Poems & Prose To Live By
The following are some of the many poems I often use in the work I do with groups. I think of these as "teaching poems" in that I have learned a great deal from them and weave them into many of the retreats and workshops I lead.
For many years I have chosen a poem a year to learn by heart and return to as the year passes. The process of learning and returning again and again to the same poem has acted as a mirror of sorts and has deepened my appreciation and understanding of myself and the poem. A good poem suggest possibilities of how I might perceive and engage with the myself, the world, and the many relationships that sustain us.
The process of tracking and stalking "new" poems is an adventure. Even with the poets that really capture my attention I might only find one in 25 of their poems that really engages my imagination. I give the source of each poem and encourage readers to support the poets you find useful by buying their books and then begin your own process of stalking poems that have meaning to you. The growing list occurs in no particular order... other than the order you chose to bestow upon it.
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver
Lost by David Wagoner
Missing the Boat by Naomi Sheiab-Nye
Enough by David Whyte
Return by Robinson Jeffers
In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver
For the Children by Gary Snyder
What to Remember When Waking by David Whyte
The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry
At Blackwater Pond by Mary Oliver
Sometimes by David Whyte
The Holy Longing by Goethe
Sleeping in the Forest by Mary Oliver
Birdwings by Rumi
The Traveler by John O'Donohue
The Plum Trees by Mary Oliver
Cold Mountain #7 by Han Shan trans. by Gary Snyder
Mindful by Mary Oliver
Sauntering by John Muir
Remember Arachne by Stacy Carlson
The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Singapore by Mary Oliver
Untitled by Dawna Markova
Prayer for the Great Family by Gary Snyder
Everything is Waiting for You by David Whyte
Don't Go Back To Sleep by Rumi
For a New Beginning by John O'Donohue
Keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda
For Presence by John O'Donohue
Out Beyond Ideas by Rumi
For All by Gary Snyder
Morning Poem by Mary Oliver
Start Close In by David Whyte
Hokusai Says by Roger Keyes
Always, More to Come...
"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."
~ From Dead Poet's Society spoken by the character played by Robin Williams