Archive | Poetry

Rocking The Boat. . .

He was five years old and did not want to go back to kindergarten.  I don’t want to read to the class while the teacher  teaches the green color to the other kids.  I don’t want to read the baby books he said because he was already reading higher grades by himself.  The  teacher was using him as a teacher’s aide because he read fluently.    And I was commiserating with the principal about discontinuing the trial of the homogeneous grouping, even though  the first grade was doing 3rd grade work and loving it.  Their teacher in conversation extolled her enthusiasm as first she taught years ago and could hardly wait for the day to begin to race the children to class.  The excitement, she said!!

And the principal held his head in his hands and told of the call at midnight from the irate father who wanted to know why his kid was in the dumb class.  How will he learn he shouted,  if he doesn’t see what he might do?   But do we have the right to relegate the eager and bright to a slow pace to justify the process of the less able?  And can we expect growth from the less able when we withhold potential for achievement from them?   It will take a Solomon to disentangle the arguments which justify evolution for everyone.

The Universes depend on the progress of the able to set the standards for all.  Because what is done for one is done for all.  And our younger brothers in evolution deserve the chance to augment their chances for growth by aspiring to emulate the ones who set the pace.  What is the fair thing to do and can we depend on the good graces of the swift to hide their light beneath a bushel to allow a moment in the sun for the less able?  Can we keep the larger picture in view while we work toward greater purposes of growth of all Beings?

Can we inject the virus of learning to ensure evolution and see progress?  Or stagnate the process for all?  It is crucial for newness of thought at some point to find response in one’s peers or the impetus for its birth dies.  And the chance for growth is lost.  The only change that makes a difference is change in the value system carried by the time.  The Universe gauges the growth of its worlds by this best of all learning places.  Comfortable people do not like to have the boat rock.

Toward Greater Life. . .

The heart searches parameters
for openings unto worlds
not torn by those intent
on limiting knowledge. . .

always searching
for those to willingly embrace
the differences challenging
the hesitant heart. . .

We look toward the union
of heart and mind
with litigious veins
of knowledge, pushing like sludge
thickly through rock. . .

eager to consign edges
toward greater life. . .
knowing always the
least demanding would be
the most sought for.
Even the tardy would give
evolution a jump start.

Never insulting the slower envoy,
always grateful for the god participants,
the larger reality scoops forever
the narrow focus. . .

giving eternity’s starters new life and hope. . . .


The Journey Begins. . .

What Have You Done?  (understanding)

They will ask, what have you done with your life and in truth I will answer.

I have alibied and done laundry for a world so soiled that even bleach couldn’t reach.  I have waited for the winter snows to cover the debris to give surcease to eyes that tire.  I will say to understand is harder to live with than not to understand.  For to understand one sees the child in the bigger body struggling to be understood.

Waiting, just waiting for arms to lift the weeping child in love to comfort, to support and to assuage what doubts overwhelm.  The Master said  suffer the little children and he mortgaged his life for eternity to give them the love they yearned.  Understanding takes away the right to vent, the right to rage and the anger to strike whenever and whatever is in the way of one’s path.

Understanding urges protection for the psyche clinging to the grandfather god who has one’s good as the only good necessary at this moment. His hand is on my shoulder she says, refusing to think why 6 million Jews went unprotected.  To not understand justifies one’s behavior to anger, to war and to smash in sight what one feels an obstacle to one’s right to live.  To not understand keeps one’s focus on one’s despair.

The day comes when creeping into one’s darkness will be a link to light that beckons.  It will be the beginning of a journey and it will happen because to continue with the wreckage of the previous way is unthinkable.  Some will call it salvation and it is.  Some will call it evolution and it is.  Some will call it reclaiming one’s divinity, one’s heritage and it is.

It is with utmost concern that we get on with the journey.  Universal well being, many worlds, hinge on our stewardship of this planet.  Our neighbors may not be quite so understanding  of the child who refuses to grow up.

King To Pauper. . .

Rendering itself useless now,
the elements of Nature
first borne by Man to work for him
have gone rabid.

But in wisdom still,
the moon continues to pull
the ocean by great force and
gently lays the rolling waves
on windswept sand, clearing man’s debris.

The wind, if amortized, would harness
its power to push the plow.
And sun, first born of woman
would gladly warm the earth’s chilled bones
and never cast a shadow.

The earth would form the nested nettle
where foot transgressed,
with pleasure support
the frame of man forever.

Air in bunches note
the going in and coming out of men
and upholds their stance, untiringly;
gladly yielding itself to noble ends.

Relegating himself
to the beggar’s position
of that which man himself created,
the Art is lost and in its stead
small triumphs rise.
Birth and death are Nature’s saviors

preventing man from raping her in anger.


