Poems About Birds

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He said, “You already have wings.
I cannot give you wings.”

But I wanted his wings.
I felt like some flightless chicken.

Then new events said to me,
“Don’t move. A sublime generosity is
coming toward you.”
Rumi, “Sublime Generosity”

– – –

Sometimes I am a flightless bird –
able to fly, but unable
to will myself from the ground.

This body
knows its deep heritage,
its true promise,
these shoulders ache
to reach something more.

I stumble lonely in my own house,
reeling with jealousy of those who
rise, unburdened
by the same self doubt that plagues me.
I consider – momentarily –
but hard is the fear that,
in my naivete, I have confused
the ability to soar with the tendency
to fall.

– – –

The way of love is not
a subtle argument.

The door there
is devastation.

Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn it?

They fall, and falling
they’re given wings.
(Rumi, “Green Ears”)

– – –

The rice is done when each pod has broken open
and offered up what it has inside.
Boil it too long and it will soften and loose its goodness.
Boil it not enough and it will crunch between your teeth, like pebbles.

I want to open up just like that,
enough to bring my softness to the world,
enough to crack this hardened shell,
enough to be planted in the soil–
Either I can contain my own future,
or it can die with me.

When I look at it that way,
I bow my head – thank you, thank you
to the fire,
and let its devastating warmness in.

– – –

Note: Both of the above Rumi poems can be found in Coleman Bark’s collection The Essential Rumi. If you don’t own this book, I recommend adding it to your collection as soon as possible.
The two above poems by me can be found nowhere but here, my friends. Thanks for being here to read them!

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Filed under Lent 2012: Rend Your Hearts, Poetry

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