Author Archive | Veronica Hallissey

To Break The Waves, enough it is. . . .

(sometimes in the midst of memories, I need to be reminded of what mattered most.  And if I need this, perhaps a reader does also.  The memory is now fresh for me.  I appreciate the chance for reprinting a favorite one.)

After having been told a zillion times that no one would want my head,  I have decided that I truly would not want anyone else’s head either.  Because then I would not see the world that I love the way I do.  I would not see the pine trickle of a branch pulling itself courageously out of the trunk of the tree amidst a  half dozen other twigs and marvel at the beauty of it.    Or  hear the  young grandmother puzzle at the toddler wondering why is this child so angry?  And another placid?  And see the connections in all bornings   from their source already bent.  Chance, you think?  My head tells me of no coincidences.

Understandably there are some who prefer to think everything is newly chaste.  But each of us has a history and life is a gift given.  It is with hope that we uncover its gems.  And profit from its lessons.

If You Can Bear The Truth. . .

If they should ever ask you
from where comes this knowledge
and you can bear the truth,  tell them.

It was written in the stars that I saw
with inner vision,  shining exuberantly
with a vitality that bears description.
It was hung and dried by a sun that had
dried my ancestor’s tears
for a million centuries.

The lyrics have pressed my ears
in moans that I find unbearable.
Does not everyone hear the cries?
If they should ask you,
tell them this.

It is the music of celebration,
when one, even one is freed from
a lifetime of servitude to anguish
clogging the throat.

This music is heard down long lines
of generations and will be mated
in their genes.   They will glory in
their freedom and they will live forever.

So if they ask you and you can
bear the truth, tell them.

It was taught by my Spirit
spilling into my heart with no reprieve
and into my mind with no relief.
It is a lifetime of no alibis and
a coping system diffused.

My teacher has no name,
still the imprint is within my genes,
implanted within my ancestor’s memories,
resting within me.

They do not rest while I cannot.
My songs continue, if only for me.

Enough it is for me to break the waves.

 

Photo by
John Stanley Hallissey

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The Spirit Within Speaks. . .

In reviewing  this poem,  I was surprised to see the journal entry so I read it anew.  And the last paragraph of the two pages typed was the lament that I had a head with so much to say I felt I was going to die.  And I wrote the words of St. Paul,  ‘it is I who do it, yet not I, but Spirit within’, when I listened with tears running down my cheeks as Gladys Cooley Nicholson read my poetry on npr’s WDET, in a deep voice powerful with meaning.  She honored my work.

To strike a balance with the desire to create and overwhelmed with what it takes to submit and follow a prescribed path to publish, my need to create won.  So I independently studied and created  at night and the need to maintain property and people took  the work long days.  Commitments made options unavailable.  One of the non negotiables in life is sometimes there are no options.

And you are given with grace, in time,  a wise granddaughter saying,  you just suck it up Gram, just suck it up.  She is mine. 

Perhaps a bit boring, but nice to leave with no regrets and commitments intact.  Amen.

Time To Go On . . .

Is it time to go on?
Just one more garden in blossom,
I think,  just one more winter.
And I wonder if I could
appreciate them anymore or
berate the ones who cannot see. . .

Will I be able to look at snow
and see as a depth to remove
before I can move or will I
see a feathering dust of density
and walk through it
like the man on water?

 Will I ever be able to look
at this evergreen outside
my study window and not see it
as a thought form?
Or will I take its trunk
in my hands one day and like
paper mache bend it out of existence?

It is sturdy and it grows.
It takes space and cools
this room I sit in and
is a haven for the birds that
trust its branches will hold their nests
and the spidery tines will hold them.

Will I never mow the lawn
because I will by a thought,
landscape the Earth?  Am I
a dreamer in motion . . .

like speech, aahhh. . . my thoughts stutter. . . . .

 

July 01, 1982   journal entry
Poem Written April 01, 2016

photo by Joe Hallissey Sr.

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When I love you is coupled with a hug. . . .

These are my progeny I am fortunate to see at least with photos.  I am impressed that there are several lady greats in our lives.  And I am also impressed with the knowledge of two close mister greats.  There are others  I am certain in my scattered large family that I do not know,  but I welcome any word of them. 

These past few years have been difficult for the many youngers.  And I know the families at hand give support as they can.

I know the parents of these jenny gene children read my posts when able and are learning  about these children from this grandmother great.  I wish them luck in their endeavors in understanding what has been borne of them.  No doubt they will be scratching their collective heads with puzzlement trying to decide how to cope.

