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Posted By Opening the Heart

Goodbyes are hard for you.
I see it in the soft truth of your eyes.
Strong body, full of grace
I offer this:

I will love you down to the bone
Through the dizziness of comings,
the heartbreak of going,
the midnight thief of sleep
whose name is "what if."

I will spread my finest coat
over broken shards of disappointment
to soften the crossing on your capable feet
through the land of losing, if you will let me.
Would give you my bread in the camps
had that been our fate in this lifetime.
I would.

I laugh at myself
amusing my ancestors
how my body remembers
jaw, teeth and claw, "it's not nice"
this tearing of flesh and I think,
"God help the person who dares to mess
with you, and with yours."
Peace lover?  Yes. Push over?  No.

Such is the nature of my loving
I would lay down my life for you.
Unmoving against the tides of time,
ebbing and flowing all over the place
sweeping us, and all that matters,
out to sea.

This random raking with hungry hands
our holy gatherings
leaves us gutted and flattened.
Kabir says, "the cup must be emptied
before it can be filled," and I say,
“empty, I stand before you.”

We are skin, bone and pulse
Dancing bravely with Mortality,
our death dates etched on smooth,
unsuspecting foreheads
teaching leaping aliveness,
recklessly spending

the currency of love.

You know those rivers running wild
under absolutely everything?
Gorgeous red blood coursing through our veins?
What separation possibly survives
This Spring, greening, Divine jungle?
When you are cut, I bleed.

You should know
though I may never speak of it,
My definition of "friend."
Tuck it, if you want
in your pocket or

wrap it in your heart cloth.
May it keep you good company.

Donna Macomber

March 27, 2010

Posted By Opening the Heart

For as long as I can remember I have loved poetry and the power that words have to evoke deep feelings. Archibald Macleish said that a poem “should not mean, but be” and Kabir said the same thing 500 years earlier when he said that you should feel a poem in the “thump of the chest”. These poets, men and women for the past 2000 years, have written these words, this divine, or sacred poetry that pass all the evolved neuro-cerebral connections and go straight to the heart like an arrow to release the pain, sadness and ecstacy that bind us in our humanity. Through their words, they give us a glimpse of the Kingdom that they experienced.
Kabir, a 15th century Sufi poet said that when, for “fifteen seconds”, he heard the words of his master, Shams, it made him a disciple for life.
I believe that poetry, words, can open the heart instantly, heal us, open us to grief long-buried and change our very souls. Lao-Tzu, 2000 years ago tells us that “each separate being in the universe returns to the common source”. Jelaluddin Rumi wrote that “the clear bead at the center changes everything.” Kabir: “Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.”

The 17th century Zen poet Bunan wrote “Die while you’re still alive and be absolutely dead. Then do whatever you want: it’s all good.” And Kabir, again, tells us to “Wake up! Wake up! You have been sleeping for millions of years. Why not wake up this morning.”

All of these great beings on up through Walt Whitman, Rilke, Antonio Machado, Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver have been lovingly tapping us on the shoulder to remind us that beyond every wound, every doubt, every fear, that we are loved beyond measure - that we are blessed. May we open our hearts to one another and come to the knowledge of our true self.

“A poet is someone
Who can pour Light into a spoon,

Then raise it
To nourish 
Your beautiful parched, holy mouth.”


With Love and Respect,