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.

Tears and Wings

The illness
that found us

a heart
punctured by betrayal

cold mother arms

the burial

the child –

the friend –

the fire
that took our past.

We were
in the dark

with our beloveds

in the underworld.

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

We are

We have
with dark Angels.

We have
learned the songs
of each loss.

Our Light
still glowing
in the ashes.

that will not be extinguished.
Wings sprouting.

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 Archive


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.
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

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
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

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 still thriving on this planet.
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

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.