Archive | Poetry

Across The Mind’s Eye. . . .

Across The Mind’s Eye. . . .

Laying like whipped icing
on the wedding cake,
the drifts of snow
across the mind’s eye
left a clear path
to the heart’s memory
of the other winters
when love closed the doors
of the world and cherished me.

What were the winters like
when the snow stood high
and like lover’s swords
sliced a path

and found where I was?

 

Photo by
Joe Hallissey Sr.

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Where Can We Go?. . . .

 

When I was in public grammar school and we were let out for weekly religious class to go to our places of worship, I sat on my hands in the basement of the old church and sweated.  I was not answering the priest’s question and knew I would  be  punished  but what he was asking was not my memory from where I came before I was born.  So I knew what I said was so because I was closer to my Source than he was.

I could not convince the priest nor those I loved most.  But I wrote this poem Where Can We Go in 1982.  It was a Given, thoughts impressed to me as I wrote and I give it to you.   We live in a quantum age and learn that  all time is simultaneous; it was a yesterday.  Just as true today as it was yesterday.   Since life is everlasting, it will be just as true tomorrow.

Just as our arms release beloveds, other arms open in welcome to them on the other side.

Where Can We Go?

As  the sparrow falls it is noted,
and the quality of life
is diminished by one.

Long ago the feathers were counted.
The color of the downy beast
was painted into the rainbow.

A child is born
in the forgotten regions
of a world too busy to take note.

The borning is observed, however,
by the cosmic populace.
Its growth watched and shepherded.
And when the child cries, the heavens lament.

There is no least in quality or number.
Each beating heart is calculated to keep
a world intact.  Each blink of an eyelid,
reason enough for the sun to keep itself alive.

The coming together and the going apart
of each is through a door opening and closing
onto a portion of life, indissoluble.

Now it is here, now gone from here,
now it is here.  Disappearing  from this place,
it takes form in another.

The sparrow sings in another tree,
and his song is heard by one who left the here
and followed.

Where can we go and not be found?

 

photo by John Holmes

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We Are What We Know. . . life everlasting. . .

When we reach the point in time that we feel there is no energy to meet another challenge, we relent and let go, we hope lightly, and prepare to depart.   We have lived our lives in preparation of our next address.  Those who love us know we won’t be disappointed.  We, ourselves, probably not so certain.

Life is everlasting we were told, not only for the daffodil, the mushroom and the evergreen, but of course for us.  I have blogged now into my 8th year and hope that what my life has affirmed for my readers is that I only write what I know.  What my experience and what my open head with memories have subtly and sometimes hammered at me, we are what we know.

If we have not played fast and loose with our endowed gifts, we have had a lesson plan written precisely for us, with the freedom of choice granted graciously.  Not a walk in the park for sure, but mountains to climb with pockets of joy to lighten the mix.

In my extended family we have had departures of late of beloveds.  After lives well lived, these departures leave a loss to be sure,  but what life has taught, we leave with a forwarding address.  Awakened will be other times and places and loves with arms open to receive us.

As we here bid goodbye, others shout, welcome!  We waited for you!  Amen and amen with a welcome home. . . .

Within Memory. . . .

You will again yearn for a patch
of green earth to lie down on,
to smell the pine forest alive in its secrets.
Or hidden beneath the crisp cover
of fresh snow.  They will not have left
your memory.

Somewhere also within memory,
is a place yearning for you.  It is deep
in time that is as remote as a country village.
And yet there too, you will find refreshment.

You will find eyes that light and
follow you when you enter their doors.
There will be those whose lives you have
searched for remnants of who you are.

You will find them waiting silently for your voice
to beckon them from where you have been hiding
for almost a century;  bent on finding a reason to live.
So come now, when you hear your name called

let us know you are willing to be with those
whose love for you is weighed in centuries.
Nowhere near the place you now hold as
being close to heaven and yet, yet, close enough

that you will lose your hold on the place
destined to be another memory.  You will take
love for god’s sake and hold it high
as a solemn token of the herald’s  torch,

reminding all that the way is always safe
until the games are over.

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The Crucible For Memories. . .

We, the each, are nothing but memories.  We are the Lord of Memories for ourselves and for those of our commitments.  And what we as the crucible for those memories have made of our world.  The painful we hope we have overcome and forgiven and the good will have repeated itself forever more.

For the children it was a matter of what could I give on which to build a life.  They grew beneath my heart and were my responsibility.  Many times it simply was a matter of the scent of cinnamon which would recall a Saturday night home from a date with a cooling loaf of bread waiting, or the ease of laughter in a situation tight with tension that would give a moment’s respite  for peace to enter and habits to give ritual a chance for discipline to be mastered.

Habit, talk, love, and caring demonstrated.  Not in that order but in whatever order they would be required.  I would not know what my children would call upon when the world went cold for them, but I could do what I could do and hope it was a something needed that was within my power.  Memories could do that.

The Memory Makers. . .

The smell of the damp morning
kindled memories of earth mold,
as she fetched the wood
and stirred the fire anew.

Warmth crept into the chill room
as ghost’s of Springs’ past kept watch
and in unison nodded approval
to make waves on still born ethers.

The children slept; their various ages
revealed by the length of their slumbers.
Each in  his turn made thanks
in silent novenas to the Memory Maker.

Her precise movements
were liturgical practices in acknowledgement
of their presence.  They were easy to love.
The fire spit; the fresh ham already

sent its perfume through rooms
with closed doors.  The sleeping children
stirred in deep recollection
of some thing long ago enacted.

They would soon rise and rub sleep
out of granular lids and bid the good morning.
And she, with her own recollection of
remembrances would nod in tribute
to the Lord of Memories, who discount arthritic knees to

press on each generation of Memory Makers.

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When The Gold Shows. . . .

 

I wonder how many of us met last night, during the night in the class of Broken Pieces 101.  I woke up thinking it was my friend Maria’s (fullmoonfiberart)  post I read awhile ago on how we seem to become friends with others who are broken.  Perhaps the broken pieces of us want to unite with the broken pieces of others to become a new whole something.

I just finished reading Tom Atkins (Quarry House) post on restoring broken old things, and he said we could think things or pieces of ourselves broken.  Never to become what we were but I like to think that all that work in refining must show gold eventually.  Both in things and ourselves,  especially ourselves.

We all have something to contribute to that class and we work diligently on what we consider worth fixing.  Many do not come to class for the simple reason it is hard work but also many do not think anything is broken.  And why fix what isn’t broken?

But worse than that thought is that some do not see what is broken because to them it is not.  That something, either the thing or themselves could be better, work or think differently and therefore life would be enhanced and peace more than a promise,  they cannot visualize since it is outside their frame of reference, of thought.

It is not a matter of dismantling or throwing the baby out with the bathwater,  but simply of broadening the horizon, enhancing the meanings to be more inclusive and restoring what has been covered by rust and grime and dogma long past its prime.

To find literally that we have here an idea whose worth in its infancy was outside the box, outside the frame of reference, with derision not given a chance, to now be finding its niche, its putting place of prominence in our lives, is the miracle.  That is to show gold.

(excerpt from)
The Broadening Aspects of Knowledge. . .
(man)
Clad in soft slippers,
arranged in soft nightclothes,
too comfortable to mean business,
unless pierced with guilty stabs
into a lethargic conscience.

Man sits established,
too tired to lift the printed page.
With a mind anesthetized
and eyes already pressed in sleep,
he has succumbed to the day’s tally.

Oblivious to the fact
that only he can save himself,
he spurns knowledge,
resting uneasily in the revelations
of the last book.

. . . fearful of its responsibility,
with mind’s edges sealed,

he waits futilely for a savior.

 

photo courtesy of
Jon Katz  BedlamFarm.com

 

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Proof That We Came and Were. . . .

