Posts in Living Memorial
Marge Piercy's Kaddish

Look around us, search above us, below, behind.
We stand in a great web of being joined together.
Let us praise, let us love the life we are lent
passing through us in the body of Israel
and our own bodies, let’s say amein.

Time flows through us like water.
The past and the dead speak through us.
We breathe our children’s children, blessing.

Blessed is the earth from which we grow,
blessed the life we are lent,
blessed the ones who teach us,
blessed the ones we teach,
blessed is the word that cannot say the glory
that shines through us and remains to shine
flowing past distant suns on the way to forever.
Let’s say amein.

Blessed is the light, blessed is the darkness
but blessed above all else is peace
which bears the fruits of knowledge
on strong branches, let’s say amen.

Peace that bears joy into the world,
peace that enables love, peace over Israel
everywhere, blessed and holy is peace, let’s say amein.

-- Marge Piercy

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Death is Not the End

Death is not the end

But the beginning 

Of a metamorphosis.

For matter is never destroyed 

Only transformed 

And rearranged – 

Often more perfectly.

Witness how in the moment of a caterpillar’s death 

The beauty of the butterfly is born 

And released from the prison of the cocoon 

It flies free.

-- Peter Tatchell

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Reading, Ecclesiastes 3, vv 1 - 14

There is a time for everything,  and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die,  

a time to plant and a time to uproot,  

a time to kill and a time to heal,  

a time to tear down and a time to build,  

a time to weep and a time to laugh,  

a time to mourn and a time to dance,  

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,  

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,  

 a time to search and a time to give up,  

a time to keep and a time to throw away,  

a time to tear and a time to mend,  

a time to be silent and a time to speak,  

a time to love and a time to hate,  

a time for war and a time for peace. 


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I Carry Your Heart

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in 

My heart) I am never without it (anywhere 

I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done 

By only me is your doing, my darling)  [or Dear Grandpa?] 

I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) I want 

No world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) 

And it's you are whatever a moon has always meant 

And whatever a sun will always sing is you 

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows 

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud 

And the sky of a tree called life; which grows 

Higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) 

And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart 

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart) 

-- ee cummings

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How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning,  Sonnet 43

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Antidotes to Fear of Death

Sometimes as a antidote
To fear of death,
I eat the stars.
Those nights, lying on my back,
I suck them from the quenching dark
Till they are all, all inside me,
Pepper hot and sharp.
Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
Into a universe still young,
Still warm as blood:
No outer space, just space,
The light of all the not yet stars
Drifting like a bright mist,
And all of us, and everything
Already there
But unconstrained by form.
And sometimes it’s enough
To lie down here on earth
Beside our long ancestral bones:
To walk across the cobble fields
Of our discarded skulls,
Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
Thinking: whatever left these husks
Flew off on bright wings.
-- Rebecca Elson

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Your Way

No-one has marked out the road
you are to take
out in the unknown
out in the blue.
This is your road.
Only you
will take it. And there's no
turning back.
And you haven't marked your road

And the wind smoothes out your tracks
on desolate hills.

-- Olav Hauge

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The Universe is in Us

Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, in answer to a TIME magazine reader, who asked, “What is
the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?” said this:

“When I look up at the night sky and I know that, yes, we are part of this Universe, we are in
this Universe, but perhaps more important than most of those facts is that the Universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up — many people feel small, because they’re small, the
Universe is big — but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars. There’s a level of
connectivity — that’s really what you want in life. You want to feel connected, you want to feel
relevant. You want to feel like you’re a participant in the goings on and activities and events
around you. That’s precisely what we are, just by being alive.”

-- Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
And I wake in the night at the least sound
In fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
Rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
Who do not tax their lives with forethought
Of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
Waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-- Wendell Berry

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A Cornish Blessing

I lay my head to rest
and in doing so
lay at your feet
the faces I have seen
the voices I have heard
the words I have spoken
the hands I have shaken
the service I have given
the joys I have shared
the sorrows revealed.
I lay them at your feet
and in doing so
lay my head to rest

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And You Held Me

And You Held Me
and you held me and there were no words
and there was no time and you held me
and there was only wanting and
being held and being filled with wanting
and I was nothing but letting go
and being held
and there were no words and there
needed to be no words
and there was no terror only stillness
and I was wanting nothing and
it was fullness and it was like aching for God
and it was touch and warmth and
darkness and no time and no words and we flowed
and I flowed and I was not empty
and I was given up to the dark and
in the darkness I was not lost
and the wanting was like fullness and I could
hardly hold it and I was held and
you were dark and warm and without time and
without words and you held me.

