Coach’s Challenge for 4/11/11 “Poetry”

Good day, team.

It’s April again and that means it’s National Poetry Month. In celebration, I’d like to offer you poetry to challenge your mind and fill your heart. As Johann Goethe said, “A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry and see a fine picture every day of his life in order that worldly cares do not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”  Your challenge is to find a poem that speaks to you, inspires you and connects you with all and everything.

Here are some of my favorites:

Loaves and Fishes

This is not
the age of information.

This is not
the age of information.

Forget the news,
and the radio,
and the blurred screen.

This is the time
of loaves
and fishes.

People are hungry
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.

— David Whyte

Mockingbirds

This morning
two mockingbirds
in the green field
were spinning and tossing

the white ribbons
of their songs
into the air.
I had nothing

better to do
than listen.
I mean this
seriously.

In Greece,
a long time ago,
an old couple
opened their door

to two strangers
who were,
it soon appeared,
not men at all,

but gods.
It is my favorite story —
how the old couple
had almost nothing to give

but their willingness
to be attentive —
but for this alone
the gods loved them

and blessed them —
when they rose
out of their mortal bodies,
like a million particles of water

from a fountain,
the light
swept into all the corners
of the cottage,

and the old couple,
shaken with understanding,
bowed down —
but still they asked for nothing

but the difficult life
which they had already.
And the gods smiled, as they vanished,
clapping their great wings.

Wherever it was
I was supposed to be
this morning —
whatever it was I said

I would be doing —
I was standing
at the edge of the field —
I was hurrying

through my own soul,
opening its dark doors —
I was leaning out;
I was listening.

Mary Oliver

The Soul Bone

Once I said I didn’t have a spiritual bone
in my body and meant by that
I didn’t want to think of death,
as though any bone in us
could escape it. Maybe
I was afraid of what I couldn’t know
for certain, a thud like the slamming
of a coffin lid, as final and inexplicable
as that. What was the soul anyway,
I wondered, but a homonym for loneliness?
Now, in late middle age, or more, I like to imagine it,
the spirit, the soul bone, as though it were hidden
somewhere inside my body, white as a tooth
that falls from a child’s mouth, a dove,
the cloud it can fly through. Like bones,
it persists. Little knot of self, stubborn
as wildflowers in a Chilmark field in autumn,
the white ones they call boneset, for healing,
or the others, pearly everlasting.
The rabbis of the Midrash believed in the bone
and called it the
luz, just like the Spanish word
for light, the size of a chickpea or an almond,
depending on which rabbi was telling the story,
found, they said, at the top of the spine or the base,
depending. No one’s ever seen it, of course,
but sometimes at night I imagine I can feel it,
shining its light through my body, the bone
luminous, glowing in the dark. Sometimes,
if you listen, you might even hear that light
deep inside me, humming its brave
little song.

— Susan Wood

Please feel free to share any of your favorite poems this month on my blog.

Have a good week!

Kathleen

Kathleen Doyle-White

Pathfinders Coaching

(503) 296-9249

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