Coal Town by Ryan Stone

Birds don’t stop in this town.
I see them fly past, black peppering
blue, going someplace. I’ve given up
dreaming wings. This town
will know my bones. Condoms
sell well in Joe’s corner store—boredom breeds
but breeding’s a trap, a twitch in the smile
of those steel-eyed shrews
who linger late after church.
I walked half a day, out past the salt flats,
after they closed the movie house down. Smoked
the joint she’d brought back from college
when she returned to bury my dad.
I remember how pale her fingers lay
across my father’s hands—
coal miner’s hands, tarred like his lungs;
like this town.

Pueblo Prayer

Hold on to what is good, even if it’s a handful of Earth.
Hold on to what you believe, even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do, even if it’s a long way from here.
Hold on to your life, even if it’s easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand, even if someday I’ll be gone away from you.
—PUEBLO PRAYER

Think of me Sometimes

(Native American Wisdom)

When I am dead, cry for me a little.

Think of me sometimes, but not too much.

It is not good for you or your wife or your husband or your children

To allow your thoughts to dwell too long on the dead.

Think of me now and again as I was in life,

At some moment which is pleasant to recall,

But not for long.

Leave me in peace as I shall leave you, too, in peace.

While you live, let your thoughts be with the living. —

ISHI, YAHI

Native American Wisdom

The Great Spirit is in all things:
He is in the air we breathe.
The Great Spirit is our father,
but the Earth is our Mother.
She nourishes us;
that which we put into the ground
she returns to us.
—BIG THUNDER (BEDAGI), WABANAKI ALGONQUIN

When Death Comes by Mary Oliver (Oct 03, 2006)

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

 

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost (1874–1963)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Wilderness by Ian McCallum

Have we forgotten

That wilderness is not a place,

But a pattern of the soul

Where every tree, every bird and beast

Is a soul maker?

 

Have we forgotten

That wilderness is not a place

But a moving feast of the starts,

Footprints, scales and beginnings?

 

Since when did we become afraid of the night

And that only the bright starts count?

Or that our moon is not a moon

Unless it is full?

 

By who’s command

Were the animals

Through groping fingers,

One for each hand,

Reduced to the big and little five?

 

Have we forgotten

That every creature is within us

Carried by tides

Of earthly blood

And that we named them?

 

Have we forgotten

That wilderness is not a place

But a season

And that we are in its final hour.

 

A Peace Prayer by Yogi Bhajan

In God’s love for you alone, life unfolds

Like a silken cone unwinds.

And we are all woven, one with God.

Strands of silk,

Sacred and divine.

The drums of war are loud and clear,

But hope of peace is also near.

If the Word of God will lead the people

And compassion will flow with the beat of the heart,

The human race will find its essence.

Let us pray for love of peace.

Let us pray for love of truth.

Let us pray for everyone to pray

For the innocent in bondage

Miles and miles away.

Let us pray for the innocent victims.

Let us pray on the death of the innocents—

Those humans created in the image of God,

Tortured by men with earthly authority,

Actions so far away from morality.

In my prayer

I wish you the wealth of peace

To make beautiful our tomorrow

Where human beings can live in love

Forever free from sorrow.

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan