The Clearing

~ Dedicated to Cristina Bevir and SETM.

I’m tuning in to this high intelligence

like a tool, a formula,

a magic wand to integrate

all the misinterpretations

cooking in my stew

of yearning.  I listen

to the longing for love

pushing the envelope,

painting the calumny.

“Bad boy,” my grandson says

with a fierce scowl.

I release the heartache

triggered by his tone.

There is an opening in so-called

reality, a way

to mitigate this ancestral

storm by bending before

its force with curiosity.

Allowing every image,

every buried memory,

my faultless intuition

guides me through darkness.

It is constant, holding

mild and humble

as I witness the great

power of healing.

I sit

and offer my expansive

lap: come snuggle.

As our heartbeats connect

we align to the deeper

places of pure possibility.

Inspired by:  intelligence, calumny, cook and mitigate.

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Under The Tundra

I strain toward the present

moment, tiptoeing across

frozen river

memories instrumental in

splintering me

thousands of sharp pieces

held together in a purely

illusionary woman

you see before you.

Be gentle with your grandmother,

I urge this boisterous

little boy, who knows my heart-

child is always

eager to play

out the stuck places.

We wriggle and jump.

Down dog to find missing pieces.

He nestles into my safe

lap for stories

and we learn

we only reach now

together, holding space

that includes prior pains

we can rewrite

when we go back

to the beginning

with strong new love.

 

Inspired by:  Memories, Instrumental, River and Splinter.

Bless Me If I Stay Alive

Freezing a waterfall is not…easy, since the water molecules are continuously moving and can therefore easily detach from the bonds holding them together. ~ Ashish

 

When I was 10, I wrote a letter

to my grandmother, seeking

facts about her lineage.

Finally, at 26, over cocktails,

she confessed she’d received

a missive from a maiden grandaunt

upon her marriage, an envelope

filled with family facts.

She’d pitched it, saying,

who cares about this shit?

finding out exactly decades later

reading my request.  Those are

our only two encounters I recall.

Still, I carry my grandparents’ enmity

like this photograph, a frozen

waterfall of immense power

inaccessible to two

drunk teenagers, dismayed

by the arrival of needy

children exposing their own

unaddressed wounds.  Only able

to call for more

alcohol and hatred,

finally repelled like magnets

from each other and the seedlings

their brief union sprouted.

I’ve tested the ice gingerly

to arrive at their trauma

locked inside my own genes,

now demanding I thaw

what has been blocked.

And so under the heat of my

regard, I set out to accomplish

this feat, releasing the flow

of energy to my own

descendants waiting impatiently

downstream.

 

Inspired by:  Photograph, Enmity, Letter and Accomplish.

Title inspired by Bert Hellinger in Looking Into The Souls Of Children, “Behind the scene we…see something else is at work, and the individual is at the mercy of something that does not reveal itself easily…other powers are at work, and the people involved do not understand what’s really going on….Go to these dead…and say to them, “Bless me if I stay alive.”  

Photograph taken 1981 in Queen’s Canyon, Colorado.

The Magic Words

It’s been seven days, and he’s still

anxious to deliver

his passionately tender

Merry Christmas, Bibi.

His greeting infused with magical

light displays and the mystery

of carefully printed tags —

he can’t read yet — on wrapped

presents it is only natural

to assume are his.  There are layers

of laughter, dancing, parties,

kisses and hugs and the surprise

responses to his hopeful

unutterable longing

for the return of beings

he unreservedly adores.

Our first phrases

are such intricate

integrations of our most

meaningful experiences.

Love language

thank you and good morning

combinations of words he’s learned

to sing like lullabies, instant

defusers when faced with irritation

or anger.  He instinctively knows

the power he is wielding,

and he touches me,

eyes meeting mine,

face to face, urgent

and beaming

as we share the delight

of his spell.

Inspired by: Deliver, Mystery, Hopeful, and Natural.

You’re In The Navy Now

Hat in hand, offering his strength

in return for a little food,

some cash, a tiny house,

the promise of training

and transferrable skills.

Pushing past people

shivering with cardboard signs

and dead eyes, wrung out

and discarded on the sidewalk,

he doesn’t recognize these

brothers.  Fixed on the prized

traditions serving

my country, travel the globe,

defend the spoils of the one

percent.  He’ll carry their plunder

out of the danger zones

with a crisp yes, sir and straight

carriage, posing on command.

In ten years, he’s never voted,

and he doesn’t care to focus

on politics, his resolution

increasingly on the pixels

of pure survival.  They’ve offered

a sweet signing bonus,

the perfect segue from rags

to riches. 

I’m not consulted.

What do I know of war,

besides marching against it?

In another time, I might frame this

as ironic revenge

for the missteps of my youth.

He still calls his childhood

idyllic; truly wonders why

his brothers are in therapy.

Today the only job left to me:

relax in the arms

of the supportive universe,

watching as each taut thread

emerges now, loosening

as the tension releases

all the invisible pressure

on all these unreachable knots.

In my dreams, my great great

grandmother holds my face

between her hands and kisses me,

surrounded by ancestors

gathered to say, this is so.

The way is mysterious, lit

by what reaches through the cracks

of our carefully constructed

cages. Suspend judgment,

the entanglement of worry,

as each step is

allowed

in its fullness.

Inspired by: Traditions, Resolution, Revenge, and Segue.

Tricks of the Trade

My grandson touches my face

to trace the scratches

time has etched there.

The power of a word

wipes away grim wrinkles

and replaces with hope.

He is still immersed

in life, no intersection

between play and learning,

not on my watch.

And I grieve to think

he will experience the brouhaha

of release as school doors

open and the clever

persistent pressure

pops with dazed children

wriggling and chattering

until the next Hush!

and crammed seats claim them.

The societal commitment

churns up workers 

and prisoners to keep 

the cogs turning

for plutocracy, sucking

creativity and inspiration,

leaving tired husks

crawling from the third job,

the music of

phones ringing from tricksy

collectors offering brief

relief.  And all the while,

the slick smiles of satisfied

customers urge

one more purchase

guaranteed to fill the empty

hole.  We sit together,

and I teach him heart-sight,

purposefully sending love

vibrations to a fallen cardinal

who slammed against a window.

Be careful what you create,

I tell him, an it harm none.

Inspired by: Commitment, Brouhaha, Intersection, and Play.

Hidden Depths

Venus, Mercury and Jupiter are bright

in the predawn sky

but for these clouds.

I’m asking to perceive

what is hidden 

although this requires a strong

heart and committed receptivity.

I am cultivating the view

from the balcony, investing

in the panoramic even as

I squat in a yoga pose

with my grandson.

It isn’t until after he leaves,

viewing short videos that I hear

his low-voiced comments

and whispered lisps,

turning up the volume so that

next visit, I can reflect back

to him the power of being

heard.  And it becomes obvious,

playing solitaire, how many chances

I skip in my hurry

to turn over the next new

cards.  The winning hand

is easy when I pause,

ignoring the imperious timer

demanding I capitulate

by leaving the present

unopened, rushing to some future

triumph, dragging the detritus

of the past.  He’s scribbling,

and brings me his pencil,

“Not that one,” insistent

on bold ink to etch

his powerful spells in the language

only he can speak 

now

in the moment 

of pen to paper.

Inspired by:  Imperious, Pencil, Capitulate, Squat