The First Bare Line

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Thinking of new beginnings as the new year approaches? Here are three incredible poems worth pondering.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! Enjoy and I’ll see you all in 2013!


La Poezia

And something ignited in my soul

Fever or unremembered wings

I went my own way, deciphering that burning fire

And I wrote the first bare line

Bare without substance

Pure foolishness

Pure wisdom of one who knows nothing

And suddenly, I saw the heavens unfastened and opened.

– Pablo Neruda


There Was A Boy

There was a boy

Ye knew him well, ye cliffs and islands of Winander!

Many a time, at evening,

when the earliest stars had just begun

to move along the edges of the hills,

rising or setting, would he stand alone,

beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake;

And there, with fingers interwoven,

both hands pressed closely palm to palm

and to his mouth uplifted,

he, as through an instrument,

blew mimic hootings to the silent owls,

that they might answer him.

And they would shout

across the watery vale, and shout again,

responsive to his call, with quivering pearls,

and echoes loud, redoubled and redoubled,

Concourse wild of jocund din!

And when it chanced

that pauses of deep silence mocked his skill

Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung listening,

a gentle shock of mild surprise

carried far into his heart.

The voice of mountain-torrents

or the visible scenes entered unawares into his young mind

with all its solemn imagery

its rocks, its trees

and that uncertain heaven received into the bosom of the steady lake.

– William Wordsworth


The Holy Longing

Tell a wise person or else keep silent

for those who do not understand will mock it right away.

I praise what is truly alive,

what longs to be burned to death.

In the calm waters of the love-nights,

where you were begotten, where you have begotten,

A strange silence comes over you,

as you watch the silent candle burning.

Now, you are no longer caught in the obsession with darkness,

and a desire for higher love-making sweeps you upward.

Distance cannot make you falter

now, arriving in magic, flying,

and finally, insane for the light,

you are the butterfly and you are gone.

And so long as you have not experienced this:

To die and so to grow,

You are only a troubled guest on the dark earth

– Johann Wolfgand von Goethe




  1. Kathy Murphy  December 12, 2012

    “Tell a wise person or else keep silent

    for those who do not understand will mock it right away.”

    How true this is…..thanks for the beautiful poetry…it does open the portal to deep reflection and allows us to touch our own deep rivers of truth.

    Love the direction your blog is taking….

    Happy Holidays and look forward to seeing you in 2013.

  2. Kathy Murphy  December 12, 2012

    PS….are you coming to the David Whyte retreat in March? We’re going, would love to spend that time with you.

  3. Joel Nielson  December 31, 2012


    Wow. I couldn’t agree more. No sense in casting your pearls before swine… (or people who just won’t get it.)

    Thanks for the mental stimuli David. Happy 13!

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