Poetry by Mark Nepo

The Slow Art of All That Matters
I have fallen through and worked into
a deeper way—one step at a time, one pain
at a time, one grief at a time, one amends at
a time—until the long, slow arm of all that matters
has bowed my estimation of heaven. Now, like a
heron waiting for the waters to clear, I look for
heaven on earth and wait for the turbulence to
settle. And I confess, for all the ways we stir things
up, I can see that though we can stop, life never
stops: the lonely bird crashes into the window
just as the sun disperses my favorite doubt, a
sudden wind closes your willing heart as the
moment of truth passes between us, and the
damn phone rings as my father is dying. All
these intrusions, majestically unfair, and not
of our timing. So we spin and drop and catch
and land. And sometimes, we fall onto these
little islands of stillness, like now, from which
we are renewed by our kinship with all and that
irrepressible feeling resurrects our want to be here,
to push off again into the untamable stream.