[A simple definition of a mystic is one who seeks to experience God or the Transcendent. Many of the greatest mystics have shared some of those experiences through poetry. This is one a series of posts to share a spiritual poem and several quotations that have to do with some of the great themes of mystical writers and saints. Mary Oliver and Langston Hughes are just two of what I call ‘merican Mystics. Mystics, like Mary Oliver and Saint Francis of Assisi, able learn from God in the wonders of creation. Where possible, I have embedded a video rendition of the featured poem. Your suggestions about other ‘merican Mystics are most welcome.]
Song of the Builders
On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God –
a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside
this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope
it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.
from Why I Wake Early (2004)
I have a notion that if you are going to be spiritually curious,
you better not get cluttered up with too many material things.
I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.
You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity.
I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.
Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.
Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight,
that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light.
[PHOTO by kagay-anon on photobucket.com]
BONUS: a 40 second poem — “Praying”