Now that I’ve had– 

for more than a few minutes 

on more than a few days–

the wonder

of being heard

with open-hearted

compassionate

respectful 

inquiry 

by even a handful of humans

I can’t seem to settle for anything less.

Now

when I begin to speak 

and someone says

‘I know’ or ‘but’

or praises, or solves,

reassures or labels,

inserts words

into a moment’s silent search 

there’s a wonderful wise bear

within me

who puts her paw gently

against my lips.

Save your precious breath.

They have their own pain right now.

And you’re utterly free.

Stay, if it excites you, to sit and seek

a glimpse

of the light in them.

Or go, whenever you wish

into this wide open field 

the expanse within

that we’ve only begun to explore.

Smell its hot summer grass.

Soak in our ever rising sun.

Follow the roaring rivers.

Breathe beside the burbling blue brooks.



Oh what freedom it is to find

I’d rather keep my own company

than crave it.

There’s a place

where I know

I’ll always be heard.

I don’t need your ears. 

And I don’t owe you mine.

My ears

like yours

are a gift

that only our hearts

can give.