Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rake and Roll

It's Halloween.
The monsters are out
and you get your choice:
do you want to be a superhero,
however ill-equipped you may be,
however ill-fitting your costume may prove?
Or will you join the monsters,
off on your own crusade
to wound,
or to disarm?
Couldn't there be another choice?
What if, instead of engaging in this battle
you were to step apart,
to walk into the field,
away from combat;
to lie down
in the soft grass,
count the clouds,
breathe the music in the air;
rake and roll in a few piles of leaves?

* * *

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Gift of Now

This light, this gull,
these clouds, these mountains;
the stark contrast of the evergreens --
all is just as it should be,
right here,
right now,
born into this moment.
Why look elsewhere
for enlightenment
or for the Infinite?
It is right here
right now;
a gift to you,
to all creation.

* * *

Friday, October 29, 2010

Stay right here

How can we walk
this narrow edge,
this curb of now
that holds the space
between that
and then
between was
and will be
between what happened
and what's next;
the precipice that holds
all that was,
and is,
and is to come?
Step carefully into the light
and concentrate
on keeping your balance:
the ship may tip a bit,
but if you stay right here
you're in no danger
of falling.

* * *

Thursday, October 28, 2010

When the separation dissolves

What will you do
when that fence
you thought you were sitting on --
the one between sea and sky,
between doing and being,
between past and future,
between fixing
and creating a space for healing --
becomes instead
a liquid boundary,
dissolving beneath you
into nothingness
and leaving you

* * *

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The buoyancy of Love

In stillness
and reflection
we find the strength
to ride the wild waves
of the storm.

In maintaining our ties
to that which feeds
and keeps us safe
we find the freedom
to sail into the wind.

In sinking down,
in letting ourselves
be inundated
with tide,
or tears
we come to know
the buoyancy
of Love.

* * *

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Four noble truths

Even on a gray and rainy day
your radiant perfection
speaks of trust,
of openness;
a heartfelt testament
to the elemental truths:
the inevitability of discomfort,
the futility of resistance,
the importance of letting go
and welcoming,
the wholeness and completion
that can emerge
when we release;
when we allow the weather
to flow through us.
Open, my friend, to the rain, and to the dark,
to the tears that fall
and the winds
that may, like thoughtless fingers
pluck our petals before they fall
looking for answers to love's questions.

* * *

Monday, October 25, 2010

Compassion's silent promise

I almost failed
to recognize you,
though I was seeking you,
and knew that you'd be
somewhere on my path.
You look so different
on these dark damp mornings;
more black than gray
and glowing in the light
of this sky's tears.
You seem to have become
a more reflective soul
as winter wanders in
with her clouds
and chilling rains;
as if the blue
of all the skies of summer
had condensed and deepened
into you
to gleam compassion's silent promise
of summers still to come.

* * *

Sunday, October 24, 2010

To glide above the waves of change

When the sun rides
low over the waves
the fish begin to sparkle plainly
just below the surface
and the birds have learned
it's a great time
to fly low.
Why is it,
I wonder,
that so much activity happens
at the edges of life,
at dawn, and dusk,
when dark is on the rise
or light just starts to glow
and boundaries begin to blur...
good and evil fly together there,
shake hands and glide
just above the waves of change,
watching for the sparkle of possibility,
for tasty dreams to feed on,
to incorporate, or to discard.

* * *

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Steady and serene

The light shifts,
the ducks swim
in and out of the shadows,
the wind picks up or dies down
and the water ebbs or flows,
its surface rough or smooth.
Clouds may come,
and the mountain may disappear
for days, weeks, or months at a time.
But that doesn't mean it isn't there.
What looks permanent and stable --
the houses, trees, and poles --
all have come -- and will go again --
while the mountain, like You,
remains; a reassuring presence,
steady and serene.

* * *

Friday, October 22, 2010

Just keep clucking and plucking

Why are you complaining
about the noise I'm making?
You said to keep clucking, right?
Excuse me?
Oh! I see:
Not clucking,
Well, hello -- how do you think I feed myself?
I'm ALWAYS plucking --
thorns --
you name it: it's my job.
Plucking's easy;
it's a way of life for me --
You might even say it's instinctive.
Oh well, I suppose you're right --
clucking is, too.
Don't mind me.
I'm just grumbling.  It's what I do.

