Being the moon
Rumi said, look at the moon,
how it grows brighter
as it patiently tolerates
the dark night.
Oh, that I could be a moon
even as darkness is growing,
to be luminous and glowing,
so open and full
that hopes and dreams
are offered to me.
How I would hold them
in the softness of my palm,
wrap them all in calm stillness,
set them free into the realm of possibility
where the sun carries them into being.
If you love the moon as I do, you might be interested in another poem I wrote: the moon speaking.
Receiving Without Expectation
The now dried and flattened pulp of wood rests
bare on the table. She lays open, prone like an invitation,
a sky to be painted with clouds. Oh, what
will they be? Whispers of white or dark weightiness?
A word, a phrase, an idea, an inspiration. She feels
the ink flowing like a shower rinsing over her body,
a slow tickling roll, gliding gently, gracefully until
there is no more room for touching.
She hears the s-sounds like singing Sufi spirit
sober sweet stretching sky, and the c-sounds
like calligraphy commingling colors and confusion.
The writer opens her heart and the insights arrive through
the allowing, because she is letting it come, like a wave
or a storm, maybe dewdrops or a floating powder puff.
Whatever is needed is invited to speak its truth.
She does not have the answers. She simply
holds what the pen voices as he wanders
where he wants without willpower.
I wrote this poem in response to a prompt in my workbook, How to Write Poetry: A Guided Journal with Prompts by Christopher Salerno and Kelsea Habecker, from the chapter on imitation that suggested finding a favorite poem and writing a sequel to it. This poem was written as a companion piece to Rumi’s Wonder without Willpower.
Wonder without willpower
By Rumi, in Rumi: The Book of Love with translations and commentary by Coleman Barks)
Love’s way becomes a pen sometimes
writing g-sounds like gold or r-sounds
like tomorrow in different calligraphy
styles sliding by, darkening the paper.
Now it’s held upside down, now beside
the head, now down and on to something
else, figuring. One sentence saves
an illustrious man from disaster, but
fame does not matter to the spirit tongue
of a pen. Hippocrates knows how the cure
must go. His pen does not. This one
I am calling pen, or sometimes flag,
has no mind. You, the pen, are most sanely
insane. You cannot be spoken of rationally.
Opposites are drawn into your presence but
not to be resolved. You are not whole
or ever complete. You are the wonder
Without willpower going where you want.
I remember challenging myself with this idea when I was working as a consultant and leader at IBM. How can I manifest what I love in the work I am doing? First, of course, I had to know what I loved. Eventually, after over 30 years working professionally, I came to realize that what I love is feeling vibrantly alive. What I love is how I feel when I am fully present, open to what’s possible, and intentional, purposeful, passionate about my actions and impact. Tuning in to that brings me joy in anything I’m doing. Actually, it has a way of moving me from a place of doing to a place of being.
* I took the photo of my friend’s daughter, Lydia, who is uber talented and inspires me with the way she chases passionately things she loves, like playing the violin.