Yoga Poem – Lucky by Luis Jenkins

Here is a beautiful poem about gratitude for you —

All my life I’ve been lucky. Not that I made money,
or had a beautiful house or cars. But lucky to have
had good friends, a wife who loves me, and a good
son. Lucky that war and famine or disease did not
come to my doorstep. Lucky that all the wrong
turns I made, even if they did turn out well, at least
were not complete disasters. I still have some of my
original teeth. All that could change, I know, in the
wink of an eye. And what an eye it is, bright blue
contrasting with her dark skin and black hair. And
oh, what long eyelashes! She turns and with a slight
smile gives me a long slow wink, a wink that says,
“Come on over here, you lucky boy.”

“Lucky” by Louis Jenkins from In the Sun Out of the Wind. © Will o’ the Wisp Books, 2017.

From the Writer’s Almanac at  http://writersalmanac.org/

Yoga Poem – Be Kind by Michael Blumenthal

Not merely because Henry James said
there were but four rules of life—
be kind be kind be kind be kind—but
because it’s good for the soul, and,
what’s more, for others; it may be
that kindness is our best audition
for a worthier world, and, despite
the vagueness and uncertainty of
its recompense, a bird may yet wander
into a bush before our very houses,
gratitude may not manifest itself in deeds
entirely equal to our own, still there’s
weather arriving from every direction,
the feasts of famine and feasts of plenty
may yet prove to be one, so why not
allow the little sacrificial squinches and
squigulas to prevail? Why not inundate
the particular world with minute particulars?
Dust’s certainly all our fate, so why not
make it the happiest possible dust,
a detritus of blessedness? Surely
the hedgehog, furling and unfurling
into its spiked little ball, knows something
that, with gentle touch and unthreatening
tone, can inure to our benefit, surely the wicked
witches of our childhood have died and,
from where they are buried, a great kindness
has eclipsed their misdeeds. Yes, of course,
in the end so much comes down to privilege
and its various penumbras, but too much
of our unruly animus has already been
wasted on reprisals, too much of the
unblessed air is filled with smoke from
undignified fires. Oh friends, take
whatever kindness you can find
and be profligate in its expenditure:
It will not drain your limited resources,
I assure you, it will not leave you vulnerable
and unfurled, with only your sweet little claws
to defend yourselves, and your wet little noses,
and your eyes to the ground, and your little feet.

“Be Kind” by Michael Blumenthal from No Hurry. © Etruscan Press, 2012.

From the Writers Almanac April 12th, 2017

Food-Yoga-Writer Poem: Sweater by Jane Hirshfield

My new borrowed mantra: “You cannot write until you know how to inhabit your own experience” is from Jane Hirshfield. According to today’s Writer’s Almanac, she practiced Zen Buddhism for 8 years before returning to poetry.

Happy Birthday Ms. Hirshfield!  This is her poem, Sweater.  I hope to be “lengthened by unmetaphysical pullings on” like her sweater.  Enjoy!

What is asked of one is not what is asked of another.
A sweater takes on the shape of its wearer,
a coffee cup sits to the left or the right of the workspace,
making its pale Saturn rings of now and before.
Lucky the one who rises to sit at a table,
day after day spilling coffee sweet with sugar, whitened with milk.
Lucky the one who writes in a book of spiral-bound mornings
a future in ink, who writes hand unshaking, warmed by thick wool.
Lucky still, the one who writes later, shaking. Acrobatic at last, the
sweater,
elastic as breath that enters what shape it is asked to.
Patient the table; unjudging, the ample, refillable cup.
Irrefusable, the shape the sweater is given,
stretched in the shoulders, sleeves lengthened by unmetaphysical
pullings on.

“Sweater” by Jane Hirshfield from Come, Thief. © Knopf, 2011.

Wishing you a happy weekend,

Hungryphil

Yoga Poem- Happy the Man by John Dryden

This past week, during yoga practice, I focused on “staying in the present moment” and asked myself and my students to notice what makes our mind stray from absorbing everything that is happening right at this moment. Is it when a pose becomes uncomfortable, maybe when we become bored, maybe because we feel guilty for taking the time out of our busy day when so much needs to be done, maybe because we begin to judge the music, the space, the people or ourselves. So many possibilities nestled in the actuality of the moment that we too often ignore.

This poem read on the Writer’s Almanac this morning beautifully sums up the gratitude of living, owning and flowing in the moment. [replace the gendered language to suit you as you read].

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair or foul or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

 

Yoga Poem – The Shining Moment in the Now by David Budbill

When I work outdoors all day, every day, as I do now, in the fall,
getting ready for winter, tearing up the garden, digging potatoes,
gathering the squash, cutting firewood, making kindling, repairing
bridges over the brook, clearing trails in the woods, doing the last of
the fall mowing, pruning apple trees, taking down the screens,
putting up the storm windows, banking the house—all these things,
as preparation for the coming cold…

when I am every day all day all body and no mind, when I am
physically, wholly and completely, in this world with the birds,
the deer, the sky, the wind, the trees…

when day after day I think of nothing but what the next chore is,
when I go from clearing woods roads, to sharpening a chain saw,
to changing the oil in a mower, to stacking wood, when I am
all body and no mind…

when I am only here and now and nowhere else—then, and only
then, do I see the crippling power of mind, the curse of thought,
and I pause and wonder why I so seldom find
this shining moment in the now.

“This Shining Moment in the Now” by David Budbill from While We’ve Still Got Feet. © Copper Canyon Press, 2012.

From the Writers Almanac