cupped offering:
a rainbow at the moment