Painting by
Claudia Hallissey




If I Could See Me. . .


I was getting dinner for Sunday noon.  I was in the process of setting the table and finishing up.  I was listening to Carl Hass give his voluminous views on classical music radio when I heard him say Bach’s little suite.  And when I listened it was the same feeling I had when I first heard Pachelbel’s Canon.  If in a different time, I would have been driven to my knees.  I saw again the hall and the girl and the violins. It was the same feeling that almost drove me straight down or up.  It was the blending, the melding that comes with finding a time right for you.  ((the following I scribed as I wrote the entry describing the experience))

The time was indeed right for you.  But where were you and what were you doing?  (The gloves being pulled on the male hands.  White gloves.  I wrote about it in a poem.  The time was yeasty.  I used the same word when I looked at the portrait of Bach.  Was it the same as fermenting?)

It was a time of fermentation.  Much was going on and you were privy to it all.  Your ability to make connections and ferret out cause and effect is useful.  The times of the music were beautiful.  They spoke of romance and love.  Today’s world bears the fruit of its decline.

I wrote If I Could See Me .  It was a Given.  I wrote it as I heard it and saw it played in mind.  It was vivid at the time. Often when people tell me of their experiences that are vivid,  they immediately distract themselves.  It is unasked, it descends and often with a feeling of unease.  If held for a moment this experience can be healing, liberating and might yet save them.  What you hear and see cannot always be wrong.  Sometimes misinterpreted but mostly it is given for the preservation of life.  Hold it for a moment and do not be afraid.  It is given to you  with Grace and love.

If I Could See Me. . .

I am conscious of a Presence
to the east of conscience,
bedded in memory.
A pair of white gloves
are smoothed over large hands
and the cutaway coat is laced with white.

A head of black hair, I see,
streaked with grey, thick,
but the face is cloudy
and the eyes indeterminate.
Somewhere time appeared
in the place and I lived in it,
with full participation,
now foggy except with a knowing.

Was I the you I see to my left?
Was I the someone smoothing
on the gloves in preparation?
If I was you and am me now,
who was the Other?
Is it a protection I seek, daring not to think
you were you and are now
to the left of my appearance,
to the east of conscience
only to rise from memory?

I could, with sweat pouring
from every body opening,
probe the memory, bedded
and know for certain what trails I left
for me to one day find my way back.

Perhaps you could tell me.
Was the affair as gay, as bright
as the confirmed costume of the evening?
Or was there sadness, presumed
and the memory stays
of that bright night to hide
what my face would reveal and yours,

if I could see me?



By Divine Grace. . .


When it comes to memory,  how do we separate what is currently ours?  Yet the question should be, what is not ours when we are part of humankind?  What can we separate from since we do not know what it is we have participated in since time began?

Have we lived before?  What is called reincarnation can also be memory banks filled to overflowing.  Yet are there not new souls on this planet who do not have practiced ways of behaving that can only be the result of centuries of living?

Can we say we have lived before when we fumble much in elemental situations? If we are asking these questions, it means the footwork has already been done to bring us to this place.

Can this incarnation be one of many?  Can we not be walking in many worlds relying only on custom for this one?  For some, one answer is sufficient.  And for others, if thoroughly understood,  would have worlds spinning into oblivion.

There are those who have been open to such a degree that worlds have impinged uncalled for.  Understanding can only come when there is a frame of reference to assimilate the information.  There is no mind that can understand everything.  All expressions are needed in every world to begin to uncover the essence of the spirit that rules and loves.

In the frame of reference that use the word God in its religious life or spiritual life,  everyone and everything is allowed to express the many faces of God.  There is no mind that completely understands nor completely accepts  all the expressions of Being,  whether in this world we inhabit or in worlds we give space to in thought.  There are aspects of memory that have no putting place.  It is only in retrospect that we can face the reality of many lives and loves and still retain our wholeness of being.  It is with divine grace that we do.

Memory Bit. . .

Will you appear again?
The picture was hazy
and around the edges, vague.
I was conscious of you and saw only you.

Your black , thick hair was streaked with gray
and sweat separated the streaks.
The table  upon which you laid
I cannot describe
but I was at your head
and your eyes were turned upward,
straining and you pleaded.

‘Do not watch,’ you cried
in a voice cracking with pain,
‘they are going to kill me.’

Your face.  Your face.
The jutting jaw, the coarse features so angular,
as sharp as I even now remember.
I knew that face
in a time and space I cannot place.
Where had the horror begun?

The tears roll down the creases
of this face I now carry
and I let the pillow catch them.
I do not care anymore to hide them.
I can now cry down as well as cry up.

