A ruby
is not lovelier
than a rock,
an angel
not more glorious
than a frog.
— Angelus Silesius in Messenger of the Heart by Frederick Franck

And I saw a man on 126th Street
broom in hand
sweeping eight feet of the street
Meticulously he removed garbage and dirt
from a tiny area
in the midst of a huge expanse
of garbage and dirt

And I saw a man on 126th Street
sorrow sat on his back
sweeping eight feet of the street
Wear and tear showed on his arms
in a city
where only crazy folk
Find something to hope in

And I saw a man on 126th Street
broom in hand
There are many ways to offer prayer
With a broom in the hand
is one I had hitherto
not seen before
— Dorothee Soelle in Essential Writings

I am the last apple
that falls from the tree
and no one picks up.
I kneel to the fragrance
of the last apple
and I pick it up.
In my hands — the tree,
In my hands — the leaf,
In my hands — the blossom,
and in my hands — the earth
that kisses the apple
that no one picks up.
— "Last Apple" by Malka Heifetz Tussman in The Book of Blessings by Marcia Falk


Teach us
To continue the Creation
To help the seeds
To multiply,
Giving food
For the people
And for the beasts.

Teach us
To further the joy
You never tire of offering
When weary travelers find you,
A signpost to their home.
— excerpt from "Earth, Sister Earth" by Dom Helder Camara in Song of the Universe, by Anne Rowthorn

Red Wolf came, and Passenger Pigeon,
the Dodo Bird, all the gone or endangered
came and crowded around in a circle,
the Bison, the Irish Elk, waited
silent, the Great White Bear, fluid and strong,
sliding from the sea, streaming and creeping
in the gathering darkness, nose down,
bowing to earth its tapered head,
where the Black-footed Ferret, paws folded,
stood in the center surveying the multitude
and spoke for us all: "Dearly beloved," it said.
— "Roll Call" by William Stafford in The Soul Is Here for Its Own Joy by Robert Bly

Wide enough to keep you looking
Open enough to keep you moving
Dry enough to keep you honest
Prickly enough to make you tough
Green enough to go on living
Old enough to give you dreams
— "Earth Verse" by Gary Snyder in The Gary Snyder Reader


I am the taste of water.
I am the light of the Sun and the Moon.
I am the original fragrance of the Earth.
I am the heat in fire.
I am the life of all that lives.
Of lights I am the radiant Sun.
Among stars I am the Moon.
Of bodies of water I am the ocean.
Of immovable things I am the Himalayas.
Of trees I am the banyan-tree.
Of weapons I am the thunderbolt.
Among beasts I am the lion.
Of purifiers I am the wind.
Of fishes I am the shark.
Of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.
Of seasons I am fIower-bearing spring.
Of secret things I am silence.
Know that all opulent, beautiful and
Glorious creations spring from but a spark of my splendor.
— from The Bhagavad Gita in Heart Yoga by Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson