Wise Poets – Galway Mills Kinnell – Wait

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Galway Mills Kinnell (February 1, 1927 – October 28, 2014) Wait, for now.Distrust everything if you have to.But trust the hours. Haven’t theycarried you everywhere, up to now?Personal events will become interesting again.Hair will become interesting.Pain will become interesting.Buds that open out of season will become interesting.Second-hand gloves will become lovely again;their memories are what …

Wise Poets – Jane Hirshfield – Today, When I Could Do Nothing

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Jane Hirshfield (February 24, 1953 -) Today, when I could do nothing,I saved an ant. It must have come in with the morning paper,still being deliveredto those who shelter in place. A morning paper is still an essential service. I am not an essential service. I have coffee and books,time,a garden,silence enough to fill cisterns. …

The Arc Of Existence

Tao Writer

This is an extraordinary time full of vital, transformative movements that could not be foreseen. It’s also a nightmarish time. Full engagement requires the ability to perceive both. Rebecca Solnit Tao Writer (April 17, 1948 -) From The Archives - A Writer’s Diary - The Arc Of Existence (Originally published 04/20/2020 I have been reading …

Wise Poets – Robert Herrick – To The Virgins, to Make Much of Time

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Robert Herrick (August 24, 1591 – October 15, 1674) Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,Old Time is still a-flying;And this same flower that smiles todayTomorrow will be dying. The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,The higher he’s a-getting,The sooner will his race be run,And nearer he’s to setting. That age is best which is the …

For The Love Of Wisdom – George Dyson – Universal Mind

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George Dyson (March 26, 1953 -) Living without telephone, computer, internet, or even electric light, I had time beyond measure to think. I found myself thinking about what, if anything, a tree might think. Not thinking the way we think, but the way a single neuron thinks, integrating information over time. It might take years …

Wise Poets – Matthew Olzmann – Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem

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Matthew Olzmann So here’s what I’ve got, the reasons why our marriagemight work: Because you wear pink but write poemsabout bullets and gravestones. Because you yellat your keys when you lose them, and laugh,loudly, at your own jokes. Because you can hold a pistol,gut a pig. Because you memorize songs, even commercialsfrom thirty years back …

Land Of The Free

Tao Writer

From The Archives - TWOTW-Journal Tao Writer (April 17, 1948 -) Land Of The Free Almost seventy years ago George Orwell published his futuristic dystopian novel, "1984". The main character, Winston Smith, works in the Ministry of Truth where he rewrites history according to the Party's platform. Winston is a citizen who is overwhelming frustrated …

Wise Poets – Tiana Clark – First Date During Social Distance

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Tiana Clark Everything wanted to be touched:My bottom lip, the freshly bustedcherry blossoms, creamy drippingslike soft fluttering pearls that edgedthe lack (I meant to write lakebut kept the mistake) as I rimmedthe risky desires. And you, youwere all new, suffused with muskand sadness, height and a milk-chocolate sweater that curledat the collar rim, filling outyour …

Wise Poets – Sara Teasdale – There Will Come Soft Rains

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Sara Teasdale (August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933) (War Time)There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;And frogs in the pools singing at night,And wild plum trees in tremulous white,Robins will wear their feathery fireWhistling their whims on a low fence-wire;And not one will know …


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From this I reach what I might call a philosophy; at any rate it is a constant idea of mine; that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we — I mean all human beings — are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts …

Wise Poets – Stephen Elliot Dunn – An Evolution Of Prayer

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Stephen Elliot Dunn (June 24, 1939 – June 24, 2021) As a child, some of his prayers were answeredbecause he prayed out loud for a kite or bike,which his mother would overhear, and pass onto her husband, his father, the Lord. Later, he understood that when he prayedhe was mostly talking to himself—albeit a better,more …

Wise Poets – William Carlos Williams – Pastoral

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William Carlos Williams (September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963) When I was youngerit was plain to meI must make something of myself.Older nowI walk back streetsadmiring the housesof the very poor:roof out of line with sidesthe yards clutteredwith old chicken wire, ashes,furniture gone wrong;the fences and outhousesbuilt of barrel stavesand parts of boxes, all,if …

