Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blessing that which watches

While there is that within us
which blesses all it sees,
another unseen watcher
stands behind a darkened window,
suspicious and condemning,
hoping for the worst
and longing for disaster
to befall the ones who dare disrupt
the even tenor of our plans and dreams.

To whom do we listen?
To this bright, sunlit God,
hand raised in loving greeting
to each event and person
that passes by
these flesh-colored walls?
Perhaps its time to turn his face around
and bless the caged and hungry one
who watches from within
and yearns for that blessing
only You can share...

* * *

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Eleanor's bottles

Reflections in a bottle;
visions in a jar.
Mementos of a neighbor,
spotted in her yard.

Is it light
or line
or color
that defines this memory;
the suggestion of her sailboat,
or the arc of apple tree?
In just another moment
what I saw herein is gone --
as is she.

But my camera engraves forever
on the surface of my heart
the suggestion of her presence,
and in the soft blue-greens
I see her smile.

* * *

Monday, September 28, 2009

Longing for the Divine

Some days,
I am that woman in red --
the one in the short short skirt
and ridiculously high boots --
who stands on the dark corner,
deep in town,
desperately flagging You down,
hungry for Your Love.
Some days I'll do most anything
to get You to come in,
to feel Your touch and know your Divine Kiss.
Today I'll post this sign in my grimy window,
hoping that You'll see it, passing by,
and stop to check me out;
to shuffle through my thoughts and acquisitions,
clearing a path of light
into the dark corners of my being;
to pay again that unfathomable ransom,
then tuck me under Your wing,
and carry me back home
to Oneness.

* * *

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Capturing the ghost of experience

Having seen what I loved;
having loved what I saw --
does that then mean
I need to somehow
capture, or share?
To shoot,
or not to shoot;
to keep or toss
an image reminiscent
of a perfect morning
or a joyful friendship --
all these questions must be asked
if the work is ever to be more
than just a simple acquisition:
Been there, done that, took the photo...
And if you asked, "What did you really see?"
What would I say?
How can we separate
what is known from what is seen?
And is it true -- what O'Donohue says --
That transience makes a ghost of experience?

* * *

Saturday, September 26, 2009


This shadow of a faucet,
on a life preserver,
at a dock,
looked like a little robot,
arms outstretched
in an apology.

Perhaps I was projecting,
feeling guilty
for some slight,
for having made assumptions,
when those assumptions
just weren't right.

It's really just a faucet,
isn't it?

* * *

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day's end

At day's end,
when blue skies turn to gold
and water into wine,
the winds of time --
that shaped us as we are --
subside, to leave us
silhouetted in the light,
full of character and resistance,
grace and power;
black matches flame
and ignite the landscape,
giving shape and form
to younger visions
of a future yet to come.

* * *

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Walking alone,
by the sea,
heedless of majestic rocks
and limitless vistas,
I clutch my walking stick,
brace against the tide,
and dream of you.

* * *

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


While writing of light --
of how,
like spirit,
it's everywhere
and we don't see it --
a subtle flash
from a reflected surface
on the wall above my screen
distracted me.
And there,
lit by the sun's streaming
through a window in another room
an angel smiled at me.

* * *

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On reflected light

I am this wild reflective surface;
your light pours over me
and I
with all my curves and edges
feed it back
to any casual observer
with my own peculiar permutations;
the picture may include
some neighboring reflections,
in a different shade;
a touch of my surroundings --
which always frame your light
and bear their own reflecting surfaces --
and then, of course,
however gray the day or I may become,
some color finds its way into each thought --
a tiny spark of past or future dreams --
and also, lest you find it too obscure,
a thoughtfully placed handle;
most likely at the intersection
between yours, mine and ours.

* * *

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Echoes of creation

When passing by a dumpster,
my eye is caught:
bits and pieces
of other people's days and plans,
a pile of brightly colored posters
ripped away,
a bit of magazine,
(a bite of pizza
temptingly portrayed) --
and all the raw torn edges
create a sharp sweet harmony:
a clothesline, ruffled in the wind,
a garden glowing
in the light of incandescent tulips,
a children's playground
of bright raincoats,
discarded by the swings
when the sun emerged
from behind a single pale blue cloud;
a pink prom queen
walking into her first dance.