When I understood the maxim ‘as the twig is bent’ and realized that the twig is bent upon arrival with a history! . . it was the beginning of a lifelong journey toward the heart of Me.  Many a parent has voiced the timeworn plea of I treat them all the same!  I would quietly assure them but they arrive not from different countries but different worlds!

And no way will our words mean the same to  each of them.  Except these words. . I love you coupled with the strength of your arms around them.  There is no misunderstanding when hearts press each other.

And they will insist every day of their lives that they were  the favorite child . . . .             

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Often the Larger Picture is Universal Life. . enhanced. . .

Jon Meacham, historian,  told the story of when President Reagan was in the hospital after being shot he was wiping up some water in the bathroom when a surprised visiting President Bush asked him what he was doing.  I spilled water and I didn’t want the nurse to get blamed for it he said. 

These are the small things about us that we leave as our legacy.  Not the big things that we sometimes are noted for.  Not always the Salk vaccine that Jonas Salk saved the world from polio but the Conscious Evolution he taught I came across in the interview  when he wanted to save humanity from themselves.

We are beyond the times of physical survival as such evidenced by growing numbers.  Now we must emphasize the human values we do not have time for that are taken by devices with addicting instant gratification.  Or even casual relations we indulge in that make us not proud.

Where conscious action determines the potential in human behavior across the planet because we cared enough to do something right and good that enhanced life for just one person.   Because of its inherent goodness, it became a lifesaving principle for all humanity. 

And the small, light touch I wrote about that I appreciate as you put your hand on  the small of my back to help me up the curb.  It is a small curb to viewers but to me a mountain to climb.   You know the why of the kiss on your forehead as you depart  telling me that you are not feverish. 

As I see you both hug your loves with a quick crush to let them know the strength of your arms in that loving moment.  The small things that will be your legacy also. 

That will be the difference we make,  we all make in lives we touch even perfunctorily.  Seemingly innocuous, seemingly without feeling.  But it makes in enormity, the teaching lesson confirming to us that we are of worth, that we are good.

In Looking Back

Sometimes in looking back
to grasp meaning. . . .
the uneventful brims with it.

The small deeds by the young
take on logistics of magnitude.

The small bouquet often picked
from the neighbor’s garden
is innocently given with largess of heart.

It is no small thing
when the child says I will do it. . . .
and unburdens the caregiver.

It is in the uneventful
that the heart grows in understanding,
when the lesson becomes the food on the plate.

Not good to look back?
How else to learn what life has taught
and perhaps we learn what not to repeat?

It bodes well to forgive when harshness
makes brittle the connections,
but in the smallest detail,
in the dailyness of the commonplace, we grow.

And the soul leaps forward and universal life is greatly enhanced.

 

Photo by Diane Rybacki of her husband, my brother Stanley,
releasing the pheasant they helped heal from injury.  (2002)
Both now transited, but would have been great grandparents
of great granddaughter named Diane, born this past week.

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Our Light That Shines. . . .

Sometimes we find when we are not on good terms with ourselves,  life is not sympathetic to how we are feeling.  Yet we fulfill what is demanded and later are grateful that someone stands beside us when we are in need. 

We hope that whatever we offered is regarded not with impatience we might have felt but accepted in the love that we deeply feel.    And  our good intentions are noted because we are at heart, decent people.  

Somehow to be known as decent speaks volumes in these times.  The lack of decency looms heavily on us as a fall from grace as we have relived the recent assault on our democracy.  We wonder the effect  of our behavior as viewed by those immediate and far. 

Times test our mettle and these times have.  Yet always we hope that how we relate in the small things will be our light that shines .

Light Touches

Your light touch
on the small of my back
gains for me a courage
lacking sometimes
to even climb the curb.

I appreciate that.
Somehow beneath the layers
of what I hold to be
the who of what  I am
is a someone still of note..

Comforting to lay my hand
on the side of your face
to note the structure
of the child no longer a child.

As the mother of you sons,
born of the best of who we as parents were,
Nature shares her secrets
letting me know that the goodbye kiss
on your foreheads still tells me
you are not feverish.

You know my secrets also
as you hug your children
and show them that
no matter how old you grow
your light touches reveal the depth
and speak volumes

of their place in your hearts.

 

artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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Connected Still. . with AAhhh Mann and Amen. .

