Greeting Things (poem)

leo-fosdal-114217 photograph roadside


Rolling the 300-plus miles south from Arlington, Massachusetts
To Franklinville, New Jersey, I noticed more than anything
The places beside the road that were green or greening
And wondered about the roadside weeds, imagined collecting samples
To identify later, then remembered a quote that said
That until our scientists stop trying to learn about things
By killing them, we will not understand life. And I remembered
A time when there were too many stars in the night sky to possibly
Identify constellations, and how, lying on my back on the gently rolling
Dock at the end of the ramp where we tied our motor boat
In the ocean, I understood that naming things is not the
Power I thought it was and started reaching out in greeting
Instead. I stopped calling in the directions by telling them
Their names. I greet them as you would anyone
and thank them for creating the circle of our physicality,
Then tell them my intention and ask for their help. And
Now I see I can do that with the weeds and the stars,
Join with them, their myriads, and feel at once my own
Multiplicity as each cell in my body and all the force
Of consciousness I possess begin to dance in recognition
And communion with my brothers, the many, the choruses,
The infinite beings of life. And I see there is nothing to be known
But only to be experienced, and as much as I can
Hold it, to be alive with each of these, and in each moment to be alive.
My intention is to know you. Please help me be alive.


aaron-burden-88770 dandelion

What is a Miracle?

Greater Burdock, Arctium lappa, (4)

What is a miracle?
Something impossible,
But our view of what is possible
is as a speck in an ocean,
a droplet evaporating,
a moment forgotten.

What is a miracle?
Something that amazes,
But wonder is constantly resolving
into having, holding
and letting go.

What is a miracle?
It’s grace, the softening
that finds a way through
the hardest realities where violence
can do nothing but ricochet.

What is a miracle?
It’s everything, everywhere,
molecules just waiting to coalesce
under the watchful eye of a lover and dreamer,
the careful ministering of skilled hands and wise ears.

It is the seeing that brings it into focus–
The listening itself–
It can be spoken into being–

What is a miracle
if not all of that?
But what of the intractable situation
that blooms like burdock
with roots that resist the sharpest shovel,
so deep they have no beginning?
We chop it down
but it springs up again
when the ground softens
during the time when everything returns,
the good, the green, the sustaining–

The painful and hard places that,
like iron wrapped handkerchiefs,
drop from our pockets
and crack the ground we are trying to build on–
What of these places seemingly immune from wonder,
never content, never resolved,
always causing unrest,
begging for attention–
the hungry, squirmy, miserable children
we wish we had left home
so that we could shop and eat and laugh–

Look!  Look here!
Here is where our wondrous world view
needs to be turned loose.
Here is where our miracle needs to take hold.
But what shall we listen for?
Where shall we focus?
How shall we caress?
What song shall we sing?

If gravity holds together electrons in a wild jig
that makes the molecules that form the thing,
what is it that holds together the circumstance
that will not yield to wonder?
What is the dance of belief
that makes us think it cannot change
when everything we have
we have created because we thought we could?

What are we willing to be, to give up being,
What are we willing to have, to let go of,
In order to give this reality
we are piping and fiddling madly away at
a chance to stop, to pause, to hang up in its orbit,
for just a moment, less than a breath,
And then resume as something changed,
The essential elements rearranged?

We do it all the time in life,
if we’re lucky.
We wake right up and say, “No. This.” or
“Yes. Yes.”

What is a miracle
if not the improbable
and the impossible
meeting the intractable
in the field of being
called “I am?”

For Going Into Winter

IMG_3036November Snow

yellow maple leaves come unpinned

fly down and scatter on early snow

carpet strewn with net of sunshine

points wagging and draped into every crease

and footstep, extravagant the multitude

of yellow star-shaped splashes, dying

I remind myself, on their way to brown,

to dry and crinkled dust, their thin bodies

displayed across an acre, grass

pile of refuse boards and discarded bicycle

covered alike in white dappled with yellow

all are on their way to dying.

Can I surrender and be strewn like this

in my dying colors?


jack-o-lantern lit from within,

grim reaper’s eerie grin escort me

to the other side of summer.

The November elections bring us closer

to the grave we fear so much,

but I am hopeful, following the maples:

Perhaps all the intrenched realities of life

are coming to their death.

The maple leaf’s public and joyful pageant

stamping every thing I see with its death logo

in this season of the thinnest veil between the worlds

is ignored at the cost of missing the beauty

of this stage of transformation as the world

prepares to travels its root to the Source.

November Snow. Photo by Phyllis Capanna

Compost Bin. Photo by Phyllis Capanna


by Phyllis Capanna © 2014 joyreport

All content is the sole property of Phyllis Capanna and joyreport. If you are reading this content on another site, it has been reposted without the author’s permission and is in violation of the DMCA.  © 2014 joyreport

Thank you for stopping by and reading. Please leave a comment or fill out the contact form if you would like to get in touch with me.

Thirty Days of Joy ~ Day 24 ~ Beach Day

by Phyllis Capanna © 2012 joyreport

Beach day

Sand dunes, beach grass, picket fencing, tide coming up a narrow spit

congenial gathering of blankets, umbrellas, beach chairs

tubes and boogie boards

No Lifeguard On Duty

Drum finally drum gift given perfect response, delight and “My own drum!”

Relentless wind, plastic tube rolling down the beach, caught on capsized chair

Black-backed gull interested in my bag, I run and flap till it takes off

fannies digging sand castles

clumps of hardened seaweed where we spread our towels

damp line of seaweed at the tide line

jewel green glossy seaweed gathered out of the water in the arms of an Aphrodite

Switching places in the water to give our necks a break and to even out sun exposure as we talk talk talk

The kind of feedback about your bathing suit only a friend will give

The kind of friend you can hear that kind of feedback from

Chilling salt water swelling and receding and swelling, taking all the heat out, but we can still feel our feet, so it’s not really cold, not new england cold

Black woman with Medusa curls

shocking pink dress and shawl with skull motif posing at boardwalk entrance to beach

singing for the camera, hair blown back

hair over face, hair twisted around neck, shawl escaping, singing, singing

You know what I’d like you do to sometime in the next ten years?

I see myself traveling

Kid talk, ex talk, house talk, money talk, work talk, astrology talk, veggie garden friend drive car college weight talk

I’m telling you, you know what I meant to tell you?

Ooh, let’s go, and egg salad sandwiches in the front seat, water, chocolate

Dining hall dinner: salad bar, fajita bar, dessert bar

Folk music after dinner, lousy microphone keeps slipping down, This Land Is Your Land, Blowin’ In the Wind

Sand castle awards, applause, on and on, one for every sand castle-maker, most creative use of, most easily, best, fastest, biggest, applause, dining din chatter

Guy with hair pinned up in barrette, paint on forearms, he must be the groundskeeper, you say. Doesn’t have to have a ponytail, but the spirit of a ponytail.


taking pictures across the table and emailing them to each other

Loud downpour, man eating ice cream, tweens kicking soccer ball, riding bikes in the rain

Sky pulls clouds apart to reveal faint blue, then rainbow in rockers on the porch

I’ll follow you out, fried clams on the way home

highway north is deserted, black, I call you and the Hampton tollbooth heading south has a two mile back-up

our conversation is not over, may just be getting started, may never quite be over, seems all we do is talk eat observe, listen, share, enjoy, venture, do, be, shop, for years and years and years

We hung in there, yes we did, made a couple of conscious decisions in rough times

we each had them

we took our turns and made decisions to hang in

and said that to each other today

why it came up, or for what purpose except the utter rare and lovely gift of total revelation in the safe and happy bowl of time and together that is our friendship

All content is the sole property of Phyllis Capanna and joyreport. If you are reading this content on another site, it has been reposted without the author’s permission and is in violation of the DMCA. © 2012 joyreport