* * *

Friday, September 18, 2009

That critical eye

There is, within me,
that which watches;
stares unseeing
at the eager striving,
observes with veins jumping
the failures and obstructions,
the accidental cruelties
and lost opportunities,
and condemns them all.
over and beyond,
below, above,
behind and around,
another, kinder, eye
can watch and love
even this hardened soul

* * *

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cutting with the knife of likeness

Behind that milky white exterior,
the empty jug
like an adolescent personality,
something lurks
and stares,
a mystery
so alluring,
so deadly;
so charged and dark,
its fierce edge of loathing
disguised as beauty...
or is that only my projection,
cutting the space between us
with the knife of likeness,
creating differences
where none exist?

by the promise of secret possibilities,
I cannot turn away.

* * *

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

White on White

When white on white is not,
what is?
When we reduce an argument,
or even just a friend,
to simple black and white --
what have we lost?
The very act of shining a light
will change the color of a room,
and then of course
it matters what light you shine.
Gentle inquiry
will never create
the darker shadows
harsh inquisition brings.

The eyes of love will see and hold
both dark and light,
cherishing each value,
and reveling in contrasting tonalities.
Shade your eyes, my love,
and sunbathe in my light.

* * *

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Watching the squeaky wheel

She's looking out,
this voice I hear;
attuned and anxious;
in the forefront
and in the world.

But if I can get past her words --
the anger, and the angst,
the fear, the worries and despair --
I hear below that high and frenzied melody,
a low still voice
of calm and surety:
she waits quietly in the background
for my attention to return
and rest,
and from the darkness of her loving eyes
we'll watch together.

* * *

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bring me your thirst

At one end of the courtyard,
a fountain spouted,
water like wisdom,
shooting into the air,
silhouetted against the blue sky,
surrounded by a myriad smaller fountains;
lesser mimicries
of the great outpouring.
A block or two away,
there is another kind of fountain:
activated only when pressed into service;
nothing showy --
and yet it does a better job
of quenching thirst.

* * *

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Some part of me is always watching
what's going on in my head in meditation:
while my body faces the wall,
and some part of me
sinks down into the dark oblivion,
that third eye is observing,
occasionally judgmental,
always wondering:
is this how it's done?
Can that be right?
Where are you going with this?
or telling me,
Get back down there,
stop daydreaming,
don't be a slacker,
there's work to be done!

And is there some other eye,
perhaps this one, that peers through the camera,
that looks upon us all
with love?

* * *

Saturday, September 12, 2009

No fear

If I could touch both earth and sky,
my feet,
thus grounded,
would pick up all the energy
of all the other soles
or souls who touch the earth,
and we would be connected,
all as one.

My arms, outstretched,
and the air I breathe,
would be the air I share
with all who also touch and breathe the air.

And knowing that,
how could I ever be alone;
or ever fear
that lying on my tiny square of earth
there would not be
another me, watching from above,
and smiling as I live and breathe and move.

* * *

Friday, September 11, 2009

Leaf, dying

When the leaf falls to the ground,
does it feel lost and disconnected,
or just confused?
The link to tree
is all it's ever known.
And when its colors glow
from green to red,
from gold to brown,
does it think to itself,
"This isn't right!
I was born to be green!"

In the exhilaration of the fall,
the click of separation,
the slow spin,
the lift of currents on the breath of wind,
does it rejoice in unaccustomed movement,
or only mourn
the loss of what went before?

* * *

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dressed to kill

We who are the faceless ones
parade unseeing in our finest clothes,
shop the malls for larger purses,
higher heels,
and more exclusive labels,
strut our finery in private balls
while all around the plagues rage.

The innocents starve to death
or suffer and die,
so many lives
too bleak to comprehend
while we,
behind indifferent masks
debate the relative merits
of the finest wines
and dance unheeding
on the marbled floors
in the hallowed halls
of injustice.

