Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First & Second Selections, March, 2012

Instructions for Living The Next 24 Hours

Wake up. This is most important. Asleep,
It’s easy to fall into belief, opinion or, worse,
Certainty. Put one foot in front of the other;
Crawl, if you cannot walk. Inhabiting the body
Keeps you awake. Suit up.
It's fine to be naked if that's what's called for,
But mostly, casual dress will suffice to clothe one
In life's necessary humility. Show up.
Living requires presence. More will be revealed
As needed, if needed.
Tell the truth. With practice, this gets easier.
When tired, rest. When rested,
Wake up.

--Rebecca del Rio


Imagine being common, crow-common,
Lupine-common, an oak surrounded by dry
Wild grasses common.

One day, I cross a high school parking lot,
Common asphalt, meeting my common soles.
Before me, an explosion of gulls,
White as a bride's dress, shoot as one
Up, then spill over, a fountain pouring perfectly
Each bird, a bead of liquid life. Again,
They explode, shoot skyward and spill over
Again and again, threaded through by trails
Of blue-black crows, woven into the flying
Fabric by necessity, desire and instinct.

I comment to a man pushing a compost can,
Remark at the remarkable. He says, "Oh,
They do that every day. At lunch the students,
Leave behind bits of bread," treasures
From barely-noticed food, common fare eaten daily.

I want to be that common,
Common as the gulls, rising and descending,
And the crows, weaving their way
To the feast, that bread,
That common manna.

--Rebecca del Rio

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