Author Archive | Veronica Hallissey

Through A Window, Gladly


Fairy Dust

Will the children find
how shaky all things are
and the gods who are their parents,
all illusion?
What will I say then?

“All of it, my dears,  all of it
is nothing but fairy dust
created by a head
in search of its own dream.”

Where would I be then?
In the midst of this day
or at the end of it, charged with life
pulsating within me.
Tired to be sure
but marveling that in spite,
despite everything,
life is sweet in any dimension.

I am  as real as these fingers
on this keyboard,  as real as
the smile that crossed my lips
when the computer commanded
“please wait”.
Or as real as the work I see surrounding me
that I may never get to.
I do what I see is mine to do.

I am committed as clearly
as I more nearly see.
I write as I more nearly think.   I think.
And I hear what is mine to hear.
So am I real?

Only to arms around me.
Only to those in whose memory I live and
will continue to live.
And as alive as I am in my progeny
whether here or elsewhere.
As I walk, I am.   As I think, I am.
And as I love, I am.
This is how real I am.

And if what I participate in,
including this,
is illusion, so be it.
I would hope it would be a life giving illusion.
In the face of no hope,

I would be hope.


On Growing Up And Growing Old

To know when one demeans one’s own value system, is to debase the Spirit within.   It is all a value system.   And a value system worth its salt will not be maligned in any manner, not even by systems beyond what one knows.  The value system of behavior based on high premises will be honored.   But the source of the system so designed must be investigated and must be researched.   You cannot adopt a belief system based on an others’  work.  It must be within the frame of reference of the individual who espouses the system.

At what point do we decide on a value system?   We can decide at any point whether we be patrons of the library  or of religious conviction.  Do we need a boundary or do we think that we are innately good and require no other to tell us when we do wrong?   It should always be a choice and understood will be the consequences.   When we decide on a value system we are pointedly within a system we have adopted and are living with it or by it.  We simply have not named it.   Is it necessary for us to name the system or are we happy simply to live it?  These kinds of questions we answer as we move from day to day.   It is the dailyness of living that prods us to abide by what we consider to be good or not.   The normal day to day living already comes with its own set of lesson plans.   The heavens note the bright thoughts that are moving within the Earth boundaries and here we are surprised when heaven’s thoughts match ours.   And it is then we shout revelation!  It is interesting as we march into our tomorrows we find that our steps lend themselves to our own adopted behavior.   We are already living our beliefs by our actions and our thinking.  And those who gravitate toward us are already responding to our belief system or our philosophy.   They say the apple does not fall far from the tree.   Here it can also be said that the friends of one’s walk in life are like us and if we find that there is a one who holds different ideas,  we are then free to either walk along or subtly dismiss the one from our circle.   What we do will be very telling about us.   Should we embrace the one whose thoughts differ we might find at first to be frightened.   If terror compounds our fright we will lose the friendship quickly but we might see, if we try to incorporate different ideas, that our boundaries move apart and our premises broaden in scope.

This is about growth.   It is about evolution and it is about being human.   Life is exciting and it is an adventure.   It is about growing up and growing old and wise and a leaning post for the young.   And it is about losing our focus on this world at the end of this life and focusing on a new one.   It is still about growth and evolution and about being other than human that our vocabulary has no words for.   But it will still be exciting and an adventure because life is sweet in any dimension.


How Much Better It Would Be

Blue wall hangingHow much better it would be
for this noble planet
if we cherished her like a lover?
Or loved her as a mother
who adored her child
and wiped the tears away
with a soft linen?
Or as a father
whose arms surrounding the child
are as steel beams supporting
the frame of the tallest building?
Who would not want these for himself
if he could articulate
what would heal
the dichotomy within?
Too few of us around
who love our home so fiercely
we would protect her vital organs.
The sun sometimes
is hidden from man
and the moon embarrassed
to see its light dimmed with shame.
When patches of earth split
from the shock of no rain and dust rises
and rolls across open land,
we wish then not to shake dust
from our boots but to greet
a sunrise in splendor.
Offer me this, the Earth Mother says,
that you will raise your arms
only to surround an Other in love.
Promise me this, again she says,
that the swords will be laid
at the foot of the evergreens, now
and a boot will never crush
an Other’s right to live.

