09/10/2013 11:56 am ET Updated Nov 10, 2013

Way of the Dolphin

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.

It was years ago that I learned that our job as spirits in bodies is to let our spirit rise from within to meet and inhabit the world, every chance we get. It was walking along the Battery in Charleston that this all came back to me, so very clearly, while sighting a dolphin.

Way of the Dolphin

Standing in the harbor, these slick
wonders slip their fins in and out
of early sun. I close my eyes and re-
member being wheeled into surgery
all those years ago; believing my job
was to meet my surgeon at the sur-
face, so the rib he had to remove
would slip out, like a dolphin of
bone, as soon as he would cut me.

I've learned that everything that
matters goes the way of the dolphin:
drifting most of the time out of
view, breaking surface when
we least expect it.

And our job -- in finding God, in
being God; in finding truth, in
being truth; in finding love, in
being love -- is to meet the world
at the surface where Spirit slips
out through every cut.

A Question to Walk With: Describe one way in which you are being asked to let your spirit meet the world.

For more Poetry for the Soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.