Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

People…CONSTANCE!!! (“Constance” is a moniker for “Constant Reader”, btw…)

So what is UP??  Why is this gem getting so little attention?  Is it because I use Pig as a metaphor for Someone?  Is this a bridge too far??  HAHAHAHAHA!!!  If that is true, it misses the heart of both the pig and the Someone.

Give it a go…I rather love this poem, with its little oinky rhythm and pace…
It is clouds…just clouds, hanging nowhere,
in nothing, like smoke curling quick
in Blue extending here and there
(and Here to There too…yeah)…

Source: Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Our Little Hut | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I think this is among the handful of poems that I really feel good about, from the point of view of technical craft…I think I really hit the sweet spot and was risen above a mere hack or journeyman kind of poetess…

I wrote this, pretty much the first true poem I wrote after a seminal crushing happened to me and I was worried that my creative fonts had been polluted forever…thank God this worry was unfounded, as this beautiful little creature shows.

“…You were a wordless humming song
and tidal in my veins you moved
in rhythm, rhyme, in time to that
strumming music tidal
joyous humming in the dancing of the waves
and sand and wind and sky.
We walked each day steady
across those shores ever reaching
to the sea and the sea ever running
back to sands and sunset ever blessing
everyday each moment with its many colored kiss
in hues of pinks and purples, oranges, yellows, hues of bliss
in reds and blues, and greys… you…
always grey lining blue of mine with you,
in silver shot straight thru
with grey shot thru my blue.
We knew each sunset,
whiled away another day
closer to that sunset last
and that final mystic gateway
at the end thru which we enter
Lone and sundered, hoping that we yet may
walk together on a new shore
where there are no sunsets because
there is only sunrise
sunrise
sunrise
yet again
and yet again…”

 

Source: Our Little Hut | Charissa’s Grace Notes

On Seas So Grey | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A couple of years ago…and utterly slipped from my mind, but oh how I remember it now…what a beautiful word, Re-member…
What’s it like, on the grey seas
in the silver wind, with sails
so green and full and billowing?

Skimming swift and dangerous, light
on the waters while the crew scrambles
‘neath that Captain loud and bellowing?

Stinging spray by facefuls founting
up from waves slosh-frothing, faithful
and fateful leading cross the edge

to horizons promising much more
of the same and something different,
something different, too.

Source: On Seas So Grey | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina)

It is clouds…just clouds, hanging nowhere,
in nothing, like smoke curling quick
in Blue extending here and there
(and Here to There too…yeah)

and then pulling, parting, LO!  Beyond the blue It Comes, it comes,
The Pig steps forth majestic, shaggy, Wild with Wonder,
Pig of Power Looming larger than the sky from which it bursts
in sounding sniffing grunting thunder hooves a rumble tumble tango
striking sparks in their first touch so terrible and taut with cracking
sound of sizzle snap and clacking tap-dance Prince Pig prances slapping
touching earth, made into holy place, and touching down in France
and also somehow, every other place as well…
‘Tis red and ruddy, bristles stiff like forests, thick like brambles tangled
heaving bunching with each lurching hidden graceful step…

Mille Chiens!!!

What is this Thing, this Scion stepped down from Beyond and then stepped in,
this Archetype, this Power pulsing reddish brown totemic wonder
of an Uncreated Creature Come to sniffle, root the earth
and dig the children of the clay out of their seedbeds into day
where they will grow in deep delight of our Delight and Love and Grace

pig…Pig?

deliberate it shrinks, so slow and funny, so intentional,
soon become short, ordinary, just a snuffle huffle snorting
porcine pot of piggy, trotting almost dainty, dancing
deep connected to the wonder hidden in this ancient dirt
so new and old and full of life just waiting to be sniffed out, found
discovered there deep in the wombs and be drawn out from earthy tombs…

look quick and see it…hiding there…beneath that “used pig” thin veneer
and human truffles laugh and jeer yet if you listen you can hear
the Pig inside the pig just laughing as it shuffles, snorts and sniffles
each and every human soul (human truffles if you really wanna dig deep into Truth)
the Pig roots rough and ragged thru the forest, sniffing, grunting, rooting
sloughing with its trowel snout deep thru the red red red rich dirt
running deep down to the core and in the middle of the deepest
scents of mother earth the scents of birth, the scents of womb,
oh, NOT a trifle, scent of truffle waiting to be sent from tomb and tussle…Image result for sheep grazing in a vineyard
the sheep are walking gracelessly, unaware and grazing in among the vines
and looking down their noses at the rumbly Pig
deep in the fields and forests pregnant…

sheep so sleepy, unaware that buried there are toads both dead and yet alive
and full of death and parasite that’s also camouflaged, disguised
to look like truffles…sheep cannot discern, distinguish which is which
and what is dead, relationship of death and just a rancid bond…
and what is still just waiting, still, to be uncovered in its shell and be delivered here…no trifle!

But the Pig, it knows the secret of what really happened in the forest…
that smells like roadkill lacking graces to just let go and return, that tastes
like tin foil soaked in vinegar, metal, and electric acid anti-truth
the Pig, it knows those puffy toads so poisonous…but leaves them buried
deep entombed where they belong…to root out truth found deep in dirt
so red, so rich and truffly and toothsome to the soul…

Toads or truffles, that is what
The Pig came down to give to us, a choice…our choice…
but we must be rooted out and snuffled deep
and ripped into our very bones and breathe so deep
the earthy scents of just becoming

Just…Becoming…

as blood like liquid dirt that pulses,
courses thru our veins like rivers,
rivers in our noses

just like truffles…
rooted out…
by that disguised
and worn out
old Used Pig

Going Out Weeping, Returning Rejoicing

Yesterday…it felt like a dream.  I was thinking of that beautiful Psalm

“When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream! Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongue with singing! Then they said among the nations that the Lord has done GREAT things for them.

“The Lord has done great things for me…

“She who sows in tears shall reap in joy. She who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing her sheaves with her.”

It was like a dream to me…or rather, it was like waking up.
I think that is what death will be like…we shall fall asleep, and when we wake, we are shocked and stunned at the THICKNESS OF REALITY that we are swimming in!! What we shall see…what we shall hear…what we shall taste…

…talk about #SOULSTROLLING !!!!!! Kayce Stevens Hughlett !!!

But yesterday…the children are seeing me, and it is spreading like a case of holy measles or chicken pox lol!! My lil shadow cadre is growing…and I have spotted some little torn ones and sent them the message without words that they can talk to me with words or with eyes…and that is a good and sacred Mama thing of which I think I will not speak…but it is VERY good.
Let’s see…what did I do? Well, I am working for a brilliant young teacher who frankly has a chance to really make a mark in teaching should she discover this as a life long and intense passion. The fact of her name is also a promise to me…of this I maybe can write about later.

This teacher is giving me permission to help, truly help and I lack the words to say how this feels, after being in a place where it seemed that other agendas dominated the subtext.

At recess, I played soccer, I told stories…oh by the way, I am WAAAAYYY OLDER than a thousand years old!! I am so old that I know the stories of every single tree around our playground, and I know how to hear the language of all the little grasses and bushes that the trees protect…but I am NOT a MILLION years old because then I would be a dinosaur!!! (Yes, I did say all that, and I DID turn into a dinosaur, but very briefly…I quickly was me again laughing and joying!)…

I taught them how to walk on this little divider/container that looked like a balance beam, and soon I had 20 plus kids walking this little balance beam that probably was a good 200 feet or even MORE, all around the play structures…and OH MY GOD!!! It was soooo fun…
They were using gross motor skills, FINE motor skills, and in their minds???

Sometimes we were on a high wire at the circus…sometimes we were suspended over a pit of ALLIGATORS…sometimes we were suspended over a pit of PUPPIES wanting to lick our faces…sometimes there were people watching ready to give us medals if we stayed on…it was truly fun. Truly. FUN!
Did you have any fun yesterday? Like…FUN? Did you play yesterday?

Human beings need to play…every single day.

Staff is genuinely warm, welcoming…all things are going well.

It is only two days in…and these two days feel like waking from a dream…waking from the captivity of purification.

It’s always worth it, friends…the purification…so much so that you can even seek it out, if you are a Fool like me LOL! You can intention for purity…do something that is a ritual for you…it really doesn’t matter what it is, because it is the intentionality of your being which attracts Mama’s Eye and Heart…

I used to burn incense…but as my asthma got worse, I once asked Mama if I had to do that and She suggested that it was the incense of my Song She loved the most…and BOOM!!

Now I just burn me…

It is important for you to know that as I write these things, I sit in stunned wonder and actually laugh out loud at the ABSURDITY of it all!!

I GET TO PLAY…and I GET TO LOVE…and I GET TO TEACH…and I GET TO BE…

and in the moments, yunno the ones…when a little is flummoxed or triggered, or their lil brains have flipped and they cannot process the rationality of things…and you just sit there and say “omg Mama wtf am I gunna do???”

And She drops something down like a feather…or it PLOPS up from the soul-geyser and splats into your mind…or you sniff the inner breezes and smell Her near…or you notice some lil cue…

IT IS HER!! ANYONE CAN DO THIS!!!

Mama says this morning “Whosoever will, let her come to Me and come quickly, for it is your DESIRE that determines your DESTINY! Desire will determine which path your foot finds, and once you find that path it will pull you along, push you along, draw you in and up and IN AND UP…until…”

…until you laugh like Charissa.

I am like one who dreams.

Oh, one last word…yunno those verses I quoted above? Those are saying something very important.

She who goes forth weeping, sowing in tears, sowing her seed? This speaks of a very important principle in farming and also spiritually…

See, Mama and Jesus and Father (insert your own name(s) for Divine God here) give us food yes…They give us bread. BUT THEY WANT MATURE WHOLE FRIENDS TO WALK WITH!! Because Their Love and Joy is Great, and They LOVE to share that. Each person who comes merely multiplies EXPONENTIALLY the available Love and Joy to be shared…so yes, They feed us…but more importantly They TEACH us and DEVELOP us…just like I am teaching Their jewels.

And so here is the key: Besides the bread, They give us SEED too!! We generally finish the bread…quickly. And when our tummies rumble like Pooh Bear, we nibble a kernel of grain…and WTF that is YUK!! Tasteless, toothy-breaky…what do we do with THAT!!

And we toss it away and sit, feeling forlorn and lost and abandoned and have ourselves a pity party and invite our friends over and have P when we should be having T (make the joke in your mind)…

But after awhile we notice that those seeds we tossed away are growing!!! And Mama instructs us in the lessons of seeds…

Jump FORWARD…and NOW look at she who walks, weeping…and yet sowing seed!! She has learned that she cannot discard the seed corn!! She has to keep it, and she has to walk, weeping to water what she is sowing.

Did you know you have to water your dreams with the tears of your broken heart? Water what seeds you have with tears, copious and wept unafraid and unashamed…you can FLY at Mama with tears, of rage, of fear, of sorrow, of grief, of pity-party-ing, of whatever…

Just.
Weep.
Them.
As.
You.
Sow.
Your.
Seed…

and behold…you shall DOUBTLESS come again, REJOICING, and bringing in your sheaves behind you.

Your sheaves are NOT stalks or wheat or ears of corn…your sheaves are your OWN littles (mine are these jewels of Mama)…yours are…well…

What ARE your sheaves? Only one way to find out: go forth with your tears into those barren fields!! Your tears shall wash away the salting of the enemy and purify the dirt…EARTH…and behold, your seed will fall from your broken hands which feel as if they shall never again hold joy in them…

but I promise that you will, as you weeping walk and sow…and sow…and sow…and just when your bag is empty you shall be back where you began…but at a DIFFERENT PLACE ON THE SPIRAL!! (you DO realize that history does NOT repeat, but rather it spirals?? And in your personal history, you revisit places over and over and over…except that you are “higher” or perhaps “lower” or perhaps “deeper” or perhaps “on dry land” or perhaps at last “swimming or flying” or…you get the drift)…

If your hands are full…start tossing seed…it is your promise of future harvest but MUST be sown in order to yield to you the fullness of your dreams…and weep…weep…weep…

And if your hands are empty…then dry your eyes, square your shoulders and look again…and again…and again…peer into the darkness intently…

and when you get discouraged, think of Silly Charissa…and be encouraged, for I tell you truly: If They will do it for ME???? I freaking GUARANTEE to you that They will INDEED do it for YOU, because I am truly the least…the very least of the baubles in Their Treasure House.

Love to you all this morning…LOVE to you in thick creamy schmears!!!!

Kayce Hughlett – live it to give it_blog – On grief, owls, & pilgrim’s pockets

It was a year and 9 months ago, give or take, that I first encountered Kayce Hughlett…she and a friend, Betsey Beckman were to lead a spiritual retreat that I just knew I was supposed to go to.  The tale of how that all worked out is a wonderful one to be told some other time.

What I am trying to say is that as a result of encountering Kayce, I gained a friend, a sister, and yes, a mentor of sorts…she is deep waters without being brackish or strangely tinged with divers minerals…She has written a novel that I absolutely adored and endorse…you can read a review at the link, and of course find it on Kayce’s website and Amazon.  It definitely had me mindful of a college text called Three Faces of Being which was an existential psychology text that influenced me greatly.

