Tears and Wings

The illness
that found us

a heart
punctured by betrayal

cold mother arms

the burial

the child –
leaving

the friend –
lost

the fire
that took our past.

We were
almost
unfindable
in the dark

almost
buried
with our beloveds

almost
trapped
in the underworld.

The shadows,
though,
shaped us,
sculpted a new form
born
from the descent
into
the other places
the Sacred lives.

We are
weathered
and
scarred,
weathered,
scarred.

We have
wrangled
with dark Angels.

We have
learned the songs
of each loss.

Our Light
still glowing
in the ashes.

Light
that will not be extinguished.
Wings sprouting.

Wings
rising now,
ready to fly
into the tired arms
reaching for help
in their dark night
in our tear-drenched world.


Questions for Contemplation

This poem can be an invitation to reflect on loss in your life. Is there a loss that comes to mind that you would like to contemplate? When it feels like the right time, find a comfortable place for this deep consideration.

In addition to reflecting on the grief and pain that likely ensued, and may still be present, here are some additional questions to ask yourself when you are ready:

How did you grow and change as a result of this loss?

What have you learned about yourself? Others?

How did this ‘shadow descent’ shape you?

What gifts have you unearthed that you can use to help others?


Poem a Month

Poems

Portal

If, when you encounter
a space
between your projects,
between your problems,
a gap
in the conversation,
a wholebeing quiet at 3 am
in the silent house

do not run
be not afraid
release before and what’s to come
avoid naming.

The you
in the deep
who knows…
peers into the possible.
A juncture.

The portal
is here,
will reveal itself
again and again,
like this,
in the most ordinary of times.

Be the awestruck child
when just rain is a miracle.
Enter
enter
enter
fully
fully.
Be taken.


Questions for Contemplation

When there are breaks in the day, it’s not uncommon, especially in this culture, to fill the gaps with more activities rather than enter those portals of possibility. Is this a tendency of yours? If so, would you like to experiment with opening into those pauses from time to time? Would you like to explore ‘the you in the deep?’ ‘Peer into the possible?’ How would it be for you to make time in your day for the unknown?


Poem a Month Archive

Poems

To Listen

To listen is to dethrone the surface mind,
be led by
the silky hushes of sky
thrumming of roots
the blood, the sounds of blood
crows
the wings and tears inside words
the subterranean mind.

Listening delivers us
to the vastness
at the core of everything.

To listen is to love.

When I don’t listen to you,
I see you become hollow, lonely.
I hear anger steaming
inside every word
and in the spaces between.

We have listening wounds.
We were dismissed.
It’s not our fault.
We need to scream about it.
Listen to your wounds.
Listening graces the scars.

Listen to how your words close
when you are bitter.

Listen to what’s behind
the fortress of thoughts.

To listen is to bless.

Listen to the other
until there is no other.

I am drawn to people
who hear quiet things.

The mountain wants us to listen
the way she does.


Questions for Contemplation

How do you see yourself as a listener? What are your strengths and gifts? Are there any ways that you’d like to enhance your listening?

Do you have listening wounds from your past? Were you, for example, criticized, judged, dismissed, or ignored by any family members, friends, teachers, or others? How has that impacted you? What do these wounds need from you now?


Poem a Month Archive

Poems

How to Find Poems

Consider everything a vast invitation.
Open wide to the unseen.
Look with mountain eyes.
Cease worshiping ordinary time.

Relax your grip.
Forget about safe routes.
Crawl into dark holes and wet tunnels.
Let yourself be scared.
Get lost.
Be found.

Let your lineage of ache teach you
and find its way to the page.
Let your lineage of wisdom teach you
and find its way to the page.

Don’t believe the urgency.
Walk.  Pause often.  See with your feet.
Celebrate what is thriving on this planet.
Praise.
Praise often.

Listen to the pen.
Forget who you thought it belonged to.
Fall off the page.

Place yourself on the precipice of humanity.
Write what you wish you hadn’t seen.

Let storms reconfigure you.
Write the before and after.

Risk expressing what’s hidden
inside the folds of your life.
Invite words to bleed
and breathe onto the page.


Questions for Contemplation

1.  Which lines or stanzas of the poem
speak to you the most right now? Choose one and reflect on it for a while. What is evoked in you?

2. Where in your life do you often choose safety rather than take risks? What keeps you from taking more risks?

3. When has a challenging situation or event catalyzed significant transformation in your life? In what ways have you been changed by this?


Poem a Month Archive

Poems

In Remembrance Mary Oliver

1935-2019

She died today.

It is winter.
I feel her in the barren trees
reminding us
to let ourselves be winter
let ourselves trust death,
become intimate
with leavings
and the cold.

She died today.

She has merged
with the Silence
that she painted
in her poems,
that she inhaled
from the roots
and exhaled
into us.

We will
feel her
on the wet earth
see her
in the holy moon
when we awaken
at night,
unmoored,
hear her
in the mothering sea.

When the season turns
we will flower again
into the world
with the whispers
of her wisdom.


Poems

Look for the One

Look for the one

with birds’ nests in her hair
three scars she’s proud of
uneven teeth
purple ink stains on her hands

the one
who will take you down
to the basement
show you
the hiding paces
where she played with ghosts
show you
the dollhouse
she wished she lived in
tell you why
she thinks she left it behind
ask you
if you think she is strange

who wants
to talk about rescue dogs
the haunted eyes of the winter homeless
and
how one look of love without fear
and one twenty dollar bill
can warm like the sun.
The one who wants
to talk about the sorrowing folks
in nursing homes
why poetry matters
how plant leaves love to be touched.

Look for the one
who knows
why we are scared and harm each other
who knows
how to be a river and swim with snakes
knows
where golden threads can be found
and that Silence shines and takes care of us.

Look for the one who
who is drawn to you
by the depth of your heart –
above all else.


Poems

Invocation

May my poems
reach far
into the wounds
of the shivering woman
with faraway eyes
looking for her spot
on the wet, gritty sidewalk.

May the words given to me
pour into
the original gashes
that won’t let her
feel God.

Perhaps the words
will seep into
her vault of tears
and
she will bawl
like the baby
everyone turned away from.

She may open then,
open
to feel the truth
of her heart-wrenching losses
and,
someday soon, I hope,
open
to feel the truth
of the Divine.


Poems