be alone by Charles Bukowski

when you think about how often
it all goes wrong
again and again
you begin to look at the walls
and yearn to stay inside
because the streets are the
same old movie
and the heroes all end up like
old movie heroes:
fat ass, fat face and the brain
of a lizard.

it’s no wonder that
a wise man will
climb a 10,000 foot mountain
and sit there waiting
living off of berry bush leaves
rather than bet it all on two dimpled knees
that surely won’t last a lifetime
and 2 times out of 3
won’t remain even for one long night.

mountains are hard to climb.
thus the walls are your friends.
learn your walls.

what they have given us out there
in the streets
is something that even children
get tired of.

stay within your walls.
they are the truest love.

build where few others build.
it’s the last way left.

– Charles Bukowski

Photo by Small Circle Big Circle

Prayer of Thanks for Old Girlfriends, or Boyfriends, as the Case May Be – Brian Doyle

No, we don’t think about them much if at all anymore, and yes, it all worked out right that we are not together, and no, it would not have been a good idea at all to continue on in what became a murky emotional wilderness, but yes, we should be grateful that they came into our lives, or that we blundered into theirs; for in many ways they are how we came to be who we are, isn’t that so? And didn’t we learn how to love better by loving generally poorly and awkwardly in the opening chapters, before moving up to the current big leagues?… So thank You for the pain and confusion and thrill of first and second and third loves; thank You for letting us muddle along learning to be painfully honest and not try to be cool and not hold on desperately to that which is rightfully leaving the scene; thank YOU for the bruise of education, and the joy of the much deeper confusion of marriage. Deft work there, Friend. And so, amen.

– Brian Doyle

A prayer – St. Ignatius of Loyola

Take Lord and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my will, all that I have and possess. Everything I have is yours, for you have given it all to me; to you I return it. Take me, Lord, and do what you like with me, only give me your grace and your love, for that is enough for me. Amen.

– Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Photo by Small Circle Big Circle

Peace prayer – Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Acrylic painting by Carolina Perrone

Signore, fa di me
uno strumento della Tua Pace:
Dove è odio, fa ch’io porti l’Amore,
Dove è offesa, ch’io porti il Perdono,
Dove è discordia, ch’io porti l’Unione,
Dove è dubbio, ch’io porti la Fede,
Dove è errore, ch’io porti la Verità,
Dove è disperazione, ch’io porti la Speranza,
Dove è tristezza, ch’io porti la Gioia,
Dove sono le tenebre, ch’io porti la Luce.
Maestro, fa che io non cerchi tanto
Ad esser consolato, quanto a consolare;
Ad essere compreso, quanto a comprendere;
Ad essere amato, quanto ad amare.
Poiché, così è:
Dando, che si riceve;
Perdonando, che si è perdonati;
Morendo, che si risuscita a Vita Eterna

The patience of ordinary things by Pat Schneider

silver shoes
Photo by Small Circle Big Circle

It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?

~ Pat Schneider 

Do not love half lovers by Khalil Gibran

IMG_0566
Photo by small circle big circle

 

Do not love half lovers by Khalil Gibran

“Do not love half lovers
Do not entertain half friends
Do not indulge in works of the half talented
Do not live half a life
and do not die a half death
If you choose silence, then be silent
When you speak, do so until you are finished
Do not silence yourself to say something
And do not speak to be silent
If you accept, then express it bluntly
Do not mask it
If you refuse then be clear about it
for an ambiguous refusal is but a weak acceptance.
Do not accept half a solution
Do not believe half truths
Do not dream half a dream
Do not fantasize about half hopes
Half a drink will not quench your thirst
Half a meal will not satiate your hunger
Half the way will get you no where
Half an idea will bear you no results
Your other half is not the one you love
It is you in another time yet in the same space
It is you when you are not
Half a life is a life you didn’t live
A word you have not said
A smile you postponed
A love you have not had
A friendship you did not know
To reach and not arrive
Work and not work
Attend only to be absent
What makes you a stranger to them closest to you
and they strangers to you
The half is a mere moment of inability
but you are able for you are not half a being
You are a whole that exists to live a life
not half a life”

To hear a beautiful reading of the poem by John Siddique, please click here

Wild geese by Mary Oliver

wild geese
Photo by small circle big circle

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clear blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
— Mary Oliver