in search of food and are killed.
struggling to survive.
talk and talk, the next
once and for all, away.
a hell of heaven,
all the murdered innocents
and lost our way
Elusive peace, the plea
in every prayer I pray.
Inspired by "I Save My Love" by Marjorie Saiser of the Wild Writing family. The italicized lines are hers.
In the middle of my life, I soared
out of the desert, over the mountains,
to the sea. It is a theme i keep
returning to, that triumphant homecoming,
where every misty cloud on Meares
made me catch my breath in silly joy, where
my utterances were all preceded by
long, drawn-out "wow"'s: at surf-topped waves,
at sunsets beautiful enough to break your heart,
at bioluminescence, at the fight to save the old-growth,
me exactly where i needed to be, heart soaring with
the seabirds wheeling free over shining waters.
Fulfilment was a full heart, amazed at
having made my dream come true.
I didnt say it was easy - working two and three
jobs at a time, trying to find the next place to live.
But the payoff was the beauty, walking through
some of the most spectacular landscape on the planet.
Leaving such golden joy broke my heart.
I mourned for years until i knew: i needed
to return, close that circle, have more years
in this forever place, satisfy the longing of my soul
to be back home. It was like this: i was happy there.
Inspired by the title "It was like this: I was happy" by Jane Hirshfield.
To and fro goes The Way, the Buddhists say,
and we are meant to find balance
in the in-between. Yet how
(that "how" again) do we keep our balance
in a hurricane? Or when the skies
open and dump a lake where our houses
are, now appearing like apparitions
in the flooded land? Breathe in peace,
breathe out love, a smiling monk advises.
I'm looking for how to meet this moment,
of flux, of distress, of injustice, of seeing
"Other" where we are meant to see "Us".
Of seeing disappearing rights where
we once had dreams. Everything - other than
human reason - so extreme, we do
the best we can. I suspect the How
of Tao is simply muddling through,
with such grace as we can muster.
The wise ones say, when we are speaking
of hatred, division, war on climate and
war on each other, the only possible antidote
is love. How to make that leap?
It would feel like the frog escaping
the boiling pot into a pond
of cool, clear river water - ourselves
and Mother Earth thrice and truly
Blessed. But, Observer of the Tao,
Please tell us how?
For earthweal: the Everyday Extreme
Inspired by Wild Writing's Jen Lee and her poem Inventory.
An offshoot of Jim Moore's How to Come Out of Lockdown. The italicized line is his.
Inspired by An Address to My Fellow Faculty Who Have Asked Me to Speak About My Work, by Papatya Bucak. The italicized lines are hers.
The beauty: waves, mountains, forests. Clouds, misty fall mornings on the river. Fog, its unearthly delight. Dogs, wolves, all fur creatures. Birds. Stars. Bioluminescence. White lions and medicine men, with their ancient wisdom-stories. Elephants. Africa and Tibet, the places that live in my heart, where I live in my dreams. Song, and the blow-me-away voices of Old Soul children, sent to this planet so gifted, they show us the side of human nature we are meant to strive for. (Soldiers smiling in trenches underground as they sing how it is better to die under the gun than to live in chains. Though war does not belong in this poem, their courage does.) Love. The feeling of one's spirit having wings. The heart-lift that hits randomly: at sunsets, at witnessing kind acts - at performing kind acts. Heartbreak, because each time shows us how deeply we have been gifted by love.
I watch myself letting all the bad stuff go.
The title and closing line were inspired by Watching Myself As I Learn to Let Go by Rosemerry Wahtolla Trommer.
The title of my poem is taken from the title of the book by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy. Kavaan was freed by Cher from captivity in Pakistan. The elephant whisperer who created a huge sanctuary for elephants was Lawrence Anthony. He died away from home but when his heart stopped, somehow the elephants knew, and started walking towards his home to pay their respects. There is so much we don't understand - but we get these glimpses that something much bigger than what we comprehend is going on.