London – a poem by William Blake

I wander through each chartered street,

Near where the chartered Thames does flow,

And mark in every face I meet marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every man,

In every infant’s cry of fear, in every voice, in every ban,

The mind-forged manacles I hear how the chimney-sweeper’s cry

Every black’ning church appeals,

And the hapless soldier’s sigh runs in blood down palace walls.

But most through midnight streets

I hear how the youthful harlot’s curse

Blasts the new-born infant’s tear,

And blights with plagues the marriage hearse.

Love – by Emmet Fox

There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer;

No disease that enough love will not heal;

No door that enough love will not open;

No gulf that enough love will not bridge;

No wall that enough love will not throw down;

No sin that enough love will not redeem.

It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble,

How hopeless the outlook,

How muddled the tangle,

How great the mistake;

A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.

If only you could love enough,

you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world.

Sometimes – David Whyte

Sometimes
if you move carefully
through the forest

breathing
like the ones
in the old stories

who could cross
a shimmering bed of dry leaves
without a sound, 

you come
to a place
whose only task

is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests

conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.

Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
and

to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,

questions
that can make
or unmake
a life,

questions
that have patiently
waited for you,

questions
that have no right
to go away.

I Will Not Die an Unlived Life by Dawna Markova

I will not die an unlived life

I will not live in fear of falling

or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days,

to allow my living to open me,

to make me less afraid,

more accessible,

to loosen my heart

until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance;

to live so that which came to me as seed

goes to the next as blossom

and that which came to me as blossom,

goes on as fruit.

I Am Not I – by Juan Ramôn Jiménez

I am not I.

I am this one

walking beside me whom I do not see,

whom at times I manage to visit,

and whom at other times I forget;

who remains calm and silent while I talk,

and forgives, gently, when I hate,

who walks where I am not,

who will remain standing when I die.

 

 

 

Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Colors passing through us by Marge Piercy

Purple as tulips in May, mauve
into lush velvet, purple
as the stain blackberries leave
on the lips, on the hands,
the purple of ripe grapes
sunlit and warm as flesh.

Every day I will give you a color,
like a new flower in a bud vase
on your desk. Every day
I will paint you, as women
color each other with henna
on hands and on feet.

Red as henna, as cinnamon,
as coals after the fire is banked,
the cardinal in the feeder,
the roses tumbling on the arbor
their weight bending the wood
the red of the syrup I make from petals.

Orange as the perfumed fruit
hanging their globes on the glossy tree,
orange as pumpkins in the field,
orange as butterflyweed and the monarchs
who come to eat it, orange as my
cat running lithe through the high grass.

Yellow as a goat’s wise and wicked eyes,
yellow as a hill of daffodils,
yellow as dandelions by the highway,
yellow as butter and egg yolks,
yellow as a school bus stopping you,
yellow as a slicker in a downpour.

Here is my bouquet, here is a sing
song of all the things you make
me think of, here is oblique
praise for the height and depth
of you and the width too.
Here is my box of new crayons at your feet.

Green as mint jelly, green
as a frog on a lily pad twanging,
the green of cos lettuce upright
about to bolt into opulent towers,
green as Grand Chartreuse in a clear
glass, green as wine bottles.

Blue as cornflowers, delphiniums,
bachelors’ buttons. Blue as Roquefort,
blue as Saga. Blue as still water.
Blue as the eyes of a Siamese cat.
Blue as shadows on new snow, as a spring
azure sipping from a puddle on the blacktop.

Cobalt as the midnight sky
when day has gone without a trace
and we lie in each other’s arms
eyes shut and fingers open
and all the colors of the world
pass through our bodies like strings of fire.

An Evening Hour by Pearlyn

It was a sunny bright evening, an evening so calm,
The kind of evening that was inviting me with an outstretched arm.
So I decided to spend an hour doing almost nothing,
Sitting and enjoying the best of what nature could bring.
Getting up from my chair, I thought I’d take a stride
Then there was a bumble bee that suddenly came by my side.
There was a kind of music as the bee flapped its wing,
Music so perfect that no one could ever sing.
Walking little further, I spotted a butterfly
Which was hovering over the flowers and then soaring high
And I came to the conclusion as I was on my knees,
Not the richest of queens was dressed like one of these.
My evening hour in the garden was very well spent
And now I know what beauty and music really meant!!