Poems Want to Be Our Allies in These Turbulent Times

Poems want
to be found
to give the mind an ocean
to illumine our soul threads
to break the spell of the ordinary
lead us to
the songs of the spoons
bees’ chants in the hives
pens tapping on the desk,
waiting for us
soft humming inside the walls
stars in the bedroom
offering Light to our loneliness.

Poems want
to feed the rebel seeds
in the soil of our bodies
disturb our complacency
wake us, shake us, take us
across the bridges between worlds
defy the thinking mind that would have us believe its sovereignty
show us the Light at the end of the linear tunnel
teach us how to navigate these dark nights of the soul       
from our hearts, bellies, blood, bones.

Poems want to mend the gashes in our hope
gashes in our hearts
heal lifetimes of hurt.

Poems want to announce the presence of the Infinite
blessings of the Dark.

Poems want us
to trust feathers and angels
to be the wings
to be the moon tonight –
this night.

Poems want to perch
on the nightstand
ready when we are derailed
by night terrors
awakened by the horrors
and the stark madness of these times.

Poems want to teach us
the Sacred Ways of the Dark,
point us
to the still-festering wounds from our past – hiding in the back of the caves –
invite them to speak.
Poems want
to show us how to let go into the Dark’s deep mothering,
teach us how welcoming grief and sadness softens us to be able to care and love more,
feel the anguish
of our sisters and brothers,
the creatures, oceans, forests, fields – the living, breathing, sorrowing natural world.

Poems want to find
the poet, artist, troubadour
folded into the shadows – coax them out – tell them it is their time.
Duende “all that has dark sounds has Duende” said Lorca –
the dark force that can breathe raw life into every art form,
the deep soul cry of the body, the earth –
Dark inspiration
Dark luminosity.

Poems want to bless us
the way our mothers never could,
the way our Earth mother
has tried and tried
to bless the gashes in our
hope and hearts,
teach us that we are blessable.

Listening Graces the Scars

To listen
is to dethrone the never ending mind
be led
by the silky hushes of sky
thrumming of roots
the blood, the sounds of blood
the tears and wings 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,
you become lonely, hollow.
I hear anger steaming
inside every word
and the spaces between.

We have listening wounds.
We were dismissed, at best.
It’s not our fault.
We need to scream about it,
listen to our wounds.
Let them speak.

Listening graces the scars.

Listen, feel
how our words close
when we are bitter.

Listen to what’s beyond
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.

In Remembrance – Mary Oliver


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,
hear her
in the mothering sea.

When the season turns
we will flower again
into the world
with the whisper
of her wisdom.
“…I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never
close again…”

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
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
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.

Threads of Light

The threads of Light
woven into us
since the beginning,
streamed me away
from the dark of the family
that could only 
see their Light
in the electric promises
of this world.

The threads knew
that I would find true Home,
invisible help would guide me, 
I would weather
the harrowing journey,
pain would crack me,
that is, open me
to make more space 
for the Light,
changing from wisps to ribbons
to rushing, roaring rivers
that would flow
into the dry, barren reservoirs
of this being
thirsting, longing
for Life and Light.

Can We Be Love?

In these troubled times
are we closer to the roots
as we witness a shattering of the old,
as vaults of dark secrets
are being cracked open?

Are we, at times, relieved
that scabs are being
ripped off,
that wounds and injustices
can be seen
and breathe now?

Is our buried grief
being unearthed?
Do we feel the unspoken laments
of our ancestors
as we let in the heartbreak
of our abandoned sisters and brothers
who’ve been cast out for millennia?

Is the inhumanity
firing us up
to love more?

Can we show our tails?
Growl. Howl. Roar.
Let our hearts bleed openly?
Come out of hiding?
Get real?

What about Mother Earth?
Can we see our greed and selfishness
with raw eyes?
See what we have stolen,
what we have destroyed?
Cry for Her?
Help Her?

Are we able
to see our Oneness
and commit to foster healing?
Can we be Love?

Are we inspired
to gather in the streets,
at altars,
in temples,
at the sea,
to become humble
before the Divine?
Serve our sorrowing world?

You Are Broken and You Are Whole

This morning
you are shining blonde hair,
full belly laughing,
a field of glow.
My heart falls into place.

I remember you
clutching your belly
on the cold tile floor
in the Boston hotel,
silent screams.
You needed me
to stay back.
I have never felt so helpless.

Disease is a cauldron,
boils us to the core,
strips layers of seeming safety.
Disease keeps us in not knowing,
stretches us beyond
where we think we can go.
Forges us in its heat.

You tend to this wisely
in your quiet ways.
Grace is known to you.
Pain and fire,
the teachers that
turn you towards
the Sacred.

I do not know
all the ways of your mind
or see all the times
you fall to your knees.
Yet it is clear today
by your restful smile
that you are watering
holy seeds
and sit, cupped,
in the hands of the Universe.