Time and again, we turn to the wisdom and comfort of poems when facing life’s challenges. Poetry envelops us in a trustworthy embrace, opening a space in our hearts to connect with the joys and hurts in the world. And in the great fullness of life that poems hold, we are able to explore the rich complexities of the human experience and feel a sense of possibility so needed in painful times.

We offer this curated collection as a gentle companion. May these poems be a refuge.

great blue heron

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake…
Read the full poem

We Look With Uncertainty
by Anne Hillman
We look with uncertainty
beyond the old choices for
clear-cut answers
to a softer, more permeable aliveness…
Read the full poem

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…
Read the full poem

Instructions on Not Giving Up
by Ada Limón
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate…
Read the full poem

by Mark Nepo
Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate…
Read the full poem

shadows on sand dunes

by Naomi Shihab Nye
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
Read the full poem

The Unbroken
by Rashani Réa
There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness
out of which blooms the unshatterable.
Read the full poem

Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Quiet friend who has come so far,

feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower…
Read the full poem

It looks like the sky is coming apart and together at the same time*
by Maya Stein
And the body is holding its losses like a fist. And a fleshy hope
is opening to an unprecedented vastness. And whatever we think
we are leaving behind will keep insisting. And the things we desire
will elude us. And our efforts will pose as failure. And we will not recognize…
Read the full poem

by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
And if it’s true we are alone,
we are alone together,
the way blades of grass
are alone, but exist as a field.
Read the full poem

To discover more poetry, visit our complete collection and sign up to receive a poem each month in your inbox.