--J anet Morley

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Psalm to My Beloved

I have opened unto you, the fate of my being
And like a tide, you have flowed into me.
All the channels of my spirit and the recesses of my soul
Are grown sweet with your presence
You have brought me the calm of great tranquil waters
And the quiet of summer seas
Your hands are filled with peace as the Moon tide

Is filled with light
About your head is bound the eternal quiet of the stars
And in your heart dwells the gentleness of dusk
I am clear and still
For I have opened unto you the wide gates of my being
And like a tide, you have flowed into me.
-- Adapted with abandon from Eunice Tietjens by Kim Farley

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Field Bling

Nights when it’s warm
and no one is watching,
I walk to the edge
of the road and stare
at all the fireflies.
I squint and pretend
they’re hallucinations,
bright made-up waves
of the brain.
I call them,
field bling.
I call them,
fancy creepies.
It’s been a long time
since I’ve wanted to die,
it makes me feel
like taking off
my skin suit
and seeing how
my light flies all
on its own, neon
and bouncy like a
wannabe star.

-- Ada Limon

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Sono's Death Poem


Don’t just stand there with your hair turning gray,
Soon enough the seas will sink your little island
So while there is still the illusion of time,
Set out for another shore.
No sense packing a bag.
You won’t be able to lift it into your boat.
Give away all your collections.
Take only new seeds and an old stick.
Send out some prayers on the wind before you sail.
Don’t be afraid.
Someone knows you’re coming.
An extra fish has been salted.

-- Mona Santacroce

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Prayer of Passing

Know that everything you do and everything you have done has been a contribution to The Whole. Bless-ed be who you are.

When the time comes for your Eternal Spirit to leave this Earthly body …

Your wings will unfurl, the breath of the wind will uplift you, and you will be born anew without effort. For where you are going there is no pain, no fear, no heartache. There is only love.

You will breathe one last breath while your spirit occupies your physical body, and with the next in-breath you will breathe a breath of great Light. You will feel more love than you have known for a long, long time. For you are going Home.

In the turning of the seasons, the love within your heart, the love of your being has expanded into fullness and now settles in peace to rest.

In the dawn of ages, your spirit has celebrated your essence which, once again, is to be made new.

In the flowing of the rivers, know beyond a doubt of doubts the truth that your spirit is truly one with the Divine Whole.

One Heart … One Mind … One Spirit … One.

You are the blessing. You are the peace. You are the love.

You are the Light within the holiness.

You are the Flight within the freedom.

You are the Essence in the center of the blossom.

This is who you are, and much, much more.

Much, much more.

-- Anara Solray
Healing Potentials Unlimited, Copyright 1999

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That Fateful Day

On that fatal day when my casket rolls along

Do not think my heart is in this world.

Do not cry, do not cry with anguished moans,

For that is a pit a demon has dug, and only that is sad.

When you see my procession, don't cry, "Gone, gone!"

For me it is a time of meeting and reunion.

As you lower me into the grave, don't say, "So long."

The grave is a veil before the gathering of paradise.

When you see that lowering down, consider a rising.

What harm is there in the setting of a sun or moon?

What seems a setting to you is a dawning.

Though it may seem a prison,

This vault releases the soul.

What seed goes into the earth and does not grow?

Why are you doubting this human seed?

What bucket goes down and does not come up full?

Why should the Joseph of the spirit resent the well?

Close your mouth on this side and open it beyond,

For in the nowhere air will be your song.

-- Jelal ad-Din Rumi

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One Night When You Were Just a Star

One night when you were just a star,
someone hung every hope, every wish, every dream,
they ever had from your limbs,
so if you ever feel inferior,
ever start to doubt your beauty or brilliance just remember:
you have constellations lining the cathedral walls of your chest,
a moon for a heart
and the sunlight pouring through your skin,
you are a symphony of stardust
and you were born to shine.

-- Tyler Kent White

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