Wise Poets – Jennifer Chang – The Lonely Humans

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Jennifer Chang A type of hickory, it grows by water.So are we fools to drive to the riverthe day after our most savage stormshave finally stopped to seea tree we’ve never seen before?To hike in cold mud through a leafless forest,to behold clearings now clutteredby whatever fell last night—mostly oaks,no hickory—to attend the mad performanceof …

Wise Poets – Jane Kenyon – Three Songs at the End of Summer

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Jane Kenyon (May 23, 1947 – April 22, 1995) A second crop of hay lies cutand turned. Five gleaming crowssearch and peck between the rows.They make a low, companionable squawk,and like midwives and undertakerspossess a weird authority. Crickets leap from the stubble,parting before me like the Red Sea.The garden sprawls and spoils. Across the lake …

Wise Poets – Paul Laurence Dunbar – In Summer Time

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Paul Laurence Dunbar (June 27, 1872 – February 9, 1906) When summer time has come, and allThe world is in the magic thrallOf perfumed airs that lull each senseTo fits of drowsy indolence;When skies are deepest blue above,And flow'rs aflush,—then most I loveTo start, while early dews are damp,And wend my way in woodland trampWhere …


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Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement. Alice Koller (September 13, 1925 – July 21, 2020) From The Archives - The Poetry Of Tao Writer (TPOTW) …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Joseph Campbell – Fate

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Joseph Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987) Whatever my fate is, is what I need. If you bring love to that moment, not discouragement, you will find the strength. Any detour or disarray you can learn from is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege!

Thank You

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I thank You God for most this amazingday: for the leaping greenly spirits of treesand a blue true dream of sky: and for everythingwhich is natural which is infinite which is yes. EE Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962) From The Archives - Loja Mágica This morning I woke up early, not for …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Karel Čapek – Communism

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Karel Čapek (January 09, 1890 – December 25, 1938) All of us have begun to feel that there is something odd and insoluble about the conflicts between world-views, generations, political principles, and whatever else divides us… Hatred, lack of knowledge, fundamental distrust, these are the psychic world of communism… I count myself among the idiots …

Wise Poets – Kwame Opoku-Duku – They’ll Ask You Where it Hurts the Most

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Kwame Opoku-Duku Blessed be the bitternessat your core, that quiet lightgrowing quieter still,like the dull moan that escapesyour lips while you dream.They’ll ask you, child,what you know of suffering.They’ll ask you where it hurtsthe most, when the pain changeslike wavelengths of lightin the evening sky, when the criesof the ancestors ring out to youfrom the …

For The Love Of Wisdom – William Sidney Porter (O’Henry) – Writing

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William Sidney Porter (O’Henry) (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910) I'll give you the sole secret of short-story writing, and here it is: Rule 1. Write stories that please yourself. There is no rule 2. The technical points you can get from Bliss Perry. If you can't write a story that pleases yourself, you …

Wise Poets – Robert Pinsky – At Mt. Auburn Cemetery

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Robert Pinsky (October 20, 1940 -) Walking among the graves for exerciseWhere do you get your ideas how do I stop themLooking for Mike Mazur’s marker I lookedDown at the grass and saw Stanislaw BaranczakOur Solidarity poetry reading in PoznanYears later in Newton now he said I’m a U.S.Liberal with a car like everybody elseWhen …

Wise Poets – Heather McHugh – Better Or Worse

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Heather McHugh (August 20, 1948 -) I. Daily, the kindergartenerspassed my porch. I lovedtheir likeness and variety,their selves in line like littlemonosyllables, but huggable—I wasn't meant to grab them, ever,up into actual besmooches or downinto grubbiest tumbles, my lot was notto have them, in the flesh.Was it better or worse to lettheir lovability go by …

For The Love Of Wisdom – John Coltrane – Creativity And Jazz

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John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926–July 17, 1967) It is really easy for us [jazz musicians] to create. We are born with this feeling that just comes out no matter what conditions exist. Otherwise, how could our founding fathers have produced this music in the first place when they surely found themselves (as many of …

Wise Poets – Clint Margrave – Toad Dies And Goes To Heaven

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Clint Margrave In memory of Gerald Locklin Nobody is more surprised than he is.First of all, Toad doesn’t believe in heaven,and secondly, even if he did,he never expected to visit. In fact, he’s minorly disappointed.Has he failed to achieve the properlydebauched life he so often courted? But the food tastes good.And you can drink all …

Wise Poets – Dilruba Ahmedq – Bring Now The Angels

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Dilruba Ahmedq To test your pulse as you sleep.Bring the healer the howler the listening ear— Bring an apothecary to mix the tincture—We need the salvethe tablet the capsuleof the hour— Bring sword-eatersand those who will swallow fire—Fetch the guardian to flatten the wheelchair,to hoist it toward heaven:the public shuttle awaitsthe ceaseless trips to the …

Wise Poets – Yesenia Montilla – A Brief Meditation On Breath

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Yesenia Montilla i have diver’s lungs from holding mybreath for so long. i promise youi am not trying to break a recordsometimes i just forget toexhale. my shoulders held tightlynear my neck, i am a ball of tenseliving, a tumbleweed with steel-toedboots. i can’t remember the last timei felt light as dandelion. i can’t rememberthe …

Wise Poets – Adrienne Rich – Power

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Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929 – March 27, 2012) Living    in the earth-deposits    of our historyToday a backhoe divulged    out of a crumbling flank of earthone bottle    amber    perfect    a hundred-year-oldcure for fever    or melancholy    a tonicfor living on this earth    in the winters of this climateToday I was reading about Marie Curie:she must have known she suffered    from radiation sicknessher body bombarded for years    by …

Wise Poets – Meghan Dunn – Response, Years Later, to Two Male Poets I Overheard Discussing How Sick They Were of Women’s Poems about the Body

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Meghan Dunn I too am sick of the body.I too am sick of being a body,am sick of being sick about my body,have made myself sick over how to care forand clothe it, how to make it behave,make it need less. Walking in the street,I have wished it might dissolveso that I might more clearly …

Wise Poets – Rainer Maria Rilke – Death

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Rainer Maria Rilke (December 04, 1875 – December 29, 1926) Before us great Death standsOur fate held close within his quiet hands.When with proud joy we lift Life's red wineTo drink deep of the mystic shining cupAnd ecstasy through all our being leaps—Death bows his head and weeps.

Wise Poets – Jane Mead – I Wonder If I Will Miss The Moss

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Jane Mead (August 13, 1958 – September 8, 2019) I wonder if I will miss the mossafter I fly off as much as I miss it nowjust thinking about leaving. There were stones of many colors.There were sticks holding bothlichen and moss.There were red gates with oldhand-forged hardware.There were fields of dry grasssmelling of first …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Hannah Arendt – Forgiveness

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Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 04, 1975) Forgiving, in other words, is the only reaction which does not merely re-act but acts anew and unexpectedly, unconditioned by the act which provoked it and therefore freeing from its consequences both the one who forgives and the one who is forgiven. The freedom contained in …

Wise Poets – Ursula K Le Guin – Hymn To Time

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Ursula K Le Guin (October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) Time says “Let there be”every moment and instantlythere is space and the radianceof each bright galaxy.And eyes beholding radiance.And the gnats’ flickering dance.And the seas’ expanse.And death, and chance.Time makes roomfor going and coming homeand in time’s wombbegins all ending.Time is being and beingtime, …

Wise Poets – Patricia Fargnoli – After the Dream of My Death

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Patricia Fargnoli (November 16, 1937 – February 18, 2021) I wake up to a world that is invisible,no golden trees, no picnic spread on the lawn.The ladies in hats have finished their teaand moved on. None of the questions I spent life askinghave been answered.Transience, evanescence, the dispersal of dust.God knows where, and is no …

