An unlikely spring poem from Mary Oliver turns the dazzling darkness of nature into a lesson on embodying simple gratitude for the gifts we’re offered each moment.
The companionship of Thomas Merton; an inspiring faith in our nation’s potential; and the spiritual work of environmental care.
Do trees photosynthesize the soul as well as sunlight? With a poem by W.S. Merwin, an appreciation for trees and the spiritual wisdom they impart.
How your personality changes over a lifetime; a tribute to the unbreakable spirit of a legendary poet; the virtue of not getting exactly what you want; and hiring not just minds, but hearts, too.
The human soul is a thing to name and celebrate, no matter how we understand its fickle, mysterious nature.
A poem from Maya Spector is an encouragement to push open the doors that hold us in when the light of spring breaks.
Parker stands in awe at the extraordinary patience of nature. What if we centered as much care and attention on its grandeur as we do on our own selves?
A simple invocation amid the world’s frenzy: that we maintain the quiet discipline of seeking delight hiding in plain sight.
Parker looks fondly on the moments he spent as a child with his grandfather — whose life-giving hands brought forth craft and nurtured a little boy into the world with a fierce and stoic tenderness.
A tribute to a beloved singer’s challenging life; escaping the rage cycle in this global moment; and our columnists on uprooting our assumptions about life’s most essential questions, from parenting to the nature of our relationships.
Life’s tragedies can make the road ahead seem like a barren vista. But our losses can also clear space for courageous new beginnings.
A robust hope can be found in the work and life of Langston Hughes, infused with a visionary love for words and the world.
With the wisdom of Jane Kenyon, a contemplation on gratitude and ordinary grace in our own finite lives.
After an exchange with an angry man, a poem about a woodland encounter bestows unexpected guidance — about how acknowledging the spaces we share can be what closes the gaps between us.
Compassion is a virtue, but do we direct it inward as much as outward? Parker Palmer gleans wisdom from Mary Oliver on mending ourselves so that we might be better companions to loved ones in need.
An autumnal poem from Linda Pastan guides Parker Palmer to a realization: that we can become enraptured with the world around us once again, if only we revive our childlike capacity for wonder.
Genuine communication is a collaborative process marked by respect. Parker Palmer reminds us of the importance of what we say, how we say it, and how we listen — in politics as in life.
As the days grow shorter and the air grows crisp, Parker Palmer invokes Rainer Maria Rilke on lessons from the season: on having faith when we fall, and trusting in the mysterious resilience of life.
Beyond our busyness and worn-out calendars, Omid Safi seeks out the places where the eternal shines through the temporal — and offers a benediction for the beloved.
To soothe spiritual aches and exult in the bittersweetness of being in the world — a few lines of poetry from beloved voices, from Mary Oliver to Marie Howe.
Marie Howe marks the space left in her life by her late brother — tiny movements and moments now conspicuously absent. A tender elegy for a loved one gone too soon.
In this solemn reflection in summer light, Anita Barrows draws out the sweet tension of sorrow in the midst of beauty.
A life is composed of the ordinary and extraordinary, remarkable and mundane. An expression of gratitude from Carrie Newcomer for all of it, from big love to good coffee.
A reassuring, imagined moment of silence and clarity in the face of a frenetic world, with the guidance of Sylvia Boorstein and Pablo Neruda.
A powerful love is often quiet in its intensity. Alicia Partnoy reads her poem, a love note to love.
From the solemn to the playful, a selection of poetry to comfort and amuse.
A reflection from Christian Wiman on finding God and wonder in all the world’s imperfection.
Encouragement from the far shore of life to live fully into the miracle of our existence, with purpose and awe at every waking moment.
Paul Muldoon pauses in a suspended moment, away from the chaos of the world, alone with the soothing roar of rain.
A dawn meditation on the possibility of the day, and the quiet joy of belonging in a space of one’s own.
From Naomi Shihab Nye, a playful address to characters in a life, in all their intriguing mundanity.
Wendell Berry reads his poem, a celebration of human complexity, and the rich truth that emerges in moving against the grain.
A benediction from the late, beloved John O’Donohue, for the consoling embrace of steadiness and clarity in our most difficult moments.
An ode from Elizabeth Alexander to the spaces words fill between us, and to the path they light forward to a transcendent and unifying love.
Parker Palmer shares the poetry of a president: a testament to the healing power of words, and embracing the shadow and light within.
Is a life made, or grown? A contemplation from Parker Palmer and Marge Piercy on the quiet, joyful work of tending to ourselves as wild, flourishing thickets of life.
Essential celebrations of the strength and beauty that surround us, from new life and community to the poetry of words and images.
An invocation for gratitude — for the open spaces around us, for the quiet resilience of nature, and for the power of vulnerability to open us to new possibilities.
Parker Palmer offers up a remedy for feeling adrift: embracing surprise, and taking on sense of reverence to mystery.
Learning from our mistakes doesn’t mean we have to obsess over our failures. Parker Palmer and Mary Oliver on the space nature provides for catharsis, so that we can move on to self-forgiveness.
Loss and trauma can cast us into uncertainty. Parker Palmer finds solace in the words of William Stafford, and wonders if being lost is the first step on a path to something better.
Two poems for those who seek to infuse daily life with thoughtful prayer and attention.
Inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s book on getting lost, a high school math teacher muses on finding true north without a reliable compass… in a poem.
Listen to the Oglala Lakota poet Layli Long Soldier read an excerpt from her poem, “WHEREAS Statements.”
Life, like verse, contains beauty, grit, and uncomfortable truth. Inspired by a couplet from Thoreau, our columnist reflects on the journey of life as an artistic, creative craft, in the vein of lyrical composition.
In poesy and paint, artistic praise for holy birth in Jerusalem and beyond.
A mother’s poetic reflection on simultaneously striving to comfort and teach her children, and learn from her own mother, about the growth that can come from struggle.
A father’s poetic awe at his elemental connection with his son, and the thrill he feels in witnessing this miracle of new life.
Sometimes a poem offers insight into a dream or an event in the news. And sometimes it’s about the everyday thing that never occurs.
Poetic expression is a character with many personalities, much like one’s favorite pet dog. A new poem from Mary Oliver on the playfulness of writing verse.