A Moment of Happiness by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.
– Abby Schiano, Graduate Assisant
won’t you celebrate with me by Lucille Clifton
won’t you celebrate with mewhat i have shaped intoa kind of life? i had no model.born in babylonboth nonwhite and womanwhat did i see to be except myself?i made it uphere on this bridge betweenstarshine and clay,my one hand holding tightmy other hand; come celebratewith me that everydaysomething has tried to kill meand has failed.
– Bobby Lewis, Student Aide
Good Bones by Maggie Smith
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
– Jennifer Romanello, Full Time Faculty
Hyacinth by Louise Glück
1Is that an attitude for a flower, to standlike a club at the walk; poor slain boy,is that a way to showgratitude to the gods? Whitewith colored hearts, the tall flowerssway around you, all the other boys,in the cold spring, as the violets open.2There were no flowers in antiquitybut boys’ bodies, pale, perfectly imagined.So the gods sank to human shape with longing.In the field, in the willow grove,Apollo sent the courtiers away.3And from the blood of the wounda flower sprang, lilylike, more brilliantthan the purples of Tyre.Then the god wept: his vital griefflooded the earth.4Beauty dies: that is the sourceof creation. Outside the ring of treesthe courtiers could hearthe dove’s call transmitits uniform, its inborn sorrow—They stood listening, among the rustling willows.Was this the god’s lament?They listened carefully. And for a short timeall sound was sad.5There is no other immortality:in the cold spring, the purple violets open.And yet, the heart is black,there is its violence frankly exposed.Or is it not the heart at the centerbut some other word?And now someone is bending over them,meaning to gather them—6They could not waitin exile forever.Through the glittering grovethe courtiers rancalling the nameof their companionover the birds’ noise,over the willows’ aimless sadness.Well into the night they wept,their clear tearsaltering no earthly color.
Don’t Worry by Mary Oliver
Things take the time they take. Don’tworry.How many roads did St. Augustine followbefore he became St. Augustine.