Love Symbols

My heart is holding a bouquet

of deep red roses I have been

warned not to send, for fear

the thorns will prick

and tear into the wounds

left gaping by your passage.

I have been the scapegoat,

and this is no time for defense;

no need to paint the target

on my visage, at least

not any more than it is.

People who don’t believe

in the hard work deep in the night

close their eyes and cling

to the stories that burn

with every telling.  The flames

of anger fed by the need

for someone to blame.  Why

is this symbol so important

for me to share?  Our reconciliation

happened beyond space and time,

and I’m the only one

left to attest to our changes

of heart.  Who could believe

that love is the newly revealed

basis of our connection, after all

these difficult years?  Certainly not

these anguished survivors, intent

on rewriting history, content

to place the blame anywhere

it might land.  I’ll keep

changing and opening

to whatever emerges, certain

that our connections are

spacious in a way

we can’t fathom.

Cross Purposes

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~ Lao Tzu

Even though our hearts are

petrified by fear

calcified in resistance,

I hold hope for our reunion.

I start by issuing my apologies

like passing out leaflets

on the street.  Intent to replace

every stone

I’ve carelessly carried

from its own destiny

for a second’s pleasure.

Seeing now how I’ve moved

through the world, unaware

of the damage of my passage,

the blind disruption

of my collector’s

pretentious sentiment,


even a rock’s right

to be where it is.

Still now

I halt here.


The first step

of my new journey

bends my curiosity

to your inner world, the one

I’ve ignored for so long,

absorbed in my own pain.

Dropping the story, finally

present for your agony

on these parallel paths

you’ve sworn will never cross.

Inspired by: Hope, Sentiment, Leaflet and Petrified.

Past Currency

Locking up every gift,
they’ve posted a no-trespassing
sign. Fencing in the garden
of eden purchased for a song
from people who don’t
sing the currency, but it was easy, really,
to rip the children from their arms,
cut off their hair and drill
them in the notes
of buying and selling
even you.
Especially you.

When I first sat on the stage
watching them file in, some
pushing and shoving for the best
view while the pedophile uncles
and the addicts and the drunks
had their own little party
in the back, I certainly
didn’t want to claim them.

Too many transgressions to forgive,
too much wickedness to see.

My own grandson grabs my hand,
follow me, and we start
laughing through the living
room, on to the kitchen,
a perfect circle, vital
life running through us.

I’ve whispered “joy” three times
in my glass today, raising the vibration
of the water to a healing
frequency even as I observe
the hidden currents, the eddies,
riptides and falls
of this life that carries me.

Any scientist could tell you
this is balderdash, a skein won’t
unravel without a physical touch.
And believe me, I used to sit
patiently pulling out the knots.
Clueless about who we are
and how we are
connected in immeasurable ways,
unacknowledged participants in every
experiment. We push and pull
each other, puppeteers
through the centuries, believing
the man in the white coat
who studies the mirrored calm
of the surface and declares
what is,
even as the currents pull us
into behaviors we could never
explain or even witness.

Recovery begins with our
hospitality, welcoming back
the ones we forced into
the shadows. We step into
our greatest fears, feel
gratitude for this chance
to dance in the current
of vitality, that exuberance
hundreds of thousands of years
strong, ripening into new seeds
we plant in the now.

Stepping back from reaction,
watching all these hidden cords
emerge, the secrets pouring
out as each thread
pops into view, our
compassionate interest
in all the things
that triggered us

in the past.

Inspired by this article about Family Constellations and Addictions, Forgive, Recovery, Gratitude and Hospitality.


“The Vanuatu people believe that secrecy is what gives power to the illness. When the error is confessed, it no longer has power over the person.” ~ Claire F. Parsons

I use my camera

lens to magnify

the chasms in my relationships,

focus on how his head

tilts toward her shoulder

while this one leans away, forced

smile, dead eyes.  I only want

to find stimulating sanctuary

in a carefully constructed coterie,

leaving kin to their hearty

holiday bluster, having said a firm no

to the party propaganda, and refusing

any longer to defend the truth

or facts.  Yet this time is most

auspicious to heal rifts,

declare amnesty, forgive debts,

reconcile and make peace

treaties with joy and unbounded love.

I must own

my part of the struggle,

no longer dumping all the blame

— so obviously insupportable,

what a jerk! — instead

to pluck it like a four-leaf clover.

Lucky me, starting anew!

In ancient times, tradition summoned

the shaman at grave illness.

From all corners of the island,

every relative gathered to sit

and confess, exposing

ill thoughts, hostile feelings,

inimical deeds, every adverse

vibration.  They knew the power

of truth and reconciliation,

and they stayed until the sickness

rose like smoke, replaced by

dedicated and directed love.

Inspired by: Your Liberated Heart, Rob Brezsny’s expanded horoscope, Stimulating, Tradition, Camera, and  Coterie.