poem – Macker 2.16.2018

A Poem for My Daughter

by Teddy Macker

It seems we have made pain
some kind of mistake,
like having it 
is somehow wrong. 

Don’t let them fool you—
pain is a part of things. 

But remember, dear Ellie, 
the compost down in the field:
if the rank and dank and dark 
are handled well, not merely discarded, 
but turned and known and honored, 
they one day come to beds of rich earth
home even to the most delicate rose. 


God comes to you disguised as your life.
Blessings often arrive as trouble. 

In French, the word blesser means to wound
and relates to the Old English bletsian

to sprinkle with blood. 

And in Sanskrit there is a phrase, 
a phrase to carry with you
wherever you go:

sarvam annam: 

everything is food. 

Every last thing. 


The Navajo people,
it is said, 
intentionally wove 
obvious flaws into their sacred quilts …


It is there, they say, 
in the “mistake,” 
in the imperfection, 

through which the Great Spirit moves. 


Work on becoming a native of mind, a native of heart. 
No thought, no feeling, could ever be “bad.” 

It’s just another creature 
in the bestiary of Buddha,
the bestiary of Christ. 

Knowing this, 
knowing this down to the marrow, 
could save you, dear one, 
much needless strife. 

Remember that wild and strange animals 
paused to drink at the pond 
of the Buddha’s mind
even after he saw 
the morning star. 


…To laugh …

To be shameless, wild, and silly …

To know—fully, headlong, 
without compunction—the ordinary magic 
of our beautiful human bodies … 

these seem worthwhile pursuits, life-long tasks. 

By way of valediction, dear Ellie, 
I pass along some words
from our many gracious teachers:

Eden is. 

The imperfect is our paradise. 

All is grace.


2 thoughts on “poem – Macker 2.16.2018

  1. Hola dear friend, I am still processing in many ways our gathering last week. Your poem is a great gift in doing it. I am so grateful for your loving gentle spirit. I can so clearly see you in my memory pictures. Thanks for this poem, and every last thing…Spider Polkitski. xoxoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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