I shouted something into the night.
I do not remember what.
But sweet oblivion caught me
and I went to a somewhere
and awakened with no fatigue.

You will come again.
I have known you before
to recognize you now,

even in a memory bit.

photo by
John Holmes



Time For Work To Be Done. . .

It was a desolate landscape.   There were ice mountains in the background.  There was a building,  more barracks like  with  no thing,  nothing around it.   The moon was white and things were outlined but barely so.   Sparse would be putting it gently, but desolate and bare of life would say how tragic it felt.  I could not say what world.  But unfinished work it is.

What if we find ourselves  doing the work of mules in places that need our talents in  very practical ways?  Would we not answer the call to help in the vineyards  with things of value that moth and rust do not destroy;  things of the mind?  Jesus said, as above, so below when he stood on the rock.   Life on Earth is the reflection of Heaven and we the reflection of what we hold as truth..  Are we not all unfinished work?

There is unfinished work everywhere.   I cannot go back ever to not knowing.   There are worlds needing what we hold as valuable, what we can only take in Mind.  We may look like mushrooms but our hearts are daffodils.    It is a good thing to keep in mind.

Jubilation On The Mount. . .

You go out too far, she said, too far.
But that is where the work
needs to be done, I said.

Jubilation.  There will be time
for jubilation; a time for frolic.
We will drink the variegated drinks.
And we will dance.

There is a time for work
in the far place,
where the vineyards
need to be planted but first
the plowing must be done.

Until the time
I do not care to stir the ashes
to bring forth another fire,
I stay.

Where I am is reason enough.



Time To Listen. . . .

Time To Listen

It is not as easy as it seems.   Try to think, to place in mind a picture of a Being other than human.   We have our science fiction writers who give us caricatures of what they suppose we would accept.  The images in fact may be actual.   Consider that.

I had awakened from a nap that had a familiar feel to it one very cold day in March when we lived in the North.   I had a messed up knee and needed to lay the body down for awhile.  I knew the place of the dream though I could not name it if pressed.   So it was not in this particular world or enclosure where I am.  When I awakened I kept feeling my hands as if they were foreign to me.

Like my hands are miraculous.   I have been feeling them within each palm and my fingers have a sensation to them that was amazing.   My fingers lace with one another and am surprised at what they do.   And are they not a wondrous piece of work?  With smooth and supple fingers that I have never appreciated before. I have never felt so at home in this body as I have since I awakened from that nap.

How long it has taken me to come to this minute where my hands seem like an intricate blueprint of some great mind.   It has taken me a lifetime to note this.  As I sit here and give houseroom to Beings other than human because we talk of other worlds,  envision what you are able of how life in other worlds different than ours might be fashioned.   What would life be like in a place where none of our essentials exist  and bodies are like nothing we view in the mirror.  Yet soulful with intelligence struggling for expression where words have not been born.   A species of life with no name yet.  Was that our beginning?

There is unfinished work everywhere.   If asked, would we be willing with our tools, whatever we have mastered to take only in mind upon transiting this Earth,  to be one for the vineyards?   Or would we rush for the exit that would take us right back to where the toys are plenty?   And what if we find ourselves in a not so lush Eden as the previous trip?   We must stretch our thinking for the rules are changing. We must in times of quiet give thought to where the Indwelling God will take us.

It is time to listen.

Because I Know. . .

I see worlds in motion
taking a portion of each one’s talent
for their own survival.

This is what I do with my hands,
this motion of knitting yarns
to form a piece of world
to fit the mind of an elusive soul.

See here, I, content in what I do,
I free a soul to do the Great God’s bidding
in keeping only one world in motion.

See again. . . I give of my Self in time,
to free an Other to build what may be
the perfect Universe or many.

So content, this that is mine to see,
a great plan, a strategy, unheard of.
It may not be for centuries that
my knitting fingers will alert the senses
of a soul to keep in motion,
a Life, a Being, an Idea.

Sit here with me. . . and show
my hands what to do and they will do. . .
The task, so simple will gather
other talents and make for itself
the grand design, futures down the line.

A bidding the nature of what
has never been seen before.
I know it and because I know. . . .

you will know it also.


art by Claudia Hallissey


The Laughter. . .

In a lifetime of many years,  certain things stand out as a moment imprinted on a mind to last forever.  One is the good fortune of living as a neighbor to a family of daughters.  Their laughter in the course of days that presented worrisome events,  was the hallmark for life,  that somehow my own handicaps would be overcome.  Open windows threw the girlish giggles across the lawns and into my heart.  They meant that life could be lived even in the midst of heartbreak and work to cow a giant.

