Archive | Poetry

In Memory of a Good Friend. . .

It is written that if you can count good friends on one hand, you are rich.  I was right to count myself as a very rich lady.  All have already transited, and another one or two still far younger than I, will follow long after me.

I want to write what is a good friend to me.  What I had in a friendship with Jan.  I met her at a crucial time of my life and we meshed upon meeting.  The following is from a journal entry edited for space.

I was then about to enter my fiftieth year.  This will tell my young readers that we do not appear full feathered just because we age.   It is a process and encompasses commitments  made even while the inner house churns about.

Less than three years after we met, my world fell apart.  And putting it back together was difficult.  One
never thinks about losing one’s ability to trust one’s Self, but simply stated,  it is a hard road back.

St. Paul and those who had their road to Damascus experience could take a year off and have their groupies care for them.   The times now have us blessed if we have a friend.

‘She has given me so much over the years.  She has pointed out how good and unique I am and has helped build my self esteem bit by bit.   From the first she had an open ear to what was said as well as unsaid.  She pointed a possible direction but never once said I was making a wrong decision. 

She understood from where I was coming.  And rejoices where I am today.  Everything teaches she says.  You are where you are today and go on from there.  She teaches.  You do not spend energy on regrets, but learn from them.  And she praises.

My parenting the boys she said had her and her friends wanting to throw in the towel.  They actually talked to me she said.  And we knew you thought we all were like you.’ 

We were best friends for over 3 decades.  It is now 25 years that she is gone from Earth.  It took a long time for me to stop reaching for the phone to call Jan.  Laughingly when there was static on the line, we said that obviously there was cosmic monitoring.

We matched minds on many issues and ‘all time is simultaneous’ we accepted.  She often said that what we learn is more a matter of remembering for those like us.  I am grateful she was in my life.  She was a good teacher.

From a line in another poem, I will say,  ‘ces’t moi, it is I,  pull me over.’

We Break Bread. . .

I have broken bread with old friends
for what seems to be many centuries.

We continue our conversations
begun when yet we were in other times
and were other people.

But it has been, you see, only a minute.
We bring to mind all things old and
some things new.

It was but a quirk of Nature, so that our hearts
would grow and become one heart.
It all has a familiar fit.  Don’t you think?

All things will be new again
when we break bread in the next of times.
But you knew that, didn’t you?

All things new are really all things old.
Even some of us.

 

photo by John Holmes

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We Are The Music. . . .

 

 

 

 

We Are The Music. . .

You say,

pull the shade!
Or the neighbors will see.

 

 

I say,

What will they see?
Us dancing?

I rest my head
on your shoulder
and am happy
in the embrace.

Us dancing
in the kitchen
too small to move much,
but close in heart.

I say,

Keep dancing.

You say,

But there is no music!

I say,

We are the music. . . . .

 

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For The Holy Day of Heart. . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Touch Me. . .

Lean over and touch
that part of me
that shows you know
where I live.

Love me
in the way
that shows you know
who I am.

Vulnerable
though I be,
trusting I am.

I love you,
knowing the parts of you
you do not know.
Afraid,
yet wanting to touch
the pool of quicksilver

which is your heart.

 

(from my book Psalms of Love )

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The Fairyland Was Real. . . .

This time you will mentally shape the thoughts for this poem.  You will remember the child you were at heart and the times when the world became a fairyland.  We all have these memories and we take them out when the world becomes brittle and sharp.  With these memories,  few that they are,  it becomes malleable again and softer.  Wear with splendor these memories.  They warm you when nothing else can. 

You Washed The World . . .

You washed the world
with my love
and took it and made
a valentine of my heart.

You washed the world
with a blanket of snow
and lace formed on my eyebrows
and made my lashes
heavy with snow.

You threw me down
and I made an angel
with wings outstretched
and I stood in my finery

and it never faded nor melted.

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Camelot Moment. . . .eternity practicing. . . .

 

When given and we are present in heart and mind, it is a rare gift.  I call it a Camelot Moment because it was perfect in itself and yet a confirmation to a philosophy in process.  It met with great appreciation when first published and now approaching Valentine’s Day,  for new readers, I wish you a Camelot Moment.

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 practicing 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.

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It Is Hard Being Human. . . but a privilege. . . . .

                                                                                                          Love her, she is ours. . . .

 

I am grateful for my readers who follow my work though they may not agree and sometimes not understand what I talk about.  I overheard  one talking to my son and he said he gave up because he had to look up every other word I used.   I use words that come to mind and when I backtrack I often have to use the thesaurus to verify.  That is the way my head works.  I  try to  write in the vernacular and think I do.  Then when I reread or hear a comment like above,  I wonder.

I inwardly focus and have written about the deep place I enter to confer.  I say this and there are silent others who read these words and they know of what I speak.   I speak out now at the ending of my life so that there will be some understanding about the differences among us.  We cannot continue to stagnate and have no progress in our humanity else we continue to decimate cultures and bury our children.

My squabbles with beloveds stem mostly with speaking on things that are outside the frame of reference.  The following is dictation from a recent journal entry about my inability to fully appreciate how one can not understand something that is confronting one.  It is a stumbling block for me when understanding is not commensurate with education.  Another time for that, but here is the entry.

“when it is outside the frame of reference, that circle, that boundary, one cannot relate.  Each piece of information must root to push the frame of reference a bit farther out.  Each piece of information that makes sense, that roots, that finds reason will establish that piece firmly.  And when something similar comes to mind there is a magnetic action.  Growth happens, maybe no more than a micro, but growth.  Each new piece then fuses and we have a macro something.

Faster paced is the growth for awhile.  Enough so that it is noticeable and we have another human in evolution again.  Keep this in mind.  When there is nothing in the frame of reference that you give away for free, it is worth nothing.  If it clicks and has them saying it makes sense, or is reasonable and roots,  then we teach.  We expand our knowledge  and give grace expeditiously.  Grande feeling, really grande.  The lightbulb goes on. 

Even when just one understands and the action roots,  then all will progress.  When the second one relates,  we have a committee. The Master said that when you give me a drink,  all thirst will be satiated.  That is human progress in evolution.”

It is simple?  May takes centuries for change to occur.  When a new concept is adopted the brain opens chambers not used before and mankind prospers.  There is truth in the maxim that we become what we feed our minds.  I know, it is hard being human.

(excerpt from poem)
The Uncovering. .. . .

The idea will find its home in the minds of all men
and the revolution begins.  The learned ones
will marvel at the evolution in thinking
and peace with brotherhood will slowly mark
its beginning in the house of one man. . . . . .

(written 1960’s. . .before I knew that all time
is simultaneous. . .quantum physics)

 

photo by Joe Hallissey, Sr.

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The Heart Knows Its Own Amen. . . .

 

Oftentimes I have written about the cosmic importance of families and homes and many take this as opposition to the seeming greater importance of worldly concerns.  The reality lists toward the impossible harnessing of worldly affairs by adults with hungers left unfed as children when they could have been directed toward  good,  toward universal harmony.    Those hungers  are fed when they arise in children by adults who understand the importance of parenting. 

The obvious spiritual wounds are evident in today’s world by behavior which should be mature in adult bodies.  It is childish in no uncertain terms but now called boyish or youthful or darling or cute or even charismatic.  Once we were called brats with no apology. 

The universe, both visible and invisible, suffers when babies continue to make babies.  And the scars are eternal. It takes a long time for undesirable behavior to be weeded out of the gene fields of humanity.  It will be done sooner if we make a concerted effort to grow up.

 

In The Quiet Of This Night. . .

In the quiet of this night,
come to me and we will hold hands
and talk and I will show you
from high up you jumped.

The night will love you
and envelop you and you will find
that in the cold moon,
there is a heat that sustains
to show you where your home is.

Within the skirts of who you are,
you will gather
the children around you
and we will love each other.

The heart knows its own Amen. . . . .

 

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Coming To The Sainted Day of Heart. . . .

They are such simple words but for some people to say the words will cost them dearly they think.  And yet to another,  their lives hang precariously they know if they don’t hear the words soon.    

When one speaks from one’s heart,  the Other intuitively must answer from one’s own, or not answer at all.     It takes courage to confront one’s vulnerabilities, or else one takes refuge with the dismissal  that it is all worthless drama.

As we approach the Sainted day of Heart,  this poem is for you.   I agree that you open yourself to some possible hurt but the greater possibility would be to close oneself to unbelievable happiness and pure joy.

To approach my ninth decade I say truthfully that pain does devastate but time softens it, but with happiness the Divine Within compounds with interest the joy remembered forever.  With what do you wish to be remembered?  Think it through.  Eternity is a long time.

She Says, He Says. . . .

She says,
speak to me!

He says,
I have nothing to say. . . . .

She says,
you can say I love you. . .

He says,
I look out for you, don’t I?
And help others every chance I can. . . .

And she says,
and everyone loves you but
what good to save the world when
your own house is falling apart?
We were told that, were we not?

Words mean a lot.
It is all we have
that connect us, one to the other.

He says,
no one ever said the words
out loud to me and I grew up.
So how important can they be?

And she says,
don’t I count?  Your heart is heavy like a rock.
Only by seeing what the past has done to us
can we change its direction.  And I see
your life long and worth the change.
But change direction only if you see your Self
deserving of this chance.  I say work it!

He says,
you think I will see a difference?

And she says,
you may really be surprised.  Really be surprised.

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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

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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)

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