Poem 356 ± May 25, 2016

Jill L. Cooper
Heaven Is Now

Often hidden in the problem—some
unintelligible equation scribbled in chalk—
resides the formula to freedom.

Peel off the bitter rind of “issues,” and relish
what you have been given, what you have
created, what you feel—bittersweet as it may be.

Not as some cruel “lesson.” Not as just
an “obstacle to overcome,” but expect that joy
can surprise you, even amidst a knot of frustration.

This is your best secret. Slow down and feel

The fruit of joy can appear right where you are,
where you least expected it. Let every so-called
problem have a chance to present its gifts to you.

Heaven is always now.


Version 2Jill L. Cooper’s work has appeared in The Raven Chronicles, The Floating Bridge Review, Shark Reef Literary Magazine, Rewire Me, The Rebelle Society, and other journals, as well as in the anthologies Silent Applause of Butterflies (Columbia Center for the Arts, 2014), Pontoon (Floating Bridge, 2015), Delirious—A Tribute to Prince (Night Ballet Press, 2016), and I Only Wanted to See You Laughing (Yellow Chair Review, 2016). Jill was the creator and editor of The Yes Book (Exult Road, 2014). She has served as the Executive Director of a Buddhist publishing house and as a consultant to authors and publishers. She lives in southeastern Washington State.

This poem is not previously published.