You and I
Have so much love,
Burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you
And a figure of me.
Then we take both of them,
And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you,
And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.
Your are in my clay.
In life we share a single quilt.
In death we will share one coffin.
Source and Additional Context: Classical Chinese Poems in English
by Naomi Long Madgett
I cannot swear with any certainty
That I will always feel as I do now,
Loving you with the same fierce ecstacy,
Needing the same your lips upon my brow.
Nor can I promise stars forever bright,
Or vow green leaves will never turn to gold.
I cannot see beyond this present night
To say what promises the dawn may hold.
And yet, I know my heart must follow you
High up to hilltops, low through vales of tears,
Through golden days and days of sombre hue.
And love will only deepen with the years,
Becoming sun and shadow, wind and rain,
Wine that grows mellow, bread that will sustain.
Published in A Rock Against the Wind: African-American Poems and Letters of Love and Passion, edited by Lindsay Patterson.
Advice from a Tree
by Ilan Shamir
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to Let Go in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Earth, fresh air, light
Drink plenty of water
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!
Inspired by The Loirca of St. Patrick
Peace be with you and within you
behind, before, beneath, above.
Share peace with all:
friend, foe and stranger,
Be eyes and ears and hearts of love.
I consider this piece by Irish poet and Catholic priest John O'Donohue as a great alternative to the fictional Blessing of the Apaches, which was adapted from a novel and has nothing to do with First Nations people.
As spring unfolds the dream of the Earth,
May you bring each other’s hearts to birth.
As the ocean finds calm in view of land,
May you love the gaze of each other’s mind.
As the wind arises free and wild,
May nothing negative control your lives.
As kindly as moonlight might search the dark,
So gentle may you be when light grows scarce.
As surprised as the silence that music opens,
May your words for each other be touched with reverence.
As warmly as the air draws in the light,
May you welcome each other’s every gift.
As elegant as dream absorbing the night,
May sleep find you clear of anger and hurt.
As twilight harvests all the day’s color,
May love bring you home to each other.
A reading from St. Paul's letter to the Romans
Let love be without any pretense.
Avoid what is evil;
stick to what is good.
In love, let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression
and regard others as more important as yourself.
In the service of the Lord,
work not halfheartedly but with conscientiousness and an eager spirit.
Be joyful in hope,
persevere in hardship;
keep praying regularly;
share with any of God's holy people who are in need;
look for opportunities to be hospitable.
Bless your persecutors, never curse them, bless them.
Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow.
Give the same consideration to all others alike.
Pay no regard to social standing,
but meet humble people on their own terms.
Do not congratulate yourself on your own wisdom.
Never pay back evil with evil,
but bear in mind the ideal that all regard with respect.
As much as possible, and to the utmost of your ability,
be at peace with everyone.
The word of the Lord.
Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.
In my mind I had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveler finds a place of welcome
suddenly amid the wrong valleys and rocks and twisting roads.
But you, what shall I call you?
A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good,
An eye that makes the whole world bright.
Your open heart, simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.
These I Can Promise
I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.
But I can promise all my heart's devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me
Invitation to Love
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or come when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars
Drops on the hay-field yellow.
Come in the twilight soft and gray,
Come in the night or come in the day,
Come, O love, whene’er you may,
And you are welcome, welcome.
You are sweet, O Love, dear Love,
You are soft as the nesting dove.
Come to my heart and bring it to rest
As the bird flies home to its welcome nest.
Come when my heart is full of grief
Or when my heart is merry;
Come with the falling of the leaf
Or with the redd’ning cherry.
Come when the year’s first blossom blows,
Come when the summer gleams and glows,
Come with the winter’s drifting snows,
And you are welcome, welcome.