It’s the third Thursday of the month, and that means it’s time for . . .

It’s been rough going for many of us lately, emotionally. There’s just . . . so much heartbreaking horribleness going on in the world. It’s hard to know what to say, what to do, how to live our lives in the face of all that horror and sadness and fear.

And while I certainly have no answers, this week I’ve been turning to things that ground me, things that help me process my feelings and wade through the delicate balancing act of  . . . just living in this world. I turn to gardening, movement, making, music.

And poetry . . .

Why I Smile at Strangers
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

In difficult times, carry something beautiful in your heart. — Blaise Pascal

And so today, I walk the streets
with vermillion maple leaves inside me,
and the deep purple of late-blooming larkspur
and the lilting praise of meadowlark.
I carry with me thin creeks with clear water
and the three-quarters moon
and the spice-warm scent of nasturtiums.
And honey in the sunlight.
And words from Neruda
and slow melodies by Erik Satie.
It is easy sometimes to believe
that everything is wrong.
That people are cruel and the world
is destroyed and the end of it all
imminent. But there is yet goodness
beyond imagining — the creamy
white flesh of ripe pears
and the velvety purr of a cat in my lap
and the white smear of milky way —
I carry these things in my heart,
more certain than ever that one way
to counteract evil is to ceaselessy honor what’s good
and share it, share it until
we break the choke hold of fear
and at least for a few linked moments,
we believe completely in beauty,
growing beauty, yes, beauty.

This poem can be found in Poetry of Presence II: More Mindfulness Poems, edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson, 2023, Grayson Books. Information about the poet can be found here.


You can find A Gathering of Poetry every month . . . on the third Thursday.
Share some.
Read some.
Gather up some poetry!

(Bonny is hosting a special link-up for A Gathering of Poetry. Be sure to check it out!)