How to be a teacher (nota bene)


Gratia plena for the gifts

to show, to share.

You must observe you are

the learner, the listener,

over and over

more than you are they who enter

a world – sharing people,

discomforted and

yearning. Listen to them,

hear their call, the voice

of all our selves.    


Be – with awareness of being

present in the here and now

allow eyes to join.

Listen and keep listening.

Welcome words of the wise;

guard against the self.

Guard against the pretension

that uplifts itself to inspire.

There are no know-it-all teachers

only hesitant beginners

growing in life, the teacher.


Welcome the begin agains.

Receive the moment’s surprise.

From the others the message;

not your own voice, slow and endless

learning to the one who teaches

be a teacher that grasped

always the begin again.

                                                                                                      ~ sonja s

~ an imitation of a poem by Wendell Berry

To be of use

a poem by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

the suchness of life


october’s sky is gray
a bird calls and
the dog barks
the i struggle and still

thou knows and waits

slow-rise bread
lemon, rosemary
awakens the senses
to pen down thoughts

into this

the oven clock startles
the senses awake
dark crusted broken bread
joins the sacredness of now

no stories, no analyzing
of today’s yesterday and tomorrow
capture the segment between –
the staff of life awaits

thou knows

the I still struggles
october’s sky is gray
another bird calls
the dog sleeps

and work awaits
this for ever now

~ sonja s

a reminder

of a gift moment by moment taken unconsciously


Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror

up to where you are bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,

here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes,

if it were always a fist or always stretched open,

you would be paralyzed.

Your deepest presence

is in every small contracting and expanding,

the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated

as birdwings.

~ Rumi

i have a friend suffering – do i understand the meaning of this word? no
i have a gentle friend,  he suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease

this poem is for him … in his presence i understand the meaning of presence

dear reader, i hope you too find your gift
to remember, and to share

a reflection



(another) Eve’s thinking



hungered for a soul

a miracle it was

stolen bone to flesh aroused

healed the wound

in nakedness the raw and lone

met the ache to be one


some desire bare

its soul through him and me

left hallow a cry

a road so lone to travel

we gather to join the One

~ this poem is a reflection on Lucille Clifton’s Adam’s thinking.

half a world on a trencher


Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love’s
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree’s yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree’s planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.

~ Pablo Neruda

Without this fruit my kitchen feels empty.

And you, dear reader, have you a special fruit of creation that wells to your touch and perfumes your kitchen?

While waking up for this day


Not even a cold wind

could blow away

the befuddled morn

but ritual

not reason

served coffee and chores

and just like that

while fumbling for rhythm

stress sounded

and on the brink

of a mood

quite in discomfort

the self waited





without thought and excuse

and it was


the way the silence

lifted the lie

It brushed and sensed

a world clear

and then

in you walked


did we sense

the mystery

yet to unfold?

~sonja s