Meditations on Superbowl, salt & light

Wide Receiver (excerpt) by Mark Halliday
… so come on, star boy, fling a Hail Mary
with a dream-coached combination of muscle and faith
and I will gauge the arc and I will not be stupidly frantic
and I will time my jump and—I’m just going to say
in the cool gloaming of this weirdly long game
it is not impossible that I will make the catch.
Love Like Salt by Lisel Mueller
It lies in our hands in crystals
too intricate to decipher
It goes into the skillet
without being given a second thought
It spills on the floor so fine
we step all over it
We carry a pinch behind each eyeball
It breaks out on our foreheads
We store it inside our bodies
in secret wineskins
At supper, we pass it around the table
talking of holidays and the sea.


Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God. — John Muir


So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. — T.S. Eliot


Dear sisters and brothers, we realize the importance of light when we see darkness. — Malala Yousafzai


It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. — Eleanor Roosevelt


When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. — Tecumseh


“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” — Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times


Salt (excerpt) by David Harsent
They weighed the human soul — twenty-one grams — a tremor
on the air becoming trance, becoming nimbus. No. It is a deadweight,
a plummet, drawing down to its harbor beside the heart. It is Breath
and Word, they said. No. It is pig-iron and salt. …


The Salt Stronger (excerpts) by Fred Marchant
I have seen the legislators
on their way, the jacketless men
in mid-winter who will cast
their votes like stones …
wherein I am writing to my friend in Baghdad,
he a “witness for peace,”
a poet who for years has wondered
what good poetry is or has been or does.
I compose today’s answer from here,
saying, I think of poetry
as a salt dug from a foreign mine
that arrives like a miracle …
as pellets to break underfoot
and melt the dangerous plated ice
and cling to the acknowledged lawmakers,
to stay with them in their dreams …