Archive | Poetry

You Laid Your Heart On Me. . . .

 

There are more than a hundred of us who share in what I call the ‘jenny genes.’  I am neither boasting nor complaining because we all share faults as well as some victories,  though the latter have come with a price paid dearly.  And the faults have had a dear price also.

One of the maxims we were reared with was that if you see something that needs doing, (meaning work)  do it because you will not pass this way again.  Some ignored this, but most of my siblings lived with this.  It stopped my  heart  twice with cardiac arrest,  and nearing ninety, it prods me on not to just try like Yoda says, but do.

It is a hard way to live because it gives an excuse for others not to work because ‘you like to do that’ whatever the menial task is.  You are told they don’t want to spoil your fun by insisting on helping, not understanding you’re working toward a different horizon. Others are quick to take advantage.

My artist brother and I  in our later years bonded tightly in phone conversations nightly as sleep evaded each of us.  He took the Nazarene as his God and  I took him as Friend.  We agreed on principles, especially the one, ‘hearing you will hear and not understand and seeing you will not see.’  Our conversations often were shorthand script like, you know when you look at the gulley??  answered with oh yeah, you see it too, I know. . . . I know. . . .the birdsong?

He worked his art into the night after the farm  chores were done and I, my studies and writing long after my world slept.  He sculpted  with iron and metals of sorts and used a blow torch.  We worked to show a world where all was sacred because All was connected.  And love was the solder welding The All.  It had to begin with us and the children we hoped were the best of who we were.

If We Sing To the Children

I wear these memories
as a cloak to ward off the chill.
Emotions forgotten, but like new now
ripping along my arms,
settling bumps in straight rows to my heart.

Kindred hearts,  matching my own heartbeat,
with eyes like mine and reflecting our souls.
Music in voices saying,
‘and when I look at weeds beside the road. . . .
but you know,  you know. . . .’

And I do, I do and we look with eyes
that see and ears that hear the song
of the bird before his sounds have escaped his throat. . . .
and the music rumbles in our blood,
coursing through our hearts and gives life only
to those who are ready to listen.

Not many to be sure, not many,
but if we sing to the children perhaps,  just perhaps,
the earth’s cacophony will one day be in harmony.

It is our heritage; from where it is we come.
From the farm country I was given
a substance that does not spoil, that does not turn sour
even in the residue of life. It is not dregs that I drink.
It is the cream rising to the top of the milk.
I needed to see a skyline with no obstruction

and with no words you laid your heart on me.

 

Artwork by Claudia Hallissey

0

Who First Told Us?. . . .

 

It was my favorite holiday of gratitude.  Family friends were visiting so on the day we were seated at the linen covered table with an extension to accommodate everyone.  The children this year wanted to be at the same table.

Close elbow to elbow for this gala occasion.  Excitement was high as the turkey was carved.  To my left was our youngest seated on a stool to accommodate his seven years.  He loved what he called the dressed up table with white linen and best silver.

In the midst of the jubilation a hand swung out in excitement and over went the goblet with the cranberry juice spilling its brilliancy against the white linen.  Panic and horror swept the young face and tears spilled as well as the juice.  I can’t do anything right! he cried.

I immediately hugged him and said it was an accident love, just an accident.  We mopped up the excess with paper towels and see?  We will cover the stain with another linen napkin.  And we did and refilled the goblet and dried the tears.

We learned that the word accident was made especially for these kinds of incidents.  We learned also that when things happen with no malice aforethought they can be called accidents.  And we deal with them.

Talk immediately resumed with enthusiasm and the incident was not remembered by him.  No keloid tissue formed for there was no scar of a moment that might have destroyed his growing abilities in his hands’ craftsmanship.

The words of recrimination had no business being in the mind of this beloved child and they made me angry.  Who would have cursed a child to burden a sensitive aware psyche?

My anger took the form of a lifelong journey into the heart of me having aroused hidden anguish propelling me from childhood with the same agonies of why I could never please the people I loved most.  There were the admonitions always, called constructive criticisms now, to improve who I was.  Even when I was doing my best and working as hard as I could.

It drove me to the world of books and study that never dimmed for me.  I learned and keep learning  why we cry as my youngest did,  why can’t I do anything right!  What propels us in this best of all classrooms to keep trying and doing as Yoda said.  Don’t just try, do!

Worlds await to accommodate what we learn.  We become what we feed our minds.

(excerpt from
Phillip Framed the Mystery. . .)

Our tears filled the rivers with fatigue
which filled the oceans with frustration
as the fruits of our fields were dispersed.
All the while we continued to labor
for redemption.

Aaahhhhh. . . the mystery?

Who first told us we were not good?

(primitive art by Veronica)

0

Under The Wings. . . .

 

In exasperation a beloved said it takes you a whole page to say you went to the corner!  And I realize that was the answer to why my perspective is different and so is yours.  We see and hear things differently because we endow life with who we are.  My readers know that I bring a change in view.

Yet we agree on certain things to allow us to live, hopefully, in peace.  We respect the right of each to worship what is holy and allows one to live life’s dailiness as best one can.  We endow life with our faith or belief or knowledge with whatever was in our carpetbag to carry onto this life on Earth when we are born.

And I will continue to embrace your right to belief with only the stipulation that you do no physical harm to another.  I will include it as my framework broadens and I also prepare mine to broaden for another world.  Life everlasting means exactly that.  We grow and become other as we live.  And I wish we do it with Grace.

I wish all my readers a holy day of their persuasion or a holiday of choice.  Since we bring to our lives who we are, my life includes symbols of my beloved Earth, an angel heralding the occasion with joy and my knowledge that like a giant Dove of Peace under whose wings we fly, the undergirding of these Universes is Intelligence and Common Sense by whatever name we choose for it.  It is with joy, sacredness and reverence we greet the Season.

When Love Was Hatched. . .

If it seems all is lost think back,
when love was hatched and gave birth. . .
to dreams of wonder and of light
to make bright the darkest corner.

And gave us fine sons and daughters
we loved into being.  We sought for dreams
to outlet talents hidden between
fields of mind.  We sought to bring

to each other the reflections
of what we held as our highest and best
in fists tightly clenched.  Now we reach
that time in mind, holding close

those dreams like a magnet,
unable still to separate our lives.
And we will wonder who works
the wonders as we fly

under the Wings of the Great God.

0

Many Truths. . .Many Worlds. . . .

 

A question arose when reading and I was ready to put down the book.   Coming to mind were thoughts I  had to make peace with.  I had been told . . .

‘there are many truths.  There is not just one truth and all else is false.  All things are true in some place at some time; many truths like many gods.  We must leave that place where there is just one of this and one of that.  There are many things that are good, just as there are many things that are not.  Yet for some reason, far from being the truth of us is that there is a preponderance of things people cling to simply because it is easier than trying to find room for all truth.

Why not put them aside when coming upon them and say,  this for now is a truth and tomorrow another  truth will be in its place?  You cannot, as you like, tie things up in parcels and put pretty bows on them.  Not to be done.  Everything cannot be in its precise place forever.  A truth can be right for this place and here, now.

Tomorrow there will be a place for another truth.  What will you do when you find yourself in a world where other truths will find their place and you will have to slide around to find your footing, slippery, yes?  Something always gives and it will be another world and altogether different approaches.  Not necessarily obliterating old truths, simply finding space for them in a different world where larger and broader frames of thinking will be necessary.

We must give space to larger frames where old truth will be integrated to broaden the still broader picture.  What will you do Veronica, when we will have to gain footing on even more uneven terrain? ‘

Many Worlds. . .

I wander about in many worlds
trying all on for size.
Walking timorously, fearful always
of a misstep.

Generously coping
with a plethora of ideas,
alien in context,
coming from sources I can only wonder.

Now a word,
a complete thought
fitting incongruously
into my world of now.

I surrender to a multi faceted existence.

photo by John Holmes

(the writing is from a journal entry in August, 2013 and the poem written in April, 1975.  All time is simultaneous. . Quantum physics)

0

Hope Enters With A Promise. . . .

 

Just do, she said and don’t ask why!  It was her mantra, her Om, her ominous threat!  This great, great grandmother of Emma E. with her brood of young held us all in check being a sergeant at arms.  We muttered our displeasure but we did what needed to be done.  We inherited what I call the jenny genes, inspired some of us and caused some of us heartache.  But we see in our progeny the results that give us hope.

And we know without doubt that hope is the factor that gives life meaning, for without it there is no tomorrow worth waking up to.  Emma E. with her fragile and precarious beginning at 1 lb 13 oz is the now charming and lovable child pictured here having just passed her first birthday.  She keeps on giving intangible gifts of love and laughter  that are priceless.

Thirty three years ago her father came into the world early as she and I thought determined to live as he was, he would have even if born in pioneer times on the prairie enroute.  His daughter is determined as he.  Being only familiar with my side of the family intimately, I see the jenny genes from the orphan my mother was, working yet through her progeny of grands and greats.

Having just come through a week of laying to rest a President of what  is called the Greatest Generation, I am reminded what the characteristics that were their legacy.  Commitment, frugality,  work and responsibility are the hardest things to teach the children.

The Depression years  took the laughter out of many lives but the birth of Emma E. has given all of us reason for joy and hope.  When the larger picture is kept in mind, we can cherry pick the legacies and keep what is fine and good and what gives life.  These are worth working for and keeping.

We always hope the best of who we are is born into our progeny.  I look upon this smiling face of Emma E. and am glad I hold onto that thought.  The thought that the jenny genes will be her strength to persevere but never to forget to laugh.

The Journey. . . a life. .

So we pitch our tents
on the side of the quiet river
and look for landmarks in the morning.

It has been a full day, rafting and
wandering through the rapids
hoping for a night of calm waters.

Still, we hope.  Christmas will
come knocking at the midnight door
and hope will enter.  And she will

be welcome for she enters with a promise.                                                                                          

3

Shared Silence

Shared Silence

In rereading a journal entry of many years ago I wrote with little editing, ‘that my husband of more than a half century went out the door this morning with little communication.  Though there was little talk, there was a communion of shared history in the house.

I think that has replaced talking, being more a feeling than anything.  Not preferable, but the status.

The feeling is that we are what we are and there is no changing at this time.   It was a matter of love me as I am for I can be no other.

It is not that communication would not be welcome.  But even that I really don’t know.  Growth is singular and individual, depending on the soul’s need and intent.

There comes a time that is past communication.  There is a time for silence.  Silence , I would suppose is a time for Being.’

(I add this thought today,  ‘a time for Being, not like in closing shop, but Out Of Time, meaning outside of Time.  Elsewhere.  A soon time.)

Shared Silence

It is a time
past the time of talk,
past the time of argues.

There is a time of silence,
a shared silence,
a time to accept,
a time to simply
slip into old slippers and Be.

No matter the world,
this time is ours.
Maybe not to fill
all the empty spaces
but given time, blends them

into a communion of shared silences.

 

artwork unknown

 

 

 

2

Does The World Stand Still For You?. . .

 

If memory serves me, the one thing I learned from what I have been told is that no one thinks like I do. Trust me,  it was never a compliment from the time I was a child.  When I first started this blog in 2011, I started with this poem.  I excerpt.

‘How heavy is a spider’s web
on a butterfly’s wing?

Since everything is balanced,
the question is proportional.
A friend said to me, only you
had eyes to see it.

Does the world stand still for you?’

This morning I was at the kitchen window looking at the orange tree and thinking creatures are eating the oranges by gouging large chunks and eating them still on the branch.  And I saw then a tiny bird sitting on an orange and pecking into the gouge and having his morning juice.  He was barely seen in the leaves.  But certainly too little to break the tough peel of the orange?  A minute later he flew off.  I gave my thank you for this sight.

Just as I thought my Maudie Dove blinked but was uncertain,  the next morning I watched her and sent my question out and sitting on her nest, she blinked.  Several times.  I had been told after I noticed that when I acknowledged the bird song one morning that the song halted momentarily, that indeed the thought was accepted and appreciated because the song begun again.

This connection to my Earth is one that I cherish.  It will be in my memory bank forever.  We are unique in our perspectives  and each step in our evolution puts us ever closer to what our potential is.  There is no ultimate, there is only growth.

I excerpt another poem called ‘The Moment The Star Fell’ which shows the ongoing quest for answers that have fueled my life.  The question could be anyone’s question and it matters not, but the journey does.  This was a Given and you will see your thinking in it.

(Excerpt from The Moment The Star Fell. . )

I see you search the southern sky
closest to your bed and against your will,
hope a star will fall, just for you.
You think you will know then.
But you will not.

For in the morning you will hear
of a meteor or a similar explanation
to salve the mind of man who thinks
only his world is truth.  And you will doubt.

Yet you will think, ‘ but only I knew what my heart
required at that moment the star fell’. . . .
and then you will doubt again, for they argue
their arguments to convince.
But within the place of rest,

how could you not know?

3

Standard for Common Measure. . . .

 

This is one of those times when life calls for a time out to let the eternal hold sway to be appreciated.  We let loose the hold that events have on us and just let life have its way.  Our mental balance demands it and our relationships require it.  It is enough to catch our breaths and rest our eyes. 

We deal with the living we must do but give obeisance to the divine within that molds and creates who we are.  Pray that we show this divine side to all who depend on us, visible and invisible.  We will then contribute to the progress peaceably of our Earth Planet to the Universe at large.

Common Measure. . .

Your fingers chase
the outline of my face, racing to catch
the smile climbing to my eyes, you say. . .

Where the corners crinkle with laugh lines
but how could they not?  Such love
bestowed by a heart matched to mine,

with thoughts commingling gently.
No argument there, you say, for how can you
argue with love filling the crevices of mind,

filling the void with hope; setting a standard
for all to measure against?  As with  all bars
set high, it will one day be common

with love serving the All as standard measure.

 

photo by Joe Hallissey Sr.

2

No Place To Go. . .

 

I was told that what is done for one will be done for all.  Meaning for me that when one does something unusual or different, the potential exists then for all.  And this is how progress becomes a sure thing for civilization.  Evolution takes a step, sometimes a baby step, but it is forward.

There are others who have experience in matters not common.  I have kept notes on dreams and researched my experiences.  I could not speak openly and was cautioned much because of public circumstances.  Times are different and I speak for the children who are different. 

There are babies now being born who have been mentored and if they are fortunate and have support they will teach the lot of us from where they come.  In the Dead Sea Scrolls a disciple asked Jesus where we go when we die and Jesus answered, why do you ask when you never wondered where you came from?  He also said the ‘the twig is bent’  and religions don’t mention apriori, before we are born.

Most assume that all is formed after birth but every parent knows each child comes already predisposed.   My exasperated mother would gladly have told you about me.

No Place To Go. . .

Your words are strong my eldest says. . . .
and the road made accessible
for the rest of us.  No need I say, no need.
You will do what is yours to do
in your own way.

The road is closed with wooden horses
barring the way, not for repair
but because a new road is laid.

My Mentor said what is done for one
is done for all. . .so the heavens made bet
it would never be done but it seems
there was the surprise.  It is done.

They say they give an inch and I take a mile.
My verbiage is clear.  My focus enables focus
in boundary-less places as I weave
in and out of black holes and wind drifts
to find myself welcomed.

I have friends all over who wait
except where I am.  Here I am different
and in this place to be different puts one
on the outside looking in.  They do not know
where I am coming from.
My vernacular is not theirs and

I have no place to go with what I know.

 

2

In Thanksgiving. . .Because it is. . .

Sometimes I look upon past work and see a new perspective, a new meaning.  And sometimes I cannot remember the person I was who wrote the poem or prose.  It is someone who has made up a portion of who I am and I bring her to the work I read today.  And I am all who I am, what I was and who I am becoming.  That someone I become will surprise me I am sure.

There will be more differences noted not only the physical ones all see.  The subtle changes may seem minute but large to me.  Glimpses are given embracing memories long faded but now gaining form.  Life lived with dedication to commitments leaves few regrets.  And what were considered obstacles now become mountains that have been climbed successfully. 

We are in the midst of a vast universe.  Vast.  And we are more than what we appear.  Our connection to All That Is is real and wondrous.  I bend at the knees easily.  In Thanksgiving.

Because It Is. . .

You cannot dream things that never were
for in a sometime and a somewhere
they’ve taken place and left their indelible memory
on your mind.

Only to be remembered when a slim shadow
casts its spell across your life
and causes you to bring forth a relic,
a piece of the dream that had its substance
in a far time when love was pocketed
near your heart and brought forth to heal
a wound, to make life complete.

Never to question why or why not.
Simply because it is.

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes