Written by Max Ehrmann in 1927
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, And remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly & clearly; and listen to others, even the dull & ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud & aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing future of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity & disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness. Beyond wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours & aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
An Old Lady's Poem
What do you see, nurses, what do you see?
What are you thinking when you're looking at me?
A crabby old woman, not very wise, uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply When you say in a loud voice, "I do wish you'd try!"
Who seems not to notice the things that you do, and forever is losing a
stocking or shoe.....
Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will, with bathing and
feeding, the long day to fill....
Is that what you're thinking?
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse; you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still, as I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of ten ...with a father and mother, brothers and sisters, who love one another.
A young girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet, dreaming that soon now
a lover she'll meet.
A bride soon at twenty -- my heart gives a leap, remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At twenty-five now, I have young of my own, who need me to guide and a secure happy home.
A woman of thirty, my young now grown fast, bound to each other with
ties that should last.
At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone, but my man's beside me to see I don't mourn.
At fifty once more, babies play round my knee, again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead; I look at the future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own, and I think of the
years and the love that I've known.
I'm now an old woman .and nature is cruel; 'Tis jest to make old age
look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, grace and vigour depart, there is now a stone where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells, and now and
again my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember the pain, and I'm loving and living
life over again.
I think of the years ....all too few, gone too fast, and accept the
stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people, open and see, not a crabby old woman; look closer see ME!!
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.
Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace;
that where there is hatred, I may bring love;
that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgivness;
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
that where there is error, I may bring truth;
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
that where there is despair, I may bring hope;
that where there are shadows, I may bring light;
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord grant that I may seek rather to comfort than be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is be dying that one awakens to eternal life.
Whoever finds a virtuous wife-
Far greater than that of pearls is her value,
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he lacks no gain.
She repays him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She seeks wool and linen,
And works them willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchant ships:
From afar, she brings her food.
She rises while it is still night
And gives food to her household,
And tasks to her maids.
She considers a field and buys it;
From the fruit of her hand,
She plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with might and strengthens her arms.
[so] her lamp is not extinguished at night.
She puts her hand to the spindle,
And her palm supports her distaff.
Her palm she spreads out to the poor
And her hands she extends to the needy.
She has no fear for her household
Because of snow, for her entire household
Is clothed with scarlet[wool].
Bedspreads, she makes herself
Fine linen and purple are her clothing.
Well known at the gates is her husband
as he sits among the elders of the land.
Garments she makes and sells them,
And belts, she provides for the merchants.
Strength and splendor are her clothing,
And smilingly (she awaits her last day)
Her mouth she opens with wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She anticipates the ways of her household
And the bread of idleness she does not eat.
Her children rise and make her fortunate;
Her husband-and he praises her:
Many daughters have attained valor
But you surpassed them all.
Favor is deceptive and beauty is vain;
A God- fearing woman -she should be praised.
Give her the fruit of her hand,
And let her deeds praise her in the gates.
to stem an invisible tide?
into the formless void
the future is mapped
in determined presence
to still the implacable foe
your hoary face need not intrude
while Life is yet
I am not saying to lie to yourself and deny that irritability exists in you, but just to recognize that the ability to be productive, calm and joyous exists in you at the same time.
You're the one who chooses which to act on.
Fear knocked at the door.
No one was there.
-On the front of the mantel in the
ancient Hind's Head Hotel at Bray, England
It is good to remember that the tea kettle,
although up to it's neck in hot water, continues to sing.
My arms reach out through time and space
And hold each memory in place:
A creaking swing, a whispered word,
A promise only night winds heard...
A little footstep on the stair,
A small fragmented baby prayer.
My arms reach out through time and space
And do not find an empty place.
June Masters Bacher
Don't let it be forgot,
that once there was a spot,
for once brief shining moment,
that was known as,
"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
I'm writing these poems
From inside a lion,
And it's rather dark in here.
So please excuse the handwriting
Which may not be too clear.
But this afternoon by the lion's cage
I'm afraid I got too near.
And I'm writing these lines
From inside a lion,
And it's rather dark in here.
~~~Shel Silverstein~~~(a bit of humor).
Fill not you hearts with pain and sorrow, but remember me in every tomorrow. Remember the joy the laughter, the smiles; I've only gone to rest a little while. Although my leaving causes pain and grief, my going has eased my hurt, and given me relief. So dry your eyes and remember me, not as I am now, but as I used to be; because I will remember you all and look on with a smile. Understand in you hearts, I've only gone to rest a little while. As long as I have the love of each of you, I can live my life in the hearts of all of you.
On Loving a Young Man
by Alice Friman
One day when I am ninety-one
you will look at me from the doorway,
leaning with your head tilted to one side
and I will wonder if you remember
how I too used to lean
and lay my hair down black
and whispering on the pillowcase
fresh from the wash, or how later I would turn
tucking my knees under yours
for the night's insensible hours.
And if I haven't forgotton--my mind
gone blank as a sheet
I'll remember you then of the old amazed look
your face wore once at how much
your hands already knew
and I will call you back
from the doorway
to adjust the sweater around my shoulders
the robe in my lap
and take your hand, upturned in mine
to show you how that line is still there:
the lifeline I once traced with my nail,
that day on the bench by the Ohio River
that first time, When I-troubled-leaned
my head on your shoulder,
sideways, the way I do now
and you will then.
Had I the heavens' cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the half-light;
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I,being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.