small circle big circle

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step – Lao Tzu

Archive for the category “Favorite Poems”

The patience of ordinary things

The patience of ordinary things by Pat Schneider

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?


Pigeons by Danusha Laméris

Because they crowd the corner

of every city street,

because they are the color of sullied steel,

because they scavenge,

eating every last crust,

we do not favor them.


They raise their young

huddled under awnings

above the liquor store


circle our feet, pecking at crumbs

pace the sidewalks

with that familiar strut.


None will ever attain greatness.

Though every once in a while

in a tourist’s blurry snapshot

of a grand cathedral


they rise into the pale gray sky

all at once.


Photo by Small Circle Big Circle


“Why, who makes much of a miracle?

As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,

Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,

Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,

Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,

Or stand under trees in the woods,

Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love,

Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,

Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,

Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,

Or animals feeding in the fields,

Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,

Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or the stars shining so quiet and bright,

Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;

These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,

The whole referring, yet each distinct and its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,

Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,

Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,

Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

To me the sea is a continual miracle,

The fishes that swim-the rocks-the motion of the waves-the ships with men in them,

What stranger miracles are there?”

by Walt Whitman


Photo by Small Circle Big Circle



To go into the dark…

To go into the dark with a light is to know the light.

To know the dark, go dark.  Go without sight,

And find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,

And is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.

By Wendell Berry

Photo by Small Circle Big Circle

They might not need me

They might not need me – yet they might.

I’ll let my Heart be just in sight –

A smile so small as mine might be

Precisely their necessity –

                      -Emily Dickinson


Love After Love



The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

                                                                                              by Derek Walcott

Collage by Small Circle Big Circle

The guest house

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
Empty of its furniture,
Still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out
For some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
Meet them at the door laughing,
And invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
Because each has been sent
As a guide from beyond.

by smallcircle bigcircle

May 8

She survives by J. Raymond

She Survives

I love the way she survives.
Survival looked good on her.

There were no dark marks under her eyes.
Just deep inside,
but I liked the way she looked through them
and laughed at life.
She did it gracefully.
She walked over glass and through fire,
but still smiled.

I’m not interested in people
Who haven’t lived and died a few times,
or known what it feels like to lose everything.

I trust the people who have
because they stand for something.
I knew what she’d been through.
I wanted to thank her for surviving
and wanted her to know
she now had someone willing to stand with her.

J. Raymond


by smallcirclebigcircle

The thing is by Ellen Bass

by Small Circle Big Circle

by Small Circle Big Circle

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

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