On Joy and Sorrow 
Khalil Gibran 1883-1931
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
No More Leaving 
Become like this:
Next time you meet Him in the forest
Or on a crowded city street
There won't be anymore
God will climb into
You will simply just take
The Happy Virus 
I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious -
So kiss me.
O my friends 
O my friends,
What can you tell me of Love,
Whose pathways are filled with strangeness?
When you offer the Great One your love,
At the first step your body is crushed.
Next be ready to offer your head as his seat.
Be ready to orbit his lamp like a moth giving in to the light,
To live in the deer as she runs toward the hunter’s call,
In the partridge that swallows hot coals for love of the moon,
In the fish that, kept from the sea, happily dies.
Like a bee trapped for life in the closing of the sweet flower,
Mira has offered herself to her Lord.
She says, the single Lotus will swallow you whole.
For the Raindrop 
Mirza Ghalib, Persian Poet, 1797-1869
For the raindrop, joy is in entering the river--
Unbearable pain becomes its own cure.
Travel far enough into sorrow, tears turn to sighing;
In this way we learn how water can die into air.
When, after heavy rain, the storm clouds disperse,
Is it not that they’ve wept themselves clear to the end?
If you want to know the miracle, how wind can polish
Look: the shining glass grows green in spring.
It’s the rose’s unfolding, Ghalib, that creates the desire to see--
In every color and circumstance, may the eyes be open for what comes.
Rainer Maria Rilke 1875-1926 
Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29
Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing
widens the space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is better, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
Say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
Not Altogether Lost 
I know that this life, missing its ripeness in love, is not altogether lost.
I know that the flowers that fade in the dawn, the streams that strayed in the desert, are not altogether lost.
I know that whatever lags behind, in this life laden with slowness, is not altogether lost.
I know that my dreams that are still unfulfilled, and my melodies still unstruck, are clinging to Your lute strings, and they are not altogether lost.
for Maya Angelou:
In our current health care world, burn-out and stress can be very real. Strengthening our spirit before we even need care may aid well-being when tough times arise. If a caregiver is rough or unkind when we are weak, defenseless and vulnerable, this can be hard to endure. Forgiveness may not come easily.
By dwelling on a few lines of poetry, repeating them silently over and over, we may be able to say with Maya Angelou: “…you may trod me in the very dirt./but still, like dust, I’ll rise…” But still, like dust my spirit rises. My body, my emotions may hurt and feel like crying, but still, like dust, my spirit rises, dances and is free to sing.
Maya Angelou 
Still I Rise
“You may write me down in history/
with your bitter, twisted lies./
you may trod me in the very dirt./
but still, like dust, I’ll rise…”
My Friend 
I have come to You to take Your touch before I begin my day.
Let Your eyes rest upon my eyes for a while.
Let me take to my work the assurance of Your comradeship, my Friend.
Fill my mind with Your music to last through the desert of noise.
Let Your love’s sunshine kiss the peaks of my thoughts and linger in my life’s valley where the harvest ripens.
 Gibran. This poem is in the public domain
 Hafiz, The Gift, trans. Daniel Ladinsky
 Hafiz, The Subject Tonight Is Love, trans. Daniel Ladinsky
 Mirabai. Risking Everything, ed. Roger Housden, Pp 123, trans. Jane Hirshfield
 Ghalib, Risking Everything, ed. Roger Housden, pp 82, Ed Jane Hirshfield, Harmony Books, NY, 2003
 Rilke, Trans. Anita Barrows & Joanna Macy
 Prayers of Rabindranath Tagore, The Heart of God, pp 23, Ed Herbert F. Vetter, Tuttle Pub, Vermont, 1997
 From “Still I Rise” from AND STILL I RISE by Maya Angelou, copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
 Rabindranath Tagore, pp 18 see  above.