Pathways by Mark Nepo

I don’t know why I was born
with this belief in something
deeper and larger than we can
see. But it’s always called. Even as
a boy, I knew that trees and light
and sky all point to some timeless
center out of view. I have spent my
life listening to that center and filtering
it through my heart. This listening
and filtering is the music of my soul,
of all souls. After sixty years, I’ve run
out of ways to name this. Even now,
my heart won’t stand still. In a moment
of seeing, it takes the shape of
my eye. In a moment of speaking, the
shape of my tongue. In a moment of
silence, it slips back into the lake of
center. When you kiss me, it takes
the shape of your lip. When our dog
sleeps with us, it takes the shape of
her curl. When the hummingbird
feeds her baby, it takes the shape
of her beak carefully dropping
food into our throats.

From Parabola Volume 36, No. 4 “Many Paths, One Truth” Winter 2011-2012.


There is so much bad poetry out there.  In my opinion, good poetry makes the universe split open and causes me to realize that I am known, and to remember myself.  When I started doing this blog, which seems like eons ago, I wanted to create a space to keep things I didn’t want to lose and, even more importantly, to share them.  I am very neglectful (maybe) and I don’t pay attention to my stats, but I’m relatively certain that not many people notice it.  However, the ones that do are people I’d want to share these things with.

Speaking of bad poetry, there is one entry in this blog that is very bad poetry, but gets more attention than anything else here.  I refer, here, to the poem from “Smoke Signals,” about fathers.  I think there are a lot of people carrying that particular pain, and I am one of them.  But it’s a bad poem.   I thought it was important to post it, but I feel guilty that someone else’s bad work carries my blog.

2 thoughts on “Pathways by Mark Nepo

  1. Hakim Oerton

    Beautiful poem …
    I appreciate your sharing when it comes, journeying with you as you and yours searched for a place to live, reflecting as you reflect, deepening when I can, following the threads growing from your words and worlds.
    Thank you 🙂

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