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Poetry Soul

Our Journey on Earth

Mark Nepo | Posted 08.25.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

This fall, Atria is publishing my new book of spiritual inquiry, The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be. It's a journey that explores ...

One String

Mark Nepo | Posted 08.18.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and ...

So Much is Carried

Mark Nepo | Posted 08.11.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and ...

Kiss Everything on Fire

Mark Nepo | Posted 08.04.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and ...

Ahyo-oh'-oh-ni

Mark Nepo | Posted 07.29.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and ...

For Nine-Week-Old Mira

Mark Nepo | Posted 07.14.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and ...

Running the Table

Mark Nepo | Posted 07.07.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and ...

The Water Takes Many Forms

Mark Nepo | Posted 08.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and ...

Behind the Thunder

Mark Nepo | Posted 08.18.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

This fall, Sounds True is publishing a box set of teaching conversations based on the poems in my book Reduced to Joy. The poems are the teachers and ...

Bareback

Mark Nepo | Posted 07.26.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

There are times when how we operate in the world just turns upside down. This poem speaks to such a time for me. Bareback No question I've been knoc...

You Ask about Poetry

Mark Nepo | Posted 07.12.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

The longer I'm blessed to be here, the more I realize (make real) the wonder that poetry is a state of being and not a craft of language. You Ask abo...

Without Knowing

Mark Nepo | Posted 06.28.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

Our first encounters with love shape us and have a lasting impact on how we meet the world. Triggered by a young couple in a café, this poem helped m...

Turn Around

Mark Nepo | Posted 06.21.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

It was in a dream in my sixtieth year that I realized that for all my efforts to protect my inwardness from a brutal world, my inwardness is the sourc...

In the Interior

Mark Nepo | Posted 06.14.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

This poem speaks to a lifelong journey with my oldest friend Robert. We have known each other for close to thirty years. In the Interior When you le...

For My Brother

Mark Nepo | Posted 06.01.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

During my father's slow avalanche to death, my brother was a tireless advocate on his behalf, a bodhisattva in the way he cleared debris and made things easier for everyone around him. I was in a plane over the Pacific Ocean when I finally wrote this poem for him.

The Murmur of Life

Mark Nepo | Posted 05.24.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

That our heart can receive and hold anything and that we feel that the intensity of living is too much to bear is a paradox we can only live into. Under what is both unbearable and endlessly uplifting is the murmur of life.

Out of the Way

Mark Nepo | Posted 05.17.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

Kindness and suffering are wordless teachers, ready to bend us and soften us until we accept that we are here; that, try as we will, we can't build our way out of existence or dream our way out of being human. Once opened in this way, we come to realize that the only way out is to love being here.

The Dilation of What Seems Ordinary

Mark Nepo | Posted 05.03.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

The normal way we meet the world is full of bumps and bruises and noise that scratches up the heart. And yet, if we can endure and lean in, we are widened and opened to a depth that weaves the tissue of the Universe together.

Heartwood

Mark Nepo | Posted 04.28.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

An old friend died several years ago. At the time, I wrote this poem. I still can't delete his phone number from my contact list. To do so would seem so final, but I also still feel in contact with him.

To Cultivate Wonder

Mark Nepo | Posted 04.22.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

We have only a few seconds to love the wonder out in the open or those we meet will swallow it. Seconds to let this timeless resource come into our knowing so it can save us from the brutality of surface living.

Legacy

Mark Nepo | Posted 04.13.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

In the days after my father died, there were many quiet moments and many stories told. It was a small thing my mother said while crying over tea that allowed me to connect these small stories of my great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father. I never realized that they form a legacy I'm a part of.

The Moon Hears My Confession

Mark Nepo | Posted 03.29.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

When I remember that I'm one small part in a very complex and numinous Whole, I may feel frustrated but I feel engaged in an ongoing process of aliveness that keeps demanding my cooperation.

Midway in Our Journey

Mark Nepo | Posted 03.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

Part of everyone's journey in life is to arrive at precipice or fork in the road or at the end of a path and to realize we no longer know our way. Hard as this is, this is where the inner journey begins, when all we've carried has served its purpose and now we must burn it for warmth and to see what's next.

Aging

Mark Nepo | Posted 03.15.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

My father used to quip that old is always 10 years out from wherever you are. I'm 62 and to think of how old I once thought this was! What I'm learning is that age is not the distance from the beginning of our lives but the distance at any moment from the heart of our aliveness.

Somewhere

Mark Nepo | Posted 03.09.2014 | Healthy Living
Mark Nepo

No matter what we're going through, the opposite is happening somewhere else at the same time. This awareness doesn't minimize our own experience but adds context and medicine to the truth of any given moment, the way a rip in the curtains we have drawn seems like a violation of the privacy we so wanted though it is only letting the light of the world in. This poem tries to understand this paradox.