All Day, Just This

comments 40

All day I am sitting.
On that bench.

There is some wind nearby I recognize,
or maybe it is this:
a dove has flown
through the doorway?
The sky I mean.
Two timbers and a lintel in my mind,
and the clouds
that are playing house upon the ocean.

A dove has formed from the sky
and my heart trembles
because it knows of such things,
and also because all day
I am sitting on that bench throwing pebbles,
the little ones that tumble out of your heart
when you put in a coin and turn the lever.
I throw them up in the air,
through the doorway,
across the boundary and into the gap,
and count the seconds until they land.

They never do.
The sky has no ending here.

I throw them over the side,
off the bridge,
beyond the curl of this place,
beyond the reach of every shadow.
And now a dove is
circling around the brilliance of our sun.
Or perhaps it was just the wind.

What have you given? some will ask.
What do you know about suffering?
You sit there like a fool, by the way,
throwing your idle pennies
to the bottom.
Be of some use, why don’t you?

And later, when I am alone again,
after I have fallen through their skies
and been used by the rain,
by wind that moves in packs
and howls and tears things apart.
By anguish that rents and rips.
After I have gathered myself
and crawled back to the edge:

the pebbles drop from my heart.
It is gravel.  Clean and brittle.
Washed and white.
A river wanders the land
for many leagues of wonder
until this is what is left: this gravel.
Tiny ghosts of a great land
that will still shatter teeth.

I drop one into the sky.
Another I set between the roots of the tree
where it is cool and tiny things grow.
One I throw into the clouds that glide
across the surface of the water,
pretending they live inside of a mirror.

Maybe it is nothing at all.
Maybe it is hollow and useless,
to take what is in you and set it free.
But now there are two doves
circling the sun,
their undersides in shadow.
They are hanging motion:
riders of the invisible.
The brilliance they ride
is a haze I cannot penetrate.
And still the gravel falls into my hand.

All day I am sitting here
and who can say if this matters?
Who can know of such things?

Only the wind, perhaps.
Or whatever it is
that lives just there.

(I am pointing)
(between the doves)
(beyond the doorway)

(through so, so many reflections)


  1. He’s back! Another wonderful ride through time and space. Thanks Michael. I kept expecting Hafiz to drop through one of those clouds or doves! Maybe he’s in the gravel. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. footloosedon says

    Another beautiful reflection on The Mystery. I particularly liked the lines:

    All day I am sitting here
    and who can say if this matters?
    Who can know of such things?

    It’s a question I often ask myself: is the life I’m living of some value? How can I possibly know what matters in the great scheme of things?

    Thank you as always for your wise words.

    Much love,


    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Don. It is interesting what we pick up on– what resonates from one to the next. I am quite sure a quiet moment of gathering the scattered folds of our being together matters, and that the way it matters is best revealed as we settle back into unity. But it is an impossible task for us to figure out how it matters in the grand scheme I think, even though our minds quite often wish to know this. I realized making another comment elsewhere this evening that in moments of true connection, the world is accessible to us in a way that it otherwise is not, as if it collapses to the scale of the human heart… Somehow in those moments every fiber of our being is meaningful.

      Much Love to you as well, Don.


  3. Beautiful words, Michael! Some gorgeous! I am there with you, sitting on the bench, pondering which path to take, watching reflections. One of my favorites of yours!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, thank you, Ellen! Glad to see a smile emerging from your words tonight. I will sit on the bench with you for a time and watch the paths appear and disappear, dissolving into the sea of reflections…



  4. This piece has a comforting, familiar, soft and cool feel about it, so it seems, Michael. I’m tempted to use that word ‘detachment’, but it’s not quite right, neither as is its opposite, ‘engagement’. Our friend Esme just posted a poem by Stanley Kunitz that seems to chime with this sense I’m getting from your work here, and which also speaks of drifting wind and the precious stones upon our path:

    Liked by 5 people

    • Our friend sure pulls out some gems, Hariod. That piece seems to resound with what I but whisper here, but I did feel a resonance for sure. It was a comforting piece to write actually, as if in the narration of a feeling space it deepens to hold you close. Dropping stones into the well of the sky can seem a futile exercise, but when the sky responds, however subtle the response may be, it reminds of the relatedness that connects us all. And there is always comfort there.


      Liked by 2 people

  5. Do we matter? We are matter. Matter matters. Perhaps that’s all that matters. Perhaps being matter, materializing, is all that matters. I hope so because I’ve got nothin’.
    But a little love from time to time. When I stop thinking that things matter.
    Alison xox

    Liked by 7 people

    • So true, Alison, that the question of what matters is almost exclusive to the domain of matter. But I do think our moments of reconciling with the silence alive inside of us “matters”, if only in the sense that we restore the bonds of each to each, in that dimensionless space we occupy where all things meet. It is when we leave that home to wander that we realize how much it all matters!

      Peace and Love

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Pebbles are precious as they began as something larger and were then whittled down into small round reminders. We often ask ourselves of our importance, if we’re doing enough, wondering what more could be done but then find ourselves on the bench reflecting…Such a difficult thing in life, that feeling, so we wish on pebbles, or perhaps skip stones to wait out the storm and hope the sky gets lighter and shines upon us, gracing us with the beauty that was around us as we were locked into our plight. I like to throw them in the air, pretending they are glitter and that each one gifts the world with magic, just like your words Michael, always magic. Peace and love and pretty stones,

    Liked by 5 people

    • You bring a lovely magic to the world, Kim, and I’m always grateful when you share it here. It is difficult to be without certainty– as in certainty the question of what matters is moot, and when we are uncertain then so very many things seem to matter. Knocking on the sky door, asking for the help that waits in the wings seems to bring its own grace. It is subtle, but extensive, and it takes you by the hand and shows you all the beauty that is yours– that is ours.

      Peace and Love my friend–

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The image of the pebbles falling out of a heart wound up by a lever is what got me (can you tell we watched ‘Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart’ recently 🙂 ). Beautiful and airy poem, Michael. I am so very grateful for your reflections here, whether that matters or not. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, I’ve never heard of Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. I’ll have to put it on the list! I thought that was a fun image– this idea that our heart has these mysteries stored away to dispense whenever we most need them. I also like the idea of the heart as an alarm that goes off when we get a little sideways to the ease and flow of life…

      I’m grateful for your sharing here, and it does matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This resonates so strongly with a fragment I wrote this afternoon Michael. I had to look twice and then again. Beautifully written, you have such a way with words and I know those pebbles very well. *smiles*

    – esme enjoying the symmetry upon the Cloud

    Liked by 3 people

    • Symmetry is a beautiful thing, is it not? Particularly when we find one another to be mirrors of a moment we can hardly grasp hold of. Only in the space between us, in our relatedness, do these mysteries truly emerge I think. I enjoyed your Simulcast very much– all of them really. There simply are these places within us that words reveal, but never quite make plain…

      Symmetry always makes me think of the way physicists see the novelty of the universe as being revealed in broken symmetries. It is only when they are broken, that what they are is revealed. That may be a stretch to the physicists way of thinking, but without broken symmetries the complexity we take for granted could not be! And yet we have symmetry all around us– replication in the visible of what is forever hidden.

      The Cloud is hard to see through after all, soaking up light like a sponge after all. 🙂


      Liked by 2 people

    • Ooh, good observation, JoAnna! I’ll second that. In our return to peace, to love, to unity there always seems to be this sensation of more to come. I like that the universe of the heart is never fully mapped…


      Liked by 1 person

  9. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    I love the pebbles, that much more beautiful having come from your heart. I love how you placed them so carefully, honoring them. Sending them on their way, setting them free. And now two doves circle the sun. You give, Michael. A lot.
    Reflections and Love

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mary. You know about these stones– the parts of us washed clean and tossed into the sky. When we are on a long sea journey, our heart sends ahead these yearnings for sight of land that fly ahead of us, and prepare the way for our return… You give a lot, too, Mary. And thank you for your support and encouragement.


      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my dear heart…it matters…it all matters…and it all means something…I KNOW IT !! It has to…for what would be the point if there was no point? I could feel you sitting on the bench…and I think I could read your emotions that created this piece. And I understand this kind of thought process…only too well. I honestly believe that people don’t realize the impact they have on each other. I have to believe that if humans realized the pain they were causing…if they could truly empathize with others and FEEL the pain their words…accusations…actions…and sometimes non-actions causes…well, I like to believe that they would stop immediately, and grab you in the biggest bear hug…and the years from both parties would mix into a beautiful recipe of pure love…the kind where you SEE the other person…you SEE their true essence…and you join into the ONE that you can’t help but be…because it is.

    I appear to be writing a small book on your blog…and maybe with words that don’t make a lot of sense. But they come from a place of understanding…more like my FEELING…my BEING…caresses you…and understands…and only wants to offer YOUR BEAUTIFUL BEING…L O V E…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lorrie. Writing books on this blog is wholly welcomed! I’m realizing even in the sticky wickets we sometimes find ourselves, that their expression needs to run its logical course, and will run its course, until we change the manner in which we receive the information given, and the manner in which we give it. It is astonishing to have a difficulty turn into something beautiful, and to realize that the entire moment had to flower completely, from start to finish, for this to occur.

      But having said that, yes–! hopefully the outcome of our reflection on the way our choices create experience will lead us to see one another more deeply. I do think once we see truly the whole nature of the situation changes, particularly the way in which words “cause” pain, which is really a chosen response to a particular and incomplete notion of the nature of Love I believe.

      Thank you for your support and understanding and sharing!
      It is greatly appreciated, my friend.
      Peace and Love

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Who indeed knows of such things Michael.. Sitting reflecting, searching ones soul, wondering, pondering.. Knowing everything and knowing nothing.. The Wind is always listening… and if we listen hard.. It speaks back.
    ❤ Sue

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hey Lanessa! Your quite welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you’re enjoying your summer and that all is well…



  12. And now a dove is
    circling around the brilliance of our sun.
    Or perhaps it was just the wind.

    and there is always wind…beautiful words…so wonderful to re-read 😀

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.