Author Archive | Veronica Hallissey

There Is Still Time. . .

 

 

 

 

(Sometimes the poet and writer needs a good talking to.)

 

 

 

 

 

There Is Still Time. . .

I say. . . .
What more can I do?  I am
tired and I am old.

You say. .
You are still breathing.  And as long
as there is breath,  you can still create.

I say. . . .
It has all been said.  How many different
ways to instill the will to make a difference?

You say. . .
As many ways as there are people who awaken
before the sun decides to make an appearance.

And I say. .
Already too many times for me. . .

And you say. .
I have not heard your name called, which means, rise and do,
and you will be shown how.  I have journeyed with you and
do not abandon.

And I say. .
You are a hard task master. . .

You say. . .
When we walked the heavens and decided to explore our talents
we wanted to do good.  The world awaits. . .

I ask. . .
For how long?

Your answer. . .
There is still time to take harp lessons.  It’s been too long since
you used that talent.  We need to refresh your memory. . .

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A World Affair. . .

 

 

 

 

 

A World Affair. . .

Give me the space
in which a few minutes rest
and tell me the color
of your eyes.

I know the direction
your mind would take you,
the roads upon which you go.
I hear your songs
of liberation from a self
holding you prisoner too long.
The songs reach my heart
and together we sing of freedom.

But the space
in which you move this time,
has color and form
and a life apart.

I push through seemingly heavy doors
to reach you and do,
that portion of heart and mind
I know as you.

Locked within a crystalline gaze,
I search my palette
for the emotion with which
to fill in your eyes.
Tell me,

what color are tears?

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My Earth, My Earth. . .

 

How often have we said ‘it just doesn’t translate.’  Meaning that the nuance of the word is so important that when it isn’t there,  the meaning alters.  The word insensate is such a word.  The meaning of sensate means that there is an appreciation by the senses,  that what is perceived is beautiful and appreciated.  According to our dictionaries the word insensate means brutish, mad, inanimate or lacking in sensibility.  And what I mean when I use the word is that the depth of feeling is missing.  Small difference?  But in the meaning of the poem,  with what I perceive,  the difference is enormous.  Read the poem with this in mind.

 

 

 

My Earth, My Earth. . .

Though others reside,  it is my Earth.
This is how I feel where I live.
Do others?  I don’t know.

From a cosmic view this has to be
the most beautiful place in this Universe.
I can see coming back if only
for the first snow,  to taste
the cold air on my face,
the wind through my hair and
the breath of the elixir swimming
through my lungs.

Heady stuff?  . . . I know that.  I know that.

But to me the rest of the Universe
sits hot and heavy on my head.
Too much still with me
filtering through my senses to
make me altogether too conscious
of who I am yet.
Maybe only because

I cannot perceive an insensate body. . . .

 

Photo by
John Stanley Hallissey 

 

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The Breaking Day. . .

 

Not often do we find sunrise photos.  I thank Jon Katz of BEDLAMFARM.com for this photo which he so graciously lets me use.   Here in California,  morning’s sunrise can be counted on pretty much and often to our detriment as these weeks have shown.  Still, photos like these require a photographer to rise early to greet them and be in the right place.  This is a favorite of mine and says perfectly what I try to say in this Breaking Day.

The Breaking Day. . .

There is a texture to the morning
that I distinguish from
the silky drape of the night,
to the languid folding
of two o’clock in the afternoon.

I greet it with a welcome
and crisp breath that
will increase sharply my taste
of morning coffee.

The smooth touch
of the furry Newfoundland with
his wet nose give off a sparkle
of light in the rising sun.

I taste of the morning with its clarity
that I will miss in the
oncoming heat of the day.

But this breaking day I move
my arthritic fingers with
their numb tips and wonder where
the girl has gone who never gave thought,
not once, to the dawn that
would ever break unevenly
in her world.

Nor did she ever think that the magic
of her mornings would ever change,
and never knew of the Grace
that the Greater Heart would grant
her aging one,

to feel supremely blessed.

 

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Reverence For Learning. . .

If I was to be an earth shaker,  I would first shake man.  I would have the apples fall down on his head again and again until some sense would come from the constant bombardment.  I would ply him with this food that tells him who he is.  I would have him search his inmost self with the intensity that would move mountains.  And I would tell him that all he needs to make his world a fit place to live is to first know himself.  But that has already been written, hasn’t it?

How to get him first to look within, to study his own motivation and to dispense with his own alibis before he can begin to attempt to disassemble his brothers.   I wish I had the ability to write what is in my heart.

I wish that I could roar from the top of the highest mountain, the highest building in the cities of men, to tell them of their cosmic connection, of their divine origin and let them bask in their own glory.  I wish, I wish, I wish.  How do I do that?

How do I tell them that their god is all that they can wish for?  That their brother is indeed themselves walking the path that will lead them to the mansion of many rooms.  That their sisters are truly sisters and color neither separates nor delineates their origins?  How can I even venture to tell them that their godhood is within and there never was  reason to believe otherwise?  The Master told us that.

