Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day breaks, and there are fields

Day breaks, and there are fields
to plow, or plant, or mow,
but first let's sit together
at this table;
let's feel the morning sun
as it pours in, and drink
these sweet liquid reflections;
let's breathe the scent of earth
through opened windows
and listen for the swallow
as she feeds the babies in her nest:
rest here, in preparation for the day.

I offer this poem for today's One Word Blog Carnival whose one-word prompt is "farm". The carnival is hosted by Peter Pollock.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Where fear and hope collide

If I really look,
I can clearly see
there are two opposing
points of view:
one wary and fearful,
the other cheery and hopeful.
I try not to look too closely
at the places where they intersect --
those moments in life
when fear and hope are all-consuming --
I'd just as soon not go there
but stay somewhere in between,
drifting on a tide of love,
singing a song of trust...
though some, I know
-- especially you -- would call this
fiddling while Rome burns...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Of two minds

"I'm of two minds," she said --
about this meditation stuff --
and with that thought
realized again
the duality of her thinking.
When will we see
that two are always one,
that either/or must always give way
to both, and; and even that decision
is a choice that reinforces
this insidious division
between One and the Same...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mary's dream

At the edge of a stage
the young man sits
playing guitar
to an empty hall:
there is no one
to judge,
or to complain
save Mary,
on her knees,
praying, hoping against hope
that her son will survive;
that his music will resonate
across the ages;
that this is one melody
that will never fade...
and is this, too,
some outworn fairy tale?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bright blooms of joy

Rest quietly:
float gently on the sea of being --
see what bubbles up;
what possibilities arise;
what lush rich springs
still simmer there,
waiting to be brought to light;
what roots, long nourished
in the soil beneath
need only your attention
to send forth
bright blooms of joy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Drinking the same rain

We are all tulips
in the same pot,
gracing the same walkway,
glorying in the same sunlight,
drinking the same rain
from our golden cups.
Someday, perhaps, we'll understand
there is enough --
enough rain,
enough dirt,
enough light
enough visibility
enough color --
plenty of everything we need
to breathe life and joy and beauty
into the eyes
of the beholder...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Time to rest

and the dark is deepening:
past visions of the future loom;
flat-screen projections
of success and failure
chase us through
the dark alleys
of constant progress.
The time has come
to return home and rest;
to climb the stairs,
unlock the door,
and curl up in the nest of Now.
Now settle in,
and settle down;
relax and breathe --
just breathe...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Throw wide the window

From deep within
a small but powerful voice
calls out and shakes its finger
in admonition:
you shouldn't have,
you should,
you never,
Pick that critic up
and lift it out;
cradle it in your arms
(however stiffly
it may hold itself);
throw wide the window
and open the door
to compassion.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Down memory lane

Everything we see
is colored
by what's already been seen;
every scene
overlaid with expectations
of what's to come,
what lies in store.
Each evening carries hints
of the days passed
and the nights to come;
and so we light the lamps
as day draws to a close
and stroll down memory lane,
mixing colors, sights and sounds
as dusk fades into dreams.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What sacred shrines

Imagine the explorers
who fought their way
through brush and vine;
through snakes and swamps,
impenetrable jungles,
only to find,
at the heart of the journey
that someone had been there
before them
and had erected a sumptuous temple
in order to give thanks
to whatever gods
had brought them safely
to this holy place:
what sacred shrines will be revealed
when you stay with your pilgrimage?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Listen for the song

Somewhere inside,
deep below our conscious awareness,
below the constant churning
of thoughts, concerns,
and contradictions,
something soft and formless
lies waiting to sing;
watches the play of light,
delights in the waves,
floats on its back
in delicious reverie
drinking in
the colors of possibility
in preparation for its next song.
Stop. Breathe.
Listen -- for that pure clear note
of love.

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's not about the future

Tomorrow -- or so they tell us --
it will rain, but to the small child
standing here before the ice cream truck
tomorrow's weather is irrelevant.
What matters is here, and now:
the heat,
the scent of strawberries
the jingling bell,
the feeling of his mama's hand,
the smile on the face
of the ice cream man,
the bubbling up of cold and sweet
on lips, and teeth, and tongue.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Paddling homeward

You fly to us
across the waves of change;
bring light
-- and dark --
and all the shadows in between;
rough waves and smooth,
stark mountains and lush valleys...

Give us the strength
to paddle homeward,
to trudge along the path
despite the roots
that trip us up,
to climb, and leap,
and ride the waves;
to trust that you
will be there if we fall.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Imperfect rhythms

Deep within,
below the layers
of desired
(or assumed)
imperfection beats her native drum,
pounding out a rhythm
of mistakes and inconvenient truths,
demanding to be heard,
believing there's a warning
to be sounded in the soul.
Reach down into the cage;
befriend the beast and find a way
to understand the gift it brings;
the golden treasure offered up
by childhood fears and all the ways
our wise souls found to soothe us.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beyond confinement

Trapped in a frame
of her own creation,
she peers at the world
through frightened eyes,
hungering for connection,
longing for touch,
haunted and contained
by the choking net of experience.
Yet still the Light, filtered through
a canopy of misconceptions,
bathes her in a gentle glow
of invitation:
Because the box is hers,
she can choose to step outside:
take off her shoes and touch her toes
into the cool damp earth
that lies beyond confinement.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Is anybody home?