Anyway, Kayce wrote this particular piece a year ago…and she used language that I found myself using yesterday morning on a post I wrote for Facebook…a post that I was writing before I had read or even knew about this post of Kayce’s…it was when I was finishing about the last third of my post that I saw she had posted this on my wall…and I kept typing, eager to see what Kayce had sent me.

After I posted, I clicked thru and started reading, and I was delighted at the synchronicity of Mama’s mind, and the flow of things that spiraled from a year ago ahead…and then back to three years ago…

I highly recommend Kayce’s writings…please consider being a regular at her website.

❤ you always, Soul Sister!!

Source: Kayce Hughlett – live it to give it_blog – On grief, owls, & pilgrim’s pockets

That Rock…There | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Ohhhhh…I really really  love this poem!  It is quite similar to “In The Edges“, in that it contrasts the various realities swirling around me but not really mine…but that poem had a more insistent message to tell.

This one is painting a picture, using words on the canvas of your heart…
Clouds overhead, grey, full,
breaking, gathering can’t decide
which direction they are going,
whether they are hunkering down
thick and juicy or simply socializing
in a vaporous convocation that is all
twisty twaddle and no rushing rainfall.

It doesn’t matter, really.  No, really.
It doesn’t matter, because in either case
the sky is constant behind them,
skimming the tops of mountains
and the troughs of wishy-waves
briny and stretching to the spines of stars,
The story of clouds is just pages turning
in The Big Blue-Black Book of Sky…

Source: That Rock…There | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Convenience of Giving Up | Charissa’s Grace Notes

It was my knees that began to ache
from bending over, my hands that
occasionally encountered some
stinging or biting insect of one
kind or another, my muscles
that would cramp my
fingers and hands
from relentless
weeding and
digging…

Source: The Convenience of Giving Up | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Jacob’s Half-Sister | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is written in recognition of all that culminated in the legal name change I obtained three years ago today.  I am very happy with this poem, rich in allusions and metaphorical double-backs…

It will reward the diligent who read it and then meditate on it.  Resonances emerge like poetic harmonics and sing of many strange and holy waters.


“…the stone under my head grows soft
and i think about my long ago
half-brother, and his ladder.
i search the brooding night sky
for mine, my eyes
pleading like puppies
hungry for milk

but my ladder is my heart.
i know that, finally,
and the skies will open
only as my heart pries open
to spit the pearls formed
within this shell-shocked soul

the stone under my head becomes flesh
and i think about how jacob named
that stone, that ebenezer memory
of open skies and accessible heavens…
bethel…and it echoes in the dark,
rings midst the stars and
chimes in cloudy choruses.

that stone,
that living stone had legs
to wander, God’s house sojourning
from place to place and time to time
ever wandering…
the stone of Scone
stone of destiny
stone of coronation
old, red, sandstone

the stone under my head becomes red
and throbs and thrums and thrills
my soul open and searching the skies,
and i sense it will speak
as it spoke so long ago
and whisper my name,
my new name from heaven.
but it pushes me to listen elsewhere,
my answers not from
rock and sand and ruin
but from the Cornerstone Rock
and its bloody open hand
red and throbbing and thrumming…”

Source: Jacob’s Half-Sister | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Mama You Told Me | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is the sister poem to another one I wrote on the exact same day, several minutes earlier.

It was three years ago, and it was the day of my court hearing which would change my name legally…it was a huge day of excitement and anxiety…and it led to my professional execution less than 2 weeks later.

Ohh, but even in the loss of so much, it is worth it…for in it were the seeds of becoming.

I hope you enjoy one of my own personal faves

…and me…spit up and emptied
and waiting for You
to fill the silent spaces
that ate grace and jeered
while feasting on my food.
me emptied, waiting …
and my heart,
ego-stained and washed clean,
captured
by Your face,
Your gift,
Your grace…

waiting…for that one grain of sand
to start an avalanche within me
of hope, nay!
of Hope…

Source: Mama You Told Me | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This was written the same day as “For JD” which I just told of my horrified discovery regarding how it was defiled and twisted.

Catch the irony that on the same day that I wrote that poem, I also wrote this one, which describes the very deepest desire of my heart.

and i must find the courage
to smear me on the world
like oranges on the morning
smeared on the fingertips
that pry with nails sharp

 

i must be resolved
to be spread thick and creamy
on hearts so dry and crumbly
and tasteless in their leaven
like butter sweet and salty

Source: Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

“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