“Our very life depends on continuous acts of beginning. But these beginnings are out of our hands; they decide themselves.
Beginning precedes us, creates us. There is nothing to fear in the act of beginning.
More often than not it knows the journey ahead better than we ever could."
John O’Donohue

28 April 2013: Tidal Basin, Washington DC

What we are given is taken away,
but we manage to keep it secretly.
We lose everything, but make harvest
of the consequence it was to us. Memory
builds this kingdom from the fragments
and approximation.

  ~Jack Gilbert, "Moreover"

Walking the Monuments (for Jack Gilbert)

This is when I remember
it is a rare man who knows
he never touches the same woman

she is always on that idle, receptive walk,
her bedrock shifting

with the child (not her own)
climbing just that much too far
out on a tree limb
bowing toward the river’s edge,

with the schizophrenic’s urgent address
to the cracks in the sidewalk,

with the inexplicable taxi driver
who abandoned Casablanca for Virginia
in search of adventure,

with the danger of getting lost
in the sunshine’s second offering of itself
at late day in the water’s shimmering.

There is no part of her that belongs
to you wholly.

But don’t believe what she tells you--
her future is always negotiable.
She can pray just as well amid the explosions
as the raining flowers.

Any newness offers up
that tectonic movement,
that edgy ecstasy.

This is when I remember
it is a rare touch that says
rest here for a moment,

it is enough.