Friday, January 6, 2017

Being Elemental: A poem for the New Year

Ethel Gullette wrote this beautiful poem last November. I asked her for permission to share it with you as I think it's a wonderful expression of hope for the New Year



Being Elemental


Be like air
living lightly on the earth,
deeply empty
but powerful in movement, in change,
hiding your glories
but spreading your grace
on all who need you.
Know how to bend
around obstacles;
disturb the still waters
when the times demand it,
and rock gently
the chairs that hold the weak.
Fly bravely through schisms
and know how to settle into stillness.
Save yourself
for the next day’s journey
and pace yourself in the dance.

Be like water,
balancing your tides
in response to the quality of light,
to the deepness of the dark.
Be buoyant for beings who need
to float and rest.
Content to be still,
be ready to ripple, even to roar,
on inevitable route toward the unifying ocean.
Do not waste your time on debris -
let it be irrelevant; push it to the side.
Gentle and resilient,
know to find ways
around, over, under, through
the barriers,
always willing to alter course.
Be sleek and soft as down,
prone to quiet,
but not incapable
of murmuring a warning,
of pounding out a roar,
strong enough to roll with rage,
cutting a gorge through mountains of injustice.
Flow with ease,
unresistant to change,
unperturbed by disturbance,
undaunted by obstacles,
clinging to nothing but freedom.
Be thankful for tears.

Be like earth,
solid, despite all changes in weather;
accept disruption,
blessing the rain, the sun, the heat, the cold.
Be willing to break up and reconfigure,
melt and congeal,
adjust as needed, without resentment.
Provide for other beings
a place to take root and grow,
nurture beauty
and soften a path for the footsteps of the needy.
Fear nothing
and welcome transformation.
Stay firm and calm in the winds of turmoil,
being patient with cracks and tears,
dislocations and realignments.
Believe in balance and restitution.
Know equanimity.

Be like fire,
burning slow, bright and true.
Shining with clarity and kindness,
knowledge and forgiveness.
Show a path to plenitude and strength,
cheering those who need the light to find a way to faith.
Be a steadfast beacon, faced with weakness and need.
Shed warmth when surrounded by despair,
by cold and loneliness.
Present an antidote to fear.
When needed, burn hot,
incinerating lies, greed and cruelty;
purify infections,
and hone intentions to the good.
Burn whitely to combat the dread of darkness,
of illusion and of doubt,
etching images and hope
of enlightenment and peace.


Ethel Gullette, November 2016

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