‘what is eaten at the table for conversation will determine the digestion of the world’s table.’
   the teacher. . . 

After The Gathering. . . .

I take the lemon wax and spray and wipe
to a fine polish, the table where food and
love have been served.
I take the memories from the last gathering and
camp them in a new place, to be taken out
in another time by those whose work it is
to be keeper of memories.

The table has changed places
as have the memories.
It is in place now and already others
have seated and supped.
New memories are being shaped
by those whose need within is
a hunger to touch places
too long isolated.

It is for each we do this.
We bring together our selves
for the fine art of fleshing out
the canvas where we have painted
our lives to create a memory
for a world where none was before.

The memory will be our proof that we came and were.

 

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For Sitting On The Porch. . . .

Few of us have means to hire out the prep work necessary to maintain our homes.  And getting the porch stained and ready to enjoy the summer is ours to do.

To sit at night, to wrap up the day, is such a simple thing and yet it is food for our souls we are perhaps too embarrassed to mention.

Necessary it is if we are to engage in what calls us to do the daily work which siphons our energies to get on with the ongoing life.  These are the times that unite us one to the other as well as our Source.

Early morning and dusk were for me the best times for sitting.  Early morning for the greeting of the birds ready to acknowledge, by a brief halt in their singing, my good morning.

But evening when I sat in the oncoming dark with my mind’s work in progress, I was haunted by memories which kept me company.  Never feeling alone but accompanied by centuries of companions who stood and looked with wonder with similar eyes fastened on the sky.

Seeing perhaps what my eyes did now.  These are your thoughts too?  This is how we lock into our humanity.

For Sitting On The Porch. . . 

It is a night
for sitting on the porch.
The night is soft and
there is a breeze about.
Soft.  A love night. . . .
How could it be better?

Only to share with an Other
whose eyes see as mine do;
the shapes of the trees
against the darkening sky.

The maples are round like balloons;
the irregular Tamarac whose wispy needles
look like bare branches.
The feel of the night like a caress,
a loving touch, a whisper.

I was the night and all my Self in it.

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The Why of a Life. . . .

She was a young friend and unable to see the many aspects of ‘why did I settle for so little?’ with the direction my life took.  When the full impact of the time of her birth with the battle for equal rights and the still emerging weight of the question she asked  connected, she would know.

It took a lifetime for me to see these aspects of a life making sense.  I drew from journals the events that started the journey from the first breath into a family of brothers who hovered and worried about this creature in dresses.  And had a mother who if she could would have sent me back to wherever with an ‘I don’t know where she learned that!’ as her mantra.

But circumstances alter cases and turning sour after the birth of my youngest,  the hand extended to say it was all right to leave, but I could not take it.  I asked who will take care of the children?  They grew beneath my heart, so they were mine to care for.  And became the jewels of my life, priceless, irreplaceable and with joy.

Unforeseen circumstances demanded constant attention.  Heard were the words, I won’t, not mine, I’m late already, you do it, or I can’t with surprised vomiting  or alas, pleading the fifth!  With a running out the door.  I ask again, who will take care of the children?  I already knew they were clutched within the hiding places in the big bodies.

We see only a small segment of this linear life.  It appears complete but it is vast.  In a teaching dream my brother Stanley said to me, look, let’s get this part of life done right!  So let’s and as Dr. Heinz my dear doctor said,  Veronique!  All I can handle is one life at a time!

So we work with this life and try to get it right.  Some of us just have more thrown at us that we have to deal with alone.  So be it.

The following poem was written in February of 2017.  The above mini introduction I hope explains a little the life leading to the poetry.

Old Friends Breaking Bread. . .

What’s the harm in it?
one asks, sitting in the sun,
wind lifting tired hair.

She answers, no harm at all,
with two old friends breaking bread.
It is good to recall once fresh dreams.

