For many of us life of late appears challenging.  The environment is changing around us, in us.  Those of us inhaling smoke feel it in our lungs.

I’ve been feeling my breath like a plane on a runway, waiting for take off, then, the thrust and lift, the sail above the clouds, and then, back to land.

There’s no place for despair in this image, and that brings me to the last lines of Jane Hirshfield’s wonderful poem “My Debt” written to counteract a poem she had written on despair.  She ends her latest book Ledger with this poem.  This is the last stanza of “My Debt”.   Jane Hirshfield:


spine-colored leaf, soft-bodied spider

octopus lifting

one curious tentacle back toward the hand of the diver

that in such black ink

I set down your flammable colors.  

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