Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Poem, perhaps, for myself -

Desire to Help a Friend


Mary Oliver begins a poem,


“Make of yourself a light,”
said the Buddha,
before he died.


Make of yourself a light.

Did he mean a lamp with a shade

or modern with glass, incandescent bulbs

or fluorescent, energy-saving,

pink, red, yellow, white,

or did he mean the light of breaking day

and why do we say breaking.

There is no clatter or crash,

or perhaps there is, inside,

and there is you, Dear Friend

who I vow to help

and if I said to make of yourself a light

what would that do

to the pain you feel right now.

Should I become the light

or advise you to become the light

or both?   Two lights.


Where, then, is a place for darkness,

for rest. 


I’ll be the light for now, shining like the sun.

Your work is to be the cloud, wafting gently,

like the paint on a fan.


Beneath the cloud, the earth grows

and falls apart.


Flowers reach their petals and spread,

jewelry cases for dew.


Use your vapor like clay, form hands,

that hug,

and let go.


Open as lace,

grab a tree and attach,

escape the fate of the stream.


Be moss, soft green.

Let fear dry like water pulled from clothes,

into air.


The masses don’t need you right now.

Your ache is bare

and your lair

is cleansed

with dream’s

nubile rings.


Clasp trees, sky, earth and clouds. 

Root there,

in the buttons,

that open and close,

the skin so thin we wear. 


Take care of you,

and in that, the world

we share.




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