This is all I need

I have come a long way

And the way yet to come is drawn out and gray

Like the crescent of a gull on the horizon

But I count invisible things

That are my happiness


This tea, like rain, is steady and nourishing

This room, light and protected, like a cocoon, a place to rest, holds me

This body, healthy, vibrant, alive, an outline but not a prison, moves with grace

Friends, the sweetest food, filling me with gratitude, are presence itself

The lessons that appear like mushrooms, suddenly after a terrifying rain, are riches greater than every hidden cache of truffles


The spaces in me do not frighten me

I am home in the expanse of a settled West

Though wilderness will always be the song of my life


But loneliness will not; nor will desolation

Wilderness is not empty;

It is fullness


I have seen it


Fullness is my birthright,

My reality

And I know it through

My tea,

This room,

My friends,

The things which tell me all I need to know about where I come from and where I am going


From glory unto glory,

And grace to grace,

This wilderness is possibility

And I dwell in this land

As its beloved.


One thought on “This is all I need

  1. The dreariness of the first stanza is a bit of a surprise after the revelatory promise of the title. The invisible things seem like cold comfort and I want to know how they provide happiness. With the backdrop of the grey, gloomy crescent of experience, the tea, the warm room, the grace of movement, friends appear like bright mushrooms in a dark closet. Is this fungi really finer than truffles? How can I tell? The next stanza takes me farther into the wasteland, into the frighteningly empty spaces and into a wilderness. Why am I here? I’m unsure. Why has the poet brought me here? The crux of the poem answers me: “Wilderness will always be the song of my life/But loneliness will not; nor will desolation.” I’m standing next to a raging river and being told as long as I stay behind the railing I’ll be safe. My guide, the poet, reassures me with his experience: “I have seen it.” I watch the poet gobble up the mushrooms he’s collected and trust he knows which are poisonous and which are good to eat. The invisible things, he tells me, are there in this wilderness if you know where to find them and how they can sustain you.

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