"You don't have to prove anything," my mother said. "Just be ready for what God sends." -- William Stafford, poet (from his last poem, written the day he died in 1993 - entire poem is included after the Rumi quote, below)
Stay Here at the Flame's Core
Liz, who has the wonderful blog, Be Present Be Here, has suggested that we share a favorite poem on Thursdays. I'm up for that, so here are excerpts from two of my favorite poets, the mystic Rumi, and the poet/author William Stafford.
Thinking gives off smoke,
to prove the existence of fire.
A mystic sits inside the burning.
There are wonderful shapes in
rising smoke that imagination loves
But it's a mistake
to leave the fire
for that filmy sight.
Stay here at the flame's core.
and the entire Stafford poem:
"Are you Mr.William Stafford?" "Yes, but...."
Well, it was yesterday.
Sunlight used to follow my hand.
And that's when the strange siren-like sound flooded
over the horizon and rushed through the streets of our town.
That's when sunlight came from behind
a rock and began to follow my hand.
"It's for the best," my mother said —"Nothing can
ever be wrong for anyone truly good."
So later the sun settled back and the sound
faded and was gone. All along the streets every
house waited, white, blue, gray: trees
were still trying to arch as far as they could.
You can't tell when strange things with meaning
will happen. I'm [still] here writing it down
just the way it was. "You don't have to
prove anything," my mother said. "Just be ready
for what God sends." I listened and put my hand
out in the sun again. It was all easy.
Well, it was yesterday. And the sun came,
-- William Stafford