Wise Poets – Ted Kooser – In the Basement of the Goodwill Store

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Theodore J. Kooser (April 25, 1939) In the musty light, in the thin brown airof damp carpet, doll heads and rust,beneath long rows of sharp footfallslike nails in a lid, an old man standstrying on glasses, lifting each pairfrom the box like a glittering fishand holding it up to the lightof a dirty bulb. Near …

Wise Poets – Angelina Weld Grimké – Little Grey Dreams

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Angelina Weld Grimké (February 27, 1880 – June 10, 1958) Little grey dreams,I sit at the ocean’s edge,At the grey ocean’s edge,With you in my lap. I launch you, one by one,And one by one,Little grey dreams,Under the grey, grey, clouds,Out on the grey, grey, sea,You go sailing away,From my empty lap,Little grey dreams. Sailing! …

Growing Old And Death

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Seize the time… Live now. Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.  Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart - Star Trek: The Next Generation)  Everything dies. It is just a question of when. Life was never inevitable. There was no possible preparation for life. It happened. However, death is inevitable for everything …

Human Purpose

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When you recognize that we are the product of purposeless, mindless laws of physics playing themselves out on our particles — because we are, all, bags of particles — it changes the way you search for meaning and purpose: You recognize that looking out to the cosmos to find some answer that’s sort of floating …

Wise Poets – John Paul Martinez – To Offer Sweet Fruit To The Ghost

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John Paul Martinez For Lolo Ma says not to swat at the houseflychirring in our headspace for the past two hoursbecause it just might be you. Ma shows me the flimsy browned picturesof you & me in your workshop, a scored-leather tool belt strapped acrossyour chest like a bandolier. My whole body smaller stillthan a …

Wise Poets – Guillaume Apollinaire – The Pretty Redhead

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Guillaume Apollinaire (August 26, 1880 – November 09,1918) I stand here in the sight of everyone a man full of senseKnowing life and knowing of death what a living man can knowHaving gone through the griefs and happinesses of loveHaving known sometimes how to impose his ideasKnowing several languagesHaving travelled more than a littleHaving seen …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Eckhart Tolle – Spiritual Awakening

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Eckhart Tolle (February 16, 1948 -) Most humans are still, almost literally, possessed by thought. They don’t think, but thinking happens to them. The beginning of spiritual awakening is the realization that you are not the voice in your head but the one who is aware of the voice. You are the awareness behind your …

Wise Poets – Kim Dower – Visiting Eleanor

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Kim Dower Barbara, my childhood piano teacherplayed Chopin like he was whisperinginto her hands, all us kids from the buildinghad our Saturday morning lessons, apartment 6C,our giddy fingers trotting in the key of G,lifting high for Mozart, metronome tickingas her coffee brewed, her sandy-haired husbandat the wooden breakfast table, mug, cigarettetight in his hands, he …

My Motto

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My motto for the last 40 years or so has been “I Am Here!” This is more than a declaration. It is a revelation. I am here to grow in wisdom and to develop a greater capacity to love. I am a finite physical manifestation of an infinite energy source. This life is a true …

Wise Poets – Emily Bronte – No Coward Soul Is Mine

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Emily Jane Brontë (July 30, 1818 – December 19, 1848) No coward soul is mineNo trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphereI see Heaven's glories shineAnd Faith shines equal arming me from Fear O God within my breastAlmighty ever-present DeityLife, that in me hast rest,As I Undying Life, have power in Thee Vain are the thousand …

Wise Poets – Denise Levertov – Aware

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Priscilla Denise Levertov (October 24, 1923 – December 20, 1997) When I opened the doorI found the vine leavesspeaking among themselves in abundantwhispers.                   My presence made themhush their green breath,embarrassed, the wayhumans stand up, buttoning their jackets,acting as if they were leaving anyway, as ifthe conversation had endedjust before you arrived.                                               I likedthe glimpse I had, though,of …


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That which we call imagination is from the first an attribute of the senses themselves; imagination is not a separate mental faculty (as we so often assume) but is rather the way the senses themselves have of throwing themselves beyond what is immediately given, in order to make tentative contact with the other sides of …

