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Geminid Meteor Shower by Nick Proudfoot

Seasonal Poetry / Prayer List

Each Lent and Advent, Kathy sends a poem a day. Poems are selected from a range of poets over centuries. Readers are invited to spend a few moments in peace, taking in the beauty, wisdom, love, and liveliness found in each poem. For a dozen years, the Poetry / Prayer list has been a treasured gift of these sacred seasons. To join the list, complete the form below. 

The Winter of Listening

No one but me by the fire, my hands burning red in the palms
while the night wind carries everything away outside.

All this petty worry while the great cloak of the sky
grows dark and intense round every living thing.

What is precious inside us does not care to be known
by the mind in ways that diminish its presence.

What we strive for in perfection is not
what turns us into the lit angel we desire,

what disturbs and then nourishes
has everything we need.

What we hate in ourselves
is what we cannot know in ourselves
but what is true to the pattern
does not need to be explained.

Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born.

Even with summer so far off
I feel it grown in me now
and ready to arrive in the world.

All those years listening to those who had nothing to say.

All those years forgetting how everything has a voice
to make itself heard.

All those years forgetting how you can belong to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow difficulty of remembering how everything is born
from an opposite and miraculous otherness.
Silence and winter has led me to that otherness.

So let this winter of listening be enough
for the new life I must call my own.

Every sound has a home from which it has come
and a door through which it is going again
out into the world to make another home.


We speak only with the voices of those we can hear ourselves
and the body has a voice only for that portion of the body
of the world it has learned to perceive.

It becomes a world itself by listening hard for the way it belongs.
There it can learn how to be and what it must do.

in the tumult
of the night
I hear the walnut
above the child’s swing
dark limbs
in the wind
and the rain now
come to
beat against my window
and somewhere
in this cold night
of wind and stars
the first whispered
opening of
those hidden
and invisible springs
that uncoil
in the still summer air
each yet
to be imagined


~ David Whyte



Source: River Flow: New and Selected Poems

©David Whyte and Many Rivers Press


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