Equinox – Richard Wehrman

The Garden releases its last
radiance, not as something failed,
but as its full reason for being: to give
continually, to its last bit of energetic being.
Its giving is its beauty. It is a smile,
it is the heart of love.

So the birdsong that surrounds me
is given, not away, but into the world.
It is given as rain, as sunlight, as snowfall
and autumn leaves. It falls on our ears
as what it is, with no deception,
the complete truth of being.

Even the smell of decay, drifting from
the deer, dead by the side of the road, says:
“This is what I am and no other. I do not
pretend to be. Even in death I speak
without deceit, even unto my flesh,
my very bones.”

Be tolerant of these songs,
my musings on the way these things are
For I cannot give up this Summer except by
giving myself as well, fully and completely,
into the praise of our mutual beauty,
our total loving of the World.

Equinox

It is past equinox of course but I responded viscerally to this poem when I read it.

I had recently read a piece by Parker Palmer (thank you Margaret) on the paradox of how the dying of the year in autumn on which we tend to focus also contains the “hope of a certain beauty”. That darkness is part of the wholeness of life, the natural cycles of seasons, the sowing of seeds of new life.

I appreciate the poet’s reminder that autumn is not a failure but a giving, Its giving is its beauty. It is a smile, / it is the heart of love. The birdsong, the rain, the sunlight and snowfall, all this comes to us as what it is, with no deception, / the complete truth of being. Even in death, This is what I am and no other. I do not / pretend to be.

And finally, I cannot give up this Summer except by / giving myself as well, fully and completely, / into the praise of our mutual beauty, / our total loving of the World. Can you feel the call to give yourself fully to this beautiful world, to praise the beauty that is part of the wholeness of life for all of us?

Let this poem be a reminder to give yourself away, to increase the beauty of this world. As the poet Wendell Berry says Every day you have less reason / not to give yourself away.

And now may I give you one of my own.

BreathTaking

The sacred language of the breath

has no words:

a speechless entry

into the body, a tidal connection

with all that is,

the language we were born into,

the last silent word at our death.

 

It is the poetry of call and response:

inhaling news of the world,

exhaling delight and despair,

inhaling stories of life and death,

exhaling our own narratives

in sound no more than a whisper.

 

With each breath we take

life is poured into every cell,

announcing our presence

without ever saying a word.

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Equinox – Richard Wehrman

  1. Oh, Jan, this too hits me so viscerally. I don’t have the words for how it does, but I feel it into my body. Thank you so much. And I love your poem These are keepers. Margaret 613-725-6941 h 613-795-9879 c

    Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

    – Oscar Wilde.

    >

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  2. Dear Jan – Thank you for introducing me to “Equinox” and its wisdom. I too, am struck by the line, ‘is given, not away, but into the world’ and its underlying notion that life (all of it) is a gift. And your poem! Oh my.. so many lines that ring with an elegant and truthful simplicity. Thank you for sharing it. Love – Mary Lou

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