And I will forever cherish your children.

August, 2013


Excerpt From A Journal Entry

Christmas PhotoAugust 13, 1990

I write and say. . . . . .

It is necessary for me to ask why;
otherwise the peeling of my heart has no purpose.
Why implies a reason, doesn’t it?
So don’t start by saying it is not enough
just to live and breathe and see and feel the anguish
of hurt that should never be;
implying that this life and earth are not enough
in themselves because we might get too lazy?
I can’t believe that.
Just looking and feeling the North wind is enough
to stir my senses;
to lift me from my bed to get on with living;
to raise the dust out of corners
too long neglected and lift
the filthy and sweaty labors and point out
that these are gifts of life in themselves.
These are the beauties along with the first snow
and the harvest intact and sealed and the
presence of souls who find a reflection
of what they hold dear in the eyes of an Other.
These are so.   I say these are so.
I say because such a world exists
and there can be a large measure of happiness
in just such a world.
Or you think not so,

because what I dream is a rose in a field of weeds?


Dog Days of The Lion

When at the end
of the dog days of the Lion
and the garden is again
conducive to prayer,
arrange the knees
bent in homage to the winter.

It is time to pray
the garden into being;
the stage for the winter solstice.
It is time to oil the tools
to store in barns designed to hide
the hot and humid days
that made breathing difficult.

Spent flowers, weeping willows,
short term annuals,
having already died
their unceremonious death.
We pickup, clean up
the dried up dregs of the summer days,
and live to breathe again
the freshness of a cooling breeze.



Best Ever Oatmeal Cookies

It was almost three quarters of a century ago that I was relegated to the kitchen at the age of 12 years to cook for my farm family because I could not work in the fields.   I became sick (turned green) in the sun and my mother took my place in the fields and I,  her place in the kitchen.   Her brief directions were exactly that,  brief.   I learned quickly.

We took farm journals and farm newsletters and I scoured them for recipes.   One of my favorite recipes was an oatmeal cookie recipe that the family loved and especially my brothers.   The clipping in my scrapbook of recipes is brown with age and I think it has gone into public domain because it is so old and no name was attached to the article.  It was also a time when cookies were not a snack but a valuable part of the day’s calories.   It was also a time when children worked their chores and when the days were longer in the summer,  had some time to play.   This was a time for dreams and ideas and experimenting.   This was a time when the word ‘boring’ was not part of the language.  Because we knew that if we could not find something to do,  an adult would soon find that something and it would be work.

The recipe can be doubled  because the numbers are easy to remember.   If you decide to double make certain you have a sturdy mixer.   If you don’t, it is safer to do small batches  like this one.   You cannot go too wrong, (if at all) with this.   A minute longer in the oven makes them crisp,  too soon out and they are chewy.   Both conditions excellent.   A glass of milk is a fine accompaniment.   I made these this week and I had forgotten how good they are.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F


1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs   (added one at a time)
1 and 1/2 cups sifted flour   (I scoop the flour and shake the cup to level)
1/2 tsp salt    (I never add salt when I use baking soda.   I just never do)
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups oatmeal  (quick or regular)

Mix in the order given and drop by teaspoons.   Do not bother shaping as these spread during baking.   Bake on ungreased cookie sheets until light brown.   (approximately 10 minutes depending on your oven but watch because they brown quickly in the last minutes)  Wait a minute before removing from pan.   Move to racks or waxed paper on counter to continue cooling.

Good food is something everyone understands,  no matter the age.   They will think you are a genius.


Roses And Evergreens

Roses and Evergreen Do you wear the rose perfume?” she asked.   Yes I said and then she said that every time she caught the scent she wondered from where it comes and who walks with a bouquet of roses.  I wish it were so.   I would give you a rose.  . . . .thorns to be sure, but a rose with petals of baby skin and a scent reminding you of a place long buried in memory.

