Poem: From Within


Skin

carrying scars

picked at by fretful fingers

The loss of heat

or

vacuum suck of cold

(interwoven at times)

left on integument ripples

trying desperately to hide

bone wrapped melodies

played on organs

finely tuned by fingers

fretful fingers

of the merry minutiae

on drifting cells as the float by

Song of the soul

Hum of the heart

Picking at a piece of the part

the smooth skinned shell

to hear the singing chorus

from within this finite enclosure

its voice secretly serenading:

I, too, am here

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Poem Art: The Sentry


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Years of giving

torn from the skinned Birch

to carry others

across rushing waters

while naked the Tree remains

rooted

watching

as the world walks away

Not listening

to the endless clawing on Jesus arms

the sucking tendrils

that have grown up

twisting themselves around

the age-old rings of Her heart

Move on! Move on!

whispering through the thousand hands

waving goodbyes to those

that left her standing

still

and siphoning life from

dirty earth thrown down

around Her

Immobile

a sentry seasoned with sight

the beacon to set others

on their way

But forever bound and grounded

in the place she chose

to be born

 

 

 

Little Thoughts


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When thoughts start to clutter my mind now, especially ones that take me away from the present, this is my new mantra:

I am here now; I am alive; I am healthy; I am grateful.

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“Extended bliss is boredom of the existential kind.” from the book NutShell  By Ian McEwan.

Poem: I Am Flowers


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I am Snap Dragon

with fire fingers

which have lost their click

 

I am Rose

that has learned to kneel

to hide my height

 

I am Queen Anne’s Lace

now a pauper

begging for freedom

 

I am Bird Of Paradise

wings clipped

roaming the sands

 

I am Tulip

mouth quiet

because no-one will listen

 

I am Bleeding Heart

ever battling

slowly dying

 

I am Iris

forever watching

but never seen

 

I am Freesia

saving your soul

while lost in the night

 

I am Marigold

filled with riches

only a few can see

 

And I Crocus

much as I speak

I’m heard as a toad

 

We are Pink

We are Hellebore

We are Mugwort

And Phlox

 

Touch-Me-Not

for I can never be

reached

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Joy Through Sacrifice


Watching an interesting TED talk today about a young Arctic surfer (yes, you heard me right, that was Arctic surfer), he said something that really struck me–not about surfing, but about sacrifice. As you can imagine, someone who surfs in frigid waters does a fair amount of sacrificing.  He does it in part to get away from the normal tropic crowds, but also to take these amazing photographs. To paraphrase very loosely he said something like: most things worth any kind of real joy usually involve some kind of sacrifice.

That gave me pause.

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I began thinking about some of the things that take sacrifice but bring joy:

  • 9 months of carrying a baby: the worrying, the weight gain, the hormone shifts, the vomiting, the swelling, the potential dangers involved…
  • being in a relationship: any kind really. It’s constant ups and downs, bargaining (with the kids, partners, co-workers, family members), tears, give/take, compromises, giving away parts of yourself at times
  • having a dream or goal: these can take huge amounts of time, money, changes in lifestyle and re-evaluating ourselves for the final outcome
  • moving somewhere new: leaving friends and family behind; leaving a career or job, doing something scary, taking a leap of faith
  • starting over (with a job/a person/or alone: leaving your comfort zone, stretching parts of yourself you may not know you had, or totally remaking yourself
  • helping others or someone else: living with less than normal, learning about other cultures (which maybe is uncomfortable), focusing less on “me”
  • giving up something completely: getting used to life “without”, feeling what it’s like when others perceive because we are now “different”
  • changing our point of view for the greater good: getting into arguments (political/family?), battling within ourselves over the old point of view, reconciling what’s right/wrong
  • coming out: about our sexual orientation, addictions, mental health, illness, abuse, political view or anything else we’ve been keeping inside for fear of judgement, shame or condemnation
  • sharing our home with animals: limiting our work day, getting up in the middle of the night, cleaning up hair, poop and vomit off the floor
  • Waiting: for anything you want, it can be excruciating at times because we are a culture of wanting everything now, having patience is like hot iron swirling in our bellies…the loss of precious time while we wait
  • standing up for what you believe when others around you don’t agree: this can be going to rallies or being a vegan, it can bring agitation or arguments from others, confrontations or simply tiresome questions
  • sharing our home with children: never having peace and quiet (or rarely); suddenly realizing you have to sacrifice so much and become a very good teacher when you hardly know yourself (or much else for that matter…)

There are so many more things…what can you add to the list? And it all comes down to mindset like anything else really. We give to get. Nothing comes easily really.  It seems like many things feel like work these days, and trying to pick out the little pieces of joy can be tough. But when you think about the sacrifices we make all adding up to something beautiful–that it’s the wrapping surrounding the gift inside, then it doesn’t feel quite so much like drudgery. 

So when you are climbing that next mountain and it feels like hell: the boots are giving you blisters, the sweating like a banshee and the mosquitoes buzzing around your head: remember that when you get to the top you will see this incredible view of the world below. Every step you took to get there was worth what lies before you as you look out. See it as you breathe the joy and try to remember that you couldn’t have experienced the splendor without a bit of pain.

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Poem: Stillness


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In stillness

times when I sat

hushed under ancient pines

back brushed up against wizened skin

small

yet safe

cradled silently

beneath an immobile mammoth

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In stillness

near a whispering brook

whose words spoke sense

when nothing else could

they drifted past

in bubbles of music

floating by

in ripples of spray

to be caught in moments

of calm

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And in stillness

sitting upon the hill

with warmth from above

creatures close by

and sharing the peace

near by voices are small

and my belly is round

while the world is spinning beyond

In stillness

In stillness

It lies

 

 

 

Weary


Some days, try as you might, that old sense of weariness seeps in and takes ahold. Maybe all the fighting to keep the dark at bay and to work really hard at life believing in all that’s possible, can sometimes simply be draining. It feels best to hide away and try not to think too much during  these times. 

Nights are restless and days achy. But still we push our way through routine because it feels normal. And then tuck back to the shelter of a quiet hide away–where no-one can ask too much of us. 

It’s not the goal of life to feel this way. No. Like a pestering family member who keeps visiting without being invited, but an obligation to let them in. They are family after all, kin, and a part of your life.

So you tolerate the annoyance, this mood. It will pass eventually and leave. And hopefully, like the relative, it will leave eventually, and with it a feeling of relief and hopefully a great gaping peace in its wake.