Rapture – Linda Hogan

Who knows the mysteries of the poppies
when you look across the red fields,
or hear the sound of long thunder,
then the saving rain.
Everything beautiful,
the solitude of the single body
or sometimes, too, when the body is kissed
on the lips or hands or eyelids tender.
Oh for the pleasure of living in a body.
It may be, it may one day be
this is a world haunted by happiness,
where people finally are loved
in the light of leaves,
the feel of bird wings passing by.
Here it might be that no one wants power.
They don’t want more.
And so they are in the forest,
old trees,
or those small but grand.
And when you sleep, rapture, beauty,
may seek you out.
Listen. There is
secret joy,
sweet dreams you may never forget.
How worthy the being
in the human body. If,
when you are there, you see women
wading on the water
and clouds in the valley,
the smell of rain,
or a lotus blossom rises out of round green leaves,
remember there is always something
besides our own misery.

Though I am not currently miserable, like all of us I have my moments. And it’s at times like that I need to be reminded as Hogan says there is always something / besides our own misery. 

She speaks so eloquently of the mysteries of poppies and rain, of beauty, the pleasure of living in a body. And then she presents us with an astonishing possibility: that the world may one day be haunted (haunted!) by happiness and people finally are loved.  This reminds me of Day Dream by A.S.J. Tessimond which you might also like.

Rapture, beauty may seek you out as you sleep. Listen she says, There is / secret joy, / sweet dreams you may never forget. Pay attention, she is telling us. These things are real and close at hand if we open our eyes and ears. How worthy the being in the human body – how often do we truly remember this?

May rapture and beauty seek you out. May you be open to receive it.


And here is another spring poem of mine from a couple of years ago that describes my annual experience. And now the leaves have truly arrived; perhaps it is even summer!

Hello Spring

Every year I plan to be there

at that exquisite unveiling

when the tender green leaves,

so tightly wrapped, open themselves

to the waiting new-made world.


Impatiently I watch for signs,

carefully observing the nascent buds

on the winter-bare branches,

biding my time

for they cannot be rushed.


Yet each year, there comes a morning

when I look to find yesterday’s small gift

unwrapped, tiny viridescent leaves

unfurled, waving their diminutive hands

in greeting: hello spring,

hello Janice, sorry we arrived

while you weren’t looking;

we just couldn’t wait.