Monday, January 31, 2011

So sad

Drawn to the color,
to the memory of childhood art projects,
of scratching through black ink
to reveal bright crayoned luminescence,
I take the time to focus in,
to gently scan
the messages left here,
to wonder at the inferences made.
Drinking in
the wonder of it,
drifting across the surface,
the blues,
the neon pinks,
my eye is caught
by a delicate white inscription
and drawn by this light counterpoint
back into compassion:
So sad,
it says --
So sad.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Greeting that which swims within

We meet so rarely,
you and I --
not just because
we tread such different paths,
but also --
even when you do appear,
so much of you remains submerged
I might not even notice:
sometimes you're just a shimmer
on the surface of the depths
I really must explore, if -- as I claim --
I long to know you more fully...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

This idle chain

These ties we've forged
will not be tried while lying here:
A chain that doesn't
grip or hold
is a boat in drydock --
quite lovely to be sure,
but no-one's testing her mettle
when she's resting and unused.
How will we know
that weakest link won't break
if we don't grab on to something;
don't feel the ache, the tension and the pull?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Is it enough?

Is it enough for me to tread
the path that opens here before me now;
to wander slowly down the trail,
acknowledging the spirits in the trees
and wishing blessings on the birds
that crowd their branches;
to pause and watch the otter
as she slithers from the pond,
across the gravel, to the sea...
Is it enough -- for now, at least --
to honor what is, instead of always
working toward what's coming?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

With blues and shadows

In stillness,
let the blues echo;
let shadows
drop their dark reminders
into your depths.
Drift lightly,
floating in the memories.
Trail your fingers
in the water
and feel the safety
of the tether that anchors you
to all that is other;
to all who also struggle
with blues
and shadows...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A lion, caged

When anger and judgment
rise within us,
fog closes in;
horizons narrow.
Dark and light
like fight and flight
drop moody bars
across my visual field,
obscuring truth
behind a corrugated screen
and soul becomes a lion,
caged and roaring at the wind.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In trouble, transformation

What jewels are these,
embedded in your bark?
What beetles,
or stones, perhaps,
flower here beneath your skin;
sweet rubies, whose smooth
and sudden aberrations
give texture and color
to the crown of your existence?
What tragedies and challenges
have transformed this simple life
into a work of art,
whose depth and beauty
compels me to stop
and bathe my eyes in wonder?

Monday, January 24, 2011


Petty concerns
drift across the surface,
distracting me
from the still depths below;
mind wanders,
caught by some brief glimpse
of color,
some knot
that needs to be untangled,
some blemishes that mar
the life I'd always hoped
would be smooth.
Thoughts weave their oily web,
create their bright illusion
until a gap --
a noise, a breath --
reminds me of how deep
I need --
and long --
to go.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A gift of song

The gift of your song
sings me into life,
and spring;
can part the clouds within,
reveal the blue
that lies beneath;
awaken buds
that welcome winter rain
and sense the blessings
it can promise
for the days that lie ahead.
Your pure, heartfelt exuberance
invites me back into possibility;
calls forth a welling-up of hope
and welcomes back
a clear felt sense of the Divine.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Opening the door to hope

I know;
it's obvious --
something about
grabbing the ring;
taking hold of life,
going for the gusto --
but did you ever stop to think
the ring's sole function
might just be
to hold open a door
that has a tendency
to slam shut?
What is it
that keeps us determined to trust
despite all the betrayals?
What is it
that keeps hope alive?
Is that the ring we need to grab;
to try again to open doors
that rusted shut so many years ago?

Friday, January 21, 2011


With age and time
although the ties
which bind us
grow more frayed
the tenacity
with which they grip
is heightened,
as if in compensation,
and what once seemed loose
and flexible
has now become
a fixture,
only pried apart
with extreme determination
or perhaps
-- in desperation --
some brutal knife.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Still blooming

The pond we loved
and skated on as kids
is well-clogged now,
and yet the water lily
still attempts to bloom.
She cannot see her reflection
any more,
her roots are choked,
and still she lifts
her petals to the sun;
still sings her pure clear
song of hope; still dares
to weep in concert
with the rain.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sweet heaven's holy chalice

Moon carves
her cup of white
across my glass,
where I've cleaned
and where life got away from me:
streaks of might-have-been
and almost-was
echo her round perfection
while other, lesser beams --
pale imitations --
test their own reflection
and dream of someday being real;
of no longer gleaming on their own
but simply basking in reflected glory.
To sit,
and wait while world revolves,
its raptured gaze enamoured with your face,
sighing at your beauty,
could be -- for some --
sweet heaven's holy chalice.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Project or protect?

Make what assumptions you will,
my friend;
draw the conclusions
that suit you best.
Use me as example,
as metaphor,
to achieve whatever
goals you've set:
project as you will,
protect as you must;
read into me
whatever you like.
Damaged, abused,
survivor or victim,
rescued or dragged
from untenable situations
or simply
a well-loved
and treasured toy:
the stories are yours
but the truth and the life are mine.

Monday, January 17, 2011


What, at first glance,
appears to be
an open scar,
a wound
may simply be
a natural progression;
the shedding
of some dying skin,
or some whitewashed ideal
that's been outgrown.
the reddened raw appearance
of underlying truth
may awaken
some unexpected immune response
in someone passing by;
an urge to scratch or probe,
or just to stretch the old discarded life
back over,
to cover up the heart
we didn't want to see.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What do you see?

