Retreat

Between the bars stretch conifers
as far as the eye can behold,
awaiting the damp silence
of morning, hollow bellow
of a moose’s call or the twitter
of chipmunks on a tireless errand
to provide for frigid months ahead,
always and perpetually in view;

To raise one’s head and gaze
upon an untrammeled road winding
alongside weathered split-rail fencing
invites the eye first to rest,
then the body to rise, provision,
set feet upon it to wander
where it might lead, grassy field
or boulder-encrusted hillside,
mind the mountain lions known
to wander these parts, unafraid;

How can one persist without silence
and space in which to contemplate,
regenerate; how can a body recover
from the onslaught of traffic
and crowds of vacationers elbowing
their way past elders and small ones
into queues neverending,
diffusing pomp and privilege
as though entitlement confers
keys to the Kingdom;

In the end we are all afraid, whether
of endings or accountability, misdeeds
or heedless destruction in the wake
of a life too quickly spent; better we
should settle, from time to time
into the spaces between words
and distractions to discover,
perhaps for the first time, a radiant
fecundity that nourishes the soul.

Song of the Soul

I grew up amidst plenty, Depression-era
lack transformed into expensive Japanese
silk paintings hung above a cut glass table,
black lacquer chairs, raw silk seats reserved
for holidays unfit for seven children, dreams
of people I never really knew, though
they precipitated my life;

I might have preferred distressed plank flooring
and a wood-fired oven over cork and carpet
and all the confusion, byproducts of too much
striving and not enough stillness;
motivations well understood by me now,
having thrown myself into enough fires
to acknowledge and amend miscues, misdeeds;

Like Arjuna in the Baghavad Gita,
many have have beheld the face of divinity
as it exists in all creatures and life forms
everywhere, whether perceived as good or bad;

I, too, tremble at the feet of this knowing.

Everlasting

Who knows which of us first decided
to move on it, heed the call, answer
the pounding pulse in full presence
of the other;

The heart I hold tender yet firmly
in these cupped gardener’s hands
is revealed without guile,
a fistful of manna, food
for the gods overwatching;

We imagine, this passion play
of bodies too temporal and finite
as souls awaken from the drone
of not knowing, all experiments
performed well when young;

It is you, this is me, and we give
over to its shining pulsing rhythm,
merely as token of an everlasting
eternal love.

Ink Blot

Quill pressed to vellum
and the raven liquid bleeds
onto the page, seeping
into parchment as words impress
themselves on minds of those
who seek elucidation;

There is no turning back
save the alchemy of fire,
while a mere century later,
fingers snap plastic keys
as a chosen cypher spins
into centrifuges turning out
multiple languages simultaneously
in a virtual world where assurance
of retrieval is never warranted;

Still we tap away, searing mots
into memories like images
of aging film stars who can never erase
a thirty year-old face from the fantasies
of future generations.

image: Amanda Johnson

written in response to the prompt “quill:” https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/quill/

 

 

Independence Day Reflections, 2017

The best intentioned among us can become discouraged at the apparent hijacking of governments by corporations and special interests of the financially privileged. Yet if vigilant, one can witness changes being made at grass roots levels, mostly because people are beginning to collectively awaken to the harsh realities of global warming and endless warring, and it’s about time. Uniting as One People is the promise of this Aquarian Age, and we can go willingly or be dragged, kicking and screaming. I suspect we are witnessing a bit of both, and this will only intensify with this thousand-year spin cycle.

I am looking forward to more independent actions on the part of citizens who value peace and sustainability over war and destruction on this precious planet. While I don’t harbor any illusions that we can reverse much of the damage done, I rejoice in any efforts to unite in a non-aggressive way to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. My hope is that it helps more people recognize unity across borders; that we begin to collectively value all life as sacred and that we as human beings continue to dissolve the Great Walls that separate us, one from another.

This is the my intention as the US rings in yet another Independence Day tomorrow. In peace and with Aloha, Bela