Transcribed from the Belly of the Nourish Practice
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This morning I had nothing left,
Not even the will to drink,
So I let myself be deserted,
Formed into a trough
To be sipped, eventually gulped,
As an urn of the Beloved,
Made of trees and stones,
Black soil and quenching waters
In this circle of enduring Earth,
Spark of life seeded in the breath.
Once I noticed your generosity
I allowed myself to feel
Just how thirsty I have been,
Which also awakened my hunger
To be had, filled again by Beauty,
Its simple gifts: the breath
That breathes us and the nourishment
Nature provides, filling me
Not only with the gratitude of reception,
But its hidden side: overflow
For giving back.
A great otherness lives inside me,
Breathing me, if I care to notice,
And so nourish the actualization
Of all imagined, if I but care
To inhabit the palace
Of its invisible architecture,
This chunk of Earth,
We call the body.
So I let go clinging to the face
Of what seems so real,
Doing the busy days on my own
As a mausoleum of self-preservation.
Now I begin the mornings
As a worthy, disciplined dependent,
Vessel of inspiration
At the gates of this fleshy heaven,
Of hallowed land, breathed by the breath.
Grown from the ground inside me
Too close to notice
When I am but a doing-machine, producing,
Trying to maintain what I must also allow,
Fertilized by the source of life,
Center of the Earth
In order to proceed supporting the cycle
Of birth, life, death, and rebirth—
All the body, my senses, this breath, a common carbon chain,
Reconstituting the world inside me, already breathing,
Already brimming, when I care enough to allow it
To remake, charge, and recharge me.
This morning I could barely breathe,
Was forced to discover another way
To grow some meager sighs into bellows,
Finally a forest fire of buoyant becoming,
Which was the beginning of this blessing.
For this you rely on me, my small wonder,
Surrendered enough to receive,
To fulfill your gracious giving,
Welcome you back to your home in my belly,
To manifest such wholeness.
Too fast, we go too fast these days
If we do not also slow to replenish,
Trust also in the power of softness.
Oh, the deeper I accept my hollows
The more fulfilled I can be, allow myself
To be filled again and again by the gift,
All for free.
When so many fill their depths with things
Where a cool, vibrant emptiness must exist
We cloud your eyes, congest your lungs,
Dam your veins, constipate your belly,
Inhibit sunlight, polluting the air,
Sludging the rivers, warming the planet,
Hampering rebirth, all because
We fail to realize what is already given
And grieve what can be forgiven,
Allowing us to receive, return the favor,
Complete the cycle of nourishment
When we but take the time
To notice and be noticed,
To love and be loved.
For more of Jack’s poetry, click here.