Songs of Praise

I arrive in every second,

in order to laugh and cry…

the rhythm of my heart

is the birth and death of all that are alive.

My joy is like spring

so warm it makes flowers bloom

in my hands.

My pain is like a river

of tears so full it fills up

all the four oceans…

I arrive in every second.

~ from Please Call Me By My True Names ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

As I run beside this two-year-old boy

barefoot and laughing my heart

opens wide, and my own inner

two-year-old peeps out, shy and worried

she’ll do something wrong.

She watches this child who wails 

passionately when I take off his dirty

airplane shirt, only stopping

when he feels his anguish

acknowledged by this deep presence

I bring to him.  We are healing every

two year old, those stuck in the frightful

past, those here right now,

and all the ones to come.  Can you feel

the stirrings of your own heart, no longer

separated by time or space

or any belief of our separation?

My imagination sparks

this innovative human

unrestricted by any need for civilization.

Let his joy welcome every being:

the charmed trash collector, the smiling

gardener waving from a riding

lawn mower, the wagging dogs,

honking geese and rumbling aircraft.

We arrive in this very second

honoring our wildfire passions

united at last on this garden walk,

trampling through the fragrant

flowers to greet every bug

with an exuberant, 

heartfelt, “Hi!”

Inspired by the Rag Tag Prompt: Imagination

(This video of Mirabai Ceiba sets Thich Nhat Hanh’s lyrics to beautiful music.)

 

That Infinite Yearning

I came here with big plans and super

powers, a heartfelt intention

to set things right,

to move my people to a new

place of redemption.

And if you are reading these lines

I claim you. Surprised

to find there was language

to be learned and a body to master,

I often lost myself in the pure

delight of being, twirling in

bliss while around me

the naming and the labeling began.

This is blue, and these are three,

chopping my integration and inner

knowing into bite-sized assimilations

of cultural knowing.

And so I forgot

my true essence, and my mission

that had seemed so easy.

When you land without a reference

point among those who disbelieve

that time and space are a play

on words, a soul mission is reduced

to a note on a page, definable

and so losing necessary fluidity.

I learned separation and how to lie.

Every now and then I attracted

a narcissist whose intent

felt purely evil, doling out harm.

In my terror, I never saw

the chance to utter truth.

If I could call out this chilling

aspect, I could free the frozen

parts of me, could access

my own deep strength. Now

I remember: at our essence,

we are all here

to help each other grow.

We gather on the world’s

stage like the finest musicians.

Tuning our instruments in seeming bedlam,

the bright and beautiful high

notes anchored by the dark.

But I have to put my poem

aside for a while. Family singers

are gathering in the music hall.

I’m an alto and I provide harmony.

We’ve sung together all

my life, and though the verses

are often jarring, I keep

searching for the healing melody.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: narcissism

Heroic Cooking

 

“Cooking is an amazing thing. It both protects us against and heals us from much that would otherwise leave us broken.”  — Bill Penzey

I have delicious dishes
simmering in my new moon
oven. I used new soul spices,
and set out all the ingredients
carefully, not mixing it up
until 9:57 p.m. when Aries
brought that fiery springtime
energy to fuel
all of my intentions.
I am cooking up a feast,
manifesting my witchy powers
in a bold display. Even though
it’s snowing outside, just under the
rich soil, seeds are cracking open.
The birds are singing loud
choruses to greet the dawn.
We have the power right now
to plant what’s needed:
soul food for our great great
grandchildren. Let the tantalizing scent
of all these slow marinations
open your eyes to
the new life stirring.
Come, dance
in a sacred circle,
drum and sing in a wild
cacophony of joy.
When we are truly hungry,
we will savor these complexities.
For now, crank up the music
and let’s celebrate
while our intentions simmer
in the cauldrons of our hearts.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: crank

Like A Parachute

Now you may have no intention

to leap, but in these final dark days,

it happens in a flash: the floor opens up

and you are plunging down a chasm

of terror and fear. You need to be ready

and so you need to practice.

This is the way to thwart the plummet,

to find how to get back safely.

First sit here quietly.

There is a river hidden deep inside

that knows where to take you.

Feel down into it, sense

the flow beckoning.

Know the current is kind

and truly wants to convey you

safely to this new place.

Can you let go?

If you sit here daily,

the river’s song will become clearer.

I long to hear you laughing

with glee as you drop down

to be carried away, as you call

my name, come join me,

your practice and your knowing

saving us all.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: thwart

Gym Rat

Daily, I build muscle

grab the matchless word

and wrestle it into submission,

quivering in a seething

line.  Yes, I gotta develop pure

strength and power,

the kind of moxie that ignites

with burning intention.

Perfecting a chokehold to make them listen 

to a word-song —

clearly inferior to the tree chorus

whispers of the engrossed elders.  Still,

in all of this chaos, we need

ammunition to plunge

straight to our hearts. Mad skills

and inchoate plans swirling

like fog around my fingers

every morning, as I listen for

that tiny trill

singing a single note

now joined in harmony like

a violin and a piccolo

high in the air.

The nature song dying

and we are locked in

unheeding screens

and unless

one of us can signal

with a song, an image,

a poem that will reach

inside the screen and plead,

how do we save our beloved planet?

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: inchoate

Calling The Madhouse

“Don’t buy into the narration that you are the problem.” — Dan Booth Cohen

I am here to claim this part of me

so long neglected and shunned,

feared for the dangerous power

that can’t be approached without severe

repercussions, only accessed sideways,

bursting forth when my walls collapse

by the tsunami of crisis.

A psychic cat has volunteered

crying, yowling, yelling, howling

while careful sourcerers reflect

what they’ve tuned in to,

this fear, this overriding rage.

All of my congestion

has been choking

the sound I must give this pain.

Appropriateness be damned.

The cat proclaims what I’ve ignored:

this selfsame blackness permeates

every being. Never identical, but words

are so imprecise

we can call it dark energy.

When I can speak of my own,

proclaim it and parade before you, naked

and trembling in humiliation,

all the fear at the loss of love

then you can safely access your own.

Hold a different hand,

walk away from Big Pharma

and those doctors telling you

life is happy and joyful and you

are crazy, depressed and anxious.

Don’t they hear your fine-tuned

resonating

to the drumbeats of oppression?

Come with me to create

a safe haven, a community of loving

humans who build the container to explore

these necessary screams

of outrage: a sure sign

of your sanity

in this offensive culture.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: identical

This Pure Anguish

“All youth are at greater risk when their elders try not to be at risk at all.” — Michael Meade

I can no longer blush.
When I was young, I was taught to slink
by the powers who should have protected.
Today I throw off that well-worn
blanket that never shielded me,
so why the hell did I cower,
like a dog waiting for the next kick?
No more. The children rise
up and demand to be safe —
too late for their own blushes,
their innocence betrayed.
They are not hiding, looking for the escape hatch.
They are marching in the streets
again, alone and fierce
so young and savvy.
Their blindfolds have been ripped off
and they are not wasting time
blinking in this harsh reality.
What cruelty is this, when a child
is abandoned
by the people in power?
What community herds their children
into windowless boxes and
shoots them? Walk out,
oh vulnerable young.  Keep calling for us,
the elders, to waken
from our confused slumber,
this distraction called the mainstream,
fear strangling
our disillusioned ideals, hopelessness
like dementia that keeps us apart.
I am old now with nothing
to lose: it is time to give them
what I never had, what I know now.
The foundation is rotted
and there is much work for us all.
We must dig together
down to the heart of the matter
where love speaks the message:
wake up, wake up, you are needed here.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: blush

Feed The Truth

At this moment, you’re host to about 50 trillion cells, and each of them is really a sentient being in its own right. They all act together as a community, implementing the monumental collaboration you call your body. — Rob Brezsny

It’s hard to grasp that I am a colony

of sentient beings.  Not until a few days after

drinking a delicious pineapple jugo at two a.m.

on the outskirts of Riobamba

did I have my first brutal lesson.

Don’t drink the water means

stay away from ice, as well,

but when you are half asleep

and thirsty on a slow bus,

sweet cold juice tastes like ambrosia.

It takes at least two days

for the fierce war to break out:

foreign amoebic armies

bombing indiscriminately

to stake their claim on intestines.

I’m sure the warmongers would call

my diarrhea collateral damage.

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink,

they damn near killed me.

So who is me?  It’s not the face

of the woman in the mirror,

who sometimes seems a stranger.

Perhaps it is a shifting constellation of power

that urges me to

feed my gut flora precisely

because when the “good” ones lose their grip,

the “bad” ones summon unspeakable grief

or lethargy, and a craving

for sugar, more salty snacks

to cement their dominion.

That is how “I” know the bad guys

are hoisting their flag, confident

in their eventual overthrow.

Who is it who knows to drink kombucha,

eat kimchi and pickles?

Fermented food feeds joy,

makes me laugh

and loving.  And which wise colony

deliberately seeks asparagus

and broccoli, leeks and

cauliflower, the prebiotics

creating harmony and balance?

Close your eyes when you approach

me, and perhaps your colonies

and mine can meet without distraction.

Perhaps we can finally know

who we really are.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: grasp