- Do I give the speaker my undivided attention?
- Do I use body language (nods, eye contact, etc..) to show I’m engaged?
- Do I ask clarifying questions?
- Do I immediately rush to judgement?
- Do I respond to win points?
Mullah Nasrudin’s Flower Garden
Told by Eugene Marckx
The Tangled Hills
By Eugene Marckx
Find a place at the edge of a swamp
Listen and learn and take in
who goes – who stays –
what’s eaten – what decays –
all the stinks and stews of it
in the percolating ooze
of a swamp’s necessities
until you realize
this isn’t all that life’s about
When you come away stay on the lookout
for creatures in your dreams and their calls
that may echo on a dark afternoon
Begin a fast to discern
the veins of your own hunger
from a nameless lifelong yearning
that invites you into the tangled hills
It’s okay to get lost out there
to stumble headlong into brambles –
a kind of failure that reopens old wounds
Listen! Those brambles are hiding the clipped
insistent song of a wren
Three steps or so beyond
in an ancient grove
a spring overbrims
You know what to do … how to wait
The spring flows into every part of the forest
Wherever you turn and turn again
the sound you imagine to be the spring
is the one behind you whispering