Archive | July, 2014

And We Live Again

IMG_20140730_134706_646 (2)the music tangles
in the wind
of muted sound
and we live again

When our son became seriously ill and I could not find holiday cards that spoke to what my heart carried,   I started to make Christmas cards.   The first card was made with construction paper  and carried a poem of mine that I had a local printing company print.   That Christmas I learned of many who were carrying heavy burdens who appreciated the card.  One man said that he told his wife Eleanor, we will frame this and I will live!   He had just recovered from a heart attack.   He said I will be reminded every day and the card in a frame on his dresser was his reminder.  We do not know when we make the effort to do a something how far the ripples will reach.

 This wall quilt is a fabric version of a Christmas card I made when we as a family faced an unthinkable future.   But we learned many things and were gifted with joys never thought possible.  To begin to do with one’s hands and mind is a gift of unmeasurable dimensions.

 One of the most important lessons we can teach our young is to begin the task, whatever it is that one desires.   Even when we don’t know how to do something, beginning will be the largest hurdle to overcome.   When we begin,  we will be shown how.   In just measure  commensurate with our abilities,  we will be taught.   And this is how we learn.  This is how we accomplish what it is that is our heart’s desire.   The materials may not be the best,  but whatever we have on hand is what we use.   Eventually, ways will be shown and events conspire to place within our hands what will not only be useful, but necessary.   But we must begin.

 Not everyone will be an artist, but we can do what is within our capacity.   Our technologies have placed lessons on television, but we find ourselves judging what we do with professionals who have spent lifetimes doing.   We can express ourselves within our means and do something we have not done before.   Our efforts at what we are able to do are commendable.   And these efforts are noted.   They allow the god within to cheer us on and say now we can do this and this.   It will be with effort and care and we will do better and better.   And one day we will call ourselves primitive artists but more importantly we will be able to take another step in conquering the fear that we cannot do anything.


How To Comment On My Blog

Dear loyal followers,   

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A Silent Thank You


Hey there, mister. . . .are you ready?   Almost,  he says and in a few minutes he appeared.

Where are we going,  he asked and I said to do some errands .   We can walk and because it is early,  it is still cool.   We did not hurry along,  just sauntered.   As we came to the corner we heard a marvelous bird song.  We stopped, looked at each other and then he pointed up.   We saw the solitary bird singing his mighty song.

 The little one squinted and said I see you and I hear you.  And the bird stopped his singing.   Ohhh the young one said.  We waited and then walked on.   It is okay,   I said.   We continued to the next corner and there was another clear song.   We looked up and he said whispering,  I not say anything.  So then I said,   I can hear you but I cannot see you.  And the singing stopped.

 They not like our saying to them that we like their singing?   I cupped his face with my hands and said,  I think they are surprised that we take the time to listen.   By listening we say thank you quietly  and they hear our thoughts.   He took this thought and nodded yes.

 A few blocks later there were songs being sung though we could not see any birds.   I felt a tug and looked down at the questioning face and in his grateful voice said we do not see you but not stop your song.  And they continued to sing.

 I also thank them he said.   Do other peoples give thank yous?   I guess not too often I said.  We forget as we get older I think to give thanks for what we do not see even when it is beautiful and we know even when we do something good and could not do what we do alone without some help.  Like the singing and the morning and the night when we sleep.   I ‘member always now, he said.   I don’ want the singing stop ever.   Not ever he said.  My heart be sad then, he said.  Very sad.

 Mine too,   I said.   Mine too.


Listen, Ophelia


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


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


Kiss The Moon Winner!

Kiss The Moon Book Cover

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.



Kiss The Moon —a favorite poem

Kiss The Moon Book Cover


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!





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!



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.


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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