In Sanskrit, the word prana means both life and breath.

The only true narrative of now

is the breath, like a lover

moving into the depths

of my being.  Exploring

caresses, teasing, inspiring.

Expanding every contraction.

This is how we are

fresh, allowing new air

to open the places

we’ve closed in our desperate

attempts to survive.

Life as onslaught,

you see it in the eyes

of children gazing from their

families, measuring the stranger’s

potential to harm

or block love.  

Life as breath:

chortling babies

delighted by raspberries

and bubbles.  We lean into

the surety even as we wheeze.

In hindsight, healing is obviously

simply balancing air and water.

Inflammation is intelligence

signaling the tiniest feather’s

weight of lack, and prescribing

the exact cure: breathe,

sip, relax.  And so we still,

listening into the spacious 

places for that whisper

we call intuition,

our healing grace.

Inspired by:  Hindsight.

Getting The Present Of The Past

Peeling back the layers 

nestled into each other

like onion skin at first,

tearing easily until the solid

sweet flesh is exposed

and the tears begin.

Trauma is like this,

lurking in the present

under the veils of making do,

getting past, 



It persists.

Round and around I go,

each tiny step 

a healing movement

when I declare it so,

like a child running

scared, heart thumping

to finally jump, turn around

and declare, “safey safe,”

clutching a blanket on base,

mommy’s bed where no

monsters reach, at least,

in theory.  Gathering up these

twice-bitten, no-use-crying

children, the stellar creators

of body signals

to slow down,

change course.

I drag the weight of them

until the symptoms crash 

and I fall, devastated,

into hell.  I only see

finally in this calm place,

space to pry open 

the clam and release the pearl.

My greatest irritants

like an explicit wish

from all these tiny

tortured selves: get better, darling,

in the new cycle ahead.

Inspired by: PersistCycle, Wish,  Explicit

Joy Follows

I’m frightened

— I can’t breathe

and is it worth the struggle?

Late in the night, I forget

my blessings focused

on the manifestations

of this stress-filled week.

I’ve been without

power, afraid to reach out

— with chronic illness, you learn

to fade into the shadows

rather than voice your pain,

to spare your loved ones.

Daylight shines on the toddler

who collapses in sadness,

I can’t do it.  He’s tapped

into my vibration, not an abstract

idea after all.  I assume

an approximation of certainty:

You can do it! 

He’s created an opening

to empower

and I seize it, leaping from

the cliffs of mastery

of limitations to speak

to all of the young children:

We can do it!
Let’s do this!

At every step to walk my talk

I illuminate

the uncomfortable reactive

places, speak truth

and let go of the programmed

fear forcing a fit that

itches, inflames

my body says no.

This belief system no longer

serves so I take the painful

path to learn

to be myself fully,

integrated, resonant

in authentic joy.

Written for #OctPoWriMo Day 24: Opening, and inspired by: approximateabstract, manifestation, frighten, empower, and late.

The Other Side

“Toil and trouble.  Fire burn, and cauldron bubble”
— William Shakespeare

Flames burn

all you have ever held dear

every belief, opinion, perspective,

every particle of your carelessly constructed reality


The pain shatters you.

And when you reach for

soothing water,

your frantic sloshing creates

this unholy mess.

Your life is now charred, sopping ruins.

All the mistakes hidden in that dark cellar

burning in plain sight


in spite of your efforts.

When you huddle in desperate resignation,

all hope gone,

only then does your heart crack open.

Somehow a spark of life still burns.

Before the cycle begins again,

construct an ancient spell:

carefully place aloha, divine compassion,

tausend dank, friendliness,

merci milles fois, delight,

mil gracias, childlike belly laughs

in a circle

to hold you and love you

as you have always been loved,

as you’ve always longed to be loved,

as you’ve never allowed yourself

to be loved.  And we —

we who hold you,

throughout time and space and beyond,

happy to be finally glimpsed

like a delicate spider web at dawn —

we say, ah, cousin,

how you’ve missed us,

how we are you.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: bubble

Breakdown to Breakthrough

“It’s very important to understand that how you say things has power.  One’s intention and how one says it, what’s behind the intention and the faith one has in the intention, all these things contribute to the healing.” Don Jose Campos

This haphazard bridge led me here

and I’ve arrived alive

though damaged.  My choice

now is to continue limping

or crawling through the maze

of pain, or I can shatter,

crack, pop, explode

with a great noisy 

series of eruptions that look

the very opposite of healing.

I have spoken aloud my

commitment to heal the very roots

of inflammation, only to discover

I must disrupt my being

without a care

for all the tiny pieces

flung skyward and lodging in mud.

There is no glue

to put this back together.

Only this clean slate

and my intention to create 

what was impossible only yesterday.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: disrupt

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