Include Yourself

I abandon all false modesty

because I belong. In my body,

in my seething emotions,

in my recycled thoughts spinning

out of control. I belong

in this family, no longer

need to show up and create “peace”

by letting go of my way.

I risk exposure by being authentic

and even so, this is me. I belong

to my community. No matter

what views I express or how

they trigger you. I am alive

and I am included. I belong

to the serried ranks of hopeless

animals whose lives are caged

to feed me. I belong

to this nation, with its hidden

history of genocide and greed.

I belong to the Pentagon

dropping a bomb every 12 minutes.

I belong to every imprisoned being.

I belong to the oceans, suffocating

in plastic. I belong to the earth

drenched in pesticides.  

I open and I open my heart

to this new reality of global citizen.

Every time I resist, every time

I hear the gigantic “no”

I look deeper, pull the hurting

unwanted piece of me into

my heart. We all belong.

We are all included.

Daily Ragtag Prompt: Serried

Word of the Day Challenge: Exposure

Inspired by the Daily Addictions Prompt: Gigantic

Do all the cool kids use cool prompts?

Navigating The Rapids

“‘It is always what is under pressure in us, especially under pressure of concealment — that explodes in poetry.’
Taurus poet Adrienne Rich wrote that in an essay about the poet Emily
Dickinson. She was describing the process of tapping into potent but
buried feelings so as to create beautiful works of literature. I’m hoping to
persuade you to take a comparable approach: to give voice to what’s
under pressure inside you, but in a graceful and constructive way that has
positive results.” ` Rob Brezsny in today’s Free Will Astrology  

I have been working with powerful
intentions. This sounds so simple.
How can I convey the energy
that sweeps through all of my carefully
constructed fences, the ramshackle
remnants of protections created
as a small child, intent on survival?
If you say the right word, I will respond
from under the blanket
I’ve flung over this wobbly table,
either shivering, silent,
too timid to peep, “I’m scared!”
muttering to myself, finally
daring to dart out and defend
myself from the crushing
bulldozer of mob rule. Which probably will
catch you off guard. New phone, whodiz?
I admit, I appear
to be a calm and loving woman.
There is no surface indication of the
trauma I have buried. It feels so very naive
to state an intention to move into a new
awakening of my being on this planet,
even in the safe container
of a course designed to help me
traverse the minefield of scattered
pieces of myself. I have walked carefully
for so many decades, never sure
whose casual comment will detonate
the unexploded ordnance,
flood me with panic
as victims of violence
rise to the surface, screaming,
“Not safe!” I am sitting tonight,
with an original idea of settling before
sleeping. Instead, the work goes on
til the wee hours as I greet each torn
wound, marveling at the high intelligence
and cunning wisdom of a child
who built a raft to navigate
the raging rapids — even as she
was plummeting
toward the waterfall of certain
destruction. The will to live,
to survive whatever life presents,
is an honor to behold.
We look and listen and presence.
We cry and wail and mourn.
Sobbing together until finally
there is a calm space
to invite her: peer through
the eyes of the woman I am now,
free all this canny skill
into a new waterfall
of abundant creativity.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: Fence

Inspired by the Rag Tag Prompt: Navigate

I recycle 2016 Daily Word Prompts

Inspired by the Daily Addictions Prompt: Abundant

Color Games

Texts with my son:

Thank you for keeping me updated. I love reading your texts about my son.

Your son put his hand in a puppet,

which then picked up a mallet

and played the buffalo drum.

We make music with drums,

flutes, singing, guitar

and piano. We finger-paint

draw with magic markers,

crayons and we squish playdough.

And starting now, modeling clay.

We do a lot of wooden puzzles

and pre-geometry, working with shapes

and “fit” he declares with satisfaction.

We do yoga poses. Warrior is improving.

His favorites are down dog and mountain.

We run like airplanes, we run

like somebody is chasing us.

I chase him. He’s fast.

He pedals his tricycle.

Steering is still a little dangerous.

We take walks to appreciate

living beings from bugs

to bushes, birds to people.

We read a lot of books.

We animate little figures

and have conversations that usually start

with, “Hi, Guy!” He plays golf

and throws balls.  He casts his fishing pole

then chases the orange fish play lure

through the green grass.

We play in water.

He helps great grandma do wash.

He helps cook. Oh, and we

play a lot of color games.

I painted circles to match

his bean bags. I used the wrong shade

of purple, and he refused it.

So I painted it right.

He’s brilliant, you know. So attuned

to emotional atmosphere. When he heard

a worried caller speak

into the telephone, he said

in quite a friendly voice,

“Hello?” Remember, I’m here

shining brightly, ready for love.

Inspired by the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Purple

Icing That Trigger Finger

“Pistol grip pump on my lap at all times…” ~ Rage Against The Machine

If you tell a toddler, “Don’t slam the door,

their only option is to follow the command.

Do, first, to figure out how to undo.

Of course, their primary obedience

elicits annoyance and frustration on both

sides. How much clearer to say,

Please close the door gently!

Ah, the life lessons a toddler offers.

Today, I shared an insight

from my own healing to my family

of origin, and sneers and jeers

ensued — an invitation to descend

into the nightmare of my childhood

where black was declared white

and every step was perilous.

I refused to go there.

Instead very clearly said, “Then don’t

investigate this technique!”

since I had inadvertently triggered

a two-year-old child parading about

in an adult’s body. Of course, establishing

a boundary is only step one.

I sat and contemplated the tight

feeling of grief in my lungs,

such a familiar pain that I’ve dragged

from the past, so heavy that it blocks

my ability to be here now.

Breathing in to the spaciousness

that is deep within even the most

contracted places of myself,

loving the trigger and the response

and this quiet place where I can observe

the intricate dance of my aliveness,

and honor my own masquerade.

Inspired by the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Nightmare


Working Out

I’m enrolled in a workout class

designed to give me more flexibility

when wielding my tune-in muscle.

I used to think I was weird or wired

differently, stuck in that unyielding

school desk watching the clock’s

agonizing creep. But now I know

anyone can do this. A parent dials

into their child’s frequency

to understand the being of few words

and passionate, overwhelming desires.

We sense into the needs of our pets,

opening to a way of communicating

that feels mysterious, psychic.

Our schools are designed to stamp

out our mystical knowledge. Everyone

must fit into the square pegs, summoned

by bells to march to classrooms.

Slaves to time, unquestioning.

Some of us fell through the cracks,

resisted the molding, shedding it

like snake skin. Reaching into a field

sparkling like dewdrops on a spiderweb

of magnetic aliveness that spans

the globe, we are awake and sitting.

The mystics and the poets will save us

by opening up the clock

to the spaciousness between seconds,

inviting us to abandon the lurid

sitcoms and online distractions

that keep us tied to an agenda

like mice spinning on a wheel.

Change the station, dial in to

the connection we have all been

reaching for, right here, on the other

side of the canned laughter

that keeps you

from listening to now.

Inspired by the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Sitcom


I am always on the verge

of deliciousness, diving deeper

into the now.  The old patterns

that once felt like chains are being

exposed to the air, to my gentle heart

sight.  Today I can stir the muddy 

waters, digging for what has been 

buried, and let go of the longing

for the tranquil pool

reflecting moonlight.

When monsters are buried, the stillness

is just a prelude for horror,

and the expectant stress is worse

than a simple archeological expedition

into the roots of my dilemma

and yours, for we are all connected

here, flummoxed by our blind impulses

stuck on repeat.

The morning is reserved for space,

no judgment, simply observing what is,

sitting in stillness at the side of the lake,

watching the slow parade of proud geese

and their six brave goslings, two racing

squirrels, mama rabbit and her bold bunnies,

two skittish ducks, a patient watchful

great blue heron now with a squirming 

bluegill.  A black water snake slides by, 

his wake an arrow pointing

to his tiny head.  The songbirds are celebrating.

Everyone is diving, clucking, singing,

hopping as I sit, fresh and alive,

free and dangerously available

to the future, finally downloading 

the insights that will 

impel me forward.

Inspired by the Rag Tag Prompt: Flummoxed