Niche Market

When I walk into an awkward

pause, the words hang in the air

like gauze. I push past their

flimsy veil; words rarely tell.

If they are still around

after the echoes have died,

you can bet that they were lies.

A false lead, no reason to inspect.

Feelings, however, I respect,

they dangle like vividly colored

brush strokes in a sunrise by Monet.

They easily point out the way

people suffer, stuck

in unresolved trauma, never

free to step from the muck

into the future, they project the past

repeatedly, so that I meander

through the exhibitions that last

for generations, secrets on display

for the cluster of ghosts

frozen with the need to have their say.

What’s an empath to do?

It’s time to hang my shingle

soon, not as a healer,

I’ll simply tune in, summon

fresh breezes to sweep away

the clutter in this new space

we create together, give

the body’s intelligence a place

to break the ice, unfold, stretch

beyond ancient restraints, to live

the spacious life that love can paint.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: awkward

Tell It To My Heart

“For in spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody.” ~ Aldous Huxley

I have always resisted

labels.  Even calling the way

I feel into life intuition

is an instant limitation.

All the inherent potential’s

available now.  This constant

evolution allows the wordplay

I so love.  Truth speaking

fades as soon as it’s uttered.

The new runs through an open hand

yet we dare to try to grasp,

and name the nameless.

No, I am not clinging

to a single stand I have taken

and yes, each moment I will declare

another, experiencing this rich

unfolding of beauty, horror,

true love and deep anger.

Why do we tingle with life,

jump into insights, premature

leaps toward the next deep pool?

How do we absorb this quiescent

question amid all the mind’s

mumbo jumbo?  I don’t understand

a single thing, though I catch

glimpses of the cohesive flow

staggering, mouth agape

these words of praise escaping.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: premature

Naming What Counts

I devised my first pedigree chart

when I was 10, a project

in the Camp Fire Girls

which promised a bead

upon completion. I collected

these colorful wooden signs

of accomplishment with ardor,

sewing them on a felt

vest, so proud of its weighty

importance when I donned it every Tuesday.

Of course, a chart of ancestors

is never done, reaching back

into the mists of time.

It only dawned on me slowly,

the deliberate erasure

of women who bore all these

children blessed with their fathers’

names, while the one that proved

her bloodline was lost.

Here lies Jane, loving mother

and daughter. She gave up her

identity for food and shelter

graciously bestowed by her father

and then her husband. Her mother

doesn’t really matter, let’s forget

about her. Disappointing tombstones.

I have spent so many hours

meticulously searching

through church records, birth certificates.

Determined to find the hidden branches

of my family tree. While all around me,

cultures still swallow women’s identities,

insisting that it is a sign of true

love to abandon a birth name.

My inheritance from the patriarchy

is not worth

mentioning, dirty paper crowded

with archaic words and arcane symbols.

The matriarchy is where the true power

resides, the creative womb,

infused with nameless

magnetic vibrations. That inner stillness

inside beckons us to the truth,

as we unwrap these trappings

and escape the incessant myths

designed to enslave us,

and free ourselves to love.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: pedigree

Apparent Wealth

“We all have too much…all of us.  Too much money and too much stuff, and never happy with what we have.”  ~ Donna Leon

An envelope propped up by my coffee cup

contained a note, Sorry, no money inside!

A funny joke — ha,ha — by a wealthy person

oblivious to my lack of funds.

Even though I only shop at Goodwill 

on Senior’s Day for the discount

to replenish my very basic wardrobe.

Last year, I would have felt this slight

sadly for my seeming

invisibility.  Especially after

gifting a glittering crystal

bracelet, the very image of luxury.

Today, though, I am more

than enough, I am valuable,

worthy, with so much to offer!

I feel for the people who sit atop

mountains of money, counting fearfully

parsing it out reluctantly.

Having little, I can give 

it all away, blessing each 

gift with a sincere wish

that it multiplies a thousand times.

Happy to be giving,

but just as glad to receive.

I’ll take the comedy

at face value

and laugh, marvelling at

how far I’ve come,

how far I’ll go.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: slight

Deepening Practice

Healing means that we dedicate our life to where the light meets the shadow. Working on that edge is a constant revelation and expansion. ~ Thomas Hübl

I was born on Mother’s Day,

so when the calendar reverberates

this special day, I open my heart.

So often it seems I lose sight

of the core, distracted

my datebook filling

with the need to show up

as someone fully formed and ready

to perform miracles

or at least shine loving

light on these restless shadows.

I remember to sit

in the fluid now, no idea

of who I am. I watch

thoughts bubbling up, 

feel dark emotions so long 

penned like seething

wild creatures pacing

restlessly to find release. 

I aim to dance, freely

celebrating this present

vitality, the spark of life 

my mother’s gift to me.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: core

Duck Medicine

“Remember, be here now.”  Ram Dass

Pink ribbons are reflected along

the edges of the shore.  Impossible turquoise

and violet, a shimmering.

A duck has come to comment

on his lonely existence, quacking

a sunset song of exquisite light.

How many times have I rushed for my camera

to try to capture these fleeting moments

of beauty?  The sky and lake are too big,

their integrated dance too subtle.

Clouds shift imperceptibly, the breeze has 

stilled, a prayerful waiting, like joy

infusing the calm water.

The sun sinks into a brilliance

in the west, opening my tender

heart. Like the wisest mentor

creating a safe container, the mallard 

flies into the dark waters

of the far bank, where purple shadows gather.

Above me, streaks of deep rose

and an innocent robin’s egg blue

lining just the tops of trees,

not yet greened

on this early spring night.

His silent return revealed by

his silvery wake, his teal head

now indistinct, my guide

swims straight toward me, quacking

a reminder: you know nothing, and you see less.

Strip all the knowledge

from your cynical eyes and

enter this mystery.  Croaking to me

from the threshold where land

meets the sea, and the beauty is almost too much.

The sky darkens and one final crimson

band flamboyantly dances

like a wild woman determined

to blaze in glory.  His cry is louder

and I hear:  it’s never too late, take heed,

wake up.  The last chorus

of this sunset song, my eyes wide open.

I am here now as

silken glass

mirrors the trees and grasses

in the last lingering light.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: mentor