Sunday, January 10, 2010

,,,rocks and rhododendrons...




Instructions
Give up the world; give up self; finally, give up God.
Find god in rhododendrons and rocks,
passers-by, your cat.

Pare your beliefs, your absolutes.
Make it simple; make it clean.
No carry-on luggage allowed.


Examine all you have
with a loving and critical eye, then
throw away some more.


Repeat. Repeat.


Keep this and only this:
what your heart beats loudly for
what feels heavy and full in your gut.


There will only be one or two
things you will keep,
and they will fit lightly
in your pocket.


~ Sheri Hostetler ~
(A Cappella:  Mennonite Voices in Poetry)







Sheri Hostetler began writing poetry and creative nonfiction at the age of 28, after she received her MA in theology. She has published poetry and essays in 13th Moon, Paterson Literary Review and The Writing on the Wall (A Cappella 123). Her work can be viewed in these periodicals, as well as in 'Mennonot', which can be found online.







13 comments:

  1. "Pare your beliefs, your absolutes.
    Make it simple; make it clean.
    No carry-on luggage allowed."


    Omigoodness, that's wonderful.

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  2. nice. and a pockets worth is not too heavy.

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  3. Just wonderful Bonnie

    What a poem to live by,
    Happy days

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  4. Very lovely. Alas, I have nearly given up on my rhododendron. The winters are tough, as am I!!!

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  5. This is utterly perfect- LOVE the poem and no carry on...Brilliant!

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  6. Beatuiful..just beautiful..I loved that! I also needed to hear it! Hugs to you hon, Sarah

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  7. Hi Bonnie,

    Thanks for sharing this. Renunciation is a trustworthy and reliable way towards finding one's way to the pollen path.

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  8. This is one of those 'discoveries' that would never have happened had I not become a blogger. Poetry like this appears all of a sudden, like a cobra, and like the reptile it swells up its mighty head and bites you and you're left scarred, poisoned, but happy.

    'There will only be one or two

    things you will keep,

    and they will fit lightly

    in your pocket.'

    This is one of the better endings I've read in a poem for a long time.

    Many, many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  9. This went through me as crisp, clean air. It's rather Buddhist, isn't it?
    I looked up the Mennonot site and was reminded of the book 'A Complicated Kindness' by Miriam Toews. Have you read it?

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  10. Marvellous philosophy if you can stick to it, Bonnie, but I am not sure that I can.

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  11. Wonderful poem.. I am always trying to give up stuff and useless emotions, but the problem is there are soooooo many. :))

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  12. We all have too much baggage in our life, don't we? Pare down and keep it simple. Words to live by.

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