Saturday, 25 July 2009

Oriah Mountain Dreamer


It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
Fierce Longing
There are moments
when making love
when a door
to something else
I am never prepared.
There is no preparation
for the way it takes me
and leaves me.
Sometimes it is brought
by a movement of tenderness:
soft lips that brush my forehead
and murmur my name
as the fire burns through
me making
my hips rise
and my blood moan.
Sometimes it is brought
by a moment of great courage:
eyes that dare to meet
and hold mine as the flood
of silky amber honey
takes us both over the edge.
And sometimes
it is brought
by the sting of what is not
and the memory of
tenderness and courage
that has been.
And when that moment
catches me
and tosses me
I am helpless.
The words spill
into the night:
"I want ... I want ... I want..."
they leave me
suspended over the chasm
of my own bottomless
for that fleeting something
I glimpsed
or imagined
just beyond.
Gone before
I could name it.
The breath catches
a strangled sob
tears me
opens me
and I fall back
eyes wide and
on damp pillows
my face
wet with tears.
And his eyes
frightened by the fierceness
of my longing.
Night Tears
There is a crying
that happens at night
that does not come
while the light is with us.
There are things that cannot
be evaded
once the sun goes down.
Small nocturnal creatures
with sharp white teeth
silently gnaw at the edges of
belly and heart
when the darkness descends
and the void inside
grows larger.
It can split you open.
And the bone
in the centre of your chest
like the cracked wishing bone
from the turkey breast.
And if we are strong enough
to be weak enough
we are given a wound
that never heals.
It is the gift
that keeps the heart open.


  1. I can read the first of these poems a thousand times without ever getting less from it. Thanks! :)

  2. Tere Tulemast! (Welcome!)

    Personally, I read it more like a challenge than an invitation... a challenge to be the person we know we can be... I agree with you, wherever we might be on the path, it keeps raising the internal bar and asks us to do better until we are in that state of loving oneness and can truly say Yes!