“Scars”, the Illustrated Version

Sometimes I am asked if I illustrate my poems…but please PLEASE note this:

All images are found online unless I specifically state otherwise that they are either pics taken by me or drawings done by me.

This particular illustration is from a major book I am working on for my friend.  It is unique and one of a kind.  It will be the only one, and were I to illustrate it all over again, the exact same poetry, it would look completely different.

I am really really happy with Scars though…I think I might never attempt it again, as it feels like it captured it. Oh…and for you who need a lil help mining for the diamonds, here is a lil “key” to the poem.

Across the Aching Blue Sky | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Three years ago…
Are ashes ever really dead?
Or just a different form of life?

When you see that I have died,
when you look into that place
where my odd, quirky connections
once melded resonant
and found resonant splendour
in heart…and in hearts too

and you see the ashes, chilled,
overlaying stone cold coals,
become grey overcoats
covering what I finally learned
to be so ashamed of?

Scrape those cinders up
shovel and shoe them,
trowel and trough the grits,
find a yearn to place them in,
decorative and strange,
intricate and engraved
and singing,
like me back then…

and carry that vase back
across the silent square,
and toss my ashes high,
yes toss them in the air

Let them fly across the sky
in one last kiss, then wave goodbye,
and falling, floating, snowing what made
me special and vibey…

I will let go gently…and slip away,
away…

Source: Across the Aching Blue Sky | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Reflections | Charissa’s Grace Notes

SO loving this old one…”old”…HAH!  Just a few years, very early on in transition…and a word play via homophone leads the way in this one.


The scent of our home,
funky quaint and riddled
with books and bikes,
and the long laid scent of family.
The scent of the kitchen,
yesterday’s dinner
and the overlay of croissants
like fierce french washer women
scrubbing away all other scents.

…the scent of our clothes,
and our laundry soap…
the scent of the air cooler,
that of the soft night air
waltzing in,
slow and sleepy
from her night out
amongst the stars,
and carried in drowsy
on cricket wings…

…the scent of popcorn
shared on the couch,
of our wine wafting
from bottles possessed
by only the last 12 drops,
our lil garden outside,
and the auto sprinkler
which has come on to water
in the dark and the cool…

the scent of your currents,
your deep distant observing soul
that hangs back and watches,
even in the midst…

i do go on…

from here…from now…
in the sweltering heat,
where you and I lay,
you sleeping,
me watching you sleeping,
soft face limpid and languid…here…
listening to tides of eternity
race round and round
inside our veins, our universe…

i do go on…

Source: Reflections | Charissa’s Grace Notes

There, Brown And Small

I am not
the only one
here, brown and small
wearing a mask

so fearsome, fell
created from
conflicted heart
streaked red and blue

colliding with
my resting soul
green on those hills
those tumbled hills

there, brown and small

An Eclipse Of Grace

we are down to it now
here in the land where dragons
have forgotten their names
and deny their children
who loved them

Puff and Jackie are no more
it is now all sturm und drang.

A monster has arisen
and graves quiver and tremble
as fingers long thought dead
scritch scritch scritch
on those coffins so
recently buried

and show that they live
and gibber in glee
with prospects of release

scritch scritch scritch

but the moon has not forgotten
does not forget her beloved
now hot and baking in the
disjointed unhitched sunlight
called not-Puff (Sturm) not-Jackie (Drang)

called alt-
and hate
and patriotism

the moon has made her move
and soon will shed her grace
a respite from unrelenting baking light

An eclipse of Grace is coming
to save from the eclipse of Grace
found in this screaming perpetual
day without softness
without tender coolness
and velvet still…

I hear the moon move
in the dry drumbeat of bramble
as I pass by, smelling their
desperate intense perfume

the canes of thistles move
in the wind like bones
and sing to me

sooon  soooon…
beneath the croon
of probing beams
that are definitely
way more than they seem

the sky will bend and yield
as moon she rides in day
and comes to eat, to take within
her belly all the taint
of poison so-called light

our moment of escape will then present!
a moment, chains can break and curses rent!
in dark while others fall upon their face
we who watch well an eclipse of Grace…

can learn there at her knee, her royal knee
and small eclipses everywhere we’ll be
from our burnt courage burnished bronze in heat
as we the moon and grace together greet
and mercy kisses truth…at last they meet

may things be healed by our eclipsing feet.

The One Who Knows | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is the antidote to “The 25 Hour Yesterday”…and it is attempting to write about redemption, and how it is only relational and never NEVER legal.  You want to see changes in this world?  Then change your relational dynamics…with yourself…with others…with the Divine…

“…It is the Valley of Dry Bones,
the charnal parched and bony strand
with bone-dust laying down for sand
that walking comes The One Who Knows
and singing re-creation songs
and the truths we tell make harmonies
to reach the very stars…”

Source: The One Who Knows | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Tears Of Grace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is from 2015, and a deep immersion in that wonderful book Women Who Run With Wolves

it was the tale of Bluebeard that chilled me the most.  Indeed, it is the one MOST applicable to a transwoman.

I really like some of the images in this poem, some of the phrases…”shuttering houses and shuddering hearts”…

I hope you enjoy it, and end up being able to flow as your own tears of grace.This time of day…“l’heure bleue.”
I know it as “the gloaming” and was conceived
in it’s glimmer glisten and was born
in its radiant dark glitter-glamouring.

It’s the glamouring that the earth casts
when she hides from the hunters who roam the world
and gobble up the quiet dark and then rough-belch
their choking smothering counterfeit-communion

*non-light*…

Source: Tears Of Grace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A Hot Summer Day And A Deck | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Two years ago…a very nice lil poem about the poems walking around in skin…
and it works on the gender dysphoria level too…as a poem to self.

Try it, see if it reads to your you?


a hot summer day and a deck
the sun it glints off of my glass
the sweet-tea ginger peach muddle
the mint wafting from sweaty ice cubes
floating, cooling, melting, disappearing

my peach is sweet, tart, it’s just right
fuzzy-firm against longing loved lips
I turn perfumed pages so eager
the story unfolds right before me
on a hot summer day and a deck

the book of you writes itself page at a time
it expands in my hands and the cover
wanes old/new, it waxes familiar
to my touch then *gasp* “I never knew you”
every turning page snatches my breath

because I’m not sure if the next one
will be there, it could be blank or worse
it might write itself while I am reading
words forming from nowhere, just scrawling
in the high summer light on that deck

I can’t put it down for the life of me
I smell you in air as I fan those thin pages
flipping backwards but not ever reading ahead
(there is no ahead to be read in this book)
I miss you this hot summer day…

Source: A Hot Summer Day And A Deck | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Come Home To Yourself | Charissa’s Grace Notes

My dearest heart of hearts.  She alone stood steadfast, faithful, amidst her own dealings and sortings and studyings…and she transitioned WITH me!

She NEVER left, shunned, or re-wrote our history to suit her current mood, as a couple have done.

She never othered or divorced as so-called friends of three decades did…

This poem is my attempt to express how I felt/feel about her, and her soul and her love.

She is the truest person I know…even when she is searching for that truth…and I love her with my bones.

PS:  It is written in my favorite meter…because I want that rhythm to speak to the central most shining thing about my darling:  her steadiness.

It all seems like a dream…like I woke up
into Real life and there you were, grinning,
that crooked lil smile and that small dimple
at your mouth’s corner, honey cupid bow.

It was as if we happy-laughed forever!
And cried for ever too, both all at once.
It was as if my torrid fever broke!
Things clear now to me, I’m in on the joke

regarding the us that we were…we are.
How I must have puzzled you, my dear!
Befuddled you and discouraged you too,
for you saw my real red and pulsing heart,

and underneath, the shade of deep dry rot…

Source: Come Home To Yourself | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Breaking Beans | Charissa’s Grace Notes

AAHHH!  Wowsa…again with the metaphor choice that I love!!

Green Beans…human “beans”…and again you can launch from there.  I really REALLY like how this one turned out, sitting here a couple of years later.


the snap of those fresh green beans
the smell of fresh linen
infused with lacy scents of
fresh baked bread lingering

the sound like
*past* and *present* and *future*
punctuated with
period.  period.  period.
and my heart the ellipsis that lingers

like the freshly baked bread…

Source: Breaking Beans | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Reaping Waves | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This was a couple years ago…”viking” is metaphor for “patriarchy”…and the rest should follow naturally…


I’m no Viking, not me!
Charissa Grace?
Pshaw…I do not sail
on waves like crops,
oars for ploughs
and battle lust for seed.
I shudder at the thought!
Of harvest moments
in peaceful lands
and no limits but my lusts
and the certainty of loss
at the end of Ragnarok…

Source: Reaping Waves | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I Lost Time Today | Charissa’s Grace Notes

PLEASE:  Read this out loud, and zero in on the rhymes as the key to where to place your meter.  Lovely, lovely effort, this.


I lost time today…misplaced it completely
as I sat, wondering how
the lavender takes body and position
in the skies above.

Does it wish its way up there?
Does it woo with song and dance?

Notes so sweet floating on air
to paint and wash and seize its chance
to smear its bloody beauty stain
upon the sky’s face once so plain
just blue…and now in wonder-grains
of beauty brief that won’t remain…

I lost time today…

Source: I Lost Time Today | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Butterfly And Bone | Charissa’s Grace Notes

And again…aren’t we all?  Butterflies carved in Bone?I’m a butterfly carved of bone
white, bleached, sun-baked bone

my wings are just my lungs
spongy-red and wet but free
inside my chest is open space
soaring chasms awaiting light

butterfly, bone, breath over breadth
I’m a butterfly carved in bone

I am diamonds in the night…

Source: Butterfly And Bone | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Refresh My Thirsty Roots (For Melissa)

It’s the wind, fresh splashed
with wild rain and then dashed
across slate and sand and then

strained thru my window
thrown open and grasping
for beyond and beyond and…

then scent simply there
and all around me sent,
in my hair and nose and lungs,
as if I were the tree
and that old gnarly oak
out there was me

except that I am
sitting beside you dear,
laying there in your
innocence and cheer
still fresh from so far
away before you came

Before you were
sent so near to me,
oh my lovey,
lovely, my girl…

I sit, and drink of you
as you refresh my thirsty roots
forever until Forever.

In Arpeggio Miles | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Ahhhh…omg how I LOVE this poem!!

I wanted to talk about gaps, about distances…
those that exist on a vast continuum of connection,
and yet no matter how close you get,
you never really can connect…

the gap between two people, regardless of closeness…
the gap between the earth and moon in spite of gravitational pull…
the gap between us and ourselves…
the gap between stars…

and I wanted to also talk about connections, too…

and of course, it is a simple love poem at heart.

I encourage you to spend some time with it,
and perhaps even linger with some of these
metaphors and layers of meaning…

it’s a rich poem and I am quite happy with it.


Prelude:
There is an indigo bunting
outside my window singing
in the moonlight streaming by
a million miles an hour.

But it is not the window
on my mind tonight…
I keep returning to that door
the one between you and me.…

Source: In Arpeggio Miles | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I Am A broken girl And I Am | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am a broken girl and I am

not so easy to love like
carefree normal confident girls
next door in cotton and flannel and lace.

I live inside a fortress and I hide

inside shields and my soul
lives centuries in seconds
I am a survivor of wars
that break the strongest
men so flimsy.

Source: I Am A broken girl And I Am | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Footprints of Ghosts (commemorating my first Father’s Day as myself) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From the first “Father’s Day” passing since I entered transition…wow was I naive then.  Since then, the hell-words and deeper hell-silences have scarred deeply.

I will never ever celebrate or participate in this day again.

But this poem…ahhh, I was ringing the bell on this day.


The fire crackles and pops
its diphthongs and phonemes
in that hot and feisty
rapid-snap delivery.

“Dad!  Dad!  Daddy!  Father!”
It says this in living
letters of merry blazing
iterations of what …

Source: The Footprints of Ghosts (commemorating my first Father’s Day as myself) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Suffragette of Sight | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From 2014…trying to tell people how we hide…


They leave marks, tears.  Look.
You can see them if you stand
eyes akimbo and uncrossed from normal.
They don’t show if you look usual-like.

But they shimmer
like living starry
liquid songs of sorrow…

Source: Suffragette of Sight | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From Provence To Salamanca | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From last year, a poem describing leaving a place of fruitful becoming and ending up in a place of religious bondage…it wormed its way out of me freely and insisted on the geographical terms, which now in the age of ttaf make far more sense to me.

we had wine
rose wine, pink
blushing with laughing
joy in the midst of
a light crushing

we were in Provence,
and it was warm and sultry
but not thick or sweaty
in that yellow light seeping out of
the ruddy dirt…

Source: From Provence To Salamanca | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Burnt Offerings | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This is an older poem, and I really like its rhythm.  Try reading it aloud, for you will find that the sound of the words shapes how you say the coming ones.

These words are my offerings burnt
singed in fires of pain and hurt
written as gouts of bright blood spurt
from my contrite soul.

I take treasure from my heart
pleasures, pains, my every dart
burn them for a brand new start
the incense of my spirit …

Source: Burnt Offerings | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This Fire Of Fires

Together
We have nurtured
A small sprout
A sapling
A tiny spring

We fed with time
We watered with tears
Our endless selfish bull shit
Gave food to this living child
Of ours… Our love, Love

This garden of delight
This torrent of life
This fire of fires

A Futrospection | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Written long looong ago, when this lil crabbie “Cancer”
was becoming friends with a lil scorpion Scorpio…
a match made in heaven and forged on earth.

It was trying to project into the future,
based on the past and spoken in the (then) present.

I hope you enjoy it.  I know

if you met my beloved you would admire her as I do.


There is a tenderness
in your eyes
in your voice
a trembling

so I can never
tell whose mother
or little girl
you might be

and even I
must believe it
tonite, remembering
in your eyes

such a tenderness…

Source: A Futrospection | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Summer Snapshots in Haiku | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Over the years I have jotted down uncounted numbers of haiku…
because it is a powerful tool in capturing imagery and heart flows…

and recently, I have been trying to focus more
on the process and reason why haiku is that tool,
that “turbo-charger” of the imagination, if you will.

I think it is that deep awareness of the nature of “nothing”
that one finds in the heart of much eastern spiritual thought.

Here are some of my attempts to find
the confluence where east meets west

and the waters mix.


rain-filled ruts reflect
an apple red summer sky
that highlights brown hills

in the wind my skin
revels amidst bitter-sweet
echoes of that day

wind, you will have a
terrible time smothering
my soft clarity…

Source: Summer Snapshots in Haiku | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Living Origami | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A poem about the fingers of God inside the fears and frailties of a woman.  And yes, I am cognizant of the implications, and wonder why this is not more commonly experienced by others…the touch of God is so very intimate…
I feel your fingers
in my folds and
my fine feathers
ruffling, riffing

sometimes ripping
for your pleasure
folding me and
creasing me

until I do not
recognize
the shape
I’m in.

Turning this way…

Source: Living Origami | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Pauper-Heart And Paper Mind

And though Your feet find every path
how is it I can see no sign
that You have ever cared to pass
along this trail, travail of mine?

I, pauper-heart and paper mind
bequeathed with Heaven’s own dear Breath
look at this empty road to find
it circles, curls unto my death.

That I stand asking is itself
a rich and bottomless grand gift
and that I scrabble at Your Shelf
and fumble, clumsy drop and sift

Until there’s nothing left to see
while all around me diamonds gleam
Until I take my eyes off me
then shall dust to riches be

The gifts are not in garlands rare
Nor ease nor comfort fading fast
Thy gift is very Breath, it’s Air
With me til I breathe my last.

The Hounds Of Torquemada

sometimes scared I hear
the stink and the hot blood
rushing thru the crowds
like demons on the loose
the hounds of Torquemada

sometimes I see them
all the people in the streets
lost and in a mumble
of pain and crazy jumble
and death in every tumble

and I just wanna lay there
in the streets so dirty
teeming with the garbage
of privileged excrement
and tear my chest wide open

and with my desperate fingers
claw my hurt ribs agape
and reach in for my heart
and rip it from my soul
and hold it over head

and let my blood gush forth
in step with all my tears
and wash it all away
why can’t it wash away
oh Jesus wash, oh Jesus

why is it them not me
i think I’m gunna cry
and cry and cry and cry
while my heart bleeds and bleeds
until it’s bled all dry

The Sound of Beauty Silent

Standing beside gull-force winds
strong enough to blow a waterfall
back into its own face, something
no man has experienced but needs to
Image result for waterfall flowing backwards gifs
I watch Beauty roll down and meet unbelief.
And I remember all over again how I am haunted
by the ghost that grows when Beauty glows and screams
to the body transcendent and compelling and

then goes silent once again
a waterfall thundering down
and pushed away with every might
and longing stirs all over again

as I just wonder how it is
that God can be resisted, how
that God has chosen suffering, now
in person and in heaven, wonder

that God is…that God is…that

then the song is sung by Beauty’s
absence in the scattering
the scurrying, no one cannot not be aware
and longing for the shelter

of The Safe Wing Stretched Divine
though it feels ominous, and gone and here
the absence of what cannot leave
beauty…or itself.
Image result for a guillotine
a guillotine to answer to the knife in my clenched fist
and I realize I must go thru this once again, this absence
that leaves all things scattered, scurrying, suffocating
in the Stripping of the Altar, in the scattering of all

and the sound of tombs slammed shut
and the sound of screaming triumph
and the sound of darkness looming
and the sound of Beauty Silent

all compel a halt to movement
so we listen in the stillness
to the absence, to the absence
to the looming screaming absence

and the Sound of Beauty Silent

 

 

 

Good Friday 2017

everyone denied it.

that He was killed
that He was alive
that there was a Door
that the Door was closed

everyone denied it.

that there was it.
that it was.
that she was dressed
that she was it.

She knew better
because dawn had done
and blue was shining
in her golden hope

She knew open and empty
were Something.

Our Sacred Desert Story

We set out on tender feet
and tender hearts to match
and faces become flint as we
determined that we would not faint.

When our sojourn was hip deep in heat
and we were well and away, out to sea
she told me of the heartbreak and the horror
and there how we did rain our tears…

We took turns (while we wiled the desert paths away)
swimming away from the ship of us…naked, vulnerable
and healing in the slick water…further and further
and then return and up and back into our desert ship.

It was in the sunset wrought with haze from distant destinations
that make you think about fire, and about what might have been.
We, perched on that rock solid emanating heat and spitting healing
while the sky, bruised by our advances, turned purple in our song.

It was just Day Umpteen Kazillion in our great traverse of deserts,
we walking, swimming straight by myth and extraterrestrial,
feeding on lizards, trilobites, and our sacred Stories our Communion shared
and we, oh so close to our arriving, our becoming, our sacred Desert Story.

 

Resurrection In Purple Flow

Sometimes when
I am in the presence
of the royal mountain

I can’t help myself.

I run purple, violet
I feast on fallen blossoms
(somehow the fallen sing more
of loss, of all that comes before

Resurrection
in purple flow

Today, Outside the Church Building by John Pavlovitz

“You see friend, if what happens in that building doesn’t renovate what happens outside that building, you’ve failed. If your church were to close down today and the neighborhood around you wouldn’t profoundly feel the loss, you need to change how you do what you do in that building. If the only people who would grieve your absence are the people already in that building, you’re not doing what you’re called to do. You are hoarding blessings from people who need and deserve to be blessed.

“Worship is not really what happens in that building. That is just songs and words and stories and prayers. It is religious activity, well-meaning and helpful as it may be. Worship, is a life lived changed by faith in God and burdened to reflect the character of that God to others. If the songs and the words and the stories and the prayers today don’t move you out of the building and into the paths of hurting people in a way that alters those paths—it’s all been wasted time.”Source:  Today, Outside the Church Building MARCH 19, 2017 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ

The Church That Abandons Jesus

My friend John Palovitz says these things so very well!

“To be honest, I’m not convinced that many of these Republican Christians want their Government or the Church to lift people in need. I think they’d prefer to live with the fictional narrative that poor people are poor because they’re lazy, that those in need, are so because of some moral failing or bad decision. This story allows them to keep the stuff they have, to ignore the call to love their neighbor as themselves, and to feel morally superior in the process.

“Jesus says that whatever we do to the poor and the hurting and the hungry—we do to him. That should be a terrifying proposition to supporters of the President who claim the Christian faith or call the American Conservative Church home. This Administration and the many Christians who co-sign its actions toward those who are the most in need of compassion and mercy in these days, are saying with great clarity: “Move along Jesus, we don’t give a damn about you.”

“This is what happens when the least are treated as less-than. This is what it looks like when the Church abandons its namesake and tells him to fend for himself.

“Forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Source:  The Church That Abandons Jesus

A Disjointed Incomplete Meditation…

This is talking about my own life, my own family…and yours, too…because all of us have this brokenness.  The evidence is irrefutable.

This poem is all about forgiveness…trying to give it and trying to receive it…and the incredible revelation that it is impossible.

There is no trying…there is only becoming.

“…And so now we get down to it:
there is no exit,
no escape from agony,
pitstop from pain…
all we can do is
exchange suffering’s form
and it’s face, from our own
for the pain of another…”

Source: A Disjointed Incomplete Meditation…
tumblr_ni0sfjatWG1qzq0kvo1_1280

A Meditation About Toilets

Yunno…toilets are sort of important.  Life has improved SO MUCH since their invention and use…

Sometimes the greatest service a person can be to another person is to be a toilet…and the most immediate act of forgiveness is to flush it down.

I had an experience like that this week…and am working on the things I wrote about in the picture…

by being a toilet that flushes, and not one that is stoppered up and back-flows shit everywhere.

image

Source: The Suffering of Forgiveness

My Exodus

Reposting a poem from last year…any good poem applies at a number of different levels, some known and some unknown and waiting to be discovered…

tumblr_o3bsqwoQON1qhs1kno1_1280
I moved away while you weren’t watching
(it was easier than I thought it would be,
escaping past your X-Ray eyes
that look for flesh and blood
and thus missed my exodus)

I live by the sea, now…

Source: My Exodus

Miriam’s Song

A poem from 3 years ago…seems appropriate in light of the marches!


Roll back stormy waters, roiling steely dark and deep.
Roll back clinging finger-waves and the icy grip they keep.
Make a way thru waters where there isn’t any way
And lead me laughing, walki…

Source: Miriam’s Song

Living Above the Curse (Part 3 – The Curse of Man)

Here is part three.

All three parts of this series are written by a brilliant, insightful and passionate human being of the female gender…and she uses the FULL RANGE of her palate to express these truths.

Hey dudes…listen the fuck up!  Pull your heads out of the sands of fear and your fingers out of your ears and shut yer pie-holes from babbling all about the estrogen the estrogen and LISTEN.  You do not get to pass judgement on sumfin cus you are either comfortable or uncomfortable…you are under the same standard of restoration as the rest of humanity…is it the Way, and is it the Truth, and is it the Life? Whether you LIKE it or not…whether it makes you FEEL GOOD or not…

Thank you Jennifer.  Your words are truth and life.

We all know the Venus and Mars stereotypes. Women are complex multitasking nurturers, men are singularly-focused aggressive hunter/providers.

Woman: with the flu, a cramping, hemorrhaging uterus and a baby attached to her boob pushes through her daily myriad of responsibilities to take care of the family

vs.

male: devastated by Man Cold.

Source: Living Above the Curse (Part 3 – The Curse of Man)

In Arpeggio Miles

Ohhh CONSTANCE!!  I have been transcribing this poem for a friend, the lovely Michelle Terry (Hi Grl!!)…and I fell in love with it again.  Aaauuggghh!!  I LOVE THIS POEM.

It’s about an evening that plays out between two hearts, two souls…it plays out between The Earth and Space…it plays out between waters and land, and heart and bodies…it plays out between Love and Lover and back again…it plays out between the carnal and the ineffable…desire and Desire…

it plays out between where it happens and where It Happens…

And Subjects…The Divine and Human, Self and Self, Self and Subject…

I like my metaphors and use of them…I like the references and hints dropped.  I like the movements, from Prelude to Finale.  It is sensual and spiritual all at once, and it still feels really good.

Some critics have told me it is too long…perhaps they are right…but I allus ask them what do they expect me to do about that?? For I have about as much say over how long it is as I do how tall you are!

If you’re a new reader and dabbling, I hope you will take a run…   ❤

In Arpeggio Miles

Prelude:
There is an indigo bunting
outside my window singing
in the moonlight streaming by
a million miles an hour.
But it is not the window
on my mind tonight…
I keep returning to that door…

Source: In Arpeggio Miles

Sonnet Of The Phoenix (For JD)

Oh Holy Lightning Strike like Griffin Swift
upon this yearning heart in desperate need
of Your Mercy Severe, Your Holy Gift
Give us Grace to Find the Phoenix-Way!

To rise in faith from Ashes and from death
to self and self reliance, come what may!
On resurrection wings and Spirit’s breath
alive again and all is well this night

that breaks and shatters with the rising dawn…
and not a single fire road in sight,
and what will be well it shall simply be
and what will not be well it will be gone!
tumblr_oba62bXDis1r38hk2o1_1280

Come Holy Fire, we answer Your Call!
and All Reborn, and Love is All in All,

“Someday…someday the snow will fall!”

Silken Tears: Written in the memory of Leelah Alcorn

As a poem…I love this one.  I was blessed to capture some delicate and beautiful imagery, and it emerged in a nice meter that is augmented by the rhyming patterns and their shifting nature…matching the shifting nature of the poem.

Frankly, I was envious of her…and horrified with myself that I was so…this was written in Leelah Alcorn’s memory.

I cannot read this without weeping.


i saw her there, in the dark woods,
so fair of movement, fair of face
she walked beneath the milky moon
and bathed in silken light like lace.

she glowed with beauty’s blessing kist
upon her b…

Source: Silken Tears: Written in the memory of Leelah Alcorn

Between the Lines

I need to repost this poem from a couple years ago a day early…and I don’t even want a SHADOW of eyes on this that aren’t willing to LABOR today to birth understanding of what I am writing about…

it’s so fucking obvious what I am writing about…

I am writing about what we are all mealy mouthing by blaming it on a specific year (as if the year were a shambling zombie…as if the year were different than any other year, as if WE were not the shining difference every goddam SECOND)…

but every single person SHOULD labor with this poem, and labor HARD…

cus it’s the liturgy you will need as you’re pulled inexorably to your end…

if you DO decide to click on this…then really get your hands into it, and don’t go looking for pretty words and cutesy lil poetic kuans…cus this aint it.

This is the blood of a Poetess…

this is the stuff of poetry, however poorly executed it is in my fumbly arthritic heart whose joints ACHE and SEETHE with rage at death and grief at the ways we pull our snugglies around us and pretend…

Jenniferlittermate, there will be much balm for you here, you are indeed ready.

“…and there I walk, alone between the lines,
my feet upon the ties, the ties that bind
and my heart ponders lines, and ties and spaces
in between the lines, the ones inside of me and what is hidden
there to see by those who stop and look and listen

…and take the time to read between the lines…”


Tree-lines mark the end of alpine meadow-frolics green
and the start of stone relief against the ever-constant skies
stretched out in steely greys and stellar silver blue sky-lines,
and space between the lines…

Source: Between the Lines

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Introduction)

Advent:
the short period
during which all
the years of groaning,
from that first fatal blow dealt
by selfish egocentricity to the
entirety of creation…

which turned off the Divine Light,
are compacted into one designated

thick period…

not “long”, but “longish”
and full of longing.

Thick.
Packed.
Full.
Stacked.
Designated…

to wait.
Wait.

WAIT
tumblr_oia8xthkpe1vhq1iuo1_1280
Waiting for the most part is experienced as obdurate dull hunkering down and drinking from the cracked teacups of platitudes…ingesting such sops as “everything happens for a reason” and “this too shall pass”…yeah no…those things will not cut it, to get us thru this night, this absence of Divine Light that lays over all things, this utter darkness of the ego dictatorship.

Waiting…true waiting is become for us an empowered marking of events as they flow, infused by a knowing confidence that we wait for something certain and substantial…we wait for something coming and yet already here…we wait for the joy that veritably strains at the gates of birth to come forth!

We wait for someone…Someone…and every year that Someone comes fresh and new…and full of the very Presence that fits the absence of our existence like a Hand in a glove, like a key in a lock.
tumblr_ogjmaljtk41u94gxvo1_1280
The Ultimate Mystery of Existence is the Incarnation:  that joining of Creator and Creation into one full and harmonious miracle of Being…a joining that was planned and executed before even the foundations of the earth were laid, long ago sometime in eternity past when God in communion with God manifested the Eternal Sacred Heart in Passion Absolute and took up residence forever at the crux and core of all things, all rays, all paths and promises…that begotten presence which chose to be called Son climbed that tree and hung…hung…hangs…and hangs…

behind, beneath, above, within.

In every single cry of horror the cross is at the center.
In every single laugh of promise the cross is at the center.
In every single expression of wonder, every single nightmare of despair

the cross
at the center

And in the most central and deepest Intention is that Union, at the center of which the cross veritably pulsates!!
tumblr_o06l93papt1u8wonlo1_r2_1280
It is the Mystery of the Incarnation…which is spoken of most plainly in the lowly caterpillar…or is it spoken of most darkly in the mystery of the Chrysalis? Wait…it is spoken of most clearly in the emergence of the butterfly.

We are that caterpillar, our lives a Holy Chrysalis of Dark Promise, and our becoming the butterfly whose wings we feel pulsating within our breast, that activity of Wonder which flutters in heaving convulsing implications that there must be Something!!

And so this morning, I wanna talk about that…the activity.

The activity of the Incarnation.

During Advent, we can look at the various “actors” in the Christmas Story to take our cues and understand our path forward, onward, higher/deeper, inward/outward…
74214d9284e2ef3805ee78bac19f375c

Part Two:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-incarnation-part-two/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Part One)

Let us start with Mary.
She is the type for each and every one of us.

Each of us is a potential “Mother of God”,
a “blessed among all women”,
a chosen and fit vessel to carry the Child of Promise, the Messiah!

And Mama hovers, draws near, and watches…She waits too!

Did you know that God waits?
That every single day of time is God’s Advent waiting?

But back to Mother Mary…back to you…who if you will, can choose to “be” Mother Mary.  She said to God “Be it unto me according to Your Will”, and “my soul does indeed magnify God”!

OH!  The shockwaves of that declaration continue to ripple still!  And she did indeed receive the Child into her inmost self, and God took up residence there and joined Themself to humanity forever and always, and the butterfly was born…the God-human, the human-God…that indescribable uncanny union of the Divine and the human, which is spoken of as “the new creation”.

And Mary brought forth that Child…after a 9 month Advent of gestation…and that Child is the Deliverer of Creation.
tumblr_oi9vfogpvt1s5neh1o1_1280
And this is the first phase of Advent Activity…and your first task.  Make room within your being for the Child to come and be implanted within…and bring forth that Incarnation of human/Divine life into this world in everything you do and say and think and are…you yourself in a very real sense “Mother” God…birth God…and it is your divine calling…no…your Divine RIGHT to birth God this Christmas, this year.

And what exactly would that look like, to bring forth God in your life?

Well…who is it that you want God to be for you?

That is who you must bring forth to the world.

It is the activity of Advent as an individual to birth and bring forth the Divine presence that only you can bring forth.

Oh Chosen Mary, blessed among all humans…search yourself, and make room…for the Incarnation within to come forth…
d35d83b48e3b018f395355058e50a4ee

Part Three:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-incarnation-part-three/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Part Two)

Out in the cold, living in fields…Looking after animals, in the dark of night…

Lonely, stiff and cold, hungry, sleepless and miserable, surrounded by slumbering insensate beasts who couldn’t even begin to give a crap about anything except their own comfort and care…full bellies and security from wild beasts even if it meant being captive to their comfort and thus forever doomed to the dust-life…and never a dawning of even the beginnings of wondering what is Wonder…
tumblr_oeujfgrmui1uwhl54o1_1280
…it is there we meet the shepherds…who are aware…ALL too aware of these things.

I mean, c’mon!

The story tells us they were living out in the fields!
They had no homes.
They had no place to lay their head.

Except in the fields…with the beasts they cared for…and their own sense of wonder…wondering why the rich sat at ease in their cedar lined homes…wondering why their bellies were so empty when the refuse cans of the rich were so full of excess and waste…wondering why the stinking Romans had authority to take and break and dictate…

wondering why God was silent, absent, insensate, indifferent…
dtf041_cdg_360-690
and into that dark and lonely discomfiting despair came a Divine breaking in and breaking thru!!

In the midst of the darkest, most silent, most still, most absent of hope, most slumbering unaware time…came Heaven’s declaration that a Child had been born!  A Child had been Given!!

And His name was Wonderful!
His name was Counselor!
His name was Prince of Peace!

He was The Everlasting Father (yet an infant, meek and lowly)!
He was the Dayspring, the Bright and Morning Star!

Ahh…Morning Star…that Star that presages that night is drawing to a close, is ending.

And then the shepherds were given His core name, His Heart-Name…

Emmanuel.

God with us.  God with us.

God is with us.
a3d79e24c2bfb07f03fe84bed01a4448
Go to the lowliest place, for that is where God chooses to appear!  Do you not realize that everything you wish God to be God IS in the revelation of Advent?  He chose the lowliest, the weakest, the most foolish…and in that place was born…in a feeding trough…a manger.

You do get that, don’t you?  The Bread from Heaven was laid in a manger (another name for trough from which cattle eat)?  And broken there for us…to “eat”…to “ingest” and have Him become one in essence with us?

The shepherds were told to go and see the baby, and then to go, and tell it on the mountains, tell it in the valleys, tell it everywhere there were hungry ears…that EMMANUEL HAD COME!

And they did.

Thus we see the second activity of Advent:  you are called, as a shepherd, as one who is aware (regardless of whether you are full of hope or full of despair…either one is the sign that you are an “aware one” and thus are chosen and blessed)…to go.

Go.

Tell it on the mountain.
Tell it in the valley.

And keep your eyes open to spot the Child!  You shall find Him in your neighbor…that “asshole” down the street that drives by you everyday, eyes fixed forward and exuding anger and frustration…that “airhead” in the cubicle next to you who is seemingly obsessed with her makeup and her dating life and fashion…
tumblr_o0d3x2awpi1qat5pio1_500
You will find Him in that hopeless one next to you on the subway whose beautiful incredible skin is the wrong hue in this culture and whose shining incredible heart is so wounded and bound by the hatred of others…

You will find Him in the transwoman on the street just trying to live in her skin…in the homeless youth whose vision is more obscured by their hair than it is by their heart…

This is the activity of Advent for the shepherds:  find the Christ Child…in all His mangers…and proclaim that Child’s Name:

Emmanuel:  God is with us.
c77e430cdf918928bc771cc6972768a5

Part Four:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-incarnation-part-four/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Part Three)

In a foreign land, early.

Not early in the day…or even early in the year…

…but early in the Kairos of Significant Appointed Time!

And with Open Eyes…there waited Wise Men…who watched the skies, looking always upward for the arrival of…SOMETHING…they knew it not, what they sought, but they knew it had to be…because of the ache inside and the absence of something that caused the ache.

And then…there it was!  A star appeared in the sky, and in that quadrant that allus presaged SIGNIFICANCE!

And as they watched intently, behold!  It began to shift!  And as it shifted, so too within them something shifted, something began to be drawn…something…SomeONE…was tugging at them, pulling them.

And they left their homes, their places of comfort and familiarity…and began the road trip of all road trips, one that some scholars theorize lasted a couple years!
tumblr_oi97jbquaa1qb3v7ho1_1280
Do you see this?

The incredible events of Advent that happened within the scope of 9 months for the principle actors and happened in one night for the shepherds…

…began as much as two years earlier for the Wise Men!

Talk about Active Waiting!  Their waiting involved a journey as well!

They passed thru many lands, and as they were men of means and wealth and influence, their entry into the various kingdoms and lands thru which they passed created a stir, even consternation!  But only because it was…odd…strange…unusual.

Until they got close…to the land for which such things held great import…that land governed by an evil and malevolent pile of egocentricity.  In “The Fox”, it was as if all of the original assertion of ego which extinguished The Beginning Light was concentrated and distilled…and this small, infected and diseased pus-ridden pimple of a human being who was so full of hate and fear that he even killed children in his attempt to maintain his power was jolted by the arrival of these men and the implications of the Star, and the shockwaves that were about to break.
tumblr_of9nbs6ie11qas1mto2_r2_1280
He was cunning, unctuous, viscous and smooth of speech like a cobra hypnotizing its prey…but the Wise Men were, well, wise to him…and they held him at bay with deference and deflection…and journeyed on after giving him the impression that they would indeed abide by his word when in his land…

and then they at last came to the place over which the Star pulsed and danced…

a baby…in a humble hovel stinking of beasts and despair…and their open eyes beheld Him.

They gave Him Gold…because they saw He was High and Royal, above all beings.
They gave Him Frankincense…because they also saw He was a Priest above all Priests.
They gave Him Myrrh…because they saw something hidden, from all others…until it was manifest…

…they saw that this Baby was simultaneously there, in that manger, and also at the crux of all, and hanging in agony, in Passion, and that His blood was the Spring that watered the very roots of the Universe…

and the Myrrh was burial spice…for by His death our life is.

They knelt…and worshipped…and were changed…by Emmanuel…the Incarnate One.

After awhile, they chose to depart…but did they obey “The Fox”?  Did they come under the rule of government?

No…they had been changed forever, and they now were serving the Agenda of heaven and they resisted the intention of the earthly…and they departed in “civil disobedience” in order to preserve the life of God With Us.

And that is the activity of Advent declared to you in the story of the Wise Men.
5f5869c8afb1848723210f2f379d1dbe
Part Conclusion:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-advent-conclusion/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Advent (Conclusion)

You must find the way that the Child calls you to live a life distinguished, transformed…changed after your encounter with the Incarnate One…

Encountering Emmanuel first within yourself, and bringing Him forth in the manger of your life…
Encountering Emmanuel next within others…and telling those who still languish in darkness that Emmanuel has come…
Encountering Emmanuel then in the World…and living in a way distinguished and different, resulting in the establishment of His Kingdom, the government on His shoulders, and His never-ending rule of Justice and Mercy Kissing…

This is the lesson and activity of Advent for us…may it be Living Bread for us.
Amen.
tumblr_ohw524k2qp1r4or01o1_1280

Advent Poem: The Season of Emptiness

 

This poem is about how the work of Advent involves a preparation of Empty Bequeathed…and it uses transition as its vehicle.
This Christmas,
nothing has been exposed,
revealed as the imposter
it still masquerades as.
I am empty of screams
but full of me and
ready to receive
the Promise of words
to give voice to
what’s unspeakable, unnameable,
to dress that wound
infected with nothing
and salve it with
the scratchy tickle of truth
and set free we
shadowbound, to be
our shining selves,
casting shadows
instead of being flat
and cast by them.

It is the season of emptiness, and places
prepared by pain are hungry
for the Presence
and the Promise
that only emptiness contains.

Source: Advent Poem: The Season of Emptiness