Listen, Ophelia

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The English Professor took umbrage with me and my manuscript.   He said he had never seen anyone do this before!  It was unheard of! He called me an anarchist.   (I had to look up the word because I was not quite sure what was meant.  One who overthrows is an anarchist.)   He had read all poets and they always lifted man up.   He said of me that I brought God down to man’s level.  (Is this not how Christianity came to be?)   I had to I said,  because if it did not work for me where I was,   then it was a lie and I did not care what other worlds these precepts worked in.   And then he asked if my husband believed as I did because after all they had worked together on committees.  This was my work and a given and an independent study,  meaning that this poetry came through me.   The manuscript was under another title.   It now has a working title called My God and Me.   This is one of the poems in the manuscript,  (always a work in progress).

Listen, Ophelia. . . .

Ophelia,  I will say
do you think I am dead?
I sit on the very breath you breathe.

I will waft an orange fragrance
o’er your head
and you will see me take form.
I will crash the air
with cymbals
and you will hear me enter.

A cat cries in the night
and you will hear the infant.
The moon will send its shaft of light
through the north window
and you will be plagued
with memories
you will scarce remember.

You will warm yourself with the sun
from the south window
and it will nudge a time and place
on the edge of those same memories
and you will know
and still not know.

I have taken you to my bosom,
held you and pushed you away.
And at once tightened my hold
so you will never be free.

You think I am dead?
I ask you,   Ophelia,. .

Who indeed is dead?

 

Photo by Joshua Hallissey
click to magnify

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Invite The Heavens

where the heart isIt is a sacred alliance,   this familial connection.   So much depends on it.   What happens within four walls is more important than what happens on the outside.  What is happening in the world at large was predicted when my generation went out the front door to kindergarten.  Character is formed within the first five years and the rest of life is formed about these five years.

 How else to teach  honor,  love,  and courage except at the mother’s breast and father’s knees?  This is where we shape our children.   What goes on within four walls will soon find results in the outside world.

 Where else to honor the human except as siblings learn to love each other?   There will be no problems in the classroom when differences are honored at home.   To share,  to respect the rights of others,  to honor and to stand courageously to guard the rights of all beings,  these are the tools of life learned before the door opens onto the world.  How else to abide by the laws of usury except by ethically using what was taught at home?  Then we need not worry what happens  in the boardrooms,  the conference rooms,  the summits when the lessons of life were sacredly held at home.

 If it seems that heaven has given up on this world,  perhaps we need to monitor our thoughts and actions to see if perhaps we have given up.   If as the greatest metaphysician said,  as above,  so below,  we may find ourselves right back on the frontline again.   And our surroundings may not be as choice.   We may be walking in ash.

 What are you feeding your children?  Would you invite the heavens to sit at your table tonight?

                                                                                                 sacred permit

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Kiss The Moon Winner!

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Kim J is the winner of a copy of Kiss The Moon,  The Woman Speaks and Gives Grace.    It has been an interesting time for me and I am delighted for Kim to have this book.   I hope it will become a favorite for her and she will indeed find our gender and perhaps my views reflected in her own.   I love doing this and will again in a few months give another copy of one of my books and perhaps toward the holidays a small wall quilt.   So follow if you will and leave your comments.   I cannot always remark on all of them,  but try to I will.   Thank you for your support and hope you look forward to my work on this blog.

 

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Kiss The Moon —a favorite poem

Kiss The Moon Book Cover

 Abundance

In my abundance I come to you.
In my abundance, I love you.
This love shackles you not
nor binds you tightly in chains.
It gives you freedom to soar
where your spirit wills
and in the same abundance
finds you winging back to me.

Run quickly from a love
which possesses by need.
Its momentary satisfactions
bind you to a life of servitude.
Its very negation of freedom
murders the giver and the recipient.
Love beckons not out of desperation
but out of abundance.
It is life, calling to life.
It is life, begetting life.

Come to me,
when in your abundance
you would find annihilation in not giving.
When in your joy of living
you would find death in not loving.
Come to me then.
For in my abundance I come to you.
In my abundance, I love you.
And in our communion,

the Spirit lives.

I have been asked many times for permission to read this poem from Kiss The Moon at weddings.   It is a favorite and it is about a special kind of love  which all weddings declare.   One of the many from this book you might win by leaving a comment.   All comments will be read and names collected.  You might be the lucky winner!

 

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Kiss The Moon Poetry Book Drawing

Kiss The Moon Book Cover

On Thursday,  July 17, 2014  I will have a blind drawing for my book of poetry called Kiss The Moon,  The Woman Speaks And Gives Grace.   These poems were written during the infancy of the woman’s movement in search of equality.   What has evolved is a generation of young women who would not let anyone question their full rights in any partnership or career choice.   From my vantage points of daughter,  sister,  wife and mother  with twelve males in close quarters in this lifetime,  these poems were written at different times and for the observer it will be an easy matter to see where and when..

It has been a work of my heart.   We are in the second printing of this book and the comments received have been heartwarming.   It has become a favorite of many and for those who have not had a chance to enter before,  take a few minutes and tell me why you would like to win a copy of this book.  All comments will be read and names collected with the drawing on Thursday, July 17, 2014.  Maybe you will be the winner!

 

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Become The Friend

DSC_2948When the burlap arrived I began to  learn how to work with the fabric.   My first attempts were successful because they were the tried and true ones that I used with ordinary fabric.   This wall quilt was the first attempt to write directly on the burlap.   It became a quilt that built itself as I went along.   The more I thought of the phrase it became apparent how it applied to every age.

Whenever the question is asked as to how this pilgrim journey should start I want to say become the kind of friend you want in your life.   To me this tells me how serious and willing the person is in seeking for themselves what is necessary in their lives.  This particular exercise will not  be devastating to the psyche but it will convince the individual if the effort is worthwhile.  It is not the easiest junket to be sure.  And to the young one whose family perhaps is relocating and parents are met with ‘but I won’t have any friends!’ it will be a start in a definite direction.

For the novice it will be a study of what their own needs are.  Or their preferences are.  It may mean a centering down or a reaching out.   Whatever the need will be the beginning.   For the younger one, it may be a matter of wants.   What it is they would like in their lives.    The parent     can say  become the friend you want in your life;  become that kind of friend as the example.   Beginning the inward journey is seldom a frivolous matter.   It generally begins when one recognizes the fact that systems are crashing and there is nowhere to go but in.

That first step is the hardest one.  No matter the age.

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The Road Hardly Ever Chosen

IMG_0210-224x300A Teacher Spoke. . . . you spend time patching up the grill work only to find that the holes are supposed to be there for that is the way it was designed.   That is where it is you are.   That is where we have come and there is no turning back but straight on  through.  You wondered whether there would be confirmation at all that the church has taught and you would be reborn.  You did not stop at reborn.   People do.   That is a way station.  But you clambered aboard the train and got off at the next stop and the next and the next.   And at every stop there was a something else; another something.  But we did not stop you.   We saw the integration taking place and we did not stop you.   We saw the pain involved and we did not stop you.   We did not call a halt.  You did not say, enough already.   Well,  here we are now,  not at the end of the road but at another way station.   What have you found?  Another place of unrest.  You  think but what is there that recommends life to me?   And we have to answer,  only you.   You have to see within yourself your reason for coming,  have to care enough to burden yourself and have to see the broader picture carrying down the road  a host of generations.
(May, 1986)

The Road Hardly Ever Chosen

Philosophies are born to work
but only after the heart
decides that what has been
the dailyness is no longer tolerable.

The war begins somewhere
for the man in the street.
A rock is thrown
and mayhem results.

For one like me,
darkness was never preferable
but the Comforter was alerted
and chaos was averted,
allowing a life’s drama to unfold.

Wretched, gulping gasps
spilled life’s dogmas
over enameled surfaces
to display the rot
of the untenable, unable.
The mind’s search for the acceptable,
the palatable, began.

One does not assume
another man’s efforts
and be able to claim them.
Like a stretched out garment,
the fit is always questionable

It is not to be.
The garment one wears comfortably
as a final one must be
constructed in confrontation
of life’s ironies and indignities.

To insult the psyche no more,
it is not by error
is it called the hero’s journey.
Fortuitous it is when one chooses

the road hardly ever chosen.

June 14, 2014
art by Claudia Hallissey

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The Plough Sits In The Field

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The Plough Sits In The Field

There was a time,
however brief,
when the unthinkable
was avoided at all costs
and the unworkable
was left by the side of the road.

Nowhere could we say
that the heart was not involved;
but lost on us all
were reasons.

Now we wait.
The plough sits in the field
and the mountains
of caked thought grows higher.

Little did we know
Spirit would have us soar
had we been open and allowed
life to be felt, to be woven within us.
One does not wallow
in shales of misery,
coarsely chopped and pitted.

It is never too late,
for the vineyards wait
for the laborers
and they will be rewarded.

The coin of the day
will be the heart’s desires.
And angels will spur us on

to make up for lost time.

photo by Kathy Qualiana
(from The Farm)

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Peacing and piecing

 

DSC_2946When I ordered the bolt of burlap on the eve of my 83rd birthday,  I wrote that I did not know what possessed me to do it.   It seemed like the right thing to do.   So I started working with it and did one wall quilt and then another and another.   I am ‘at home’ working with this burlap.   It feels right and I am amazed with what ease I do it.   It is fun.  The pieces come alive beneath my hands and I am all of a peace.   I am putting this one up today as a break in my work of letters, and if you find one of them feels like the right one for you,  please contact me.  This one reads from an old favorite German fable ‘every year throughout the kingdom every tree blossomed and bore fruit on Christmas Eve.‘    If you click on it it will come full screen and details will be evident.  The size is 24 by 17 inches.   It is for sale for $75.00 plus $10.00 shipping.

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A Certain Place And Time

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There is always one relationship in any lifetime that becomes more than was ever hoped for.   It stands as a beacon and throughout all life it is felt and tried as the perfection of what particular relationships should be.

It is to be kept in mind, when one wishes for a relationship to develop and it does not,  no matter the effort or wishful thinking,   simply because it cannot.   At another time it already was and cannot be duplicated.  This does not mean that another relationship cannot be fruitful.   It does not mean it cannot be meaningful and rewarding.   What it does mean is that in a certain place and time you were a someone you are not now.    This new someone requires other than what was.

artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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