And coupled with the stringent passion of evergreen. . . both are the true measure of this woman pilgrim in journey.   The evergreen stands as a fulcrum of entry into a forest of refuge.   We belong here it says.   The rose for its scent of love and the evergreen, its passion.  Both marshaling the heart and mind unto the place I know best.

So we must paint roses in the cheeks of the newborn to remind them of the place from which they come.   And with the roses will come the scent they remember.  The evergreen will remind them also of what it is they hold as memory.   Remember the sabers were put across each other at the foot of the evergreen.   A constant reminder that peaceful skills must be honed each day and that they must be taught from the very first breath.  These memories will be sufficient to carry them to the end of their days.  They will remember and know the place that held their hearts and  that with these  they will find peace with understanding.   They need not speak of it but they will know each other by their actions and the love in their hearts.  Their hands will grasp each other and they will know then how much they were loved.


Camelot Moment

The words we chose to speak
could not be construed
to be words of great love,
but they were.

It was with gaiety that we chatted
about the commonplace
and laughed a lot.
We were happy.

I sat in my chair
at the dining room table
and watched with joy a moment rare
in our shared history.

My coffee cup
had been refilled so many times;
its taste was cutting sweet.
You had risen from the table
and in the space that was
the middle of the kitchen,
were moved by some unnamed force
to do a jig.

In the fragmented second it took
to blink away a laughing tear,
your form transformed
and there we were and yet not.

With feet doing your
ancestral dance in mid-air,
your solid body was no longer solid.
A maze of dancing atoms and molecules
took your shape.
Your color took on their transparency
and I thought how fragile you are!

It was just a moment
but eternity practising
and you were back into
the time frame we both knew as you.
I could not tell you what I saw.
The rules of this let’s pretend world
are hard to break.

I sit at this desk with
magically moving molecules,
drinking coffee from a supposedly
solid white cup and saucer
and holding tight to a yellow pencil
at a time when the rest of the world
sleeps and weeps.

Knowing the mountain
is only a thought form
and with a little faith in my ability
to move it, I could.
With our prejudices
we mightily construct a world
to please or not,
as our self image directs.

But in this brief Camelot moment,
I know that in that sacred space I saw you
so utterly defenseless,

I never loved you more, nor me.


I Sought My God

I sought my God
in pleasures great and small.
In beautiful places one was told,
He would be found.
I have traveled much this world
to know if God be found
across the sea, in foreign lands,
I had to seek.

The Roman soil was holy,
surely He would be there!
Though history stirred my senses,
my soul of God was bare.

The ancient Orient
was found to be mysterious
with holy rites for everything.
Surely God would have to be
but I found him not.

My journey seemed so fruitless,
though no greater sights I’d seen,
than ancient ruins pointing to God,
but God was nowhere I had been.

Returning  home I walked
my fields so late at night,
content that I had searched with might
in places far and near for Him,
but found him not.

But doubt within me stirred anew
and forced my face up to the heavens,
while to the ground my knees were bent
and heart and soul with God were rent.

I found there is no barrier
between my mind and my God.
He dwells in me and I in Him.
Eternal  truths forever stand
though time our visions dim.

Foolishly for years I’d sought
my God in places distant,
in books reread to catch elusive meaning.
For me this road was right,
for mind and thought were measure.

Each man must travel the road alone.
The way is clear, the journey long,
but oh the peace!
My mind has ceased its endless turmoil,
my feet their endless motion.

There is no death in this Great Plan,
just a passing on to greater things
of mind and heart and soul.
Inadequate are the words of man,

but my heart in great anticipation,  sings!


Effort Becomes The Way

Take ye  and do likewise He said
and I believed Him.
When effort becomes the way
and in a blink of an eye,
becomes a pleasure, nay fun,
one becomes suspect.

For in layman’s terms
work is not pleasure
but desultory means
of making a living.

Woe is the pilgrim
who in life respects
the physical means
of procuring sustenance.
That in its secret
one finds the ultimate answer.
That virtue is in the labor

and beauty is in the doing.

August 2013


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