Good Morning, Compass

Do you not love this child here
Who longs to have you point to there?
Toward a blade of grass
Where there is sunny solitude.

What creatures are there to grab her feet?
To take her to the wandering deep.

But the strength to fight them
That’s the wonderful thing—
The calmest ocean,
The brightest beam,
Compass, can you find me?

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Gratitude at a Funeral

A person can live like that oak tree
Back home on the family farm,
Familiar and, seemingly, unstoppable.

Year after year, growing and ingesting
The metal of an old chain. At one time
It had been a ladder for the boys on Sundays,
Dripping from their swim
In a nearby pond. They climbed that tree,
Looking for angels.

If you walk far enough along your wrinkles,
You’ll, eventually, come upon an angel’s house.

There is gratitude at a funeral,
It isn’t loud or obvious. It’s more gentle
Like the nuzzle of a horse’s nose
Or a breeze brushing the heavy tops of tall grasses,
Creating the waves of something kind,
A softness of mercy, like the wind
Nowhere and yet, everywhere.

 

Poem’s Witness

I don’t have much to say,
But will listen if you want to talk.

Not one to make grand speeches,
But I could write a verse or two,
Recite some Frost.

By the ocean,
I’m looking toward the horizon,
Where the sky dives into the water.

I wait, soft and seeing, for the arrival of a poem,
Those perfect moments of peaceful wonder,
When the sun, setting down in its own orangeness,
Drapes the world in dazzles.

The clouds and water, sky and ocean,
Two organic mirrors,
And we, you and I, get to live between
This vast and silent infinity.

This moving, living, breathing poem:
Those moments
I don’t have to say any words
Because the world says them for me.

The Little Heart

Once upon a time,

I was taking a walk, listening to music and trying to escape from something. Maybe it was responsibilities. Maybe it was silence. Maybe it was time itself. There was an endless hollow ache inside.

I walked by something lying on the ground. It was covered with a blanket. Whatever it was, it was gasping for air. I could hear the muffled rhythms of inhales and exhales.

I lifted back the blanket and saw a heart lying there. It was not vibrant or even red as you might expect. It was pale pink, white in patches, and bruised purple in places.

“Little Heart!” I said, “what happened?”

And in response it could only cry out a feeble wail, “I’m cold and have no home. Take me with you!”

And so I did. I bundled it up and held it close. For days and nights, I whispered to it sweet lullabies and patient love. And day after day, it grew stronger.

“Teach me to walk,” it said. And so I took it by the hand and taught it to walk.

“Teach me to smile,” it said, but I found this request difficult. “Teach me to laugh,” it said and again it was difficult. “Let’s stick to walking,” I said.

And so the little heart grew stronger until it was strong enough to run and play on its own. It taught itself to smile and laugh. Sometimes it would look over at me. It saw how hard I worked, how little I smiled, how little I laughed. I frightened it and so it kept its distance from me. Until we grew to become strangers living in the same house.

I had a terrible dream one night. I dreamt I was the only one in the whole world who didn’t have a heart. I cried out in my sleep and the little heart, which had now grown so big, vibrant, and strong ran to me and, without hesitation, leapt inside me.

A great wave of warmth flooded through me and I felt calm and less alone.

“Little heart, is that you?” I asked.

“Yes, it is. I thought you didn’t like me,” it said, “I didn’t know you were so sad.  Let me stay here with you.”

“I’m sorry,” I told my heart. “I covered you…something had covered you in a blanket and left you a long time ago. Please stay.”

And I learned to smile and to laugh again.

And to this day my heart is still stitching itself back inside me, each day threading itself to my soul until one day it will have a secure enough hold that no injury will be too harmful, no heartbreak will be too painful to prevent it from beating on and on where it belongs.

The End

Moon Cycle

New Moon

I feel my boundaries, but discover
I have none

No frame of light can stop me so I bend
To listen, for I know no better grace than pressing
An ear to the earth, cradled inward,

Like a dream, where others walk and have walked,
Their footsteps, a crowd of drums.
I know their ways and weights gathering
Into the soft spaces, sinking.

And as a woman I stand at your opening,
New Moon, bleeding, because I too am full
To the brim with mystery and strength

Whispering secrets
Gained from marching across
The river to the Underworld–
That Other Night.

Transformation

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Transformation will not always cause healing,
but healing will always cause transformation.

Therefore,

It is important to become sensitive to your own thoughts and emotions.
Your thoughts and emotions determine the values you are or are not capable of embodying.

Example: If I, consciously or subconsciously, tell myself I am worthless, then I make myself incapable of embodying worth.

Because what you look at is what you’ll see. If you’re occupied with worthlessness, your mind is predisposed to find ways which support or back-up those feelings.

It’s like believing something…anything, then not being able to put it into words.  You look around (either in the world around you or in your own mind) and see that belief in an actualized form (a person, situation, story-of-the-self) and after seeing it, you say to yourself, “Yep, that’s what I thought. I’m worthless. Point made.”

Thoughts can be very hungry. They are always looking for food to sustain them. Good thoughts and bad thoughts. It does not matter. They are looking for reflections of themselves to eat. Validation.

However,

If you are embodying values which do not jive with your essence, then there is a discrepancy between inside life and outside life.

Example: You pursue things that to you possess worth (relationships, career, religion, spirituality, volunteer-work) yet there’s still this nagging suspicion you’re unworthy.

Something’s not being addressed. Something at your core needs your attention. There is distance between you as the Experiencer and Experience itself.

This distance allows space for judgement to live.
Judgement permisses violence.
Violence cuts off from connection.

Lack of connection leads to lack of sensitivity.
Lack of sensitivity leads to lack of empathy.

Empathy toward others requires sensitivity towards oneself.
Sensitivity towards oneself requires self-love.

To have connection with yourself means living in an awake state of mind.
To be awake one must not be asleep.
To be asleep means to miss out on one’s own life.

Not testing your own beliefs and values does not guarantee a pain-free life.
Yet if your values and beliefs are tested, there can begin a process of healing.

Where there is healing, there is transformation.

Permission

The neighbor builds something in his garage and
I’m propped in my bed like a patient
Who has checked herself into the hospital

I gave myself permission this morning
To see people clinging to leaves
To hear monsters crawling under the house

To be weird and far out there, after all, I’ve earned it,
Working in an office–sit down, do the work
No complaints, no acknowledgment of sacrifice.

Then I moved to the forests in Sonoma
That’s where I lost my arms…they fell off from takeoff.

Flew high on divine power…still yearn for it
Then crashed…Made myself quit the hits
And then had two years of spiritual sobriety

most boring fucking time of my life

I want it back so badly
the bliss of knowing unknown…of letting go to the other realms
But I lost myself in the name of “spirituality.”

I spent those three years
Asleep and under a spell.

It’s different now.

I want to let go and be myself
Not let go and lose myself

I am a warrior fighting to keep herself sane
It’s another adventure.

I think I’ll spend the day being my weird self…
And then the next day still being my odd self…
No one will know. Everyone is too busy
Thinking and worrying about things
They don’t need to be thinking and worrying about.