Everything gained they agree.
Lives lived splendidly according to script.
Lives mortgaged knowingly so the Other
could know their moment in the sun.

They needed to learn they were worthy.
For us it seemed we chose it to be
a time out for us.  We raise our cups
in tribute to the great plan enfolding us.

Evolution. . . choosing to make this difference.

artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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Honed Beliefs Made Manifest. . .purpose of lives lived. . . .

A value system is what is honed by a lifetime or many lifetimes lived as beings,  and not necessarily only as the human that we know.  It can reflect lifetimes of worlds not visible to the human system of values or cognizance of them.  What the value system will show is what has been driven through the heart of one to become what it is they are, who it is they are.

A value system cannot be measured by words, nor can it be described by words.  We can say  we hold this  to be of worth but the meaning to each will differ.  What it cannot convey is what the individual’s heart holds as value.

When the values of one are betrayed by someone of worth to the individual, either by words or actions,  the eyes will tell you of the hurt the wrong has done.  Here again, that hurt to be felt by another, can be understood only when it is within the frame of cognizance, of reference.

Otherwise it will be a matter with little meaning and as easily dismissed as a flick of the wrist.  Or a shrug. Aaahhhh they will say, a nothing.  No big deal.  But a big deal it will be to the one afflicted.  It will be a devastation and it will tumble worlds that have taken lifetimes to construct.

Values are gifts we shoulder from one generation to another.  The thoughtful ones gather the cores of the worthwhile that enhances the growth of humanity.  It begins always within the four walls of where cognizance emerges.  It is a responsibility; it is a sacrament.

It is long past the time we treat it as such.

A Belief System. . . .

It is a belief system designed
to hold together an idea.
It floats, this idea,
in the Sea of Tranquility
where the I of me resides.

Someday I will suspend my belief
that holds me to this place
hiding my jewels.

It is a beautiful spot I have made
to hide those jewels and no one
will find them.

They will be forever hidden
in a place no one chooses to look;
the hearts and minds of those who love
this Earth with passion.
Surprised they will be to see
in the palm of their hand

the keys of the kingdom.                                                       

 

The Farm by
Kathy Rybacki Qualiani

The Brothers by Artist
Claudia Hallissey

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A Divine Surprise. . .

 

You know what I was thinking I asked my younger this morning.  He grinned at me and one arm  with hand out flat swooped over his head and then bent to the floor palm out.  It meant to me that my explanations are hard to understand.  I laughed.

I was only going to say that we have found the right foods for our bear Newfoundland because he is smooth and silky and shiny and his eyes clear and bright.  Leroy is one beautiful dog who loves his buddy and is fond of his food lady too.

I am ponderous at times it seems but my humor follows the pattern of my explanations.  It takes work I guess to appreciate my puns.  But I try, really do.

I came across this poem this morning as a change of pace.  I laugh when I read it and hope you do too.  It was after I read a journal entry noting that one of my readers said she doesn’t even know the language I use nor the words and thoughts.

She reads and rereads until she feels the weight.  I am grateful.  She is close to the kingdom because she learns and therefore teaches.  I am the perennial student and worship learning.  Truly grateful I am for my readers.

Physically Unfit or a Divine Surprise. . .

I muse that a derrick would be useful
for lifting an aging body from a chair
to legs that buckle.

My heart catapults out of its
protective cavity and I observe it
resting carefully in my hand.
Only to feel it pound against the ribs
Adam had broken.

I remember answering a phone with a voice
breathless and sexy  as the once famous
Jean Arthur of my youth whom I imitated
by sleeping in front of an open window
in weather forty below.

On flat surfaces which children vacated
I play musical beds to silence
bones that creak.

Darwin is puzzled.
I should not be alive this day complaining
but rather quite dead.

I too, have questioned when entire species
have disappeared and I remain to complain.
But I have learned while he did not,
that the unfit do survive
while heaven still holds the sparklers.

Even to me, I am I find, a divine surprise.                                                                 

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