Wise Poets – David Whyte – Sometimes

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David Whyte (November 02, 1955 -) Sometimesif you move carefullythrough the forest,breathinglike the onesin the old stories,who could crossa shimmering bed of leaveswithout a sound,you come to a placewhose only taskis to trouble youwith tinybut frightening requests,conceived out of nowherebut in this placebeginning to lead everywhere.Requests to stop whatyou are doing right now,andto stop what …


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I feel — everything. It is my genius. It burns me like fire. Mary MacLane (1861–1929) I too am a creature of intense passionate feelings. I tried to hide it as a child but everyone knew. There was no hiding it or escape from it. At an early age I could feel the feeling of …

Wise Poets – Alfonsina Storni – I’m Going To Sleep

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Alfonsina Storni (May 29, 1892 – October 25, 1938) Teeth of flowers, bonnet of dew,hands of grass, you, lovely nursemaid,turn down the earthen sheets for meand the quilt of weeded moss. I’m going to sleep, my nurse, tuck me in,put a lamp on my headboard;a constellation; whichever you like;both are fine; lower the light a little. Leave …

January 6th

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Señor Tao (April 17, 1948 -) Until last year I remembered the date January 6th only as my mother’s birthday. She would have be ninety-six years old today. Now this day has an added memory. January 06, 2021 is as etched into my mind as September 11, 2001 and November 22, 1963, the day JFK …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Maria Popova – Reading And Love

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Maria Popova (July 28, 1984 -) We read for countless reasons and books transform us in countless ways, reckoned and unreckoned. We read the way we love — with our whole selves, with the flickering constellation of values, longings, traumas, joys, hopes, despairs, formative experiences, and half-remembered impressions composing the self. We read with our …

Poetry Of Clouds

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Sunrise On A New Year Another year, another journey via an elliptical orbit around a yellow star in a solar system named the Milky Way.  Although there is no spiritual difference between December 31st and January 1st, each year at this time I find myself preparing for a new beginning. The start of a new …

For The Love Of Wisdom – New York Times Editorial Board December 31, 1999 – Existence

Even those of us who have not filled the bathtub with emergency water, withdrawn extra cash from the bank and stocked up on food will be entering the new millennium sobered by the awareness that unknown problems of our own making are an enduring part of existence.  New York Times This prediction has proven to …

Wise Poets – William Blake – To the Evening Star

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William Blake  (November 28, 1757 – August 12, 1827) Thou fair-haired angel of the evening,Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, lightThy bright torch of love; thy radiant crownPut on, and smile upon our evening bed!Smile on our loves; and, while thou drawest theBlue curtains of the sky, scatter thy silver dewOn every flower …

Wise Poets – Anna Akhmatova – In Memory of M. B.

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Anna Andreyevna Gorenko (June 11, 1889 – 05, March 1966) better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova Here is my gift, not roses on your grave,not sticks of burning incense.You lived aloof, maintaining to the endyour magnificent disdain.You drank wine, and told the wittiest jokes,and suffocated inside stifling walls.Alone you let the terrible stranger …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Peter Russell – Letting Go

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Peter Russell The call to let go lies at the heart of the world’s spiritual traditions. Not being attached to outcomes, surrendering desires, accepting the present, opening to a higher power, relinquishing the ego, practicing forgiveness — all entail letting go. Why is letting go deemed so important? Holding on, these teachings repeatedly affirm, limits …

Wise Poets – WS Merwin – One Summer

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He stands at the window baffledby pleasure and how brief it is.Pleasure followed by the memoryof pleasure. Lightthen dark with a splinterleft in. Something like that.The woman in the chair is reading,drinking tea in the ground glasshaze of evening.The sudden swell he feelswatching herilluminates the past she spentgetting to this place:a lover who left, perhaps. …

Wise Poets – David Watts – Man at the Window

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David Watts He stands at the window baffledby pleasure and how brief it is.Pleasure followed by the memoryof pleasure. Lightthen dark with a splinterleft in. Something like that.The woman in the chair is reading,drinking tea in the ground glasshaze of evening.The sudden swell he feelswatching herilluminates the past she spentgetting to this place:a lover who …

