The Constant Invitation

“Consciousness narrows as we get older….Adults have congealed in their beliefs and are hard to shift…whereas children are more fluid and consequently more willing to entertain new ideas. If you want to understand what an expanded consciousness looks like, all you have to do is have tea with a four-year-old.” Alison Gopnik
“Or drop a tab of LSD.” Michael Pollan
“In contemplative practice, I set awakening as my highest priority. Every single minute. Ahem. Wake me if I forget?!” ~ me to the universe.

By a sheer fluke, I spy
a shy green heron perch
on my neighbor’s deck. The white
clouds reflecting catch
my attention. It is difficult for me
to see tiny fish dart
even in this clear water,
with all of these trees
vivid summer green
waves in the lake. But this
bird’s doors of perception
are wide open and even though I sit
peacefully behind screens,
as soon as delight and curiosity
move me to peer
through binoculars and marvel
— such colorful plumage,
a human watching alert
transforms fishing to flight. Sometimes
in crowds, I can feel eyes on me,
turn quickly and meet a speculative stare.
And if I enter a room where I’d been
discussed, it is obvious. I can tune in
to what you are feeling right now.
The world is a connected field.
We used to toddle about,
tripping on every unfiltered perception
before choosing survival. A butterfly’s
enticing dance is ignored for the speeding
car. We learn to cautiously keep
our attention on what can harm us.
And that’s a good thing,
as it brought us here. Now
I am ready to return
to childlike wonder,
give up the belief that I know you
— or anyone or anything. So as I
notice and embrace my habits
of survival, I can wiggle
like my two-year-old teacher.
I keep asking: What is this?
Who are you?
Wanna play?

Inspired by the Daily Addictions Prompt: Transform

I recycle 2016 Daily Word Prompts: Clouds

Daily Ragtag Prompt: Fluke

I’m playing poet by combining these three prompts daily. It’s fun!

Revealing Hidden Costs

“The price of a sense of an individual identity is a sense of separation from others and nature.” ~ Michael Pollan, How To Change Your Mind

I pay the fee, ask for
a discount when I step outside
mindfully, receptive to comments
from the watchful beings
in the tallest branches. How is it
that I, who profess to love
communication, can only manage,
“ah, the birds are aware of my journey”?
When can I speak bird?
And I’m not asking yet for hummingbird
love trills or goldfinch songbooks,
just a simple, “Look out, everybody!”
that ripples through the other sentient
beings. My footsteps vibrating to the brains
buried in soil, my scent wafting
to the cautious. If I reduce time spent —
another price — online and in cars,
can I generate enough presence
to join in this vivid cacophony,
combining like droplets of water
in a joyful celebration of life?
It’s messy and confusing; obviously
I must stop here
and embrace this now.

Inspired by the Rag Tag Prompt: Reduce

I recycle 2016 Daily Word Prompts: Water

Inspired by the Daily Addictions Prompt: Generate

I am really enjoying the challenge of writing a poem combining these three prompts daily!

Love Is Everything

“Love is everything….A platitude is precisely what is left of a truth after it has been drained of all emotion.  To resaturate that dried husk with feeling is to see it again for what it is: the loveliest and most deeply rooted of all truths, hidden in plain sight….our senses…are liable at any time to astonish us with news of the sheer wonder of the world.” ~ Michael Pollan

My grandson is climbing a tree!

An ornamental bush, really, highly pruned

to the coincidentally exact

specifications of a small climber.

His foot fits into the ledge

of a cut and then upward onto a perch.

Reaching high to grasp limbs on both sides

he is delighted by a shower of drops

from the recent rain. He jiggles again

and listens and feels the waterfall

joy radiating. Such a passionate being

seized by the desire to vibrate.

I remind him to be gentle

with the living tree, and more,

to thank the tree

for holding him. He flashes that

mischievous toddler’s grin — surely

the root of all double-dog dares —

and shakes so hard that he loses

his footing and lands, surprised

on the ground. Not even six inches,

so a minor fall, but the timing of my

warning has convinced him

that the tree’s strong boundaries

around rough stuff had ended their embrace.

Or perhaps his grandmother’s gift

of prophesy has again been confirmed.

He journeys back through the secret

pathway he has created to approach

the only tree he can climb here.

The tree remembers you, I say.

I have taught him to hug

huge old trees, and that listening to

and respecting the beings who do not engage

in human talk is an essential part

of loving. I am only now learning

through him that I belong here.

I am alive and my voice is unique

and needed. I’m letting go of all the survival

tactics that made me question whether

or not I really was the weird one, the knowing

that I didn’t fit in, and that I must change

my basic nature. I am here,

I am open, I am available,

and love is everything.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: Prophesy

I recycle 2016 Daily Word Prompts