Seeing this face
I have to laugh:
how quickly we project
our own assumptions --
even onto the most innocent
of individuals
and circumstances.
One brief expression,
captured somewhere in between
a newborn's sip and a burp
and immediately
we begin to imagine
the thoughts that might be
in her head,
and even what her future
might someday hold.
But I, her mother, simply smile,
remembering the feel
of those soft cheeks...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Who sits here?

Who sits here, and does he use
these elegant surroundings
to pen romantic poems
to some red-headed mistress
in a garret far away?
Might he be writing some
great philosophical treatise,
or simply paying household bills?
Surroundings such as these
invite us to assume
some worthy activity --
a Declaration of Independence?
Somehow I doubt
diapers were ever changed
upon this desk.

Friday, January 14, 2011

An alternative to acceptance

There must be
some alternative
to this placid acceptance,
this resignation;
some way that we
could exhibit the strength
of these wise cats
who watch over us,
and instead of sinking
sadly into inevitability,
could sit upright,
perched on the edge of becoming
and declare this space to be our own
if only for a moment:
then the fear might finally
leave our eyes...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What shall I stop?

Death --
whether yours
or someone else's --
has a way of saying
Stop what you're doing now.
Is this what you wanted out of life?
Was this how you planned
to spend your time?
If you had a chance
to do it all again,
what would you do differently?
The last time I heard the word
I stepped off the treadmill.
But now...
now what shall I stop?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Step away from the facade

They're lovely, these facades;
so beautifully constructed,
so carefully articulated --
really, quite convincingly lifelike
(though the heads, I think,
are a bit large; out of proportion)
-- but it's safe now
to set them down,
to lay them aside,
to leave them in the soft grass
and step away;
to allow your real self
in all its power and perfection
to appear; to walk and greet
the grass, the leaves, the sky
and other selves
as the brothers and sisters
they were born to be.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Grateful, but perhaps a little wary

deep inside
there is an angel
who is grateful
but perhaps
a little wary
of the gifts that come her way;
but poised to run
if any more come falling down;
feeling a bit weighed down
by the cross around her neck,
as if to say
that's not quite what she meant
when she mentioned
that she thought
those beads were pretty
and now she feels all tangled up
and wishes she weren't
anchored to the floor...

Monday, January 10, 2011

The torment of grief

This conviction of separation
that weights our thoughts
leaves us rooted in the burning,
the crucible that is being,
that is relationship;
that is ending, loss,
and mortality.
We stare ahead,
unfocused empty eyes
turned inward;
false smiles upon our faces
disguise the ache within
for what never was
and never, now, will be.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A paean to the light

It's spring;
the trees are dancing a paean to the light,
dressed in bright green sequins
and sparkling for all to see.
But still,
the washing must be done,
brights separated from the dark,
the tedious task
of hanging all those old familiar
foibles out to dry,
(just as the lighter clothes we wear
expose the excesses of winter).

At least now
her fingers are warm
the window can be left open
the cool breeze
with its scent of soapy wonder
can flow through,
airing out the dark corners within...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ezekiel 37:5

Put the music on,
and watch:
that which lies within,
cut off from shore,
will begin to bloom,
and basking in the healing light
of a new dawn,
a new day,
will cast its own reflecting warmth
which travels to the shore
igniting other dry bones
into life.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A concentration of light

Here I am,
looking for signs of hope,
and this is what you give me:
a wet leaf,
bowed down under the weight
of someone else's tears;
grasping for help
in every direction,
surrounded by darkness.
Oh!  I see, now,
the beauty and grace,
the aliveness in this moment,
how much light
is concentrated here,
how each vein is highlighted
in the tension;
how deeply I am being fed
from the Source.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

When the way is blocked

I confess that today
I can't quite see
how to find my way
from where I am
to where I want to be.
I see the steps
that lead to --
well, God knows where --
but I can't
for the life of me
figure out how to get to them.
And I suppose
I should see these trees
as reaching out to embrace me
but frankly
they look a bit intimidating,
as if each one
is waiting to lift a root,
determined to trip me up
in case the rocks don't do the trick.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Reflections on a blessing

It's not that I have substance
of my own, you understand,
or even that I've been endowed
with some particular grace.
Whatever angel you see in me
is simply a reflection,
made temporarily clearer
by the beauty of the blessings
that, if only for a moment,
surround us both.
The light that's playing off
the surface of our lives
gives hints of deeper promises --
of hope,
and future unexpected gifts --
and as it (inevitably) shifts --
this face and thought
will fade from memory;
leaving space
for some new Presence in its place.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

She watches and blesses

Though some might assume
she belongs in a museum,
she sits in a very humble place,
above the kitchen sink.
In this peaceful home, devoted to the care
of those about to die,
she glows softly in the dim light
as the white-robed angels
go about their business,
pouring glasses of water for the thirsty,
washing the dishes --
from dinners brought by friends
for those who can hardly bear to eat --
cleaning, tidying: the simple chores
all mothers do for those they love...
She watches, and blesses
each and every one.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New dawn, new year

Only in reflection
can we come to see
that while what lies before us
still looks dark,
the sun is stealing up behind us,
bringing light, illumination;
the tiny sparks to which we cling
so desperately in darkness
will soon be overpowered
by the sunbeams that they echo,
and all the shadows
that loomed so large
will be thrown into relief,
becoming insubstantial
in the brightness of new dawn.