Wise Poets – Apple – To The Crazy Ones

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Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) Apple Here’s to the crazy ones.The misfits.The rebels.The troublemakers.The round pegs in square holes.The ones who see things differently.There’re not fond or rules.And they have no respect for the status quo.You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,disbelieve them, glorify them or vilify them.About …

Wise Poets – Ariel Francisco – Along The East River And In The Bronx Young Men Were Singing

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Ariel Francisco I heard them and I still hear themabove the threatening shrieks of police sirensabove the honking horns of morning traffic,above the home-crowd cheers of Yankee Stadiumabove the school bells and laughterlighting up the afternoonabove the clamoring trudge of the 1 trainand the 2 and 4, 5, 6, the B and the Dabove the …

Wise Poets – Kathleen A Dale – A Question of Time

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Kathleen A Dale i.  Nine thousand years seems long but for the imagination: see a Siberian girl smile as she reaches out to touch the saggital crest (shaped like an arrow, indicating strong jaw muscles) on the head of a Husky, once-removed from wolf, panting by the fire after pulling home a sled of reindeer meat.  Now, see them …

For the Love Of Wisdom – Michael Talbot – Electrons

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Michael Coleman Talbot (September 29, 1953 – May 27, 1992) Time and again the limits of our language define the limits of our understanding of the universe. The indistinguishability of subatomic particles points out still another weakness of our linguistic approach to understanding reality. For instance, all electrons are exactly alike. It is as if …

Wise Poets – Maurice Manning – Turner

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Maurice Manning One morning when the weather was strangeand haunted following a rain—I believe a fog had settled likea thought over the field and the sunthat peered through it troubled the thought—I remember saying to myself,for no one was around, it’s likewe’re living in a Turner painting,a haunted cave of melodyso indistinct, almost unseen.As if …

Wise Poets – Jim Peterson – Following You

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Jim Peterson For Harriet I followed you up the faceof that cliff-riddled mountain.I am tall, stiff, scared of heights. You are small, lithe, quick and notscared of anything in the physicalworld. At first the easy handholds and footholds gave me confidence.But narrow ledges curving underoverhangs began to take their toll. I stalled, my face pressed …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Ezra Klein – Mandates

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Ezra Klein (May 09, 1984 -) The conventional wisdom is that there is some argument, yet unmade and perhaps undiscovered, that will change the minds of the roughly 30 percent of American adults who haven’t gotten at least one dose. There probably isn’t … Polio and measles were murderous, but their near elimination required vaccine …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Night

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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (June 29, 1900–July 31, 1944) Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of the trees… I longed for night and for …

Eleanor Wilner – When Vision Narrows To A Single Beam of Light

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Eleanor Rand Wilner For years he had been hidden, quiet,huge head on his paws,almost a sphinx in his composure,a figure waitingfor a breeze to move the densegreen canopy of leaves overhead,enough to bring a hair-thin laser lineof light downinto the endless twilightbelow;he had been patient, waitingfor the underbrush to open, for a lowwind to enter, …

Phillip Lopate – It’s Good We Only See Each Other Once a Week

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Phillip Lopate It's good we only see each other once a week.A young man about to move in with his fiancéedied of a sudden heart attack at twenty-six.One hears these stories all the time.The heart is trained to handle deprivation,not unforeseen happiness. Just as when youthrow your arms around me I start to overflow,but then …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Rebecca Solnit – Climate Change

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Rebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961 -) People are dying. Aquatic animals are baking in their shells. Fruit is being cooked on the tree. It’s time to act… Human beings crave clarity, immediacy, landmark events. We seek turning points, because our minds are good at recognizing the specific – this time, this place, this sudden event, …

Elizabeth Gaskell – On Visiting the Grave of My Stillborn Little Girl

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Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (September 29, 1810 – November 12, 1865) Sunday July 4th 1836 I made a vow within my soul, O Child,When thou wert laid beside my weary heart,With marks of death on every tender partThat, if in time a living infant smiled,Winning my ear with gentle sounds of loveIn sunshine of such joy, …

Ida B Wells On Racism

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Ida Bell Wells (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931) I am only a mouthpiece through which to tell the story of lynching, and I have told it so often that I know it by heart. I do not have to embellish; it makes its own way.

