Patience is wider than one once envisioned

Although I posted this poem by the ever sharp and insightful Kay Ryan (1945-) many years ago, I keep finding my way back to it these days. May we all find and sustain the patience we need for this difficult moment in time.

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Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz. Photo by me, 2015.

“Patience”

Patience is
wider than one
once envisioned,
with ribbons
of rivers
and distant
ranges and
tasks undertaken
and finished
with modest
relish by
natives in their
native dress.
Who would
have guessed
it possible
that waiting
is sustainable—
a place with
its own harvests.
Or that in
time’s fullness
the diamonds
of patience
couldn’t be
distinguished
from the genuine
in brilliance
or hardness.

There’s no more north and south.

house

“Our Houses”

by Linda Hogan (1947-)

When we enter the unknown
of our houses,
go inside the given up dark
and sheltering walls alone
and turn out the lamps
we fall bone to bone in bed.

Neighbors, the old woman who knows you
turns over in me
and I wake up
another country. There’s no more
north and south.
Asleep, we pass through one another,
like blowing snow,
all of us,
all.

from Seeing through the Sun 

Fragile and momentary, we continue.

This meditative poem by Linda Gregg (1942-2019) was just what I needed to read today. I hope it offers you a moment of peace as well.

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small flowers from the neighborhood, April 2020

“We Manage Most When We Manage Small”

What things are steadfast? Not the birds.
Not the bride and groom who hurry
in their brevity to reach one another.
The stars do not blow away as we do.
The heavenly things ignite and freeze.
But not as my hair falls before you.
Fragile and momentary, we continue.
Fearing madness in all things huge
and their requiring. Managing as thin light
on water. Managing only greetings
and farewells. We love a little, as the mice
huddle, as the goat leans against my hand.
As the lovers quickening, riding time.
Making safety in the moment. This touching
home goes far. This fishing in the air.

from All of it Singing, Graywolf Press