Sunday, January 31, 2010


Standing in your presence,
breathing shadow into light,
I hold this stone
and sense the space within.
And as this moment
gains dimension,
I feel its weight,
and know my own
consubstantiation --
a shared essence
of holiness:
we both are weighted down,
both holy, and yet both shadows,
insubstantial in your Light.

* * *

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lift us to your heart

Each night,
O Holy One,
you tell us of your love
as we lie sleeping,
and yet when we awake,
the love we knew
sinks below consciousness,
its feet cemented
like some forgotten criminal.
Is that why
you give us sky
with such colorful abandon,
and water, to reflect your rays of love?
These glorious shapes and shades
dissolve the weight of care
and lift us to your heart once more.

* * *

Friday, January 29, 2010


How interesting, this rusted trunk, long buried and now thrust onto my path.
And do I dare to pull that magic ring;
to open and unveil
-- could it be treasure?
or something quite unwanted --
whatever's hiding there.
Perhaps it isn't even mine,
but someone else's long-dead dreams or fears discarded here,
alluring to the hopeful traveler
who wandered here in search of truth...
Or could it be Pandora's Box?
What to do, what to do...

* * *

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The beauty of aging

Just because she's old,
a little tired, a little worn,
rusty here,
peeling there,
doesn't mean there aren't still opportunities
to tidy things up,
hammer things out;
doesn't mean there aren't still
jobs she can do,
lessons she can learn,
lives she could possibly save
by just being out there,
on the water,
willing to tow some other sinking soul
home to port.
See that bailer?
It's been used before.
She knows what it's like
to feel a bit swamped
feel free to borrow or ask for help.

* * *

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Be still and breathe

Be still,
and breathe
the soft winter air.
Inhale the scent
of awakening,
the buds that lie
just below the surface
waiting to be born;
see how in death
the grasses,
ready to lie down
to protect new life,
glow with anticipation.
as the tree, its tongue outstretched,
sips delicately at the nectar of fog.

* * *

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Challenge for Haiti

I've been very impressed with the work being done by Partners for Health in Haiti (see Tracy Kidder's wonderful piece on that here) and so I have decided, inspired by my blogger buddy Maureen at Writing without Paper, to donate $1 to Partners in Health for Haiti for each comment posted on today's poem.

My donation goal is $100. That means I will donate $1.00 for every comment posted on this poem, up to a maximum of 100 comments. Well, maybe I'll stretch that a little... let's see what happens! .

I participate in two poem prompt opportunities, Carry on Tuesday and the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival. Today’s Carnival prompt is the word PEACE, and today’s prompt from Carry On is a quote from the 18th century artist Sir Joshua Reynolds: “A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts” So I played with both those ideas, and here’s the result.

NOTE: According to The Utne Reader, The Museum of World Religions, which opened in Taiwan in 2001, is "a sort of spiritual supermarket, where people can shop for a religion they want to follow."

The Museum of World Religions

Come in with me:
explore these thoughts,
that hang like pictures on a wall
from tightly twisted wires,
displayed on someone else’s nails
for some brief time,
like polish on my daughter's toes.

They whirl, barefooted dervishes,
in disenchanted circles
through room after holy room,
seeking purchase on a slippery slope,
proclaiming black and white
or sometimes gray
while shoppers wander down the aisles,
thirsting for revelation.

Perhaps you will find peace,
reflected in a lens
or in a cup:
drink up, buy into it,
and claim it as your own.
Take that thought home to hang;
to roost, take root,
and slowly gather dust.
And when you finally take it down,
go shop again, and find a larger one
to cover that pale square
the other left behind.

Stand With Haiti

* * *

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Matter of Focus

This fence you see --
the one between
the me that is
and the place I long to be --
I could so easily become
focused on this fence
but now I see I have the choice
to twist the lens of observation
just enough so all that still could be
looms clear in my vision,
and now I see
the windows into eternity,
the bright reflections of possibility
splayed out like paths before me.
I know this fence all too well:
time now to look beyond
and see the dream.

* * *

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Paradise: Theme and variations

We are not one, but many --
many colors, shapes and sizes --
and in that rich profusion
many blessings do abound.
Do you, seeing you are different,
curse your loneliness and separation?
Or can you find a way to revel
in the unique role that you play;
in the special --and the holy --
contribution you can give?
And can you find a way
to rejoice in this diversity;
to celebrate the endless variations;
the symphony that is God's Glorious Garden?

* * *

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cinderella, aging

Let's watch together,
you and I
as all my inner children
cart their childhood baggage
through my dreams,
off, and away.
And that glass slipper
I've been holding onto
-- which of course no longer fits,
and just sits
on the mantel;
one more memory to dust --
isn't it time I gave that remnant to Goodwill?
I'll resist the urge to hurl it against the wall --
how ironic, if it were to shatter,
and a shard were to imbed itself
in my foot, and get infected;
were to inflame my sole
as the shoe itself,
with all its promises
once inflamed my heart...

* * *

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It bubbles up

It bubbles up,
this poetry;
I seem to have no choice.
The daily tide of words
slides in and out unnoticed,
but the bubbles left behind
keep popping into my head
and onto the page,
bursting with colors and flavors;
with seeking, and with love,
with hopes and worries, bright, and dark --
curved surfaces,
reflecting all that is, or that could be.

* * *

So many circles

So many circles,
so many crosses
waiting to be borne.

So many paths,
waiting to be traveled,
signs to be followed,
lights to be drawn to
and only One You,
holding it all,
the dark
and the glitter
the hope
and the promise,
the clutter
and the comfort:
sun, moon and stars
all banded together
And breath the great blue distance

* * *

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Traversing the space between

I thought I'd climbed so high:
having gathered all my tools and rope,
I came close to the peak
only to see that the real journey
is across, not up,
and so I'm stepping into
the space between,
measuring the distance
between this thought
and the next,
traversing the beyond
and trying not to look
up, down, or sideways;
trying to ignore
the storm that hovers in the distance;
trusting that you wait on the other side.

* * *

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

From this home to the next

However blithely we pledge
when uttering our marriage vows,
to stay together "in sickness and in health,"
we cannot know what age will bring,
what tides will rise,
what hopes will fail...

How fortunate, this growing sense
of joyful resignation,
an acceptance and decision:
grow old with me,
and if the best has... well... already been,
at least we'll be together
as the current guiding us
from this home to the next
begins to gather speed.

* * *

Monday, January 18, 2010

After the mountaintop, the witch...

What green witch is this
who lives inside me,
promising vengeance,
delivering darkness,
to follow any mountaintop
experience of light?
The brighter the light,
the sharper the border
into darkness becomes,
and her terrifying hat and face,
that warning figure
quickly threaten to obscure
the sparkling promise
of the stars.

* * *

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Meditation, observed

It can be good
-- if a bit unnerving --
to train that critical lens
upon yourself;
to stand with yourself
in that so-consciously-created space
and capture for yourself
the fleeting phenomena
of thought
at which the camera's so adept
-- those bursts of light
that flare up, and then pass away --
but do not be surprised to find
you can no longer see yourself
through rose-colored glasses:
the space may be lovely,
but you are still full of darkness.
Your hands may form a perfect mudra
but your brain is dancing the tarantella
on the rubble in Haiti,
spinning helplessly and thirsting for hope.

* * *

Let's dream together

Lets dream together, You and I
Of a time when we shall meet and walk
beneath a stairway to the stars
Sheltering in earth’s forest
And sipping her nectar
From a distant waterfall.
Or perhaps I shall visit
The fragile flower of your being
And rest lightly on your petals,
Collecting fairy dust on sticky feet
To carry into some other garden
That something strange and new might blossom there.

* * *

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rest in the Source

I who am One
with the River of Life
invite you to partake
of life's bounty.
Sit here,
at my feet,
and revel in the cool clarity
of the flow.
Reach for the slippery fish
of your thoughts
and release the ones you catch.
Don't watch as they swim away
but kneel on the bank
and watch the beauty
that is your reflection
as it flows in and out of life;
find the stillness between the ripples;
rest in the deep blue Source
of all that is,
and was,
and is to come.

* * *

Thursday, January 14, 2010

An adversarial relationship ...

Granpappy always said
she should learn to shoot a pistol
though he never shot a living thing himself,
and never meant
for her to go off
ready for action,
primed for battle
whenever she heard
those fatal words:
"You should"
-- or worse yet,
"Ya shoulda" --
as if she'd ever had
any choice in the matter --
that trigger got pulled
the minute she was born.

* * *

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And then there are those other times...

And then there are those other times,
when the ferries are on time,
their destinations sure and strong,
and I, in stubbornness,
set out alone,
take foolish risks
because I'm so determined
my path and direction
and maybe even BETTER
than the rest of the crowd.
It could be good --
who knows where it might take me --
but the fact of the matter is
-- well, isn't it obvious? --
there's safety in numbers.

* * *

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Oh what a time it was

Time was,
she used to water them;
it was the best of times, then,
if not for her,
then for him...
for her it may have been
the worst of times,
staggering up from her wheelchair,
turban covering the radiation burns,
still trying to care for
all the neglected things
for which he had no heart
including, she feared,

* * *

Monday, January 11, 2010

A closer look required

This twisted mass of misconceptions:
is it root?
or is it tree?
Is it something that feeds me,
that stretches through
the ground of being
and gathers up the nutrients
that keep the tortured ego flourishing;
something I need
to keep battering my soul against to grow?
Or could it be
that these are simply branches,
foolish digressions from my core;
thoughts I could lop off,
prune with impunity?
I guess I'll have to take a closer look!
Ah: No surprise --
it seems to be out of focus...

* * *

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The scent of light

Not one,
but all
the colors please;
not one,
but all
the shapes unfold:
and sharing the scent
of color,
of love,
and of light.

* * *

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What to prune?

The problem is,
it's not all black and white --
these choices we make,
what to keep,
what to throw away,
and where to put what's left
when all that work's been done.

There's clutter everywhere,
and lots of gray,
and much as I would like to sit
protected from the rain of "stuff"
and wait for some Divine bus
to take me somewhere else
that's tidy and clean,
the fact is: this is where I live
and this is where I am right now,
smack in the middle of disorder and confusion.
and so I have to ask myself:
Hmm. What to prune?
What to prune?

* * *

Friday, January 8, 2010

Welcoming the Now

You've risen now,
but I'm asleep,
still dozing in my chair
while all around me
life is stirring,
springing into being.
Wake up!
Wake up, the seagull cries,
welcoming the now.
The day is new,
the water still,
the reflections clear.
Wake up!
Take notice!

* * *

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This time: A prayer of intention

This time
I won't be looking at my feet
or even at the road ahead.
This time
I'll keep my eyes
on the skies --
not just the thunderclouds in the distance,
but the light,
and the promise that this bridge
will carry my weight
and lead me to the other side;
that more bridges are being built
even as I step forward;
that even if this one fails
I'll still be able to cross;
still be able to find my way.

And as I walk,
I'll bless the many hands
that help to bring me home
to You.

* * *

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Color of Now

In our striving
in our struggling
in our climbing
and our reaching
we seem to find ourselves
even farther from
Your Truth.

Help us to empty ourselves
of this need to be above,
Help us release the need to climb
and stand here firmly on the ground,
touching in to what needs our attention right here,
into what inside is longing to be born.
Lead us into the color of now,
that we might find you again
waiting patiently for us
exactly here,
precisely now.

* * *

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This path we walk

This path we walk --
the one You've given us,
lifted above the swamp of possibilities --
has some bends
we cannot understand:
what is it you know
that is so much less obvious to us?
And what, in us,
is tempted to step off
into the muck and mire?

One single great intention
appears to be more than enough
to carry us through
and yet we hesitate to embark.
Confused by the twists and turns,
we find ourselves looking back
and wondering:
Could there be some other, easier way;
a path WE could control,
or where the destination might be more obvious?

* * *

Monday, January 4, 2010

This flame we are

This flame we are,
this flaring out of life and love,
this flash of creativity -- or pain --
do not assume this is illumination.

However beautiful
this burst of brightness;
however intense her reflection of the Son,
her petals -- ours --
inevitably fade
and fall,
unheeded to the ground
to nourish those whose seasons are yet to come.

This radiant blaze
is but a blush,
fueled by that incandescent light
that shimmers for eternity
on the altar of each Heart --
and each Heart's One.

* * *

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Mother's Lament

So many needs
I cannot assuage,
so many battles
I cannot wage,
so many hearts
I can't un-break,
so many promises
I can't un-make:
so many problems
that I alone can't solve.

So much peace
that goes unfound,
so many knots
that come unbound,
so many betrayals
I can't undo...
so many hopes
I can't make come true:
so many wounds
that I alone can't heal.

* * *

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dancing into the mystery

There is a jungle
deep inside,
a tangled web
of darkened veins,
empurpled flowers,
laced with growth and green,
all lush and lively and disordered,
like a woman rising
flushed and rosy
from her bed
hair disheveled
from a lover's touch.

Meet me there,
O Holy One;
let us dance into the mystery
and drink together in the dark
from the spring that feeds
my green and wanton soul.

* * *

Friday, January 1, 2010

Where One meets Other

There is a path
at the far edge of the harbor,
and a place where the tide
flows into the land,
then washes the stones
back out to the sea.
Let me be that bridge,
O Holy One,
and stand forever at the mouth
where One meets Other
and both flow into each;
let me be the lamp
that lights the path when darkness falls
and helps the weary traveler safely home.

* * *