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer – The Price of Nothing

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Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer What could be more valuablethan nothing? The nothing thatframes “The Thinker,” the nothingthat holds every bowl,every vase, every bust, every thought.Let others buy the clay, the steel,the papier-mâché. I will be satisfiedwith nothing more than nothing.Nothing pleases me. Nothingenchants me. Nothing,as Heisenberg says,has a weight. Just thinkof the space here beside mewhere …

Tracy K Smith – I Sit Outside In Low Late Afternoon Light To Feel Earth Call To Me

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Tracy K Smith (April 16, 1972 -) I wish it would grab me by the ankles and pull.I wish its shadow would dance up close, closing in.When I close my eyes a presence forms, backs away.I float above a lake, am dragged backfrom a portion of sky. Down, down, the falling doesn’t end.Every marked body …

Audre Lorde On Fear

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Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934–November 17, 1992) As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fears which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.

Anya Krugovoy Silver – Red Never Lasts

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Anya Krugovoy Silver (December 22, 1968 – August 6, 2018) There’s no doubt it’s the most glamorous,the one you reach for first—its luscious gloss.Russian Roulette, First Dance, Apéritif, Cherry Pop.For three days, your nails are a Ferris wheel,a field of roses, a flashing neon Open sign.Whatever you’re wearing feels like a tight dressand your hair …

Charles M Blow On Race

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Charles M Blow (August 11, 1970 -) Black people are targeted by the criminal justice system and that is used to target them by the electoral system. Either way, if you are Black in America, you are a target.

Becoming Me

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To be “nobody but yourself” — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. e.e. cummings  (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962) Tao Writer (April I7, 1948 -) After …

Lisel Mueller – Brendel Playing Schubert

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Lisel Mueller (February 8, 1924 – February 21, 2020) We bring our hands togetherin applause, that absurd noise,when we want to be silent. We might as wellbe banging pots and pans,it is that jarring, a violationof the music we've listened towithout moving, almost holding our breath.The pianist in his blindinglywhite summer jacket bowsand disappears and …

Adam Zagajewski On Poets

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Adam Zagajewski (June 21, 1945 – March 21, 2021) Poets must have firm opinions about life and death, but not political opinions: I don’t think that tax reform legislation is any business of poets.

Archilochus On Fear And Beliefs

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Archilochus (680–645 BC) Nothing can be surprising any more or impossible or miraculous, now that Zeus, father of the Olympians has made night out of noonday, hiding the bright sunlight, and . . . fear has come upon mankind. After this, men can believe anything, expect anything...

Keith Allen Haring On Art

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Keith Allen Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) I don’t think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it.

Audre Lorde – Parts Of The Self

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Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) There's always someone asking you to underline one piece of yourself - whether it's Black, woman, mother, dyke, teacher, etc. - because that's the piece that they need to key in to. They want to dismiss everything else.

Emile Zola On Passion

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Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (April 02, 1840 – September 29, 1902) I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul.

Vanessa Jimenez Gabb – Basic Needs

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Vanessa Jimenez Gabb There will be workBy late fallRaining inHabana ViejoIt’s so hardTo not think of youPrivacy is complicatedThe famous hotelBy the seaWhere did you come fromWhere did you come fromSometimes the verbsAren't importantThank youFor this organizationThe conspicuous absenceOf logosThese mountains I believeWill absolve meWhen I rememberTo look upMoney doesn't alwaysMean what I thinkIt doesIt …


Tao Writer

A house that offers sanctuary, that embraces family and friends alike with comfort and warmth, becomes a refuge from the world outside—a truly peaceful home and haven that soothes the senses and refreshes the spirit. Ann Rooney Heuer Tao Writer (April 17, 1948 -) I believe this body is my sacred space. Wherever I am, …

CS Lewis On Tyranny

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Clive Staples Lewis (November 29, 1898 – November 22, 1963) Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity