In listening to a talk given by Jon Kabat-Zinn at a Mindfulness and Compassion conference last week, he mused about poetry being a way to moisten the heart and invited us to “learn poems by heart and let them reside in you”. Hafiz has written that “the gauge of a good poem” can be measured by ” the size of the love-bruise it leaves on your neck…or the size of the love-bruise it can weave into your soul.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn then commenced to recite some poems. Here is one he shared:
Love After Love by Derek Walcott
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.
Poems I am sharing with you that I love:
The Happy Virus by Hafiz
I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious —
So kiss me.
The Sacraments by St. Francis of Assisi
I once spoke to my friend, an old squirrel, about the Sacraments —
He got so excited and ran into a hollow in his tree and came back holding some acorns,an owl feather, and a ribbon he had found.
And I smiled and said, Yes, dear,you understand:
Everything imparts His grace.”
Relationships Booster by Rumi
Here is a relationship booster that is guaranteed to work:
Every time your spouse or lover says something stupid,
make your eyes light up as if you
just heard something
My Lips Got Lost by Rumi
My lips got lost on the way to the kiss — that’s how drunk I was.
Luckily though I still connected with the most tender part of her.
The moon conceived — what a wild looking baby we are going to have.
The Sun Never Says by Hafiz
Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with a love like that —
It lights the whole world.
Two Giant Fat People by Hafiz
and I have become
like two giant fat people living
in a tiny
keep bumping into
The Subject Tonight is Love by Hafiz
The subject tonight is Love
And for tomorrow night as well,
As a matter of fact
I know of no better topic
For us to discuss
Until we all
How do you moisten your heart?