How many childhood stories
feature a princess
imprisoned in a castle?
And how many times
does she rescue herself?
So I took on the job
and now my road is clear;
what worries me is this:
there is no face at the window,
and the place looks cold and dark.
What if I'm too late?
What if I've spent too long
pursuing distractions on the journey
and the princess,
starved for love and food,
has long since melted away...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tired of puddles and gray

It's spring, the poet said,
and the world is puddle-wonderful,
conjuring up images
of children splashing
by the daffodils,
or vacations by the sea,
but not this steady drip drip drip
and gray, and having to allow
for extra time for everything
because the puddles rise above
our wheels, and dampen
all our energy...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

That dark resistance

When things begin to fall apart,
some dark split appears,
a broken place, a crack,
and something darker still peers out,
wary, weapons in hand,
prepared to defend
what was and is no more to be,
fending off invaders
and suggestions that perhaps
its time had come.
Armed to the teeth,
it will not listen to reason
but stands, stiff and terrified,
guarding against imagined fears;
not seeing Now, or Possibility,
its eyes blank screens
on which past nightmares keep projecting.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Remembered carols

Whenever I see
a forest, by a fence,
I hear King Wenceslas
humming in my ears,
something about
St. Agnes' Fountain,
and I smile at the memory:
all those rosy cheeks,
wool coats and scarves,
gloved fingers grasping
tattered songbooks,
O-shaped mouths,
and oh, the music pouring out!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


It's so complex,
this picture that we see --
layer upon layer
of assumptions and impressions --
how can we ever know
what is truth,
what is real,
and what may be projection:
sheer images,
flashed onto a screen,
by some ancient
internal technology...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just leap!

I'm standing here,
balancing on the bridge
from me to us,
and I can feel the salt breeze
coming off the sea of being;
the tug to my island is strong
and yet the magnetic pull
to the larger pole
is equally intense --
which (I then wonder)
may be why
so many folks in this position
just leap!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Entering therapy
late in life
is a bit like whale-watching
at sunset:
catching snapshots
of the tail-end
of these huge issues
that have been
swimming around
in your head
for years
silhouetted against
all the wisdom
you've accumulated;
that light
that beams across the waters
of your soul...

I offer this poem for this week's "reviving dead metaphors" prompt at The High Calling. You'll find the inspiration for the prompt and the invitation to participate here. The deadline for contributions is May 11.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Step into the garden

Step through the gate,
into the garden,
and meet the One
who waits so patiently
for you,
reading quietly
on a park bench
beneath the shade
of a wise old tree,
the scents of spring
to the birds,
in a patch of sunlight,
drinking in
the colors of the day.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What is the carrot?

What is the carrot
at the end of this stick?
Why do we continue to embrace
the harder way; to walk
the more challenging path?
It cannot be for a one-day thrill --
the card, the flowers,
the ugly crocheted scarf --
however dear, they cannot be
sufficient motivation.
What drives the constant
setting aside of self
and selfish needs?
It could be just responsibility,
but no: look into your heart,
feel the babe again in your arms
and know the power of love.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Blue-fingered sky

Blue-fingered sky,
you pluck apart
the leaves that shade my path;
peek through
at all that lies beneath my feet --
pine cones and needles,
rocks and roots --
all softening
under your steady gaze,
fading with light and rain
into a gentle cushion
for life and feet to come.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dark scraps of love

Late afternoon,
and the dying sun
dies with you,
casting one last warm glimpse
over the mottled flesh of age,
allowing you to throw
one last long shadow
across the leaves
whose green you've graced
beside my path
before your petals
shrink and fall,
dark scraps of love
melting into earth.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Opera ladies

When something's going wrong,
I have a lot of trouble noticing
what's right.
When I'm busy trying all
the doors and windows on this porch,
I don't tend to notice
the beauty of its stately columns,
the graceful way these rhododendrons
peer over their balcony
to watch me in my fruitless quest:
white-haired matrons
with pink opera glasses
trained on the stage
of my immediate drama,
waiting for me to stop and breathe,
gasping at the inappropriate content
of my frustrated soliloquy.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bright promise

Bright tulips glow
as evening
draws to a close,
one last burst of light
before cool dark descends.
I kneel before the pot,
watch them
preen before my camera;
their warmth and color
with my attention.
One click of the shutter
and their luminous peace
fills the screen:
bright promise
of tomorrow's sun.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Waters of flame

What is it that we damage
with our relentless feuding;
with our consumption,
and our pollution?
What else will be destroyed
while we are busy
seeking vengeance?
What other hearts and lungs
will cease to beat and breathe
while we pour our energies
into bullying, battling and buying?
An eye for an eye
a tooth for a tooth
and slowly all the whales
will beach themselves,
to avoid the waters
we have turned to flame...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Place your foot in a sunbeam

And if the fog should shift
to reveal another path
that seems so clear,
the one you traveled
fading to a dream,
don't be afraid to step aside,
to place your foot
in a sunbeam
and follow to the door;
and if the ground
seems firmer underfoot
then know there was a reason
why things were so unsteady --
not that you were wrong, but just --
the universe was not quite ready.