We ask

What doesn’t ask

You ask

why can’t the world just be warm and soft,


dancing fireflies and feathered chickadees,

bright red primroses,

why can’t it dance like Fred Astaire?

Why must it always careen sideways, the answer always

farther than your arm can reach to grab it back to safety?

Why must crazy thoughts interfere,


why must sodden emotions

drown away lightness, mirth, the joy of sunrise?

Why can’t we always twirl, dream,

our cheeks sideways to the moon?

Why can’t we always draw cool sweet water

from the well of our knowing

instead of looping, swerving,

hardly staying on the road of life at all?

I could tell you:

What witnesses the refusal to stay put?

What witnesses the right turn

when you want, oh you want, to veer left?

What watches, what oversees,

what is larger, brighter, more encompassing

than your every desire, fear,

running back to second base?

What sings its ancient motionless

silent sacred song,

knowing more

than you ever dream before

rising from soft pillow with

tears or arthritis or leaping youth?

Yet, how do we join that which we are,

which birthed us, suckled us, hummed us into wheat fields

and haunted shadowed valleys?

How do we drop questing thoughts, sultry emotions,

weeping drama,

delighted laughter,



how do we surrender, you ask.

She arrives tomorrow morning to ask me,

to share her layered tear-faced

perhaps bird-watching story.

How would you answer?

How do you surrender, fully, 100%, pray tell?

How do we live our essence beneath that suffering

that cliff,

that wanting happy-ever-after?

What would you tell her,

I ask,

witnessing what asks you.


10 thoughts on “We ask

  1. The process of ‘trying to’ surrender precludes ‘actually’ surrendering. Surrender is a state of being– not an action, not a thought, not a pathway, not a plan. This is why I haven’t surrendered yet. My mind is too busy figuring out how it’s done to let my spirit just do it. To simply “Be It.”
    Beautiful poem, Kathy.

  2. Thank you for pausing to share of your presence, Laurie, Ellen, openlifestudio and Dana. I am pausing to smile at all of your gravatar pictures right now. Enjoying you…

  3. “Why can’t we draw cool, sweet water from the well of our knowing instead of looping, swerving,hardly staying on the road of life at all?” I’ve often wondered about this. . . not in exactly these words but certainly from the same context. Wonderful, thought-provoking post. Thank you for the stimulation, Kathy.

  4. This one for me, belies a fixed response. How big is together? How big is apart? The ‘vacation’ from the computer has brought me a book of poetry called The Book of Questions by Pablo Neruda. I think I got his first name right. It made me think of that stint where everything was a question…on purpose. Thinking about questions being answers now.

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