2 Aug 2021

By Philip

Joyfully Together

A poem by Miriam Jangles from Nourishing Peace Sangha in Stourbridge, written as a contribution to a Day of Mindfulness on 10th July 2021 on the theme of ‘Joyfully Together’ – the first time Nourishing Peace Sangha met physically together since the start of the lockdowns in March 2020.

The Sun rose, 

And, joyfully, together,

The bird sang,

The leaf unfurled

And the branch on which they both rested

Turned its growth towards the light.

And, one by one, 

Their Westerly neighbours

Sang, unfurled, turned,

Each acting siren to the next.


The air rose, spiralled, 

Became zephyr,

Carrying the bird song

Into the heart of the listener

Via the ear,

Where, once it arrived,

It speeded the pumping blood

And gave birth to their actions.

This same wind:

Giving the singer flight,

Carrying beauty to the mind of the seer,

Giving birth to their hopes;

Stirring the branches, the leaves

Into chorus,

Lifting from their surfaces

(like jewels from the beloved hands of the giver)

Transpiring drops,

Risen through them from the roots,

And there joining the re-born ocean

Now made cloud,

Which dignifies like crowns the naked heads

Of the magma-hewn mountains:

Honouring what was once the Earth’s heart,

Now carried on its mantle as on a sleeve.

Above the cloud, still sun-kissed,

Circles the wilder, loftier ancestor

Of the dawn’s tree-homed minstrel,

Seeing All.

And beneath the same

The tree-made rain

Makes homes for fishes, eels.

Or rather, bivouacs, bothies,

On their journeys to the seas

Which flow now over what once 

Were other mountains,

A billion years before

And roll their waves endlessly

To shape another shore

Meanwhile, in the midday forest,

The wind stirs the bird-bejewelled trees

And lifts from their branches

(which took a forest full of threads to weave)

A leaf, returning to the welcoming earth,

Where it becomes food for future trees

And for worms

As does, in time,

The one who stands in a tower of stone

Which they believe they built,

Looking at (not ‘with’ or ‘through’)

The things that surround them

(not seeing the things that are them),

Measuring, judging, naming and owning these

Until they close their window

And think they turn away.

They can never turn away.

Not whilst there are worms

And water, sun, earth to feed them.

Meanwhile, West,

Beyond the same travelling sunrise,

A bird sings,

A leaf unfurls,

A branch turns.

We very much welcome blog content from sanghas and practitioners around the UK. If you would like to contribute your photos, poems and/or articles sharing your experience of the practice, please email feedback@plumvillage.uk