* * *

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's all one

It's all one,
you said --
the hands on the clock,
the angle of the painter,
the angle of the roof,
and even the other roof:
How can you not see it?
And so I looked,
and saw,
and shot,
and laughed to see it later:
of course,
I thought --
the message was so clear,
and with just a shift of letters
(I find with age this happens often)
all those lovely angles
turned into angels
and fanned the flame in my heart
with their whimsical wings.

* * *

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Not all princesses are beautiful

Who said
all princesses
needed to be beautiful,
or perfectly proportioned?
Isn't a little glitter,
a little sparkle,
a pair of wings and a wand
I used to be a dragon, you know --
wild, and free, and fierce --
I think I may have lost a little something
in the transformation.
But know this:
I have pretty shoes
and long eyelashes,
and I can still fly,
still wave this magic wand
and turn all the other dragons into toads:
at least then they'll be manageable.
And who knows --
maybe one will turn into a prince!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What abundance is this?

From roses to rose hips,
a single bush
which blesses us with color
throughout the year:
what abundance must abide,
to bring us flowers in the spring
-- bright blush, against lush green --
then keeps them blooming through the fall,
while leaves endure
the harsh task of walking through the rainbow --
now red,
now gold,
now edged with brown --
while each flower shrugs her petals
to reveal a ripe and rosy berry
whose fertile shape and deepening color
give hint of advent's promise;
of Christmas yet to come,
then shrivel into brightness
just in time to feed the birds
throughout the cold dark winter.

* * *

Monday, October 18, 2010

A stiff upper lip

Is that the head of a pin
this voiceless angel's dancing on?
It can't be very pleasant
to be not only mute and blind
but kept eternally upright,
wings achingly outstretched in service
to another's harsh bereavement
by some sharp-pointed furbelow;
never to sink into
the cooling waves beneath.
Who started this tradition, anyway --
or is it just supposed to represent
the endless agony of separation,
the way we are expected
to keep functioning, and to maintain
a stiff upper lip when pierced with loss?

* * *

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Haunted by the blues

We all have days
when we're swimming upstream,
haunted by the blues,
scraping bottom;
days we forget to notice
the cool-handed water
caressing our fins,
the play of light
on the rocks below,
the clarifying freshness
of a mountain stream
after all that time
in the salty seas.
We know there's something driving us
to go against the flow,
some task we were born to do,
but all we feel is the ache
and the struggle.
If today is one of those days for you --
just know:
you're not alone.

* * *

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Morning will return

my child:
Morning will return
and the sun
with her tender fingers
will wipe every tear
from the cheeks of the flowers.

* * *

Friday, October 15, 2010

A shimmer of holiness

The heron kneels in the morning light
as if to kiss the ground,
but I know it's just to feed himself.
When will I learn
that I, too,
must kneel in humble reverence;
that I might,
in watching patiently
the river as it flows beneath my feet
observe a shimmer of holiness,
reach out and grasp
and feed upon
that brief glowing moment;
delighted and nourished by the tickle
as it slides down my hungry throat.

* * *

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Welcoming the shadows

A flicker of light and my eye is caught;
a hint of shadow,
a presence in the grass,
an aura of mystery
in the stillness
and the movement.
Something is watching;
something waits to see
if I am a threat.
Something hovers,
poised for flight,
listening, always,
for any sign of danger.
How can I convey the truth,
that you are welcome here?
Be still; let hearts connect.

* * *

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fire in the night

Fire comes in the night,
sweeps through my dreams
burning all in its path.
When morning comes
I'm beached,
wrung dry,
a burnt-out hull
charred and broken.
Where there was light,
and color,
and functionality,
only the scent
and scrape of dark remain;
the cushion prayer provides
offers a small reflection of heaven
in a psyche
pitted with death and loss.
What now?
How shall I dispose of what's been burnt away?
And what new life will be revealed
when this old carcass is dragged from my shore?

* * *

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Heart's resonance

and the crowds have disappeared;
I have this blessed mystery
all to myself
and stand
watching light and shadow
playing on the graceful curves,
dancing in the silence;
glowing in the stillness.
The chambers of my heart
recognize a kindred spirit
in the arches
soaring overhead
and open,
blooming in the peaceful resonance;
love sounds its bell
deep within
and echoes of its tolling
radiate through hungry limbs.

