08/27/2013 05:11 pm ET Updated Oct 27, 2013

Staying Close

My new book of poems, Reduced to Joy, has just been published. The book contains 73 poems, retrieved and shaped over the last 13 years, about the nature of working with what we're given till it wears us through to joy. For the next few months, I'd like to share poems from the new book with you.

Once we are blessed to have a sense of what it means to be fully awake and alive, we are challenged to return there, when we stray. And we will all stray, because we're human and this is what humans do. Often, the smallest moment will catch our heart's eye, like a small angel calling us to return to what matters. How? By simply lingering long enough to have the moment enter us. This poem speaks to moments that have opened me.

Staying Close

a child on a horse.

silk to dry.

snow fill the crack
in a bridge.

in the shadow of a bird.

the shoulder of the moon.

the lips of one
who has given up.

the stone
in your heart crumble.

a flower over a blade.

in a boat till
there is no ripple.

A Question to Walk With: Discuss this notion of small moments returning us to what matters with a friend. Have each of you tell the story of such a moment and how it has impacted you.

For more Poetry for the Soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.