Desire

The beauty of the sensual

Resides among the trees

Who so gracefully offer themselves

To the space around them

Curve of branch

Sigh of leaves

Moan of cracking branches among

The rushing wind

Yes

Trees know a thing or two

About the nature of the sensuous

And so

If you wish to understand

The mystery of desire

Offer your questions to

The wise trees

Whose holy gazes

Have beheld

This mystery

For many times your lifetime

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Surrender

Sometimes

the sun rises in my heart

and I can do nothing in response but bloom where I am

 

Sometimes

I find you sleeping

and I must breathe in the peace you exhale

 

Sometimes

I catch the eye of a stranger

and I must bow down to the ways in which they are completing the universe

 

Sometimes

a poem is many words

but you know in your bones that its meaning is but one thing

 

-Surrender.

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My heart contains me

This world contains me, but it does not protect me.  But I did not come here expecting to be protected, I came to be exposed.  I came for the feel of a complete immersion, to feel the veils of emotion flow down over my body.  Lift one veil, and another layer exists underneath it.

How many times have I been in this container?  How many times has this beating heart of mine lifted me from one life to the next?  How many times has my heart carried out the tempo of a new song, a new life?  I cannot see beyond this life, neither behind nor ahead. But I can feel the safety that surrounds me.  And it feels like silk.

And still I am carried on across these vast lifetimes, learning one lesson after another.

After such lifetimes as have been experienced on this planet, I cannot have been left unchanged. Whiskey has become my blood, and my lips, kissed by the sun, weave their full-hearted words across the landscape, leaving fading imprints like the trail of a sparkler waving through the night air.  I leave traces of myself everywhere- I’ve bled across the heart of this world, left trails of tears to find their way into the center of vast oceans (where they will exist for the lifetime of this celestial planet, earthy salt forever mingling with the salt of my body), and I have pounded my feet into the body of the earth in dancing rhythm, with wild ululations tracing the path of the wind. And where I have left traces of myself, so too did this world leave its own mark on me.  Leaves are imprinted in my skin, and the scent of flowers is woven through each strand of hair.

And through it all, I’ve lived every single moment.  I have loved and lost, been the one who is betrayed as well as the betrayer, and I have created oceans of tears from sorrow as well as elation.  Fingers have woven through tall prairie grasses, feet have felt the chill of icy spring streams (water flowing thick and fast and rushing down from the wild mountaintop).  My tongue holds the memory of falling snow in the winter and dew drops cover my feet as night melts into summery morning, and my vision is veiled by starlight; when I look at you, all I see is moonlight, a reflection of your origin.  Memories that are so old that I don’t even trust the visions they send dancing through my mind are tucked away in the bones of me.

My life has been both graveyard and birthing chamber, as old fears die and give rise to new hopes.

And through it all, again and always I come back to the heart of me, the center of my existence.  I return to this heart that has carried me well through it all.  Within my heart exists my soul, and so I feel Her with every dancing beat.  And we carry on across the waters of life, ever creating, ever living, ever loving.

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Tapestry

Once, you inspired a fire in my heartspace,

one that smelled of cedar trees and sandalwood

and felt like a thunderstorm.

This fire is not for you, not anymore.

I can no longer bear the weight of your memory and my own becoming,

so I must ask one to leave,

and I’m sure you understand which one must stay

so that I may rise up to become my own lover.

Yes it’s true that I once sought refuge in your presence,

and then in your memory

and I held the weight of both our futures in my soft palm

held open for you

in trusting acceptance of our then-aligned paths.

I let gravity pull me down,

down into your arms

where I was cradled by the scent of certainty

and lulled into a solace born of devotion.

Devotion to an idea, a desire, an unmet longing.

I composed sonnets to you

in my love-soaked heart.

But now, my best poems

are given to my own holy being.

I gently breathe life

into this  new-forged passion of Self,

sparked into being by a lover that I once knew

but now exists

only as a memory.

Rest assured though,

for you are woven into

the tapestry of my very soul,

a tapestry which is complex and beautiful

because of your contributions to its creation.

True, I am made of the fabric of the stars,

but your touch lives

in the seams of me and the fire of me.

But rather than let this fire consume me

with leftover passion,

it steadily burns away what was,

leaving space for what is and what will be.

This fire is my truth.

And your memory I blow away

into the velvet darkness

of the Wild that lives in me.

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Blessed is the beauty of your life

Blessed are those who have made it here, now.  Blessed are those who have felt the furious heart-pounding element of pure wrath and have felt the tang of bitter disappointment fill their mouths.  Blessed are you, for you have chosen to be here.  You have chosen to hurt.  To love.  To see.  To feel.  To accept.  To experience.

 

Blessed is your heartache and your ecstasy.  Blessed is the bottom of your darkest sorrow (and all its black, mineral silt that keeps you stuck) and the shine of your most true accomplishment.  Blessed is the time when you opened to the insistent truth of the universe and also the (many) times you shut out the beating rhythm of life’s continued melody.  The stab of regret and the pang of uncertainty.  The gut-punch feeling of utter betrayal. The time when you realized that writing was the only thing that would ever help you make sense of what happened.

Blessed are you, for choosing to be here.  Do you still feel like you belong elsewhere?  You do.  You belong among the heat of the stars.  You belong to the soft velvet of the middle of the universe.  You belong to the shine on a butterfly’s wings.  Do you still despise what you belong to?  That’s ok.  Who’s to say that isn’t part of the divine plan?  Who’s to say you didn’t choose to be unsettled here, that you wanted to feel what it felt like to have one foot out the door and an existence you’re not really sure means anything at all.  But I’ll tell you true, it DOES mean something.

So, dear one.  Please keep walking.  Place one foot in front of the other.  Believe me when I say you can’t get lost here, because all paths lead to the same end, eventually.  When you’re stuck in the mud of your own unruly existence, I will extend my hand to you to help pull you up.  And then I will leave you to continue on your way.

And believe me when I say, you’re creating the most beautiful path.

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On noticing your body’s reactions

Notice.

Notice the way your body moves and responds to the emotions that course through your living body.

Does disappointment cause your chest to drop?  Does excitement send a sizzle of electric energy buzzing and dancing along your living skin? Does love make your heart beat so strongly you feel that half the world can hear it?

We are not separate from our feelings.  They live in us, they inspire physical responses in your body.  They call to your control center and request (demand?) answering releases of chemicals to flood through your body.  It can be delicious and scary and beautiful and irritation all at the same time.

All your body asks of you is to pay attention.

Pay attention to what it tells you when you eat or drink something.  Pay attention to how it responds to a stimulus (did you get a text from your crush?  Get invited to give a presentation?  Get accepted for something you applied for?  Get denied a job you were hoping for?) and really start to listen. Your body is your best guide through this life. Regardless of whether you believe in guiding forces, guardian angels, helpful (or not) spirits, etc., the only physical entity we’ve been giving to quite literally walk us through this life is our body.

The least you can do is pay attention to it and start to learn its language.

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Let it be

I joined a ‘talisman of the month’ club (www.soulmantras.com.  Check it out, it’s awesome).

For the month of March, the mantra is ‘Let It Be’.

Those are scary words for a world in which we strive to fight doing exactly that, letting things be.  We strive to save, to change, to re-structure, to make things different (‘better’).

And we forget that there’s beauty in just letting things be as they are.  In letting the world be exactly as it is, and in letting life be as it is: good, bad, scary, joyful, nurturing, cruel…You get the point, I’m sure.  There’s beauty in letting the struggle be.  In letting the emotions be.  In letting the stillness be.  In letting the boldness be.  In letting the pain be.  In letting the beauty be.  In letting the flavors of life sizzle and snap on our feeling skin and waiting tongue.  And all that we taste of life on our tongues surely have an opposite flavor that we must also taste. Sorrow and joy.  Apathy and ecstasy.  Birth and death.  Fear and courage.

We spend so much time and energy trying to transmute what we consider bad (fear, sorrow, pain) into what we consider good (love, joy, comfort).  We forget that sometimes, not everything needs to be changed by us.  Sometimes, we just need to let go and let it be and see what alchemy comes from the being and the sitting and the waiting. In the end, all that matters is that we let life be as it is, the good and the bad and everything in between.

Can you let the knife-like edges of life’s sorrow cut you ever more deeply, carving out flesh and blood and bone?  Can you then carry yourself across the depths of the aching sea we call life, baptizing yourself in all that it is?  Can you let the bitter edges of that carved-out spot of sorrow be gilded in the sweetness of the inevitable joy that follows the sorrow?

Sit for awhile.  See what ‘letting it be’ can do in your life.

let it be

 

 

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