I am grateful to have heard that laughter.  Grateful to the parents under enormous events that all things can be borne and laughter when allowed its moment,  can lift the hearts of all within hearing it.  A boisterous laugh,  a giggle,  a laugh so hard it makes one sneeze,  are a measure of the soul’s ability to harness the serious life.  It imprints the mind and assures us that all things pass but the laughter is memorable.

The Laughter. . .

In the dim light
of the silent candle,
while seated at the kitchen table,
I heard laughter.
It rose from the belly of one
seated at another table
and hit the ceiling with a loud guffaw.
The ceiling fan threw the laughter
out the windows to the winds,
carrying it afar.
My heart welcomed the sounds
for safekeeping.

The girlish giggles in answer
roamed the table
and shushed the corners
of the room and I wondered;
the girls, where did they go?

Now I sit and pound my keys
to a fine fettle
and ponder the turn of wheels
that held the world
at its pivot.

And wondering what happened
to the laughter
and why did it die

when we were so hungry for it to last?


photo by John Holmes



When The House Sleeps. . .


Mornings have always been special.  The sounds blended on the street when Princess and I walked; the lights in the homes spoke of early risers,  the occasional car with lights on.  The dog down the street spoke his urgency to get matters started.  There still is a benevolence to the morning which I would awaken everyone to feel.  It is a palpable part of the day.    Times are different now and the body no longer equal without the exuberance which greeted the morning.   Still though it finds me alive and in dialogue with the divine within.  We put the blessing on the day.


When The House Sleeps. . .

As the hour
creeps toward dawn
and you put on the kitchen light
for a cup of tea,  it is good
to know that others
walk the morning.

We walk in unison
those of us whom sleep avoids,
when the dream finishes and
the heavens no longer
are a soft bed.

We hug our robes
to take  the chill off bones
shivering in the hours
the house sleeps even
if we cannot.

The tea warms
both the hands and the heart,
while the dawn approaches
with a promise.

It is enough for us to know
we are legion and
take comfort that across
our half of the world
that cannot sleep,

we keep our cosmic half awake. . . .


Photo by Jon Katz


It Takes A Yesterday. . .


Scribed March 25, 1989. . .(Keep in mind the quantum theory that all time is simultaneous.  If it is difficult to accept I had to learn it to survive and  have consciously lived with it for well over a half century.)

One must of needs supply a history to give meaning to the day.  For when there is no history, there is also no Now, and certainly no future.  It is only with a history does the uniqueness begin to show and the ability to clarify that uniqueness and to be a positive influence must be because peace has already been made with that history.  (the teacher)



No Yesterday. . .

We don’t even have
a yesterday
when we forget the past.

And no use looking
for a tomorrow
because today
does not happen.
It takes a yesterday
to make a now today.

We can costume
our yesterday
and dress it up
to be fashionable.
And then possibly
we can walk together. . .

But I think
the proper thing to do,
if not courageous,
would be to stare
down yesterday
and suck the fear out of it.

Then perhaps we’ll have a today
as bed for tomorrow.
That assures a future only

if you are okay with that?




A Place Of Rest. . . .

There can be less stress and stronger heartbeats if the persons involved could call upon what it is they know to help relieve situations,  and if not situations,  then relieve themselves .

In every place,  in every nook and cranny that houses a soul,  there is a place to go.  If not physically,  then within.  To be able to turn to it, whether there is a window or a corner holding an item of interest or rest, or within where there is a place that has a familiarity surrounding,  there is a respite.

For however brief the instant,  it is always a place of rest.  And in this place there may be tears of relief,  of sorrow, of joy and a minute of gathering one’s resources to continue on where one is,  but with a visible difference.

And the difference will be an attitude or direction, or a concrete, so it would seem, act.  It is important to have this place.  It is a holy place within, inviolate.   All people have it, but do not think of it this way.  In a crowded situation it may be a bed no one is sharing at the moment; a place to recoup one’s losses.

The window overlooking a noisy street, or a patch of snow or green,  with perhaps a tree,  or even a piece of crockery,  or a basket on a shelf,  just a thing of rest to pull one together time  and time again.  It is necessary regain footing,  to focus inwardly,  to call all component parts of self together,  for a homecoming.  It is as necessary as the next breath we breathe.

And going back we learn to draw on what sustains,  what satiates the deep thirst and not what crushed our spirit.    And doing so we are equal to another run, another try at what gives life and does not take life.  We fulfill the reason for being,  our wish to make a difference.

Soft Wisdom. . .

Heretofore wisdom
had come slashing
across the mind and
in its wake, devastation.

Ravaged emotions
left one naked,
awash in body tears,
stripped clean and vulnerable.

Like a caress, soft wisdom
finally arrives
compassionate as a lover

to find the moment quiet.


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