little birds

Today, a friend emailed me a poem by e.e. cummings:

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

Later, I went to the mailbox and found a beautiful notecard waiting from a former client, wishing me & Greg a happy anniversary. In her elegant writing, I read this poem, “The Third Body” by Robert Bly:

A man and a woman sit near each other, and they do not long
at this moment to be older, or younger, nor born
in any other nation, or time, or place.
They are content to be where they are, talking or not-talking.
Their breaths together feed someone whom we do not know.
The man sees the way his fingers move;
he sees her hands close around a book she hands to him.
They obey a third body that they have in common.
They have made a promise to love that body.
Age may come, parting may come, death will come.
A man and a woman sit near each other;
as they breathe they feed someone we do not know,
someone we know of, whom we have never seen.

I am thankful today for poetry. I am thankful today for those people who, like the little birds who are the secrets of living, drop poems into my day like so many bits of string and bark. This is how we make our nest. This is how we feed someone we do not know. This is how we do nothing usefully and love ourselves, love each other.

Finally, I had to share this video that has gone viral on Facebook and elsewhere. (You may have seen it already.) Little birds, full circles.

5 thoughts on “little birds

  1. Vicki says:

    This reminds me of a story Anthony DeMello tells about sparrows. How easily it is to move from “wonder” to “expected” and when that happens, we begin our slow descent from appreciating miracles, to boredom with reality. This was a lovely reminder this morning. Thanks.

    Like

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