I choose you

Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware
as by the beating of my heart,

Suddenly you flare in my sight,
a wild rose looming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only shade,

and once again I am blessed, choosing
again what I chose before.

– from “The Wild Rose” by Wendell Berry


Poet Walt Whitman, who is widely thought to have been homosexual, wrote this poem in the 1800’s. Could it be more appropriate for our current struggle for marriage equality?

I Hear It Was Charged Against Me
by Walt Whitman

I hear it was charged against me that I sought to destroy institutions,
But really I am neither for nor against institutions,
(What indeed have I in common with them? or what with the destruction of them?)
Only I will establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these States inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, and above every keel little or large that dents the water,
Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.

Life Needs an Undo Button

Life Needs an Undo Button
By Brian

If life had an undo button
Oh, how easy it would be
To never have to worry
About which path was right for me.

I could leap without looking;
Never consult with an advisor.
I could make mistakes so freely
And no one would be the wiser.

If I messed up, if I flubbed up,
If I screwed up royally,
I’d just click that little button
And be happy as can be.

Think on these things

The lady that used to live in the house we just bought had newspaper clippings of poetry and prayers taped to the inside of the kitchen cabinet doors. Honey removed them before cleaning the cabinets, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away.

I don’t know much about Bessie. I know that she and her husband designed and built the house, that he died in 1996, and that she suffered from dementia and lived in a nursing home until passing away last August at the age of ninety-eight. I believe these newspaper clippings provide a little insight into the kind of person that she might have been, and I thought I would share them with my readers.

Forget It
If you see a tall fellow ahead of the crowd,
A leader of men, marching fearless and proud,
And you know of a tale whose mere telling aloud
Would cause his proud head in anguish be bowed,
It’s a pretty good plan to forget it.

If you know of a skeleton hidden away
In a closet, and guarded, and kept from the day
In the dark, and whose showing, whose sudden display,
Would cause grief and sorrow and pain and dismay.
It’s a pretty good plan to forget it.

If you know of a tale that will darken the joy
Of a man or a woman, a girl or a boy.
That will wipe out a smile or the least bit annoy
A fellow or cause any gladness to cloy,
It’s a pretty good plan to forget it.

To the preacher, life’s a sermon,
To the joker, it’s a jest;
To the miser, life is money,
To the loafer, life is rest.

To the lawyer, life’s a trial,
To the poet, life’s a song;
To the doctor, life’s a patient,
Who needs treatment right along.

To the solder, life’s a battle,
To the teacher, life’s a school;
Life’s a “good thing” to the grafter,
It’s a failure to the fool.

To the man upon the engine,
Life’s a long and heavy grade;
It’s a gamble to the gambler,
To the merchant, life’s a trade.

Life is but a long vacation,
To the man who loves his work;
Life’s an everlasting effort
To shun duty, to the shirk.

Life is useful or unmuseful,
Life is false or life is true;
Life is what we try to make it –
Brother, what is life to you?

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled
By Helen Steiner Rice

Whenever I am troubled
And lost in deep despair,
I bundle all my troubles up
And go to God in prayer…
I tell him I am heartsick
And lost and lonely, too,
That my mind is deeply burdened
And I don’t know what to do…
But I know He stilled the tempest
And calmed the angry sea
And I humbly ask if in His love
He’ll do the same for me…
And then I just keep quiet
And think only thoughts of peace,
And if I abide in stillness
My restless murmurings cease.

My chief thought: Thanks to my God for all His wondrous gifts throughout my life; they seem to me a series of uplifts! My lines have fallen pleasantly, my life has been most blest; the goodly heritage I have has withstood every test! To God I leave the rest!

‘Are You Sure?’

Are You Sure?
By The Staple Singers

Are you sure there’s nothing you can do
To help someone worse off than you?
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?

Are you sure it’ll be a waste of time
To stop and let your love light shine?
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?

Are you sure that it will be in vain
To show some love for your fellow man?
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?

Are you sure that it’s not your place
To help someone whose lost their way?
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?

Are you sure it’s not your concern
When you see a neighbor’s home is burned?
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?

Are you sure that there will still be time
When you realize that you’ve been blind
Think before you answer, are you sure?
Are you sure?


by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Oh, the comfort,
The inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person,
Having neither to weigh thoughts,
Nor measure words,
But pouring them all right out just as they are,
Chaff and grain together,
Certain that a faithful hand
Will take and sift them,
Keep what is worth keeping,
And with a breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.