Tag Archives: literature

Beautiful Day

 

 

What is a beautiful day?

When you wake up, smile and say,

“thank you for letting me rise today.”

Feeling the warm sun on your skin,

breathing in nature’s delights.

The innocence and bliss of a child-

who looks up to you and says:

mommy or daddy for the first time.

The sound of the wind dancing

through the trees.

Friends you have known all your life,

and those that you just meet.

Making someone’s day a little brighter

with a smile.

Pets that are happy to see you,

wagging their tails to greet you at the door.

Parents who love you unconditionally,

who could ask for more?

Love that lives in each and every one of us,

ready to share with anyone at any given time.

Enjoying the “little things” in life,

cherishing every moment.

Poem by Tammy More

Friday is Forever Rumi

 

 

LIKE THIS

If anyone asks you

how the perfect satisfaction

of all our sexual wanting

will look, lift your face

and say,

Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness

of the nightsky, climb up on the roof

and dance and say,

Like this!

If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is,

or what “God’s fragrance” means,

lean your head toward him or her.

Keep your face there close.

Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image

about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,

slowly loosen knot by knot the strings

of your robe.

Like this?

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,

don’t try to explain the miracle.

Kiss me on the lips.

Like this.  Like this.

When someone asks what it means

to “die for love,” point

here.

If someone asks how tall I am, frown

and measure with your fingers the space

between the creases on your forehead.

This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns.

When someone doesn’t believe that,

walk back into my house.

Like this.

When lovers moan,

they’re telling our story.

Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live.

Stare into this deepening blue,

while the breeze says a secret.

Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do,

light the candle in his hand.

Like this.

How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?

Huuuuuuu.

How did Jacob’s sight return?

Huuuuuuu.

A little wind cleans the eyes.

Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz,

he’ll put just his head around the edge

of the door to surprise us.

Like this.

 

Poem from The Essential Rumi

 

 

 

 

The Gift Of Water

 

Rumi the gift of water

Someone who doesn’t know the Tigris River exists

brings the caliph who lives near the river

a jar of fresh water.  The caliph accepts, thanks him,

and gives in return a jar filled with gold coins.

“Since this man has come through the desert,

he should return by water.”  Taken out by another door,

the man steps into a waiting boat

and sees the wide freshwater of the Tigris.

He bows his head, “What wonderful kindness

that he took my gift.”

Every object and being in the universe is

a jar overfilled with wisdom and beauty,

a drop of the Tigris that cannot be contained

by any skin.  Every jarful spills and makes the earth

more shining, as though covered in satin.

If the man had seen even a tributary

of the great river, he wouldn’t have brought

the innocence of his gift.

Those that stay and live by the Tigris

grow so ecstatic that they throw rocks at the jugs,

and the jugs become perfect!

They shatter.

The pieces dance, and water….

Do you see?

Neither jar, nor water, nor stone, 

nothing.

You knock at the door of reality,

shake your thought-wings, loosen

your shoulders,

and open.

Poem from The Essential Rumi: The Three Fish

Inspiration from Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

(1830-1886)

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry.  If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.   From a letter to Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Although Emily Dickinson lived a secluded and outwardly uneventful life, a spinster in the family homestead at Amherst, Massachusetts, her poems are evidence of the extraordinary range and intensity of her inner life.  Virtually unpublished (through her own preference) in her lifetime, she was a truly original voice in poetry, both in her metrical innovations and in her ability to fuse word, image, and thought with marvelous compression and economy.

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

 

Love’s Infiniteness

John Donne

(1573-1631)

John Donne, as Dean of St. Paul’s, brought to the religious themes of his later life the same ardor that characterized the love poems of his worldly youth.  For Donne possessed the quality of unified faculties: he was able to move back and forth between the experience of the mind and of the senses, between the spiritual and the physical, the earthly and the divine, seeing one in terms of another through the infusing power of his intellect.  It is this complex of intellect and feeling, and the ability to translate the one into the other, that gives Donne’s poetry its power and originality.

