Starting Here

This week’s text for Lectio Divina is by American poet William Stafford (1914-1993). In reading this poem, remember to read slowly, reflect on the text, respond from your own experience, and contemplate any connections or insights that may arise.

Find a quiet space to practice, as lectio divina calls for careful attention to the text and your own response.  The detailed instructions are here.

You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life –

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

William Stafford

What the River Says, that is what I Say

In honour of the beautiful mystery of water – and the  mystery of living –  this poem comes from American poet William Stafford:

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.
William Stafford

Universe Is One Place

A little late for a Monday meditation but this is one of my favourite poems by American poet William Stafford.

Universe Is One Place

Crisis they call it? – when
when the gentle wheat leans at the combine and
and the farm girl brings cool jugs wrapped in burlap
slapping at her legs?

We think -drinking cold water
water looking at the sky-
Sky is home, universe is one place.
Crisis?  City folk make

Make such a stir.
Farm girl away through the wheat.