Saturday, April 19, 2014

Nancy Paddock: "Lie Down"

Lie down with your belly to the ground,
like an old dog in the sun. Smell
the greenness of the cloverleaf, feel the damp
earth through your clothes, let an ant
wander the uncharted territory
of your skin. Lie down
with your belly to the ground. Melt into
the earth's contours like a harmless snake.
All else is mere bravado.
Let your mind resolve itself
in a tangle of grass.
Lie down with your belly
to the ground, flat out, on ground level.
Prostrate yourself before the soil
you will someday enter.
Stop doing.
Stop judging, fearing, trying.
This is not dying, but the way to live
in a world of change and gravity.
Let go. Let your burdens drop.
Let your grief-charge bleed off
into the ground.
Lie down with your belly to the ground
and then rise up
with the earth still in you.

"Lie Down" by Nancy Paddock, from Trust the Wild Heart. © Red Dragonfly Press,  2006.

Photography credit: "Picture of 1960s Barefoot Boy Lying Stomach-Down Running Fingers Through High Grass," by unknown photographer (originally black and white).



  1. This is such a beautiful poem. My yoga teacher read it in class one day and I just love it

  2. I once was that child in the picture, relatively unburdened then. I need that fresh grass and the occasional four-leaf clover much more now.


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