How can I tell them love has all the potential of healing the mystifying elements of earth life and  they would indeed no longer be the enemy?  Where is it said that man must crawl on his belly to be able to stand in the true reflection of what is his birthright?

I would take him and stand him up.  I would take his face between my hands and shout at him that he is magnificent.  I would continue to shout until my voice drowned out his negative teachings of centuries and make him repeat after me.  I am he who walks with my godhood intact.  I am he who walks. . . . .

 

(I wrote the above in a journal entry on September 6, 1982 when I was 51 years old.  I am now 86.  Many times I have written of my Independent Study Program which I have continued  daily since I became a parent over 60 years ago.  I felt our children were special and I wanted to be equal to their needs.  I began my ‘need to know’ seriously.  I wanted to answer their why’s adequately and with knowledge. 

I did not know the depth and height this journey would take me.  I did not know it was a journey.  Only now I realize in working to cross reference my work of 60 years,  that the injustices I have seen throughout my life are now surfacing onto the international scenes.  I see support systems coming to life with hope for the future.

The above thoughts have deepened and broadened and integrated in my philosophy. I was mostly silent with my thoughts because they were unusual for my day.  Being told I was out of step I now find the opposite to be true.  I have found as those in ancient days that the inner experience is our most valuable guide.  The heart’s intent with clarity is the valid one.  All of life’s experience cannot be proven in the laboratory).

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Sum Virat Honor. . . We Honor Truth. . . .

It is not without recourse that the soul cries in the night.  It is not with abandon that the individual who mourns whatever loss, be it of his innocence or that of a physical parting, is left.  We know and are known, and never is there a thought which rises from the physical brain and immortal mind, that is not noted.  It is these hard times that call our heart’s yearning.

My Song Goes Out. . .

My song goes out on this morning’s air
and penetrates the sky to where the stars
hang in the universe.  My lyrics ride the beams
that will meet the sun as it rises and
hang in the midday until even the grass hears
the melody or the mourning.

Look who is here, who is here, they say,
she speaks to us and we hear, we hear.
And I will say, it is a good place, this Earth home.
And I learn to speak its language and to learn
to sing its songs.  It is this space
where my sounds break out into form
and I see, oh yes, I see.   And I knew it all the time.

So listen to me, dear Earth and sea and sky.
I speak your language, your sound and hear your music.
And it is all for me, for me.  The tension
in my body is the lyre on which you play your music.
The mind is my opening onto worlds that I know
exist and can feel through the thoughts
winging sometimes painfully against my ears.

Listen to me, they say, and hear, hear, really hear.
I have songs to sing and lyrics which spell out
your beginning which never was and ending
which cannot be.  So listen and I will long
to seize you and carry you and tell you
of a richness that is yours since you were a star.

Laylo, laylo, sum virat honor.  I liken you
to the eddy which flows in my direction.
Laylo, laylo,  sum virat honor.  We honor truth.

 

photo by
Joshua D. Hallissey

 

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Show Me. . . you are the more. . .

Show Me. . . you are the more. . .

When I see you in your prayers,
you pull from me
something akin to obeisance
of the highest kind.

I drop to my knees
and want to pray with you,
to the mighty of All That Is
who garnished upon us all
the sweetness that would
turn the hearts of stone
awash with tears.

Tell me,  how do you enter
that holy place so quickly
when your thoughts begin
with the heart of the child
and take them to the
highest altar of the mind?

You almost take
the highest and best into yourself
by some turn of mind
and close out the rest of us
like the door closing against
the onrush of minor thought . . .

How to get there?
Who lets you in?
Somewhere you go that
closes us out but, yet. . .
your love includes us.

You step over what is invisible
and takes you to the promised land,
which is not a place but a condition.
You know of what I speak
and so do I.
I want it for me.

Because you are the more because of it.   Show me.

                                                                    the Teacher. . .

 

(Scribed.  Journal entry August 27, 2017)
art by Claudia Hallissey

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Angels Unaware. . .

 

Angels Unaware. . .

Seldom do dreams stay with me,  and though there are many diverse opinions on the importance of dreams,  in early times they were taken as imperative directions.  This one has stayed with me every day for a week.  It was a dream of deaf children and it seemed it went on all night.

There is a young woman hired to work with the deaf children.  She is well spoken and extremely good at teaching.  She is patient and clear in methods.  She is persistent in getting the children to work at being understood.  She teaches  body watching, body language, lip reading and any intuitive impulses.  Emphasizes words forming in speech and eye contact.  She  teaches ways that the body can use muscles  to work organs for added functions.  Since ears do not hear, she knows that other parts of the body are called into use and do what the ears cannot.

Most people do not know this.  Most people do not know there are other ways to hear than by ears.  Other parts of the body can be called in to substitute for what the ears cannot do.  She is good.  And helps many children learn to speak where before they wandered the silences.  The group  is so impressed with her work and success with the children,  who learn to speak  well and clearly,  sometimes even the average person is not convinced the person is deaf.

