Poetry is an expression of Spirit. Prayer is also poetry. Here are a few of our favorite poems related to the spiritual journey we are all on. We hope you are inspired by them.
The greatest poem ever known
Is one all poets have outgrown:
The poetry, innate, untold
Of being only four years old.
Still young enough to be a part
Of Nature's great impulsive heart,
Born comrade of bird, beast and tree
And unselfconscious as the bee -
And yet with lovely reason skilled
Each day new paradise to build,
Elate explorer of each sense,
Without dismay, without pretense!
In your unstained transparent eyes
There is no conscience, no surprise:
Life's queer conundrums you accept,
Your strange Divinity still kept..
And Life, that sets all things in rhyme,
May make you poet, too, in time -
But there were days, O tender elf,
When you were poetry itself!
(with gratitude to John Bradshaw for including this poem in the Introduction to his book HomeComing)
I was mom's own, but she knew not
How love to bestow on the one she begot.
Hungry for her, my cries ignored,
My beauty denied, my spirit gored.
Stifling yearnings, becoming unreal,
Until myself no longer to feel.
Life a contest, I struggling in vain
To surface from under vast oceans of pain.
Then from the depths of heart's despair,
Divine love revealed - the soul's repair.
At long last Spirit's value shown,
And precious seeds of Self were sown.
Blossoming to the cosmic day,
Goddess reborn, and I can play.
Carried aloft upon wings of a dove,
I am Her child, I am Her love.
Robert Keith (copyright ©: 2015)
An Aboriginal Prayer
O Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me.
I am a man before you, one of your many children.
I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty,
And let my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunsets.
Make my hands respect the many things you have made,
My ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may know the things you have taught my people,
The lessons you have hidden under every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, O my Creator,
Not to be superior to my brothers,
But to be able to fight my greatest enemy - myself.
Make me ready to return to you with clean hand and a straight eye,
So that when life fades as the setting sun sets
My spirit may come to you without shame.
By An Iroquois
Jewel Of Love
Inside the Secret Chambers of this Heart God gave to me,
Like Hidden Treasures none shall ever find,
One tiny diamond sparkled with a light all of its own,
Visions of a Love that could be mine,
Each day for years I wakened with a prayer upon my lips,
You may have even uttered it before,
Oh, God, please give me someone who can love me as I am,
Understanding all that I've been praying for...
What lovely could he bring me, what beauty from afar,
In crimson veils or sapphire-jeweled gown,
That ever could compare to she who stole my heart away,
Her radiant smile, like rubies in her crown?
Again, I ask, who else could be the woman of my dreams,
Like Juliet was to her Romeo?
Let all the world keep wondering, for the answer's mine alone,
My secret love no other man can know,
Yet, now I see that someone needs to hear it said aloud,
Her heart is heavy just to hear the name,
Embracing her, I whisper, as I hold her in my arms,
Alas, do you not know her by her fame?
Read the hidden message that is buried in my eyes,
The truth is there for you alone to see...
...If you would know the name of my one truest, dearest Love,
...'Tis you, my sweet, and now the secret's free!
Credit: Tony Hicks (copyright ©:1999)
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly,
and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the years.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all the sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, 1927
The Answer Lies Within
There was a time long ago, or so it seems now
Before I became who I am
When I pictured myself as a small empty cup
And yearned to be filled to the brim.
I've searched for the answers so much of my life
From teachers I placed high above me
Trying on wings that simply weren't mine
In hopes that the winds would come lift me.
I've pored through the books, through new and old
The rituals came and they went
The talisman's power in time left me cold
And none of it seemed heaven sent.
The answer lies within, my friend
The answer lies within
The mountain can't hold it
The teachers don't own it
The answer lies within.
One morning, at odds with the world I had made
I stood at my mirror in tears
But I suddenly saw that the face that stared back
Held no trace of the hunger or fears.
I saw at that moment, so brilliantly clear
All the wisdom my life had collected
The student was ready, the teacher was here
In a way I had never expected.
We balance our lives between ignorance and bliss
With a prayer divine wisdom will find us
And yet our greatest sin is our fear to exist
In the knowledge that God lives within us.
So I don't need the mountains, the books or wings
And I don't need somebody to save me
No, all I need is to claim all the answers within
And to follow them clearly and bravely.
The answer lies within, my friend
The answer lies within.
Credit: Michael B. Putman and Catherine Wilson
And upon a day,
while walking among the flowers of his teacher's garden,
did the child speak unto the Mystic:
"Some men claim that this life is the darkness of a curse,
and a punishment to be endured for all our wicked ways.
Oh Mystic, what say you of life?"
And the Mystic answered:
I say that life is neither a curse nor a punishment,
But a rose filled with the beauty of desire.
The stem of the rose is your life upon this earth,
The thorns, painful lessons you bring unto yourself,
that you might learn.
The leaves are those joys that enter your life
with the tenderness of an unseen Love.
Curse not the sorrow of your thorns,
for the deeper they cut unto the heart of your being,
the greener the leaves of joy shall be.
The tiny bud is your soul,
waiting to bloom with the truth of God among its petals.
Slowly will your flower unfold,
that you might not become lost within the fragrance
of its secret.
And when the rose is at the height of its beauty,
Shall you not see the pureness of God
smiling from the very center of your Being?
Credit: Daniel Miller (The Prophet's Candle)