like the wave loves the ocean

ocean wave

You sing me songs through the air.
You say every word I’ve cried to hear.
You run to me when I long for you.
You put your normal life on a platter
Toss it into the sky, Turn
And hold out your arms to me.
Your circling spiral of energy
Tornado and whirlwind breeze
Heat, turning calm, knowing
All at once in my soul
You hold me, meet me
In the space of vast seeing
A place both foreign and home
In this instance (we are flowing)
Like the way we breathe —
Sometimes with knowing focus
Other times    Naturally-unaware
That life pulses through us
With us — Is us.

I love the way you love me
Like the wave loves the ocean
and the ocean loves the wave.

 

~Photo by Simon Clayton on Pexels.com

Pain of War & Living

flight sky sunset men

~VA Hospital, October 2019 (Thank you for your service)

 

These halls, these chairs, these walls
encasing whispered moans
and memories of wars
and those gone soldiers
that never made it home
to America, to sit here, to wait
on the doctor to see them
at the VA Hospital in Charleston.

I sit feeling, hearing the tones
of pain play like the keys
of a piano, dark and light —
Some pain a deep recessed dark.
Some pain a bright hard gash
of bright light open wound oozing
under the cover of wrinkled flesh
pale aged splotched skin
that holds the soldier of twenty
wrapped deep beneath the disguise
of age and time.

The waiting room of marbled browns
deep wood tone trim and calm colors
built to settle the mind and remove
the pain of war and living.

 

~Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

You take my hand

silhouette of newly wedded couple

You take my hand and we go out
into the world.
You are my dearest playmate, companion.

Sometimes,
the Mind says to me
“Are you crazy?”

“Who are you to speak of God this way?”

But, I am learning
to listen only to Your laughter,
to relax into the giggles we share,
to take Your hand in mine,
to trust You —

And then,
I smile at my Mind, all his babbling,
like a jealous, drunk friend!
Because
the Heart sees differently —

And I know that this romping about,
playing with mischief, roaring in laughter and joy,
through these life-days of shimmer and shine
with You
is the only reason I came.

 

~Photo by Thái Huỳnh on Pexels.com

the love that is Home

Gateway

It is as if
Somehow — Someone
opened the gate and let me back in
to the Garden of Eden —

while the world still sees me
and keeps calling, calling
to come back out and play.

I can’t find words
that work to explain
I am happier here
than ever, anywhere —

How does one explain
the love that is Home?

 

~Photo Credit: Gateway; (c)2019 Marissa Mullins

you were always becoming poems

time lapse photography of flame

~For Joey, April 2019

 

Oh, that sparkle of mischief
and laughter and child
that jumped out of your eyes
and decked me,
knocking the breath from me
as I sat across the room!

Boy that I loved
with deep heat longing,
held close to my breast, a child-man
I could not help heal save reach trust.

“Beautiful”
and you were the most beautiful boy
on earth to me —

your eyes your lips your face your hair
your heart
your hands your chest your belly your legs
your manhood
your fight your laughter your demons your smile
your soul

“Beautiful Destruction”
running through my heart – life – soul.

“I ruined you,”
you used to say.

“No, Beautiful,”
you were the match I used for flame.

To love beyond all aspects of self
brings the burning of purification.

You were always becoming poems
in the Seeing Eyes of a Poet.

“I ruined you.”

“No, Beautiful.”
You were my chosen suicide.

 

 

~Photo by Igor Haritanovich on Pexels.com

 

Teach Me

woman s face with light reflections

What has been taken from me — only illusion!
This vast fountain-spring, life giving water,
knows no lacking, loss, diminishment.

THIS living flow cannot be left —
only momentarily forgotten.   It rises
again and again, THIS powerful water!

I will allow myself this floating; Drowning
in a mystic bliss of Other, One, Only.
Where will you take me, Jewel of my Heart?

I will not fear the journey of Unbecoming!
Loosen the chords, rip the ties that bind me,
Strip the person-flesh mind-voice away —

Breathe me into You; Breathe me into Life.
Let your Breath of Love sustain my heart!
Teach me this Dying Surrender into Home.

 

Photo by Eugene Golovesov on Pexels.com

Soul-Seed

 

The longing intensifies

and I am certain

I am growing —

more insane.

 

How to tell them

this Love of You,

this Mystic Ether

that floats me to You,

like a rose petal on water —

 

How to tell them

that Here in You is Heaven

and if this is Dying

I am unafraid.

 

But this Living —

with one foot in the Earth

and one foot in God’s Heart —

 

Straddling Eternity

is growing difficult.

 

Where would you plant me,

Soul-seed longing for Union;

where, Beloved, will this Flower bloom?

 

 

do you See?

 

All that God wants

is to be Seen —

 

Like that distant adoring Lover

seeks a glance from the adored Beloved.

 

Look! Here I Am in a bluebird sitting on a branch!

Look! Here I Am in the ocean wave roaring in your ear!

Look! Here I Am in the sand caressing your feet!

Look! Here I Am in the sweet-voiced song of a friend!

Do you See me? All around you in this Living

my Joy and Love for you pours forth —

 

You are Dreaming — Condemnation is a child’s nightmare.

Wake Up!   Look!   Do you See me …

your Beloved always trying to get your Attention.

Do you See?

Siva Refrain

 

Siva calls —

speaks the Fire of Loving Destruction.

The Phoenix becomes flame.

 

Siva calls —

His voice hollowing out the I of I.

The Phoenix becomes ash.

 

Siva calls —

There is nothing but the Nothingness of Siva.

The Phoenix becomes emptiness.

 

Siva calls —

It is time to dance the living.

The Phoenix becomes song.

 

Siva calls —

Siva answers.

 

the One

 

A man tells me (he is a guru) — you must stop

being a mirror to others — I try — He asks

to see inside me and I agree and open.

Rage boils in him as Reflection stares back

and he battles the Shadows of Self on the wall.

I sit down — he is not the One for whom I am waiting.

 

A man says he loves me (above all else) — that Light

in my eyes ignites his passion and captures his heart — I try

to explain Reflection and Mirrors and Truth, opening into

voice, teaching — but determination breeds deafness

and he sets Fire to his Life with my eyes.

I sit down — he is not the One for whom I am waiting.

 

A man sings me sweet songs (and begs me) — save me

from myself, help me find my way — I try — I open

the melodies and lyrics of No Fear to reflect his Beauty,

but the fear in his heart is a Monster well-fed, and roars to life,

and he turns and runs away.

I sit down — he is not the One for whom I am waiting.

 

A man tells me he loves me and sees my shimmer of Light.

I call him Guru and he Humbles from the Title — Tells me, No,

you are your own Guru. You are a Mirror and we are One.

I Am meeting my Reflection — Naked in the Space of Sacred Being

with My Heart, My Courage, My Suffering, My Love — I open.

I stand up — he is the One on whom I have been waiting.

 

 

 

 

Want Explained

freya-wave-laurie-behnen.jpg

Want Explained     ~for Rob

 

I do not want to be on a pedestal

to fall from

my feet slipping

into stepping on your heart.

 

I do not want to be a muse

adored and believed

to hold magic answers to questions

my answers

can never satisfy.

 

I do not want to be a fever

of passion that burns in you

the flame dying down, flickering out

as time — age passes

leaving only embers of a dying fire.

 

I do not want to be a need

only to fill you for a time

the stomach, once full,

unable to hold more

is satisfied and the plate pushed away.

 

I want to be a river

you fish in, wade in, wash in, travel down —

I would be water that carries you with it,

moving forward

toward a never-ending sea.

 

 

One Step

 

 

lightening1

One Step    ~ for Rob

 

One Step

Away

from playing it

Safe —–

Never my game.

 

Enough deep-soul losses

Tempt Us to comfort-rest in

Strange Fantasies of no more

Wasted Efforts. Stop and allow

Someone Else to carry the

Weight of us for a time.

 

One Step

Away

from playing it

Safe —–

Never my game.

 

I Turn —-

run to Free-fall, Deep-breath, Jump

into the Danger of Air,

No Ground, The Abyss —-

Leap Into the Blue-eyed

Beauty of You —-

Fiat Lux! 

 

Childlike Play

afternoon-view-john-worthington-

~ for Rob, October 2019

 

I will give you pull and push —-

And flesh and bone and home.

I will give you feather kisses

On the brow of furrowed stresses.

I will give you long and short

And deep caresses, then abort

To stand beside the bed

Just to look at you instead.

I will give you childlike play

As we dance the day away,

Cooking food upon a stove.

Making love deep in a bed

I will give you all I am —-

Wheat for dough and making bread

Verse for dinner and for lunch

Because I have a simple hunch

That you are more than shadow-light

Lost in moments of frailty-fright.

I will give you arms that hold,

Heart that opens in delight.

I will give you all that and more

Sweet brilliant Poet I do adore.

 

 

 

 

Puppet

Manipulation-Puppet-on-Strings

 

The Stage beckons but I hold my place with the Shadows

Of dark-corner-ebony-haze Standing on the Brink of Oblivion

Amid the billowing dance of those old velvet curtains of Coincidence.

Spotlight On

And the Shadows jump to a wall and leave me Standing

Center-Stage

In a Drama I didn’t rehearse for – trying to remember learning lines

Or the Name of the Play

as I contemplate Performance and Gravity

And kick off my Strings again Today.

like books

I.

I have been reading
books about people
since I was ten. Then —
comprehension expanding — 
growing, to become
understanding of
people like books
since I was twenty.

At thirty, I could find
the villain in the story —
the hero
always a too-pristine-
perfect-caricature
of reality — the bad guy
realistically-real.

At forty, I picked you
off the shelf
of the world, opened
the last page
and started
reading the story
backwards.

II.

Playing at detective,
sifting through
the last pieces of familiar
before they start to fade.

Not so much
sentimental-nostalgic . . .
those people
those days
that life

forever gone – old ghosts
attached to my shoulders.
Muscles strain, dip
under the weight
as old smiles fade.

When the answers come
I will be
too old to live them.

I carry this
fatalistic understanding
tossed over my shoulder,
held tight like books,
in a coarse-woven rucksack. 

~Winter 2011

 

 

the type of man sex came to possess

~for MG

I thought of sex
when I first met you —
deep strides, dapper dress,
piercing eyes —
it all resonated, a chill shiver
down the depth of me &
warmth spreading deeper
with my crimson thoughts
because you are the type of man
sex came to possess,
own — carry
into closed rooms, silk beds.

The glass of wine
sparkling amber, glass bubbles
move in the glass,
the world rattles on around us
while your words fall
on the table between us
and then,
I am stunned
by the words, their rich
deep colors, meanings
moving into an acid-like Trip
in my brain. Stunned!

You have amazed me!
My words turn
around, crawl back down
into the velvet parts of me

as I realize
what you don’t –
I am too naive for this
conversation. Too distracted
with the thought of undressing
you to understand beyond lust.

Why do your words
keep spilling down, around, rolling
across the table, tumbling
to the floor
to lay like marbles
on the gleaming wood?

~April 2012 

At Night the Wind Died

The summer day was spoiled with fitful storm;
At night the wind died and the soft rain dropped;
With lulling murmur, and the air was warm,
And all the tumult and the trouble stopped.

~~Celia Thaxter,The Nestling Swallows.

It is almost midnight and the house is quiet. Michael went to bed hours ago and left Boo-Boo the cat with his chair. Taz, my Cocker Spaniel, is sleeping on my feet while Lex, my Lab, claims the rug near the Christmas Tree. Even Mr. Jitters, the rabbit,  is sleeping silent in his cage.

This is an exquisitely beautiful moment to me.  I adore this quiet peace in the dark of night when all the noise of daily living settles hushed for a few hours. I can feel my heartbeat start to slow and my stress-level begin to ease. I am able to breathe in the calmer essence of true life in this time of whispered darkness. I am uncommonly whole and content as I think about Christmas and my family.

I am looking forward to Christmas Day after a month of chaos and fatigue. My children, their spouses, and all four grandchildren will be here. My siblings plan to come if possible. I’m the eldest of four and it is seldom that we all get together. We’ve each had our own spouses, children and work schedules to contend with for years now. I hope both my brothers are able to come – if so, that makes four, and it will be our first Christmas spent together in many, long years.

Time has a way of slipping past you while you’re busy with the act of living. I love my sister and brothers dearly, but have not been as good about showing it in recent years. Sadly, the lack of attentiveness toward them is due to my flighty nature and isolationist behavior. It isn’t due to lack of love or caring for them. I just tend to get lost in me and whatever mission or project has captured my passion – the next thing I know, five years, ten years have passed. It’s an odd quirk of my personality that I recognize without knowing how to mend. (I tend to think it’s just some strange artist thing!) All the while, time moves without mercy and we all grow older and more distant from one another.

I can still remember the first time I looked into the crib at my brother, David. In memory he is the little kid arguing with me and my sister over which cartoons to watch each day at four o’clock; and then the pre-teen who went with us on vacation to Florida; and then the teenager outrunning the cops in his newest hot-rod down the back dirt roads of town – laughing and bragging, and doing it just because he could! He suffered through endless hours of  “playing school” with me and my sister before he ever started kindergarten (but, he has always been extremely smart). He was a sweet, smart, good-natured kid that was kind to everyone around him. I can still see him riding around town with my aunt and uncle, especially during his fluffy–80’s hairdo period, laughing and joking. He is now a grown man in his 30’s, with three grown children, a wonderful wife, and his own trucking company. I am very proud of him, of how intelligent he is, and his determination to make his way in the world on his terms.

My Brothers & Sister: David, Mandi, and Chris

My baby brother, Chris, is even younger. I can still see him sleeping in his crib, covered in chicken-pox spots. Such a sweet baby, so sick, and yet dealing with the pain and “feel bad” without very much screaming and crying. I held him, changed diapers, played “little mama” to him  for a time before I got married.  I remember him as that cute baby, as the little bright-eyed child who wanted to hold my babies when they were born, as the teenager who hand-made me a writing desk, and as an older teen and young adult going through his rough patches like the rest of us. He’s had more than his share of hard times, and, like his oldest sister, is usually his own worst enemy. He’s doing great in his life now though – he has a wonderful fiance that truly loves him and a wonderful son. Chris has been strong and courageous, doggedly fighting his way through the dark days into the sunny ones.  I’m very proud of who he’s become and all that he’s accomplished.

My sister, Mandi, is definitely coming for Christmas dinner. We’re close in age and have a unique bond that can only be called sisterhood. We have fought and hated each other with a passion through the years, but that was just the negative, childish side of the great love we feel for one another. We are as opposite as night and day, but exist together as the moon and sun. We would be lost if the other one wasn’t there. I have been given a rare gift in my sister that I thank God for often – she is the one person on earth who I trust with all my heart. I know that she has always and will always be a person who will love me and help me no matter what happens. I hope she knows she has that same gift in me. We will always be those little girls playing dress up and wearing high-heels to school without permission, the person on the other end of the phone when one of us needs to celebrate or cry, the one holding onto the rope that binds us during terrible fears and periods of pain…never letting go.

It’s amazing how much your vision changes in 30 years. I used to get so fed-up with being the “oldest” when we were growing up. It always meant looking after the “younger ones”  and taking care of them while mom and dad were at work or busy.  And the answer to “why” was always because you’re the oldest – I thought it was a pretty unfair punishment back in the day! Yet, here we are, thirty years later and the “younger ones” are all grown up. I sit here in the quiet darkness, sift through the memories from all those years ago, consider the good people my siblings have turned out to be and I realize how blessed I have been. I am grateful now for those times: the fun and the fights, the aggravation and the sharing, the craziness and the sanity. I am very proud of the people they’ve all become and I feel privileged to have watched it and been a part of it from the beginning. Merry Christmas Mandi, David, and Chris. I love you!






Epiphany 1

May 2010 (in retrospect)

 

There was a moment when

your eyes changed – shifted

from bright sparkling blue to

darker, deeper blue – liquid

crystals of light dancing. Shift,

movement, reflection. Time

stopped flowing, the moment

lasted forever — before you

shielded your gaze, downcast

lashes fluttering portals closed.

There was a moment when

sound stopped – shifted

to quiet inside my heart

and I knew pain burned

the future — blazing fire

consuming, rolling, turning

into the end coming quickly

before I — shielded my gaze

lashes fluttering portals closed.

There was a moment when

truth interrupted — before our

lashes fluttering portals closed.

Wolves at Battle

The Story of Two Wolves (from Ego Dialogues )

A Grandfather from the Cherokee Nation was talking with his grandson.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.”

“One wolf is evil and ugly: He is anger, envy, war, greed, self-pity, sorrow, regret, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, selfishness and arrogance.”


“The other wolf is beautiful and good: He is friendly, joyful, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, justice, fairness, empathy, generosity, true, compassion, gratitude, and deep VISION.”


“This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other human as well.”

The grandson paused in deep reflection because of what his grandfather had just said.
Then he finally asked: “Grandfather, which wolf will win?”

The elder Cherokee replied, “The wolf that you feed.”

I was talking with a co-worker this week about the works of Einstein – about a book I’m reading about his life and how his thinking developed into what became a new realm of understanding in Physics. My co-worker, an ex-attorney and current car salesman, kept giving me a mind-boggled look as if to say, “Why the hell would a car saleslady be so into physics? It just doesn’t mesh.” That odd look from people is common and normal to me now. I don’t really think much about it…why? Because I’ve come to believe in the unique complexity, the abstract opposites and elements of duality that exist in people…all people, including myself.

The people I meet no longer fit neatly into categories and sub-categories as they once did. When I was twenty it was easier. My thinking was simpler then…like the child of five…people were good or bad, mean or nice, happy or unhappy. Life has changed me, my thoughts, and my perceptions of others beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Most of the people I meet are an easily read book – compilations of various chapters and verses, mixtures of traits and opposing habits that fall outside of easy one-dimensional definitions. There are those who behave badly in general, but have a deep capacity for kindness and gentleness to those they love. There are those who are generally kind and easy to get along with, but are cruel and vicious to those most helpless and close to them. A very bad man in the eyes of many once lay next to me and told me what a good man he knew he was – there was equal truth in both observations. The mirrors around us reflect who we are in various moments – good and bad, angry and calm, broken and strong. The truth is not usually which or the other but both. Human beings are an odd mixture of duality.

So, you’re asking, where are you going with this? Well, it occurs to me that, like the parable above demonstrates, we often forget that both wolves exist within us. The story of the two wolves is really the story of being human. I like the image of the wolves for its simplicity – the wolves are always present together, always fighting, each one jostling for the top spot, seeking to be the one in control. “Which one will win?” It’s the age-old question, isn’t it? What side of us will triumph? What side of us is stronger? Truly, the answer is just so simple, isn’t it…which side are we feeding? The wolf we nourish is the wolf that leads…the winner has been fed, and fed, and fed…we have given him nourishment while the other wolf dissipates, grows weak and weary, as starvation sets in.

And then there’s the one final obscure thought that hits me: It’s only natural to want to live, survive, be in control, be the stronger of the two. Neither wolf dies easily.

Traveling Angels

A Story from Ego Dialogues  (www.egodialogues.com)

Two Traveling Angels (author unknown)

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guest room. Instead the angels were given a space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole on the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied…”Things aren’t always what they seem”. The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest.

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel “how could you have let this happen!? The first man had everything, yet you helped him,” she accused. “The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let their cow die.”

“Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave her the cow instead. Things aren’t what they seem.” Sometimes that’s exactly what happens when things don’t turn out the way they should.