If you can’t find happiness where you are
You won’t find happiness elsewhere.
Joy is a state of being –
It’s a revelation –
It’s a taking off of the veil –
An opening of your eyes for the millionth time.
The taste of honeysuckle
The touch of sunlight
The sound of sparrows
The smell of rain
The shining intelligence in an infants eyes
If you can’t find happiness
Amidst all the ordinary glories of your life,
You won’t find happiness at all.
Lush green grass
And old houses sparsely littering the hills.
I watch a young mountain boy
Walking home with his fishing rod
Big smile on his face.
I can tell that he knows
Life is deeply good,
And I hope he remembers it.
My head and shoulders, and my book
In the cool shade, and my body
Stretched bathing in the sun, I lie
Reading beside the waterfall —
Boehme’s “Signature of all Things.”
Through the deep July day the leaves
Of the laurel, all the colors
Of gold, spin down through the moving
Deep laurel shade all day. They float
On the mirrored sky and forest
For a while, and then, still slowly
Spinning, sink through the crystal deep
Of the pool to its leaf gold floor.
The saint saw the world as streaming
In the electrolysis of love.
I put him by and gaze through shade
Folded into shade of slender
Laurel trunks and leaves filled with sun.
The wren broods in her moss domed nest.
A newt struggles with a white moth
Drowning in the pool. The hawks scream,
Playing together on the ceiling
Of heaven. The long hours go by.
I think of those who have loved me,
Of all the mountains I have climbed,
Of all the seas I have swum in.
The evil of the world sinks.
My own sin and trouble fall away
Like Christian’s bundle, and I watch
My forty summers fall like falling
Leaves and falling water held
Eternally in summer air.
Why all the confusion
About love today?
I watch an old man
With a smile on his face,
Taking photographs of his wife
As she feeds the geese.
She laughs and shakes
Her head self consciously.
Are they any different than you and I?
Besides the fact that they chose
To love – when love was hard,
To smile – when they both were weary,
And to hold hands and pray
When all the world
Was trying to tear them apart.
I watch a young couple
Walk up to the edge of the water
Arm in arm,
Hand in hand,
Joyful but unable
To endure the cold.
They don’t stay long.
Do they have it in them,
To give up their dreams
For one another?
Do they have the courage,
To endure harsher things,
And create a new dream together?
Where will they stand
Years from now,
And will they still stand,
Hand in hand?
The geese know love.
Love gave them the web’s on their feet.
Love gave them their powerful wings,
Love built them to float joyfully,
In elegance and peace
Upon the water.
The geese know love,
I can hear their ugly, joyful, little song.
And one day,
When they finally die,
Love will take them back
From whence they came,
Back into a big blue sky.