• Rev. Ani

Poems From The Porch



Pleasant Sojourners Only


A woodpecker is hopping up the side of the pine,

his red head, the landmark most easily observed.

The blue splash of a jay

is moving on the ground beneath.


The chimes are ringing in the day insistently.

A hummingbird is sucking on her sugar fix

—pause, engage, pause, engage.

The young whippersnapper feline is fiercely challenging an opponent,

powerless to detach from his hormones.


We rage against these chemical messengers

that give us the fullness of life.

Like fish swimming in water,

we cannot be separated from the impact of our environment.


“I just don’t want it to affect me so much,”

is the lament I’ve often heard;

and I feel myself wanting to put my own sensations

of fear and grief in the bad box,

like unwelcome visitors who don’t belong.


The sign reads, “Hospitality offered to pleasant sojourners only.”


I am reminded of the parable of the good Samaritan

and become aware of the priest and Levite in me

who want to ignore the pain.


Then I notice Benevolence approaching me tenderly,

touching the heaviness in my heart

and respectfully honoring its validity.


Judgment is replaced by Compassion,

and weeping is welcome in the embrace of Benevolence.


Expectations that it should be otherwise

seem nonsensical in the arms of Love.


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