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Ecology of the Spirit

April 23, 2014


I’ve sung what I was given/

Some was bad and some was good/

I never did know from where it came/

And if I had it all to do again, I am not sure I would/

Play the poet game. – Greg Brown


Go outside and find a tree,

In a gully, on a bluff, somewhere unmanaged.

Look where the branches are broken and how

It’s been hewn by the westward wind; see it

Stripped down at the waist,

Roots tangled, a result of shifted plates –

So you aren’t planted against a mountain but

Your litany of requests will be the same until you die:

Love me, help me love deeper, help me, help me, help!

Which is a kind of holding still, inside the bedlam

Of having a body that moves, a roving mind

And a heart hammering away at the project of you

As if there is a deadline.

Not everyone is dealt this useless hand

(The need to feel plainly and speak poems),

But your prayer is designing you now, in whatever your

Roots have twisted around, there seeking livelihood,

Whatever you are greedy for, wherever your want is latent –

Wherever the immanent tremor of desire resonates,

Sculpting the ecology of the spirit.


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