I wish I had remembered  when I was trying to convince a young grandniece that indeed not all people know enough to worry and that worrying is an advanced form of thinking.  How can you not worry when you have made babies and commitments?

But when you are unsure of your own survival, it is impossible to concern oneself about an Other, even a small Other.

I was always a worrier and to the Trendies, a negative.  Even as a child in grammar school,  I ran home when sirens screamed every time  knowing for sure my house was on fire and my mother dead.

Many people cannot make connections and cannot see the past having a bearing on the present and the future.  They cannot see the who they are is the result of  their history.  The only way they say to live life is in the moment.  They were convinced of the power of positive thinking on this but experience should reveal the possibilities of an action and its consequences.

They think bubbly is lost when consequences are considered because making informed decisions spoils the fun.  Perhaps so.  Perhaps the idea of fun considers  true beauty in mind and body’s ability to clean up messes to bring order to the kitchen sink or the mountain of laundry that reaches the basement ceiling.

Or to match  thinking to heaven’s thought and shout not fair! to an obstacle levied that should not be.  And to have heaven relent.  It was what I had to learn from kindergarten on about my own ‘why’.

Even as I prepare for the unknown and maybe disappointment,  I cannot fall into the present with no thought.  I would have to discount my history which had me alive in worlds and places that have no names here on Earth.

Unless the mind is cutoff (oh yeah, remember the shamefully devastating  frontal lobotomy?)  with the  past having no memory, I am stupid to what my eyes see and not able to see how everything is connected.

A beloved says her grandfather god has his hand on her shoulder but she does not approach the  question as to why the cries of the families of the holocaust  were not heard as they were plunged into death clasping each other?  It takes mental effort to even form the questions to start the uncovering.

How does one ignore the consequences to actions of wars and words dripping death in their intent and still froth treacherous bubbles  of innocence?  A dismissal of ‘well, that’s life and bad things happen’ does not cut it anymore.  The width and depth of the abyss is too great for my humanity to leap.

Strangely, why when  conscience is finally deeply seated in the brain, why also is it so deeply connected to the heart of who we are? 

Yeah, well. . .AAhh  Mannnn.  And Amen.

 

artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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Ordinary, but real. . . . .

 

Again, in that conference time when all is quiet, you cannot go back to not knowing, once having attained what it is you know.  Quantum, sumus, scimus.  You are what you know. 

And what you know is yours forever.  The talents, the Master spoke of,  no one understood to teach.  What moth and rust do not destroy you take from world to world because life is everlasting, but he taught that also.

They said we danced with the devil when we multiplied the silent talents of listening with our hearts and talking silently to minds that pleaded for help. 

We were burned at the stake for this.  When our eyes spoke the understanding of what was written on their hearts, it was peace surpassing this world.

It was compared to giving him a drink of water knowing that the world would be satiated.  What is done for one is done for all.  It is doing for one’s fellow so that the act will one day be everyone’s act.

It does not come easily nor without its pain.  But having attained it,  you are there.  You speak a language most hunger for and know to be true. 

And without doubt know that we are accountable forever and have but one face, truth.

Ordinary but  Real . . .

There is question surrounding
the not so fair exterior of one who chides
the meaning from the leaves of the trees.

To say in truth the sun should shine
a bit more on the Maple to the north,
readying sap for nourishment.

Or the mushroom to elevate its wattage
with the feel good serum designed
to lift one up. . .

And what about the water in the bog
needing a bit of air to allow
the simple life to get on. . .?

All this is mine I hear, but I’ve
known it all for so long,
since first I fell in love with life.

Dragging a foot still wedded
to the firm stuffs holding me,
yet not willing to give me up,

since incomplete was the knowledge
to ferret out, but I said it was the best I could do.
And was affirmed to have held nothing back.

I hugged the life with all the strength
remembered from the time before;
from lives loved and loves, loved,

mistakes made good and wounds healed
and to write poetry from a world
not of this one.

I keep moving thoughts like furniture,
as I did the evergreens and the mock orange,
like summer loungers for the lawn.

And when there are no other
room arrangements peaking,
I will create another world.

With another house to make a home
to live in for life to be an example,
to teach the connectedness of All That Is. .

An ordinary person, real in this world
of ordinary days. . . . .
is never just ordinary it seems . . . . .

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Gleanings. . . a few. . .

 

Man’s kharma is his dharma, the coin he uses to buy for himself the peace he seeks.
*****
To see through the eyes of an Other will put one’s heart into divine orbit.
*****
Can man run far enough and fast enough to escape the swollen burden of coming to grips with self confrontation?
*****
The moments of glory that belong to the sainted adulthood of which we are capable are the redeeming moments of this world.  The rest of it is the fourth grade.
*****

There is that point where everyone is eager to understand until the minute personal  responsibility would be required for actions taken.
*****
As we stretch to pour the milk out of the pitcher, we are blind to the fact that it is only out of abundance we continue to pour.
*****
We are laughed out of the curriculum when our search involves basic origins and we find answers.
*****
Born into human reverence, can any male child grow into adulthood?
*****
Who we are, what we are, where we come from and to where we go are not confined to the adolescent search of most religious organizations.  The adolescent feeds on glamorous charismatic assumptions.  Often held on sadly to the grave.
*****
The premises of life’s purpose are the meat of our lives and the wine of our maturity.
*****
The hurts and bruises humans endure should be worn as karate belts.  Black belts should be worn for psychic bruises.
*****
Words have a weight which carry an indepth report on everything.  Now tell me what you think.
*****

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It Takes Many Lifetimes to Learn. . . .

Word reaches that there are issues with some of my  posts that  are unreal;  that perhaps I don’t know how the real world works.  I write what I know, not  hope or pretend.  As Lawrence O’Donnell commented on  President Biden’s Inaugural, experience is  something you cannot teach.  We always knew it, I think,  just never applied it to ourselves.  Seldom are we lauded for our experience, mostly they say that  we are simply old.

When I say we go to an earned place when we die, I know it.  It has taken a long time for me to be upfront with memories and no, some of them are not good; have even put me in cardiac arrest. 

Since  teaching we are in the world creation business  by the late Robert Nozick, contemporary philosopher, I would create a heaven dispensary if it were already not so.

If life were not everlasting, I would follow the daffodil or if hard pressed, even the mushroom because they come up year after year forever.  It has taken many lifetimes to learn what little I know.

I understand that heaven’s remedial classes are now instituted to get a head start on Dr. Jonas Salk’s Conscious Evolution. This is evolution not to just survive but to evolve to a higher form of human potential, with the spiritual aspects of more compassion, empathy and the heart elements like love and the more stingy,  sharing.

I  came dragging a foot from a world where learning was held sacred and  have lived a functioning life for almost a  hundred years. Not easy .  but doable.  But thinking I should wear a hazmat suit for protection from cynicism which may yet do me in.

The  Poet’s Memories

Torn from an event
with memories still alive
and placed in an incubator to breathe,
are poets expected to live.

Leaving a world incomplete,
they wander in vegetation
totally unfamiliar  and expected to survive.
And give rise to credence
in a world with no root,
where trees are shades
of others more vivid.

Whose flowers whisper their names
in a forgotten language,
whose people are ghosts of livelier images,
all crowding the nimbus.

Where horizons are vast
and what eyes behold are stark lines
dividing two dimensional realities
pretending a depth that fools not a one.

Where snow sheds its stars
on a crystal night and the night becomes
a holy night eliciting unexpected
extravagances bestowing grace.

All grasped in a moment’s vision 
to linger through worlds creating ulcers
by gnawing the viscera with dreams not completed.

The poet’s pen translates worlds
of mean existences from memories held
long in the heart’s pocket.
Translates the colors of those other places
where winds caressed and sun bathed 
a skin unlike his own.

In another place and time he walks
and because he does 

his memories give rise to an Other’s dream.

poem written January 1988

photo by Claudia Hallissey

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I held your heart in my hand . . . it is whole . . . .

We need to come to a place now and again when it is necessary to find a mind matched to ours so we can for all purposes say all that is heavy on our hearts.  With no explanation necessary because our route has been followed step by step;  to hear the words,  I held your heart in my hand for safekeeping and here it is, whole. 

And in a whisper would come the words,  I thought it fractured beyond repair!   We are embraced knowing instantly that we were not abandoned to do it alone. 

We prepare then to venture another time to come with the sweet knowledge that great songs will be sung again.

 

Great  Songs Will Be Sung. . . 

Should you find the need
to tell your story in words,
think mightily on them
and they will be caught up
in the air’s currents
and carried on the birds’ wings.
They will reach the ears
they were designed for.

You will find
you are not alone 
and in this infinite universe
you will be heard.

And when the thoughts
reach the places 
in the heart of an Other

great songs will be sung again.  . . . 

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