Love Song For No One In Particular

March 31, 2012

I don’t think I’ve ever told you.
This is what makes my life worthwhile.
In all your fragile quirkiness.
In all your blazing radiance.
Tap-dancing down the street, sweaty, in a hurry,
so serious in the seriousness of it all.
Or dragging your one club foot, a reluctant dog you’re yanking along.
Or crying in your car, a stranger, next to mine at the stoplight,
your gaze averted, your fingers tight with shame around the steering wheel.
When I nudge your exquisite body and apologize
as we shuffle past the canned soup, the frozen peas,
the hefty seductive eggplant,
the pregnant watermelon.
You, whom I’ve seen perhaps a thousand times, more.
And each time, I’ve forgotten
to tell you I adore you,
to bow, weeping, before your magnificence,
to skim the soft down of your arms,
to nuzzle and breathe you in as if you were the sea,
a bouquet of lilacs,
the first morning of snow after a long drowsy autumn.
Grappling with the price of peaches,
grapes from Argentina,
conventional or organic.
Your forehead a beautiful worried twist.
Or your heart so wide it’s breaking,
wondering if Jennifer Aniston will finally be happy,
finally married to beautiful what’s his name,
your prayers for her, a perfect snowflake,
as she shines out from the cover of People.
I just need you to know.
Even if this morning you were standing at the mirror
with your tweezers, inspecting,
shouting insults to your one excellent face.
Or changing your sweater, shirt, jeans, dress,
over and over again,
trying to articulate the right you to help you tolerate yourself and meet the day.
I couldn’t live without you.
Couldn’t imagine the world.
A glorious field of wildflowers.
Each one, as precious and everyday as dandelion,
delicate and commanding
as Cosmos, Impatiens, Morning Glory.
You, the gentle unfurling fists of fern
tight-roped high in the forest trees.
You.  A perfect rose,
all thorned and finicky,
petals cupped around the light of dawn,
fragrant, silent
remembering yourself: glorious heart of the Divine.

by Johanna Courtleigh

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I originally asked Johanna Courtleigh if I could the post the beginning of her gorgeous, healing, John of God journey to Brazil. She writes about it with such beauty and openness. Then she sent me this poem, with a subject line in my email that said, “more waking up!” and I read it, more buoyant with every line, “heart so wide it’s breaking.” To read Johanna’s journey—and her proper bio—posted in the Wake Up series, start here, then head over to her blog to continue. It’s a breathtaking story.

# #

Story Charmer’s Waking Up Series is the month of March in meditation on WAKING UP. What does it mean? What growth does it spur? What wonder and challenge? GUEST POSTS and personal queries will appear here throughout the month. Read all the posts in the series here…

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana March 31, 2012 at 6:06 pm



Sam March 31, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I’ve just loved reading all of the works. I’m fascinated with John of God and I love this poem. Send Johanna my praise and appreciation.


Pema Teeter April 2, 2012 at 11:21 am

Thanks, Sam. I’m so happy you liked everyone’s stories and contributions. Johanna’s John of God pieces are amazing, aren’t they? …Thanks, Johanna, for lighting up Story Charmer, and all of us readers in particular.


L'Tanya April 1, 2012 at 6:18 am

So beautiful I want to read it over and over.


Nikki April 2, 2012 at 5:58 am

BAM. Poetry for the soul.


Janice Bear April 2, 2012 at 6:34 am

Wow. Thank you, Johanna and Dema. Just, thank you.


Pema Teeter April 2, 2012 at 11:26 am

Yes, yes, you’re welcome. So beautiful. Thanks for reading. I just followed your link to your garters. What a fabulous idea! Such pretty creations.


Pearl Mattenson April 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I am choosing to read it as a love song to myself. Finding real inspiration in what is possible when I can say to myself, “I can’t live without you”

Thank you!


Johanna Courtleigh April 3, 2012 at 8:20 am

Thanks for all the lovely comments.
I am planning to have my entire John of God writing available on my web site soon.
And a book of poetry is on the list, to put together and published.
So, please let me know if you’d like to know when these are available.
Love to all.


lisa April 6, 2012 at 8:29 am

beautiful. breathing it in.


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