 

 

 

If yet I have not all thy love,

Dear, I shall never have it all,

I cannot breathe one other sigh, to move;

Nor can entreat one other tear to fall,

 

And all my treasure, which should purchase thee,

Sighs, tears, and oaths, and letters I have spent.

Yet no more can be due to me,

Than at the bargain made was meant,

If then thy gift of love were partial,

That some to me, some should to others fall,

Dear, I shall never have thee all.

 

Or if then thou gavest me all,

All was but all, which thou hadst then;

But if in thy heart, since, there be or shall,

New love created be, by other men,

Which have their stocks entire, and can in tears,

In sighs, in oaths, and letters outbid me,

This new love may beget new fears,

For, this love was not vowed by thee.

And yet it was, thy gift being general,

The ground; thy heart is mine, what ever shall

Grow there, dear, I should have it all.

 

Yet I would not have all yet;

He that hath all can have no more,

And since my love doth every day admit

New growth, thou shouldst have new rewards in store;

Thou canst not every day give me thy heart,

If thou canst give it, then thou never gavest it;

Love’s riddles are, that though thy heart depart,

It stays at home, and thou with losing savest it;

But we will have a way more liberal,

Than changing hearts, to join them, so we shall

Be one, and one another’s all.

 

A Peaceful Theme for Today

This poem by George Herbert (1593-1633) seemed to speak to me.

George Herbert, who had known ambition and tasted fame as Public Orator of his university (Cambridge), withdrew from a public career to find fulfillment and serenity as the rector of a small country parish.  His poetry, entirely on religious themes, has a lyrical quality that reflects his pervasive sense of God’s holiness and love.  Highly sensitive to the interrelationship of feeling and form in poetry, he tried to make the pattern of each poem uniquely expressive and devised a remarkable amount  of stanzaic forms, even experimenting with visual effects, as in “The Altar.”

Peace

Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell?  I humbly crave,

Let me know.

I sought thee in a secret cave,

And asked if Peace were there..

A hollow wind did seem to answer, “No,

Go seek elsewhere.”

I did, and going did a rainbow note.

“Surely, I thought I,

“This is the lace of Peace’s coat;

I will search out the matter.”

But while I looked, the clouds immediately

Did break and scatter.

Then went I to a garden, and did spy

A gallant flower,

The crown imperial.  “Sure”, said I,

“Peace at the root must dwell.”

But when I digged, I saw a worm devour

What showed so well.

At length I met a reverend good old man,

Whom when for Peace

I did demand, he thus began:

“There was a Prince of old

At Salem dwelt, who lived with good increase

Of flock and fold.

“He sweetly lived; yet sweetness did not save

His life from foes.

But after death out of His grave

There sprang twelve stalks of wheat;

Which many wondering at, got some of those

To plant and set.

“It prospered strangely, and did soon disperse

Through all the earth;

For they that taste it do rehearse

That virtue lies therein,

A secret virtue bringing peace and mirth

By flight of sin.

“Take this grain, which in my garden grows,

And grows for you;

Make bread of it; and that repose

And peace which everywhere

With so much earnestness you do pursue

Is only there.”

The Moody Italian

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Louie Manfredi was known as a snappish person to his employees, but appealing to the loyal patrons. A proud owner and operator of Pappa Louie’s, a local Italian restaurant. Eighteen booths and tables inside with tiffany lamp lighting, a quaint bar and buzzing atmosphere. Customers have come here to dine for over thirty years. The food is tasty and the prices are affordable.

The smell of garlic from the kitchen consumes the restaurant, filters out through the building’s pores and into the streets. Louie’s main expertise is making hand tossed pizza. His area of the kitchen consists of a marble counter top with a stainless steel compartment attached ,containing toppings. His favorite piece of cooking equipment is the massive oven, which has four levels for baking the mouth-watering pizza. The floors covered in flour and dough, as well as Louie, similar to the Pillsbury dough boy. Every few months, he has a need for pizza cooks, but is a difficult task due to his high standards. Many have tried, but few made the grade. There is no training and you have thirty seconds to show your stuff. The ones that had the guts to stay usually got an earful of unnecessary abuse. When it comes to how he wants the pizza made, there is only his way-no exceptions. So, if the dough is not pulled to edge, covering with the right amount of cheese, sauce and toppings, then you are labeled an idiot. Louie does not tolerate anyone that does not have his qualities. No mistakes, only perfection.

