Origin of a Poem–Kindness

Many years ago, a friend introduced me to the poetry of Naomi Shihab Nye.  He appreciated how she occupied and read her poetry.  So do I.

Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem, Kindness, is widely read.  And it’s no wonder.  In this video clip, she relates how she came to write this poem.  Then, she recites her poem.  Regardless of how many times that I read or hear this poem, I am deeply moved.

May I bring the message of this poem into my encounters today.

Contemplation:
How prepared are you to take down a poem when it presents itself to you?  I’ve been driving, walking down a path or in the shower when a poem comes to me full blown (and sometimes without the need for editing)!  I am the scribe, available to the recitation whenever and wherever it comes.  Maybe I need a bumper sticker “I brake for poems!”

Note:  Carry your pocket journal and a pen with you.  You truly never know when a brilliant idea is going to cross your path.

To the God of Sunlight…

sonnet1
©by Christine O’Brien

Yearning is to not be satisfied with
the only thing we possess here and now
forgetting that this moment is a gift
and to its giving presence I could bow.
Instead, I fight the newness of this day.
I resist, protest, complain about it all.
To every ray of sun and blossom, nay!
I fence myself behind a solemn wall.
Why do I choose such a captive to be?
What script is written and why do I act
a dismal part which isn’t really me?
As if this dull perspective is a fact.
The god of yearning, I cannot appease.
To the god of sunlight, I bend my knees.

****

Sometimes, I write a poem in the morning.  When I am in that space of waking up–feeling an ache, a concern or a grumpiness–writing a poem (like this one) can help me to both validate the feeling and then “shake it off”.

Contemplation:
What does writing a poem do for you?  Or writing in your journal, how is it serving you?  Have you experienced the transformative power of writing (or reading) poetry for yourself?  Have you written a poem yet today?