At the awards evening she is praised  highly because of her  excellent work with everyone in tears.  She stands up to give her gratitude  for the awards and is so overwhelmed she starts crying and the words out of her mouth are MY FAWA TOL ME I WA NO DEF! spoken like a deaf person with imperfect diction.  My father told me I was not deaf!  And my heart just about stopped in the dream and I realized that she was deaf and spoke like a deaf person but when not under emotional stress was clear in speech.

I was weak, though lying in bed, with the knowledge that here she was teaching what she had been taught.  Her body took over for her ears and she was able to teach because she knew how.

The dream has stayed with me and so have the questions.  Does the story tell of the young woman’s deafness , of her inability to hear but because her belief in herself and love of her father and his faith in her abilities, was able to call upon her body to use its self to the utmost and have her other organs and body do what her ears could not?

I remembered the story of the blind woman who worked in an office building who was legally blind and ran a concession stand who commented on employees’ new clothes,  a blouse or a purse and the person who told me the story insisted that the woman could not be blind.  She was and I remember telling the person that there are other ways of seeing than with the eyes.  I did not know how,  but I was certain of what I was saying.  Now I am more certain.  My own experience with deficiencies has proved to me that the body wishes to accommodate us.

When the footwork is done,  when the desire and intent is real,  heartfelt,  because the heart does not respond to any but intent that is truthful,  the work begins to show results.  It may not be in one’s  lifetime,  but in lives long after us.   We are in the larger picture with names attached.     Not only are we our own keeper, but our brothers’ keeper also.  We are the angels unaware.

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Bread, not cake. . .

 

I want bread. . .thank you. . . .

 

I have worked out this loaf that pleases me greatly.  It is a favorite when it is fresh and toasted it is not to be believed.  An open faced cheddar sliced cheese melted on it to toast with a couple of slices of crisp bacon on top  makes it a meal in itself, with some fresh slices of cucumber and tomatoes on the side.

Few ingredients are necessary.  I had on hand a 3 ¾ quart stainless steel saucepan with cover and stainless steel handle that is perfect for a baking pan. I line it with parchment.  I did not have discretionary income to buy the elegant baking pan that was thought necessary for the no knead bread.  I had also on hand a stainless steel thin spatula from as far back as I started to cook and it works perfectly to scrape the dough into a mound.  These are the tools with a rubber spatula to make this.

My No Knead Bread

3 cups white unbleached flour     (I use King Arthur)

1 cup whole wheat flour               (I use good stone ground)

1 tsp active dry yeast

2 tablespoons molasses
2 ½ cups hot water       (put molasses in bottom of cup and add hot water and stir)

1 tsp salt                         (I use kosher)

(optional    –   added grains,  like millet,
bulgur,  flax,  oatmeal or even crushed granola)

 

The bowl should be large enough to let dough rise above double the amount.  I dip the measuring cup of flour in flour canister and shake to measure .  I stir all the dry ingredients very well to distribute evenly and add the hot liquid.  Mixture should resemble drop biscuit dough.  Enough liquid should be added to work dry ingredients into center of wet batter.  It should not be liquified,  just wet.  Stir to blend well.  Cover with plastic wrap or large lid tightly and put in draft free place.

I let rise overnight in oven with no heat of course or if I want it that day I put in oven with light on (some oven lights do with no heat on)  to rise in warm place.  The dough should rise for at least 3-4  hours and better if  time allows overnight.  But it can be done with no discernible difference in less time.  I have let it go 12 hours and as little as 4.

Spread a half cup of flour in a six inch circle.  When dough is double and ready, take spatula and gently turn out on floured counter with few motions.  Enough flour should be on counter to allow dough to sit.  Spread a handful of flour on top of dough and here you can add whatever grains you desire.  I add 2 tablespoons each of bulgur and millet and sometimes flax seed and a handful of oatmeal.  Sprinkle on top of mound of dough.  Whatever your favorite.

Take your steel spatula and lift the edges of the dough onto the center.  Keep doing it 12-15 times to make a firm half mound.  If you need more flour,  sprinkle more so it will not be tacky.  The less handling,  the better.  When you make  it several times,  it will be done in a few minutes.  Lift it into the pan lined with parchment.  Put the cover on and slide it into the oven for an hour with no heat to grow.

After an hour leave it still in oven with cover on and turn on  oven to 425 degrees.  Bake cold oven start for 40 minutes.  After 40 minutes , with hot mitts on lift hot cover off and put cover  in sink.  It will be hot so be careful.  Leave pan with bread in oven for another 20-25 minutes. Mitts on, be careful removing hot pan with bread and turn onto wire rack.  Peel off parchment and let cool before slicing.

This makes a healthy, excellent loaf and easier than going to the store for a loaf of bread.  My mother would be envious and grown men would cry.  That good.

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