* * *

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Observer Effect

While driving
on a quiet country road,
in a state unlike my own,
unbounded by ocean waters,
I paused,
arrested by the reflection of the moon,
and stopping the car, I crossed the road
and stood beside a fence,
my camera poised,
vaguely noting
what might have been a great blue heron,
hunkered down on a log below,
and thinking I was just imposing
images from home upon the scene
until the click of shutter
alerted him to my presence,
disturbing his peace even as I captured mine,
and as he flew away,
I silently apologized.
Must what feeds me come always
at the expense of another?

* * *

Monday, September 7, 2009

The jungle man

Buried in the basement
of Harvard's Adams Hall,
somewhere between the laundry room
and bike storage,
the jungle man calls out to me,
his deep voice a startling burst of color
against the scarred white walls.

Stop, he says;
Don't get entangled
in this forest of shoulds, don'ts and nevers --
the words whose blades
will cut at you and cage you in --
Remember, he says,
his hands outstretched
to harvest the warmth of a butterfly,
that there is within you
a profound deep knowing of freedom.
No need to grasp:
just listen for its song
and follow it home to love.

* * *

Sunday, September 6, 2009


We are climbing,
all of us,
into illumination;
dropping into this world
of darkness,
and color,
and artificial light,
for a brief ride,
carrying our baggage,
rushing through time,
hurrying to make
an upcoming flight,
and then being carried
through a world of reflections;
riding this ladder of moonbeams
into the true brilliance
that is light,
that is love,
that is wonder
and oneness
and destiny.

* * *

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Point, Counterpoint

If there are fish of the air,
are there birds of the sea?
Could my daughter's betta's fins
be misconstrued as wings,
even as this wingtip of a plane
looks so very like
the tail of a fish?
Who decides what species should go where?
Who says I am a fish out of water;
perhaps I am a mechanical bird,
and I belong in the air,
trailing vapor across the sunset?

And who said black -- or dark -- is bad?
See what a lovely counterpoint my wing provides
to the music of the setting sun...

* * *

Friday, September 4, 2009

Where does the joy go?

I remember, as a child,
clasping my knees
and watching in delight
when something really extraordinary happened --
my father being silly
(a rarity indeed);
the first time I saw a television;
my first Disney movie;
my friends putting on a play;
the cat chasing his tail --
almost anything could be a source of pleasure;
could make me sit,
clutching my old stuffed bear
and grinning at the joy of it.

Where does that joy go
when we get old, pockmarked,
rusty and worn?
Or is it still there,
waiting to burst forth,
a pent up river of laughter
ready to break through some societal dam?

* * *

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Two windows in a single room

We are standing in the same room,
you and I,
looking out over the same fields.
My window may be slightly open,
your curtains may be more tightly drawn,
but still: this tree, this lawn,
that babbling brook,
the dog barking at the squirrel --
the view is really the same.
And yet,
what I see -- and what you see --
frame two completely different stories.
Have you noticed?
Though the moment is the same,
the light is completely different.
Why do you suppose that's true?

* * *

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A healing light

I did not come for this --
or did I?
Did I not come
to carry out a sacred trust,
a duty rarely shirked?
Did I not come to get some time
I might not otherwise have had
with someone who needs me less and less?
Did I not come to check in with old friends,
to share and share alike?
Or did I know from the start
that there would be an angel,
and a star;
a harp strummed softly in the room below,
three friends to know me as I know myself,
three friends and an angel
to hold me in their hearts,
to share the longings and the joys,
the losses and the hopes;
and a light beyond the window
to heal a wounded soul.

* * *

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Born to ask

I could have been a sailor;
could have climbed up my ship's mast;
could have learned the ropes,
reached up and touched the sky.
I might have been an architect,
a prostitute, or a chef;
a designing woman, in any case --
whatever that might mean.
But instead I'm standing here with you
and smiling into the wind:
it's not that those ambitions left;
it's just --they weren't meant for me.
I was born to fly across a page
in pursuit of elusive words.
I was born to remember
his dance on the mast
for the others who couldn't be there.
I was born to dance on the head of a pin
with those monkeys they're talking about.
And I was born to drag you here
and turn your face to the wind;
Was born to ask, as all mothers do,

"And you, my love:
what were YOU born to do?"

* * *