all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

small goals
























a cup of tea with cream & sugar, quietly,
because it is just morning and no one
is demanding anything of you, and you don't
yet need to demand anything of yourself.

pillows behind your back, at the desk,
because it shouldn't be so hard to sit still.

pet the dog, put your cheek to his cheek, say hello
in a higher, sing-song register, because even this
brief touch brings you back to a place absent of toughness,
and because when he is being held close and cooed at,
the dog will lie at your feet for hours, calm and near-sleeping.

moisturize, have lunch, put on a clean shirt, empty
and refill the dishwasher, because you need to take care,
because the body needs to be restored,
because it is good to make time for tasks that force
an alignment with order, and because there is no easier purpose
than a clearing off of the dusty messes, the small eruptions of mail,
whatever gnatty distraction is in the way of getting somewhere else.

let go of the argument, its bruising remainder, its strangeness
and alarm, because when you keep it flattened to your chest
for too long you can't breathe, and because there is a whole
day outside just waiting to be plunged into,
ripe and forgiving and opulent with love.

ice water.
as little driving as possible.
the guitar for even five minutes.
sunscreen on that place on your shoulders you never get to.
a walk somewhere close. easy, even steps.
the smell of late summer. that hum of bees.
a view that stretches to another zip code.
close your eyes.
close your eyes.
close your eyes.
now open.

2 comments:

Marilyn said...

Maya, I've been reading here a good long while...and I think this one is one of my favorites. You so perfectly captured what I love about the early morning hours when I'm alone and in silence and just doing my thing. You also captured what I get from nuzzling and cooing at my brother's dogs when I'm visiting there...and why I go to visit with them as much as I do with the humans. Beautiful.

GailNHB said...

Quietness before anyone else wakes up. Sitting in the dark, in prayer, in thought, in tears.
Feeling the comfort and security of the chair and floor - and love - beneath me. Knowing that I am being thought of, remembered, loved, nearby and from afar. So many blessings. So little to fear and complain about. Thanks for your timely reminder of small goals, small joys, small bits of abundance.