Start With Things

start with things – not with ideas
things will not betray you:
everything wants to help a beginner

there is more spiritual power
in the fragrance of one rose in your garden
than in all the incense in India

study each thing as if it were
a lost volume of Dante – the one that
told what lay beyond Paradise

sooner or later things will begin
to sing to you, and much later
you will begin to hear their chords

you may want to know if you yourself
are a thing with its own chord –
your knowledge of roses may save you