I love the idea of poetry and have tried numerous times to read books of poetry but much of the time I don’t get it. Below are 10 poems that make perfect sense to me, speak to my heart, and leave me wanting more. I hope they speak to you too.
1. Help Yourself to Happiness
Everybody everywhere seeks happiness, it’s true,
But finding it and keeping it seem difficult to do.
Difficult because we think that happiness is found
Only in the places where wealth and fame abound.
And so we go on searching in palaces of pleasure
Seeking recognition and monetary treasure,
Unaware that happiness is just a state of mind
Within the reach of everyone who takes time to be kind.
For in making others happy we will be happy, too.
For the happiness you give away returns to shine on you.
- BLUE SKY
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
If a blade of grass springing up in the fields has the power to move you,
If the simple things of nature have a message that you understand,
Rejoice, for your soul is alive.
– Eleonora Duse
- Today, When I Could Do Nothing
Today, when I could do nothing, I saved an ant.
It must have come in with the morning paper, still being delivered to those who shelter in place.
A morning paper is still an essential service. I am not an essential service.
I have coffee and books, time, a garden, silence enough to fill cisterns.
It must have first walked the morning paper as if loosened ink taking the shape of an ant.
Then across the laptop computer — warm —then onto the back of a cushion.
Small black ant, alone, crossing a navy cushion, moving steadily because that is what it could do.
Set outside in the sun, it could not have found again its nest.
What then did I save?
It did not move as if it was frightened, even while walking my hand, which moved it through swiftness and air.
Ant, alone, without companions, whose ant-heart I could not fathom— how is your life, I wanted to ask.
I lifted it, took it outside.
This first day when I could do nothing, contribute nothing beyond staying distant from my own kind,
I did this.
– JANE HIRSHFIELD
- I Am
I Know not whence I came,
I know not whither I go;
But the fact stands clear that I am here
In this world of pleasure and woe.
And out of the mist and murk
Another truth shines plain –
It is my power each day and hour
To add to its joy or its pain.
- APACHE Blessing
May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries,
May the breeze blow new strength into your being,
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.
- THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world and am free.
– Wendell Berry
Travel, because if you don’t travel then your thoughts won’t be strengthened, won’t get filled with ideas. Your dreams will be born with fragile legs and then you end up believing in tv-shows, and in those who invent enemies that fit perfectly with your nightmares to make you live in terror.
Travel, because travel teaches to say good morning to everyone regardless of which sun we come from.
Travel, because travel teaches to say goodnight to everyone regardless of the darkness that we carry inside.
Travel, because traveling teaches to resist, not to depend, to accept others, not just for who they are but also for what they can never be, to know what we are capable of, to feel part of a family beyond borders, beyond traditions and culture. Traveling teaches us to be beyond.
Travel, otherwise you end up believing that you are made only for a panorama and instead inside you there are wonderful landscapes still to visit.
– Gio Evan
Scratch the surface of her joy,
And you will find a well of sorrow.
Dive into the well,
And discover her spring of hope.
Follow that spring to the river of her strength,
Compassion, and faith . . .
And you will have touched her soul.
- Appreciation of Life
When your world moves too fast
and you lose yourself in the chaos
introduce yourself to each color of the sunset,
reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet,
thank the air that surrounds you
with every breath you take
find yourself in the appreciation of life.
- A Medicine Woman’s Prayer
I will not rescue you
For you are not powerless
I will not fix you
For you are not broken
I will not heal you
For I see you in your wholeness
I will walk with you through the darkness
As you remember your light.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these. Do you have a favorite poem? If so, please share it in the comments below.
Is there someone who inspires you with their kindness? Nominate them for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award of $250.
Do you have an act-of-kindness project you want to do but need help funding it? Submit your idea for the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $500 and let us help you spread kindness.