Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Tag: poetry

Lines Scribbled on an Envelope While Riding the 104 Broadway Bus

by Madeline L’Engle, first published in Lines Scribbled on an Envelope.

I've never been a huge poetry reader but I have loved some recent works that crept into my life. Now I'm slowly working my way through this book. The Ordering of Love is a compilation of several of Madeline L'Engle's previous poetry works along with a few unpublished poems.

I’ve never been a huge poetry reader but I have loved some recent works that crept into my life. Now I’m slowly working my way through this book. The Ordering of Love is a compilation of several of Madeline L’Engle’s previous poetry works along with a few unpublished poems.

 

There is too much pain

I cannot understand

I cannot pray

 

I cannot pray for all the little ones with bellies bloated by starvation in India;

for all the angry Africans striving to be separate in a world struggling for wholeness;

for all the young Chinese men and women taught that hatred and killing are good and compassion evil;

or even all the frightened people in my own city looking for truth in pot or acid.

 

Here I am

and the ugly man with beery breath beside me reminds me that it is not my prayers that waken your concern, my Lord;

my prayers, my intercessions are not to ask for your love

for all your lost and lonely souls,

but mine, my love, my acceptance of your love.

Your love for the woman sticking her umbrella and her expensive parcels into my ribs and snarling, “Why don’t you watch where you’re going?”

Your love for the long-haired, gum-chewing boy who shoves the old lady aside to grab a seat,

Your love for me, too, too tired to look with love,

too tired to look at Love, at you, in every person on the bus.

Expand my love, Lord, so I can help to bear the pain,

help your love move my love into the tired prostitute with false eyelashes and bunioned feet,

the corrupt policeman with his hand open for graft,

the addict, the derelict, the woman in the mink coat and discontented mouth,

the high school girl with heavy books and frightened eyes.

 

Help me through these scandalous particulars

to understand

your love.

 

Help me to pray.

Visit me elsewhere:

Fire

I recently attended a gathering where this was read and I had a chance to reflect upon it. I hope it lights something in your soul as it did mine. (Originally published here).

 

Fire
Judy Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and the absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire
grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings,
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

 

Image via CC - Creativity103

Image via CC – Creativity103

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