My new book of poems, Reduced to Joy, has just been published. The book contains seventy-three poems, retrieved and shaped over the last thirteen years, about the nature of working with what we’re given till it wears us through to joy. For the next few months, I’d like to share poems from the new book with you.
It was years ago that I learned that our job as spirits in bodies is to let our spirit rise from within to meet and inhabit the world, every chance we get. It was walking along the Battery in Charleston that this all came back to me, so very clearly, while sighting a dolphin.
WAY OF THE DOLPHIN
Standing in the harbor, these slick
wonders slip their fins in and out
of early sun. I close my eyes and re-
member being wheeled into surgery
all those years ago; believing my job
was to meet my surgeon at the sur-
face, so the rib he had to remove
would slip out, like a dolphin of
bone, as soon as he would cut me.
I’ve learned that everything that
matters goes the way of the dolphin:
drifting most of the time out of
view, breaking surface when
we least expect it.
And our job—in finding God, in
being God; in finding truth, in
being truth; in finding love, in
being love—is to meet the world
at the surface where Spirit slips
out through every cut.
A Question to Walk With: Describe one way in which you are being asked to let your spirit meet the world.