BY MARY OLIVER This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready to break my heart as the sun rises, as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers and they open — pools of lace, white and pink — and all day the black ants climb over them, boring their deep and mysterious holes into the … Read More

Yellow Bowl

BY RACHEL CONTRENI FLYNN If light pours like water into the kitchen where I sway with my tired children, If the rug beneath us is woven with tough flowers, and the yellow bowl on the table rests with the sweet heft of fruit, the sun-warmed plums, If my body curves over the babies, and if I am singing, then loneliness … Read More

Move to the City

BY NATHANIEL BELLOWS live life as a stranger. Disappear into frequent invention, depending on the district, wherever you get off the train. For a night, take the name of the person who’d day yes to that offer, that overture, the invitation to kiss that mouth, sit on that lap. Assume the name of whoever has the skill to slip from … Read More

Wonder Cabinet

BY TINA CHANG I opened the silver pronged evening and translated the great song of the Industrial Age. Each night I hoped it would tell a different ending. Each time it sang a song, sadder than I would have imagined. I heard it, not only when I put all my perspectives away on shelves, until the shelves caved in. What … Read More

Self As Kintsukuroi Art

BY TERESA MEI CHUC I tell myself what I could not before: I am gold as sun as daffodil petals and dandelion flowers gold as rivers that run along the sides of this pottery sealing illuminating its brokenness in the coming into myself again I let the fractures in my heart be cracks through which light shines    

With That Moon Language

— Hafiz Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.” Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops. Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect. Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye that is always saying, with that … Read More

The Well of Grief

— David Whyte Those who will not slip beneath the still surface on the well of grief turning downward through its black water to the place we cannot breathe will never know the source from which we drink, the secret water, cold and clear, nor find in the darkness glimmering the small round coins thrown by those who wished for … Read More

I Still Have Everything You Gave Me

— Naomi Shihab Nye It is dusty on the edges It is slightly rotten. I guard it without thinking. I focus on it once a year when I shake it out in the wind. I do not ache. I would not trade.

For What Binds Us

— Jane Hirshfield There are names for what binds us: strong forces, weak forces. Look around, you can see them: the skin that forms in a half-empty cup, nails rusting into the places they join, joints dovetailed on their own weight. The way things stay so solidly wherever they’ve been set down— and gravity, scientists say, is weak. And see … Read More

The Guest House

—Jelaluddin Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.  A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may … Read More