I have never prayed in Kyoto
or slept on a bed of cherry blossoms.
On my wooden altar, white petals
have fallen. Beautiful losses.
The hurry loves pauses for. Rain
stays longer in the Spring. What falls
will fall in love again. Green
stirred into constancy slurs
each syllable into one tree.
Ineffable, inevitable, finally
the thorn-apple hides its thorns.
Alders, bowed down, obedient.
Whatever made them bend
is gone. But still they pray,
the buds coming in.
Published in Where the Water Lives, by Richard Osler, Leaf Press, Nanaimo, 2012
“The spirit of man is nomad, his blood Bedouin, and love is the aboriginal tracker on the spoor of his lost self; and so I come to live my life not by conscious plan or prearranged design but as someone following the flight of a bird.”
Sir Laurens van der Post
Welcome to Recovering Words. A site that celebrates the craft and healing art of poetry and offers details of upcoming poetry writing retreats and workshops.
Not just an art form, poetry can take a life in surprising directions. Very much as the way van der Post describes his bird in the epigraph above. That bird may be called many things by many people but for me it is the mystery at the heart of my life and at the heart of poetry. It’s what seems to see me more clearly than I do; seems to be what guides and writes my most lasting words. Jane Hirschfield, the American poet captures this so clearly: The poet, pursuing a vessel to hold something known, finds what the poem may know that the poet as yet does not. A strange paradox in life and poetry.
For more quotes on the mysterious nature of poetry click here. Or just keep looking at the cycling poetry quotes on the right! Each quote stays for 20 seconds.
While I might dream up a possible goal in my life or begin a poem with an end in mind the final result may be quite unexpected and take me to new frontiers I never imagined. This is especially true if at some level I give up control and let that mysterious bird, whatever it is, show me the way. David Whyte, the poet and inspirational speakersays What you can plan is too small for you to live. What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough from the vitality hidden in your sleep. These quotes of Hirschfield and Whyte have reassured me countless times when my poem or my life refuses to go the way I think it should and resists all my interferences. The American poet Jack Spicer says it this way: the poet is more like a catcher, but likes to believe he’s a pitcher. How true not just of poetry but of life.
Recovering Words. To write and discover you have words inside you; to see them appear mysteriously on the white page; yours and not yours; words out of nowhere. Only by writing can you recover these words and see them as if for the first time. This describes the art of poetry. It also describes the experience so many have at the Recovering Words workshops and poetry retreats. These retreats are designed to include both the craft of poetry and the healing experience of each participant being uncovered by their own words! Most retreats consists of 6 to 10 participants with varying levels of writing experience from beginners to accomplished and published poets. Click the link to writing retreats for a list of upcoming retreats. Recovering Words also offers two to three hour poetry workshops through drug and alcohol recovery centers in British Colombia.
Recovering Words poetry writing retreats and workshops are facilitated by Richard Osler, 61, a published poet and facilitator with seven years experience working with almost 3,000 retreat and workshop participants. Click on the link for a more detailed biography. For further information please email Richard Osler at email@example.com
Richard’s new book is now available!
Where the Water Lives by Richard Osler
“This chapbook is a delight, these little windows of yours inviting us to see through into the clarity of sorrow, surrender, and joy. ”
Patrick Lane – winner of every major literary prize in Canada, author 24 books of poetry, one memoir, one book of short fiction and one novel.
from Where the Water Lives: