Archive | Poetry

Time Is Now. . .

Events of this past week have shaken us all. Time is now that changes will be evident.  Time is now that much will be demanded.  And the young whose memories now of the violence that has taken their friends and innocence will demand restitution and behavior that comes with adulthood.

The children shall lead us.  And force the children in adult bodies to grow up and let loose  the behaviors that have kept this beautiful planet hostage.  It is time and the children shall lead because they have memory.  Of the worlds they have come from and where they exhibited behavior that showed accountability.

It is time now for all of us to grow up.

 

 

Kindergarten. . .

It is kindergarten, this place of play
that tells us that we are just boys and girls
and everyone wants us to be happy.

And we vow again like Tinker Bell
that we play the girl at heart and
like Peter Pan we will not grow up.

And we are adored to be  just as we are.
Never growing up to do those things
of pain we see.  Never growing up because
to grow up means to grow old and hurts
not only bodies but feelings we drown in.

There is no one to save us so
to grow old means we die.
We all know that song, don’t we?

There is no fun like ours when we stay young
to play with the wind in our hair and someone
pushing the swings higher and higher.

Nothing is expected then, is there?
Every day is a day to play. And if we are lucky,
we will die in our sleep and never have to think.

We ask, where is the fault in that?  Where is the fault?

 

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Ripped, severed, broken. . . again . . . .

(I am running out of words and energy at this time nearing the terminus of my life.  I find that what I have written in the past of these earth shaking events are words that still wring my heart to shreds.  And yours, too.  I cannot find other words to tell their story.  Our language does not hold them for me.  We are heartbroken that there is another occasion to repeat them.)

The day looms with fierce emotions which will lay its colors upon the hearts of mourners forever.  It is with little thought given by some that words have great power over the course of our lives.  It is we who must teach the children the choice of words must be with care.  And we adults who must alter our behavior when our words are met with misunderstanding.  Words are the tools of our relationships and must be treated with great respect. The costly consequences are human lives.

The Word Is God. . .

In the beginning was the word
destined to touch the mind of man.
But the prevailing Spirit in its wisdom saw fit
to encumber each with the power to discern.

Meanings floated into space,
shaping themselves to fit the receiving mind.
Reaching their destination,
their shape changed to fit the owner.

Such turbulence!  Such uneasiness!
Albeit because the word had taken life and
risen  to meet the heart’s need.
The speaker’s heart had taken its intent

and placed upon the Ethers the heart’s desire.
It gathered cadence as it rode
to meet the receiver’s prejudices.
The sender’s intent lay silent, lost.

The heavens only acknowledged
its primordial meaning.
Can it be said in truth that the word be god?
It is.

For within its power to create
it moves with desperation to voice feelings,
to give breath to visions and to heal.
The word created creatures and dynasties,

wars and rebellions, held peace in abeyance
and brought us to life.
So speak softly when speaking.
Words carry the weight of the heart

with intent to topple empires
and worlds and men.  In the catalytic movement
of the word, the world’s heart beats,
years are gifted and futures secured.

It is all we have.

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The Wait Is Too Long. . .

From my eyes. . . .

Father, I said, go greet your son.
And the father did and their arms
wrapped themselves about each other.
And the world was then all right.

From my eyes, from my eyes. . .
And from my heart, I hear . . .

Why did they wait so long?

Heart had given its yes when the son
was given his father’s name.

At this moment,
the stars call you by name,
and the moon searches for you.

The heart has already transposed its own heart
by the songs written and sung
through the night skies.

I hear you  love, I hear you and you are singing my song.

March, 1991

 

artwork by Claudia Hallissey

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One World At A Time . . .is enough?

Our focus is a small world. . .

When I read this poem I take on another perspective.  It is a small world that we focus on here.  Never aware that there is another world to the left and one to the right and beneath .  Vast. . .  I see me holding tight to the frame of thought simply to get through. Still conscious of too many things.  I feel like a stick figure when taking on this perspective.  And yet my head feels  ‘out there.’

I wish we were in class so I could hear your thinking.

 

 

 

 

We Trod The Path . . .

We trod the path, hunched
and pull our faces in.
We bend our heads. The wind
is strong when you walk into it.

But I take your hand
and we struggle against
the icy rain pelting our faces.

We’ve walked this route
in centuries past, guarding ourselves
from saying too much.

We were different then.
Simple, direct and not fashionable.
We were honest in our appraisal.

We’ve become alien to our prior selves.
And I can’t say it improves us much.

What do you think?

October, 2012

photo by Joe Hallissey Sr.

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In The Quiet Of This Night. . . . . .

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 how 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.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

 

Artwork by Claudia Hallissey

From the Psalms of Love  for sale on Amazon

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Worn Like A Second Skin. . . . .

The Teacher says do not worry about what others think.  They just think differently.  And this difference lends a diversity to life that will peal our heart and make us wish to be among humans living time and again.

We will wish to work within the limitations, knowing that the things we have learned are tied to the heart and not to the outward conformations.  That what we have learned has been written into the fabric of who we are, that no matter who we are, we will not forget ever.

For a time things are lost but they are found time and again.  And at some time peace is made with who and what we are.  What we’ve learned we’ve worn like a second skin.

The application of a philosophy is hard work.  And the hard work must begin with the stripping of who we are and what we do.  When we send crossed signals and the emotional response is too extreme, we are not getting our story across.

When our mouths are saying one thing and our actions another, the disparity will be seen especially by our children.  When the dichotomy is healed within because the philosophy has been worked on, the memories will help us survive during our last times to make life of better quality.

Medications keep our hearts going but not in the manner where the operation of the brain would be intact.  Our brains need our footwork.

A good place to start is with the word ‘why?’.  Always a good place. Open a book and start running.

In These Sweet Hours. . . 

In these sweet hours of the morning,
I sit in my chair, borrowed
from another room, where old bones
had not yet broken it in;
missing the familiar one,
much loved but grown musty.

Like me, I think old and
with thoughts well worn but
suitable for the mind
inhabiting them.
They’ve stood the test of years
that proved their mettle.

They’ve worn their courage
to the extreme and now will go
into the pages and take their place
as reference to a time long gone
but stable.  They worked.

They upheld customs and behaviors
and civilizations.  And families
when they could have crumbled
never to be restored.

But when hand crafted was
a work of pride, so was the work
of the mind. . . .

stored now like vintage wine.. . .

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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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