Poetry Friday: “Small Kindnesses”

To say that I feel bombarded and overwhelmed by the news of the past week is an understatement. But then I read poems like this, selected and shared by our brilliant Young People’s Poet Laureate, Naomi Shihab Nye, in the New York Times Magazine, and I feel a little more hopeful. Because I believe this is true:

“…they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together…”

“Small Kindnesses”
by Danusha Laméris

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.

Read the rest here.

Photo by Toa Heftiba via Unsplash

Please be sure to visit Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

13 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Small Kindnesses”

  1. In our small town, we have a big hullabaloo between a district judge and the DA that makes me wonder about these little kindnesses. Seems it’s not only our president who has forgotten the power of being kind. Thanks for this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is perfect for these days! I shared it last month after hearing about it from Jeanne at “Necromancy Never Pays,” and I think she got it from the book “Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection,” edited by James Crews. That sounds like a book we would all enjoy reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes. Yes. Yes. I just want to keep typing yes. I can’t help but to react emotionally to the news. I’ve been upset. I know we are supposed to seek the bigger picture, the long haul…but I am so thrown by these current moments. The small kindnesses are truly holy. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This one is new to me, Catherine. Naomi Nye gives us so many gifts of words, we that are “So far
    from tribe and fire”. Beautiful for this time, for all time! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I, too, have taken such comfort from this poem. I’m glad you shared it again today.. This week, especially, it is a reminder I needed. I try to remember that while I can’t solve all these big problems, I can work to make my little corner of the world a little better–and that matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you. THIS is why I say to strangers, “I love those shoes,” “Can I help you?” “I’m not in a hurry today–you go first.” This is the tribe and fire of eyes that I”m looking to meet even in the rear view mirror as I’m driving. This is what WILL solve the big problems–“Here, let me compost that for you.” : )

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this poem. We are in the middle of federal election here in Canada. Elections seem to bring out the worst in many people so reading it reminded me of our basic goodness and need for belonging.

    Liked by 1 person

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