Life Rhythms poetry blog

Welcome to a poetry and quotation blog

edited with original work by Jonathan Mark

Great Swamp Northfield

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

– William Shakespeare

This page will be updated, revised; new poems will

appear, plus quotations, which can be like condensed

poetry full of meaning that can explode into awareness.

leonard peltier art

Oil painting by Leonard Pelter

“Those who cannot remember the past

are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana

Adapted to:

‘Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.’

Never Again is Now Global

5 Part Film Series by Vera Sharav

Time the keeper of wisdom

Overcoming tragic consequences

Misshapen by a lost of identity

Where supreme wishes don’t last long

or interfere with manifest destiny;

Only to harbor lost innocence

to value remaining strong

where faith pieces together all

that is lost and perception takes its toll

and memory collects driftwood..

and longing refuses to quit another second in

the momentary veil where dreams may come through..

03 March 2018

Takola and sun

“And while I stood there

I saw more than I can tell and

I understood more than I saw;

for I was seeing in a sacred manner

the shapes of all things in the spirit,

and the shape of all shapes

as they must live together like one being.”

– Black Elk

Catching up to the last episode

I slip through time to be eternal,

while forgetting my name until

a new one comes anyway.

And the breath of wind opens interior shadows

to purge into the light where a new day begins.

27 March, 2023

“There are two ways to live:

you can live as if nothing is a miracle;

you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

– Albert Einstein

Turns in unto oneself

like the immune system

bombarded by an experimental

gene therapy jab turning off

the critical thinking process

while it deceives by its enormity.

18 July, 2022

“There are only two mistakes

one can make along the road to truth:

Not going all the way, and not starting.”

– The Buddha


Warrior of the Wind

As an Indian child I wept and cried

To feel the hatred, the reason my father died;

I dried my tears as I grew older

And with my bow became bolder..

To protect my mother of this world and of nature,

As buffaloes were slaughtered and the Indian hungered;

The fish gave us strength to survive,

Yet we knew we had to do more to remain alive.

As we struggled the White men kept coming,

Building towns and rail roads with sticks

that kept exploding..

Chasing us to grounds that were barren,

Our most sacred lands by strangers were taken.

Some of the younger braves, angered by these maneuvers,

No longer respected the way of peace elder and became warriors.

They hid and ambushed and the numbers of our people grew small,

My family became mourners, it was then I heard a call..

I went to my place beside a flowing brook.

Here it was peaceful and as I sat the water spoke:

“Young brave, warrior of the wind..

Let go and carry the message within.”

There was no need to fear at this place,

But as I opened my heart I felt it shake.

I leaned toward the water, but did not fall,

I flew through the woods to the source of the call.

Here I saw buffalo and the warriors of old,

They sat in a council of peace and here I was told:

“Young brave, true warrior, the fighting is not free,

But you must complete the lessons that will let you see.”

I came back to the brook and felt good,

But was confused as to what I should do.

Then I smelt fire and heard thunder from guns..

Back to my four legged and back to my home.

My mother lay there, with a young one in the ashes of ruin.

My tears bitterly dried by the heat of my village burning.

All friends, women, children lay in darkness..

My confusion and not knowing became like a sickness.

Nothing I could see but anger and scalping.

I rode my pony feverishly attacking.

With others I yelped, burned, and killed

until peace was lost,

I could not return to my place over that hill.

But late one night before sleep a spirit said,

Look above, way above your head

And like at the stream I went with the wind..

Yet sleep overcame my spirit,

In the morning I didn’t remember.

I hopped on Sacred Fire and rode as a warrior.

Charging in a cloud of dust,

my throat struck by a bullet,

Breathing became difficult, I fell

And rolled and rolled; still not breathing I looked up.

Hoofs ran wild, but way, way above my head

I saw clouds opening instead.

I rose to the land of buffalo and friend

And understood why we all had to ascend.

The land we left needs to serve another,

Though the Whites hardly respect the Earth Mother.

They’ll cut the trees, drain the soil, sicken the water,

Their destructive forces will come like a wind of fire.

Yet a cleansing will come to purify all the spreading diseases,

And HO, nature will replenish the Earth with changes.

For peace will be for all kinds of tribes

And for those with the strength to remain alive,

Without tears of rage nor loss of dignity,

But for those that have or will see

Earth and her children living in complete harmony.

By Jonathan Mark

Mitakuye Oyasin – All My Relations

12 July 1978 – Tree-Root Press


Grandfather’s Prayer – 21 June 2010 – Solstice

Thank you my Creator for allowing me to be different,

but may I always remember – “We are all one Tribe”

To most of us these words make logical sense. When we

look at our brothers and sisters of the human family we are

pretty well the same. We are born with two arms and two legs,

we all have a head on our shoulders. We all need to eat and go

to the toilet. We all also have part of the Great Spirit within us.

Maybe it is this sameness that gets us into trouble

and we tend to take it for granted.

In this world we seem to concentrate on the differences

we perceive, which lead to separation. We are all very quick

to be judgmental about the differences, be it religious beliefs,

cultural background, language, ethnic origin, where we live,

and the colour of ones skin.

The old ones gave honour to the differences in each of us.

When they sat in circle they acknowledged each of us came

from the same source, but each person saw every situation

from a different perspective. Sitting in a circle enables each

one sitting around the circle to see everyone from a slightly

different angle or perspective as well as the centre itself.

A hologram is similar, it looks slightly different depending

on the angle you are looking at it, but the image is the same.

When the ancestors sat in circle they gave honour to everyone’s

point of view and there being a right to have a variety of opinions.

Everything could be discussed, resulting invariably in the right

decision being made that benefited the whole and everyone.

Next time we are quick to voice an opinion or judge another

maybe we should imagine ourselves in that person’s shoes

and try to see the picture as they see it.

We may see we are pretty much the same after all!


Skennen kenhak O:NEN!

Let there be Peace NOW

Today the lonely ghost haunts me

while flakes of snow sink in the morning air

while sun is forecast – time sinks slowly and the lost

endeavor shapes our mind, to think or not

 to see or not see the whole truth,

in what will happen.


08 November, 2017

Truth is so obscure in these times,

and falsehood so established, that,

unless we love the truth,

we cannot know it.

Blaise Pascal

Dream and fantasy

resembling an intention gone wild.

Extreme lactating anxieties seem to question

Where forth art thou?

Dimension peruse over the other bend

masticating revolution, an orgasmic spin;

web dreamer fantasy lost, no perpetual gain,

understanding where we have been

lost all the same.

29 May, 2021

“The bitterest truth,
is better than the sweetest lie.”

– Men in Black 3

In the dance of Love & Fear

Two sides of a coin can miss

what is within its oneness

where time and space don’t separate

what is and always will be in the totality of it.

Energy neither created or destroyed

It is what is relevant in life

where unseen visions take shape

in the womb of your heart

where we give birth to what we imagine

with faithfulness to see or at least feel,

and gently move into one or the other.

And from a human’s perspective I hope

we tug less toward fear into light’s awareness

where we see the truth in blessed Earth’s nature

as she is, and our part in harming or killing

her harmony in us, dying or resurrecting

death to become conscious here & now.

06 September, 2020

Love Creation and Created

Honour Moon, Sun, and Planet

Obey Time and Space

Obey Sound and Light

Honour Earth, Star, and Comet

Love Finite and Infinite

We have inherited more than the wind.

We have a measure of Man’s mind.

Bart Jordan

Excerpt from:Measure Man’s Mind and Mind Man’s Measure

Creative truth unannounced stands simply naked,

a driving force of rain contained in a moment

shattered by invisible forces wielding unimaginable pain;

taken through another dimension where quiet life listens

and stirs something forgiven to take refuge into another lasting moment,

unidentified by what is under the skin, soul, body, purpose of all this happening.

Proper attention does not need permission to spring forward

as if by accident the driving forces steal permission to shoot 

annoying advances into this tepid departure of insanity

while growing roots seed the soil plainly giving life to the lifeless –

home to the misdirected, as if it all makes sense.

20 August, 2022

It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction.

Fiction has to make sense.

– Mark Twain

Vine Deloria quote

The Earth Wondrous

My greetings and thanksgivings

I extend to the Earth Mother;

her nourishment though invisible

is felt by the rushing four winds,

the seasons have purpose,

the sun, glorious;

life as spread forth by trees

feeds the continuing healing forces

of purification.

I am endowed with beauty

and my arms stretch forth

in openness and gaiety

to the music of the heavens.

The Earth is wondrous.

Jonathan Mark

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right

to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

– George Orwell –

[Eric Arthur Blair]

(1903-1950) British author

Plainly Spoken

the joke is on me

No prerequisites

as to the abolition

that can’t plainly see

nor emote under

the tragic circumstances

in the time we are in,

unthinkable lost causes

while harmony gets removed

& what’s left abides within

or goes alone to nothing

home sweet home

in the goddess

where the body lays

bare open ever changing.

14 May 2008

abomination obama nation

abomination obama nation declares war

under false pretense too horrific to ignore

while tens of thousands (no longer people), but troops,

ordered to preserve poppy plants, dark economies,

energy resources, while law takes order a foot, or two..

soldiers crawl under site – killing being killed,

and told that to justify such a decision

to invade and occupy 9/11 is implicated

into mind altering imagery, denial is its deadliest sound,

as people are told to trust untruth,

or we will and can kill you..

or better yet, don’t think of it.. live day to day..

i remember buildings falling like no other time..

i remember resistance to investigations and overt cover-up..

i remember non-existence of science in its manipulation,

government reports miss smoking gun evidence..

i remember anthrax sent to media and Democrats..

i remember seeing explosions, plumes over Baghdad,

heated depleted uranium pressing on populations

infiltrating generations destroying innocence forever.

the fool’s errand is to rescue the queen,

while we know nine eleven scorches truth within

usa sponsored terrorism, home grown, Able Danger,

or patsies as the mission goes dark and deep

from world war 2 to endless war, CIA,

smoke-screening kennedy killers with those bought to serve..

the devil doers.. sheeple sleep, and every so often

wolves raid the cavern dark and deep to control secrets..

but genocide on the way to abyss is not logical thinking..

while Shakespeare said it so simply,

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

where have we gone; and what have we forgotten?

02 December 2009

During times of universal deceit,

 telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

— George Orwell

“Yes, you can lie to other people

and get away with it, but to lie to yourself

is like laying a mine field and losing the map.”

— Bart Jordan

After the Survivors Are Gone

–By Peter Balakian

I tried to imagine the Vilna ghetto,

to see a persimmon tree

after the flash at Nagasaki.

Because my own tree had been hacked,

I tried to kiss the lips of Armenia.

At the table and the altar

we said some words written ages ago.

Have we settled for just the wine and bread,

for candles lit and snuffed?

Let us remember how the law has failed us.

Let us remember the child naked,

waiting to be shot on a bright day

with tulips blooming around the ditch.

We shall not forget the earth, the artifact,

the particular song, the dirt of an idiom

— things that stick in the ear.

Armenian Genocide DN April 26 2021

If a Nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state

of civilization, it expects what never was and never

will be…. If we are to guard against ignorance and

remain free, it is the responsibility of

every American to be informed.

— Thomas Jefferson

(1743-1826), 3rd US President

“The hardest lie to determine to be a lie

is that which is closest to the truth.”

– Bart Jordan


Let us forgive the worst among us

because the worst is in ourselves,

the worst lives in each of us,

along with the best.

Let us forgive the worst

in each of us

and all of us

so that the best

in each of us

and all of us

may be free.

Leonard Peltier

PRISON WRITINGS: My Life Is My Sun Dance

Published by St. Martins Press, NYC; 1999

Artwork by Leonard Peltier

Plus learn more to help:

Free Leonard Peltier

I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves – 

such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine.  

The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time 

after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, 

have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.”

— Albert Einstein

(1879-1955) Physicist and Professor, Nobel Prize 1921

Source: “What I Believe,” Forum and Century, 1930

A sunrise takes us by surprise

yet never delays its coming,

its turning, its yearning

to mix life with color

and turn on the crystal

ball of Earth.

Jonathan Mark

“The most beautiful experience we can have

is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion

that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”

— Albert Einstein


In the awakening of birth

I felt an overwhelming love.

Pure and simple, the dream,

the floating, the freeness to touch and stretch

and to be touched while still glowing in ecstasy.

Jonathan Mark

“It’s better to light one candle

than to curse the darkness.”

– Emily Dickinson


The unknown journey tells us of lives past,

What’s behind the sky and how long we can last.

Blight and perish, then return Creation to your chore

never ending, Though it appears dim sometimes

because the tunnel winds, But beyond the next bend

the illumined mind might find a permeating ray.

O’ divine mystery, naked before my thoughts,

Such grandeur and majesty, am I truly worthy?

Embracing life, colors blend, light filters through,

I am what I am.

The only death that came to be was to that of mystery,

as life has a way of renewing and cleansing, and with

the purpose of growth, the spirit will always be unending.

Jonathan Mark


“The individual is the true reality of life.

A cosmos in himself, he does not exist for the State,

nor for that abstraction called ‘society,’ or the ‘nation,’

which is only a collection of individuals.”

— Emma Goldman

(1869-1940) Source: The

Place of the Individual in Society

Night allows death’s sorrow

to tear drip weep beneath

its sublime essence.

While contrary to thought

madness rages on with sight

even feeling the stench,

masking what one says or does,

the writing on the wall

has fallen into an abyss

where countries are plundered,

the tapestry of life torn into shreds,

I am amiss with its sorrow and dread

and only hope integrity crawls through

before its too late for another new day.

Jonathan Mark

“When men yield up the privilege of thinking,

the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.”

– Thomas Paine



A grounded bird

Perched feet from sheer faces,

Freefalls and deadly drops

Flying on jutted thrusts of rock

I suddenly feel boreal

And pseudo-alpine.

The wind rustles steadily

In lower reaches of this chasm,

this monstrous ravine.

Clouds puff and duplicate

In the sun’s constant spread.

Mountains engage the eye

From every dimension

Beyond the third

Into a timeless fourth.

Time eased away

In the day’s anxiousness.

Next is annexed to now

You are the impermanence of moment.

Ned Green wrote this beautiful poem on the Appalachian Trail in his Journal in 1997

On February 18, 2001, at only 26, doing what he loved most, climbing, his support on an

ice ledge gave way where he fell into a deep chasm on Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. .

“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold

gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will

seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

Dresden James

Goebells tell a lie over and over

Spreading Seeds

A voice, a sound, an idea

Floated over my head

Came through my brain

And as a picture said,

Your thoughts were revealed.

Loving reality we must fly

To where world never end

Or at least try

and be a true friend.

A flower dies only after

It has gone to seed,

Spreading its image forth

As a newborn memory.

Ah, no death can forsake the truth

As life knows no end,

And we are alive, aren’t we?

And we have come together again.

What trials and tribulations

bring us forth

To spread our knowledge of the skies,

What is within this mighty life

To make us bear witness

To the destruction of many lives?

Are we the seeds the flower sent forth

To replant the kingdom of love?

Has not negativity lived long enough

To be purified back into the ash it’s made of?

Oh nature, our mother,

We weep and will try

To rebuild the structures

Of love, simplicity, and respect –

And trust to understand why.

Jonathan Mark

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe

if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point

where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself.

That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government

by an individual, by a group or by any other

controlling private power.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

New Beginning, New End

Time forged in mystery

Flowing to drips of anxiousness

Sweating out toxins and breathing in space

Where none existed before,

Except in our minds; now

Trembling into a disappearing act –

Frozen in fear as glaciers melt away

And consumption is on its last binge..

Where tomorrow holds uncertainty

And logic is confined in its space

Between denial and insanity,

Or perhaps science is on its last breath and voyage

From the perspective of humankind-nature,

And yet, a new day begins.

Jonathan Mark

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice,

you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

— Desmond Tutu

Morning Star

If there was a morning star

and I found a path to a mountain reservoir,

And viewed the past in moments of today,

I must say, I have found a way. Chosen,

because I choose to do what I came here for,

Realizing I have seen it all before,

a deja-vu from a morning star;

Reawakening love to a planet

which has strayed much too far.

Jonathan Mark

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts

to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against

injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and

crossing each other from a million different centers

of energy and daring, those ripples build a current

which can sweep down the mightiest walls

of oppression and resistance.”

Robert F. Kennedy

Capetown, June 6th 1966


Happiness comes from a large garden

full of the fruits of the most sacred things..

The delicate flowers unfold a fragrance

to behold the image worth living.

O’ purple majesty, violet rays of God’s tranquility,

tell us about compassion, and the green depth of grass

and pines do heal, swirling leaves in the wind say,

“Come out into the sun and feel.” And air currents carry

the moisture, in its core the life force, absolutely pure,

and we bathe in light and color and learn to see the positive

behind everything.. and the backdrop of blue, blue sky,

brings the heavens closer to the real world of dreams

and visions that one can fly.. and to understand the

shapes of clouds creates an artistic eye . . .

to know the spiritual wonders of illumination,

to be on Earth and reach out ever so high.

Jonathan Mark

“I’m very much in favor of the space program, but I think the use

of plutonium in space is a manifestation of organized insanity.”

John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D.

18 August, 1999

Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology

O eons of darkness, eternal night

you are only a backdrop for wondrous light.

And here I might find through the core of self

the entrance to illuminate, to perceive,

to flow with atoms expelling light,

as a river of purity in the deepness of night

Jonathan Mark

“You can never change things by fighting the existing reality.

To change something, build a new model that makes

the existing model obsolete.”

— Buckminster Fuller


I thought and saw a cosmic flash of laughter,


I circuited the miscellaneous thoughts


truth with the umbrella of peace


the existence of awareness,

Never-ending, always going,


all knowing,

Life, a wonder of wonders

Creating an immortal self

for we are as we are


by the Creator of creators


a time that was or is or ever will be.


in a sea of totality.

“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression.

In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains

seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all

must be most aware of change in the air – however slight –

lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”

– William O Douglas


What if we crush against the pit of war

and out bursts its bitter counterpart, destruction?

What if tears and pains unbearable

are curses because of lack of food?

What if death won’t unlock the door

and we stay alive in misery?

Would we comprehend the meaning of existence?

Did it mean much before the war?

Could it mean more now in these days of

panic-stricken homes?

O’ the emotions lose control;

who the fuck cares who wins the war?

Who’s on the side of fate?

Could nuclear radiation wipe out hate?

What if we lean against each others shoulder

and profess a liberty that can’t be beat?

What if our hearts melt openly in the sun

and declare a unity that makes all one?

Can the bleeding call of mass hysteria

conquer simple trust?

Can innocence bow down below an inferior lust?

Jonathan Mark

“Strike against war, for without you

no battles can be fought! Strike against

manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs

and all other tools of murder! Strike against

preparedness that means death and misery

to millions of human beings! Be not dumb,

obedient slaves in an army of destruction!

Be heroes in an army of construction!”

Helen Keller

One’s fears when noticed can assemble

a dialog within oneself.

Harmony can open a doorway to infinitude

demolishing absence and the ridiculous

nature of humanity hiding under illusions;

where fear when turned inward, and taking

a chance, beyond intangible dreams

can reflect upon its shadow to gain

what one can learn from it

before fear disappears.

“Terrorism is the best political weapon

for nothing drives people harder

than a fear of sudden death.”

– Adolf Hitler

(1889-1945) German Nazi Dictator

Spin moves to a totalitarian state

Where bodies are cheap

and able to to programmed to a tune

where the casket shapes into a thing

as we are all left alone wondering about oneness

and our inhumanity.

“American fascists are most easily recognized by

their deliberate perversion of truth and fact.”.

Henry A. Wallace

Vice President (1941 to 1945).

Quote from 1944 article in NY Times

“The Danger of American Fascism”

“Marcus Cicero, over 2000 years ago, defined freedom

as participation in power. If you don’t participate in power,

you are not free. Whoever has the power owns you. If you

want to be free you have to participate in power..”

– U.S. Senator Mike Gravel

(D-Alaska, 1969-1981)


The White Christmas is a symbol

of more than we can assemble,

it is the heart that hurts

when that is broken.

Jesus the man, Christ his symbol,

came with love but became an idol.

With joy he gave, he spoke,

a truth to live, more than just hope;

but, as Centuries went by man manipulated

truth into lies stating that heaven or hell

awaits those who do or do not realize..

yet death is just an opening door

to allow us to go on with the thoughts

we lived with and for.

Jonathan Mark

written 21 December 1977

All My Relations – Mitakuye Oyasin

Published by Tree-Root Press 1980

“Evil does not exist, or at least it does not exist unto itself.

Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness

and cold, a word that man has created to describe the

absence of heat. God did not create evil. Evil is the

result of what happens when man does not have

God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the

cold that comes when there is no heat

or the darkness that comes

when there is no light.”

– Albert Einstein

Power tends to corrupt and

absolute power corrupts absolutely.

— Lord Acton

9/11 Birthday Wish

In a birthday wish I find myself contemplating decisions

from a pattern of thought, ideas of righteousness,

or stumbling upon a more comfortable situation;

the memories come blazing in anyway

with the current events setting the stage on fire..

and we can hide from the fierce winds of destruction..

or sail upon the ocean’s back.. breaking it into pieces

with man’s chemical contributions.. geopolitical greed,

shaped by Centuries and deception trying to buy humanity.

Dark generations profit from war, resources bought

and owned from death weapons to corrupt financial systems..

owning media, pharmaceutical-health-food-energy-water,

infiltrating most every government, intelligence slips a notch

around the world; and we, the people.. hear the corporate

supreme court justices say that they own us, and our minds

could be for sale.. or tricked, while those denying science

can firsthand witness 9/11 world coup in broad daylight,

cameras catching things that could never happen

before or since, and yet, for some, denial is too thick

to realize.. or hear.. and that loss of freedom for others

is too high of a price.. especially when wars are justified

and the situation slips, worsens, and can become

too dark to see or think even for a birthday wish.

Jonathan Mark

“He who controls the past controls the future.

He who controls the present controls the past.”

– George Orwell


“Our future is in the past with no escape present.”

– Bart Jordan

“He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral.

Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can

live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.”

– St. Thomas Aquinas


albert camus quote on freedom

The worst of all deceptions is self-deception.”

– Plato

(429-347 BC)

In The Eye of the Lotus

In the methods of self discovery

I searched here and there and

came across a burning bush;

singed by fires of purification

I stepped into this holy light

and as truth would allow

became one with a universal sound,

Om Mani Padme Om..

the jewel is within the eye of the lotus..

Jonathan Mark

“Man is deeply vulnerable when faced with overwhelming evil.

Instead of consolidating his energy to fight it,

he wastes valuable time and effort puzzling over it,

insisting it is not, cannot possibly be, what it seems.”

– Konnilyn G. Feig

Hitler’s Death Camps: The Sanity Of Madness P. 444 (1979)

The Sweat

In a lodge we danced in a pool of sweat,

Fiery rocks sent splashes of steam

to release any thoughts unclean;

heat filtered through our bodies

overwhelming in intensity,

but it was good to do..

Where are we? We wondered in a womb of darkness,

Yet comforted by molecules electrified by spirit.

Why are we? We pondered in a womb of trust.

How did we come to be?

We laughed in the middle of all misery..

It seemed endless, this sweat with rocks spitting fiercely

into the air, but by speaking to the four directions,

we found peace and purification.

The Indian sweat was doe.

We crawled out, the blazing sun

Sparkled as never before..

colors were vivid, shades beautiful hues,

the wind sweet, the earth soft,

and trees moved their leaves..

Goodness came, exhilaration,

unspeakable emotions.. and in the silence

awareness arose to the heights of clarity, purity,

and individual goals.

Jonathan Mark

“He who learns must suffer

And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget

Falls drop by drop upon the heart,

And in our own despair, against our will,

Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.”

— Agamemnon

This was quoted by Robert F Kennedy in his speech announcing the

assassination of Martin Luther King on 4 April 1968; and the epitaph

his family inscribed on his grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery.

In this dream of water

One night I was enchanted by spirit’s sweet embrace,

One after another we dove into the current’s swift pace..

The water rushed gallantly, curving with each bend,

Folding waves sparkled white brilliantly and then blend..

The trees marked the soaring heights which beauty may climb,

The sky of heaven must have touched the Earth to share its color,

And the rains had gathered to perform its music

With thankfulness to the Creator.

..My friend Kenny entered first, then Kathy,

(whose body that night lay next to mine), then I,

Off a rock sailed in this wonderful dream

To enter water’s sweet substance, its translucence

Within a mighty stream.

Not a breath was needed in this weightless dimension –

Only love given by every motion..

Kathy glided towards me in this special place.

Deeply we touched the joy, the warmth,

The serenity below the turbulent surface..

Suddenly cleansed, refreshed, and sparkling I awoke

from nature’s dream still feeling spirit’s sweet embrace..

its effervescence from an all mighty stream..

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

– Wendell Berry

“The Peace of Wild Things”

For a Chris Hedges’ article on this poem, see:

Freedom in the Grace of the World

“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds

of despair, and when our nights become darker than a

thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a

creative force in this universe, working to pull down

the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able

to make a way out of no way and transform dark

yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize

the arc of the moral universe is long

but it bends toward justice.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history,

the way of truth and love has always won. There have

been murderers and tyrants, and for a time they can

seem invincible. But in the end they always fall.

Think of it, always.”

– Mohandas Gandhi


Passion’s Fruit

Passion comes from life

with winds both gentle and strong

and trees leafy and bare,

with wild creatures old and young

and joy and sorrow’s tear.

Nature’s bounty is passion’s fruit

nourishing both earth and humans

continuing life’s existence

with a force of two,

who come in passion

to feel oneness

and join with compassion

on this sacred land.

“The most common way people give up their

power is by thinking they don’t have any.”

— Alice Walker

sunset western mass

Within a Sunset

O’ Great Spirit

Gently breathing within me,

The sunset horizon of western sky

touch my mind, I feel its flow

and see an indescribable picture;

And the most I can show,

the poetry of my nature,

Not less than nor more than the above,

But a force one with the horizon of love.

O’ Great Spirit,

Force through all nature,

Maker of the universe..


Mitakuye Oyasin – All My Relations

Published by Tree-Root Press (1982)

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30 Responses to Life Rhythms poetry blog

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  25. Tamboora Wertvoll says:

    You collected many quotes and poems worth learning by heart.
    Thank you for sharing Leonard Peltier’s Art and Poetry among al of them.

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