Things People Say

She says I’ve lost weight again

I tell her I’ve been lovelorn

We both know it is a lie

I’ve gained two pounds since I saw her last

Tears no longer roll down these cheeks

It’s Lady Gaga I reply

What does she sing about

About relationships between people

She watches the neighborhood rolling through the window

As she says: It is very difficult to accept sweet love after abuse, I think

That might be true I tell her

The Lady sings

He says people who love are duped

That passive people are easily controlled

God is an asshole

Love is a scam to keep people

To keep people from success and whatever

I watch him drift away in clouds of thoughts

I show up daily in love

The grand illusion

He says that he would drive me crazy

I could never put up with him

We agreed

Made room for a friendship

Where romance could not take hold

She said I don’t need to be put down

Or treated badly

I wondered how much room to make

For bad days and trying times

Where and how to draw healthy lines

There are no answers outside

Of this heart

person in black leather shoes sitting on brown wooden chair
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Weapons of Soil

We turned the earth over in rows

Removing rocks

Breaking chunks of clay

We composted the past and stirred

When they came for us

We marched and toiled

Longing for the days of seeds and

The times we had hoped for rain

It’s not our battle we fought

We were turned over the earth in rows

Weapons of soil

Carving territories

Engraving lines to define

Our stained hands longed for the dirt

For something simple and straightforward

We fought to return home

When we got there we found it was gone

Weeds and salted earth

Barren

The trees majestic were stumps

The wood turned to ash in fires which

Never warmed us

So we huddled next to the ruined forest

Weeping in the cold

Would that the story be over

How we persist in misery

Roaming to find a fertile place

A peaceful pond or

A clear flowing stream

Something to nourish us

Something to nurture us

Someone to welcome us with our ghosts

We put hand to blade and hand to plough

The work is never done

The work is never done

The light sparks and sputters

We sing to the tinder

Until the soft winding smoke wisps

Into a frosty night

Small flickering flame rising

Here come the horns and flute

Thundering hooves and the call of an owl

Weapons of soil gone feral

Wild in the wood

To create something new

To bring forth that which was left behind

When we left the wilderness

The spirit wells like a rising river

There is a surge as the tide rushes to shore

The moonshine insists

The sun never relents

The face of the earth changes

We turn the earth over in rows

Composting what we once had needed

To grow a fresh crop

From new seeds

crop photo of person planting seedling in garden soil
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Spinning

Dervishes understand

The power of motion in the round

Twirling and whirling

Becoming a vortex

Body moving in prayer

Arms wide

To hold the hope of all the world

While we dance through life

Unknowing

Unaware

That our every breath

Our every thought

Every movement is a prayer

This intention even unintended

Our state of mind

Our state of spirits

Spins outward

You can feel it when you pass by

Those golden souls who shimmer

Casting light in the dark

You can feel it when you pass by

Those enshrouded by sorrow and clouds

Each morning in the light of dawn

We begin

Our intention

Our invention

Our devotion

Our spirit in its motion

We are spinning and casting

Reacting or reflecting

From the center of our being

Our meditation draws us inward

To touch the brightest part

A mantra to give some structure

May we be healthy and happy

May we be at peace and at ease

May our movement cast light

As we pass by

woman in white dress standing
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Whirling Dervishes are Islamic, and the mantra I refer to is a Buddhist mantra. I am always more interested in the advancement of the spirit than adhering to a specific religious tradition, and have spent much of my life studying various religions and philosophies. What can I use and apply in my own life to deepen and broaden my connection to the all-that-is drives my curiosity. Will I play music and dance with joy? Yes. Am I a Whirling Dervish? No. Will I sit in meditation and chant mantras for personal growth? Yes. Am I Buddhist? No.

Where do you get the inspiration for personal development? How do you apply it to your life?

Circles and Cycles

Sharing

Isn’t always easy

She’d eat my food

I didn’t know at first

Or understand

A community mind

First trip to the grocery with her

Loading up with things I’d like

It’s been decades now

Sharing time

A place to shelter into

Sharing friends

They started sharing too

Filling my home with replacements

For much of what I’d left behind

Filling my circle with love

I give and give back and give away

Everything I need within reach

A call away

A text

We cycle gratitude

We circle around the debts we owe

Which do not cancel each other out

Life for life

Blood for blood

Soul for soul

This giving and receiving

Endless circle

Material things or wise words

Or simple presence

Gratitude rises

Gratitude overflows like a fountain

Gratitude streams over the edges

Softer

Smoother

Until we are luminescent rivers

Until we are the shimmering ocean

And you reading this

Are now caught up in an eddy

Maybe you will understand in a year

This vortex which has swept you upside down

Shaken you firmly

Stretched you out longer

Wound and unwound you

Until you are dizzy

Will place your feet firmly

On the path invisible

You walk on water

Miraculous

seashore under white and blue sky during sunset
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Partial Truths and the Art of Being Invisible

We show up smiling

A carefully woven rug

Thrown over scarred wood

The gauges are deep

The finish has been worn down to the grain

Where we paced, and crawled, and

Dug our nails into the wood

Trying not to get pulled again

Into the nightmare

We live in the space between

The rug and the wood

Suspended by hope

Kept down by the gravity

Of all we survived

What sudden turn of events

Will ground us deeper into the floorboards

Is it a specific cast to the lights

Or a sprinkling of laughter

The wrong kind from the wrong distance in the wrong tone

We dread what it will be

Unable to prepare for what we cannot expect

Except

That we expect it will catch us unawares

We bring our smiles and our safe stories

(We learn the hard way which ones those are)

We show up in brightly colored patterns of acceptability

Beautiful hues of vines and flowers and neat lines

While we hide invisible in

The darkness of the wood

Where we cry alone for all we’ve lost

Trying to sand out the scars

And not let anyone see under the rug

We hide the horror under mirth and song

It’s that time of year

When the ghosts of opportunity haunt us

When the rising stress of perfect food, the best lights, the mostess

Make Halloween seem like angels walking us to the gates of heaven

Maybe we stay home this time

Maybe we are too quiet and reflective

Maybe we can’t articulate why

You don’t really want to know

Maybe we leave early

Maybe we drift away without saying good-bye

It’s not for lack of love or longing or community feeling

Sometimes it’s just too much hiding for too long

And one more person we don’t want to have to explain to

And to escape from the pressure to be like everybody else

And to cocoon and hibernate

In a cave, in the dark, under a blanket

With a good book and a hot cocoa

To visit a place where we can show up whole

And dark, and imperfect, and honestly

Now you see us

Now you don’t

brown and beige living room interior
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Gaining Ground

This tiny spoon digging

Moving mountains

Hollowing out valleys

Terraforming

Terrafirming

A changescape

An escape

I have reformed the world

Bouldered pebbles rolling down the sides

Miniature models

Of a greater space

I am a goddess here with my dress

Grass stained and smeared in mud

Creating new worlds out of my destruction

Until snacks and naps

Call me home

person with crossed legs sitting on rock
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Missing Nothing

I made room

Expanded

Fit love into sun filled mornings

Woodland walks

Midnight songs

Moonlit rambles

Between times so full

I never stopped

No need to stop

No lack therein

Nothing missing

Like water carving out the rock

Like earthquakes opening the ground

Like giving away things no longer used

I made room

Now I am open and not full

Of the light that used to shine

I turn under the silver moon

Slowly under a slivered shard

Of what had been robust and

Bright

To myself I am returned

Missing nothing

But that song

That shimmering glow

Just salty rivers running muddy

From these eyes down to the sea

I walk these sandy shores again

Under the stars

Just me

northern lights over mountain and forest
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Dig Out

Push aside the rubble

Of that collapsed life

How it crumbled down around you

Buried you under all you could not do

The beams across your legs

Fallen structures in your mind

All the expectations that they told you

Held treasured happiness unkind

Crawl away from every moment

Tangled ankles tightly wound

The edifice of other’s imperfect ideation

Of a life of satisfaction

Would not stand firm around the fire in your soul

You burned it down

Smoldering and crumbled

From the ashes you have rumbled

To wander and to search now

For something ethereal and true

Far out of reach

Not well defined

Balanced on the wire

Of uncertainty and exploration

Through mists of dreams anticipation

Don’t look back

Don’t look down

Each step takes your full concentration

Until you reach new ground

Blaze the trail through mystery

Among the trees of wisdom

Revive your spirit

Drink deeply from the clear calm lake

Of peaceful contemplation

You were meant to wonder

Your were meant to question

You are here to redefine

You are here to realign

Leave the ruins there

To be covered by the vines

Let the past be fallow

Plant your dream into the wind

All your intentions changing patterns

Circle thrice and say the words

Singing chanting writing

The world is waiting for your voice

For your stepping into power

Dance the dance that’s dancing

The music of your life

Something greater than yourself

Is emerging

Calling you away from strife

One more step and you can fly now

One more turn and you will soar

The wings that you’ve been growing

Snapping open

Stretching wide

Fly up with me, my friend

We meet again outside of time

We meet again outside of time

light landscape nature water
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Hibernation

Calling back that vital force

(it’s life)

Snugged into self soft and tight

(it’s life)

Condensed and quiet beating heart

(it’s life)

Withdrawn in song and strife

(it’s life)

Steady centered solo sleep

(it’s life)

To lick the wounds and rest

(it’s life)

Await for spring’s warm breath

(it’s life)

Ghostly shading forest paths

(it’s life)

Silent midnight flying owl

(it’s life)

Bring wisdom to my dreams

(it’s life

From rain to creek to river stream

(it’s life

Torrents of cleansing water sheen

(it’s life

New sprouts to burst again

it’s life

While winter freezes over

This heart a little worn

Will rise slowly in the rising sun

Will increase pace and run

I touched the sun

How dangerous

I touched the sun

How droll

I sleep through winter cold

And in the spring unfold

I live in my imagination

For this season, hibernation

For this reason, incantations

Chanting gently through the night

It’s life with suffering and pain

It’s life with joy and happiness

Cycling through the ever changing

Landscapes of this life