Louie has a gruff voice and shouting is the only way to get you to listen. There was a server granting a customer’s request for extra blue cheese dressing for his salad. Louie came up behind her and said: “unbelievable, do you think we are giving away blue cheese?”

Pizza is the favorite among most of the customers, so Louie stays in his part of the kitchen. But every once in a while, he gets to take a breather and then the tension begins to heighten. Everyone’s peripheral vision is activated because you always have to be aware of where he is walking. If you are behind him while he is strolling the dining room, and he suddenly turns around, it will be your fault that you were in his way, as you hear him loudly sigh.

As he saunters into the dining room, the corners of his mouth turn up like a Cheshire cat. Seeing the other Louie is as if you are in a fantasy. He picks up babies, sits down with people like they were family and talks about what’s on his mind. The favorite topic of conversation is baseball, a Yankee fan, and anyone who does not share the same is on the silent treatment list. The patrons don’t mind, they play the game and enjoy the challenge.

I believe that Louie is in his late fifties, early sixties, although at times in his mind is still in his twenties. Mostly gray hair covers his head with shades of black at the tips, neatly combed back. His brown eyes, gray shadows under them, his facial skin slowly losing muscle mass. Whenever he is irritated, he looks at the floor while stroking his beard.

Even though his demeanor changes sporadically, customers still desire to eat delicious Italian food and communicate with the locals. Although he is a grumpy boss to his employees, his pleasant and accommodating persona will never stop the faithful and loyal customers from enjoying the good times at Pappa Louie’s.

Earth

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Poem by Tammy More 2013

What is this world I live in,

abundant hate and destruction,

love and peace blowing in the wind.

How did this happen,

from where did it arise?

As a child,

not seen through my eyes.

A world where you could walk

down the street without fear,

children could go outside to play.

What is this world I live in today?

I close my eyes and see a beautiful

and loving earth,

no death, destruction or hurt.

Peace is a pleasant place,

I hope and pray,

we all live there someday.

I am currently reading  On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau and would like to share this excerpt from the chapter of Solitude.

henrydavidthoreau122077 (1)

 

 

How vast and profound is the influence of the subtile powers of Heaven and of Earth!”  We seek to perceive them, and we do not see them; we seek to hear them, and we do not hear them; identified with the substance of things, they cannot be separated from them.”

They cause that in all the universe men purify and sanctify their hearts, and clothe themselves in their holiday garments to offer sacrifices and oblations to their ancestors.  It is an ocean of subtile intelligences.  They are everywhere, above us, on our left, on our right; they environ us on all sides.”

We are the subjects of an experiment which is not a little interesting to me.  Can we not do without the society of our gossips a little while under these circumstances,–have our own thoughts to cheer us?  Confucius says truly, “Virtue does not remain as an abandoned orphan; it must of necessity have neighbors.”

With thinking we may be beside ourselves in a sane sense.  By a conscious effort of the mind we can stand aloof from actions and their consequences; and all things, good and bad, go by us like a torrent.  We are not wholly involved in Nature.  I may be either a driftwood in the stream, or Indra in the sky looking down on it.  I may be affected by a theatrical exhibition; on the other hand, I may not be affected by an actual event which appears to concern me much more.  I only know myself as a human entity; the scene, so to speak, of thoughts and affections; and am sensible of a certain doubleness by which I can stand as remote from myself as from another.  However intense my experience, I am conscious of the presence and criticism of a part of me, which as it were, is not a part of me, but a spectator, sharing no experience, but taking note of it, and that is no more I than it is you.  When the play, it may be the tragedy, of life is over, the spectator goes his way.  It was a kind of fiction, a work of the imagination only, so far as he was concerned.  This doubleness may easily make us poor neighbors and friends sometimes.

I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time.  To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating.  I love to be alone.  I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.  We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our own chambers.  A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.  Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows.