Gratitude ©

By Roy Dean Doughty

Written February 13th, 2009, Ananda Loka 3, India

Listen here for my reading of “Gratitude.”


Gratitude is a word we have gifted to that
Glistening, transparent sphere whose blessings
Remain impregnable to the frantic lances of the mind.
This sphere, this morning, swirls with a cool breeze
After days of clinging heat, and in the midst of the swirl,
There sways a large-leafed unnamable tree,
Whose open branchwork bursts with airy clusters
Of pale yellow flowers, larger, much larger,
Than any man’s ambitious, encompassing reach.
The flowers are food and bed to butterflies.
Some rest, dark wedges, their thin lives closed or pulsing.
Others flutter about the flowers as detached portions
Of an inward joy too seldom experienced by humans,
Layers of translucence that make vivid images,
Simultaneously bright or soft, some orange,
Some mottled, some blue, some yellow,
Some a luminous black, dolloped with happy scarlet.
These portions of ourselves, small, twittery, ephemeral,
Exude an alien intimacy that reminds us that
The inexplicable sufferings of birth
Are touched by bliss, that the mother arising
Inside of us as blood and sky and tree and sudden pain
Is not wholly imprisoned in the bone-rack
And that this feeling flowering in the heart
Is a constant flurry of incandescent wings.


  1. Louise Yahnian says:

    What powerful metaphors these are. All respecting the underlying gratitude we embody. I am feeling, from ready your poem Gratitude, that gratitude is an absolute part of us, when we open up to something beyond human mind. That perhaps it is our natural breathe. Thank you, Roy.

    • roydoughty says:

      Thank you, Louise. Mostly I work in a vacuum, so feedback like this is much appreciated. Hope you are still writing poetry.

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