— dhikr in Islam, japam in Sanskrit, witness in English:
the repetition of a name or face of God.
In the air that lets a leaf fall slowly.
In the mud that swallows every blade.
In the bridge that creaks but will not break.
In the fence that fails.
In the secret maps that lead us nowhere.
In the questions that sprout from our mistakes.
In the suffering that makes us give more.
In those slain for no reason.
In those spared for no reason who keep naming the slain.
In how the mind stops spinning its web in light.
In how truth like rain makes tender hearts swell.
In how arms spread like wings when dropping all they carry.
In how petting the dog keeps us from leaving.
In the smoothing of a stone by a thousand waves.
In the smoothing of our ego by the slap of time.
In the drops of blood covered by snow.
In the stories of kindness finally praised.
In how we keep dying without dying.
In how we keep losing without losing.
In how we live in spite of everything. Like
hungry fish parting the water of our days.
A Question to Walk With: Go for a walk and note at least five details that seem to hold the same essential feel of life-force that lives under all trouble. Journal with these details, looking for the common wisdom that they share.
This excerpt is from my book of poems in progress, The Song Gives Birth to the Singer.
*Photo Credit: David Boca
On August 29 Mark will be offering a free reading and conversation on centered on the theme Growing in Place: Strengthening Our Roots (Aug 29, 2020, 1-3PM ET). Registration info is at live.marknepo.com.
He is also offering 3-session webinar in October called More Together Than Alone: The Power and Spirit of Community (Oct 4, 11, 18, 2020, 1-2:30PM ET).
Registration for the More Together Than Alone webinar opens Sept 1 at live.marknepo.com. If you’re moved to join either of these, Mark looks forward to meeting you.