* * *

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dreaming of a boat

on this dark shore
I lift my eyes
across the abyss
to You;
worried about the broken shells
that speckle my path
to you with light and pain,
aware of the distance
I must travel,
anxious about getting in over my head
I remain transfixed
drinking in the light
and dreaming of a boat
that won't require me to row
or even to step in.

* * *

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bloggers in the queue

Gods or goddesses,
emperors or exotic dancers --
each has a unique stance,
a unique voice,
a unique call,
a unique opportunity
to be heard, to serve,
to dance -- however briefly --
on the stage that is life.
We line up on the subway,
clinging to the straps,
bracing as the train first slows,
then stops,
eagerly awaiting our chance
to explode onto the platform
and declare the day's truth.

* * *

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sad old donkeys

What happens,
when we put our sad old donkeys
out to pasture;
when their short term memory's gone
and they've grown too weak to pull?
What is it that draws us in
and makes us long to touch
these furrytale creatures
no one cares to care for any more?
And what about
those sweet dark eyes,
their vision fading slowly,
makes us hunger for another time
when they -- and we --
were young and strong,
committed to our tasks
and proud of our contributions?
I stroke your long white ears
and cradle your head to my chest,
and feel your youth -- and mine
slipping away.

* * *

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Watch your step, my loves --
Now that you're willing
to travel deeper,
you may find the contents of the bins
have shifted in flight;
that there's a lot of movement
here at sea level.
Tread lightly,
watch for low-flying emotions.
Look both ways before you step;
not everyone's on the boat yet --
some late arrivals,
old thoughts from long ago
may show up suddenly,
knock you sideways
if you're not looking.
Here (I heard, as I stood there,
clinging to the railing)
-- hold my hand: I'll be your guide --
and now it's safe: throw caution to the winds!

* * *

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lost in the cacophony

Sometimes I walk into a room
and cannot find you
though I know you're there.
Sometimes I'm walking
in my own brain
and cannot find me there
though I know I'm surely there.
It's a bit like taking pictures
of this mass of seagulls:
I feel and hear a cacophony
and can no longer single out
the voice or face I long to hear or see;
no longer hear your call to me,
or even my own response.

* * *

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A reconciliation of opposites

How can the blue
that looks so still
cast such splendid
webs of light
upon this battered hull?
And this hull, in turn,
which burns its dark shape
into the stillness below,
defined by such a luminescent edge --
How can so much light
give off so deep a shadow?
That which is born to move
is tied
and rests in that which is still
and yet we know
that both are born to move...
Is it that tension which creates
the impact of the moment;
the pull against the line,
the wavering of the straight edge --
the reconciliation of opposites?

* * *

Monday, October 4, 2010


Resting at the intersection
of what was
and what could be,
why am I so slow
to sink into what IS?
Resistance always seems to be
a determining factor,
a guiding force
that keeps me from letting
the wash of events
seep into my pores
and nourish me.
A life
lived on the surface of now
is always laced
with petty irritations
and worthy projects,
but if I were to sink into the cracks
would I not find
the irritations  worthy,
the projects petty in comparison?

* * *

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Get out the kid gloves

My surface is rough today,
as if the unifying plastic
has burned away,
leaving my fibers exposed --
nerve endings, looking fuzzy,
but brittle to the touch --
I find I'm reluctant to even touch,
let alone to lift the latch
and peer into the damage that lies below.
What else has melted in these flames?
What other truths
that were keeping me afloat
have been damaged
in this latest conflagration?
I think I'll take a moment to breathe
before I get out the kid gloves --
this one may still be too hot to touch.

* * *

Friday, October 1, 2010

The heron's iron shadow

Notice: how the heron casts
her iron shadow on my neighbor's lawn;
they've added a sign just to be sure
you know you're at the beach.
It's kitschy here, a little wild --
with dune grass and beach roses,
California poppies and candy tuft,
driftwood and lawn chairs --
the only manicured gardens
belong to mostly empty houses,
attended by strange gardeners
at carefully timed intervals  --
you know those houses:
the ones that wait like fenced puppies
growling at passers by;
tidy, but abandoned and unloved.

* * *