I am not
the only one
here, brown and small
wearing a mask
so fearsome, fell
streaked red and blue
my resting soul
green on those hills
those tumbled hills
there, brown and small
I am not
the only one
here, brown and small
wearing a mask
so fearsome, fell
streaked red and blue
my resting soul
green on those hills
those tumbled hills
there, brown and small
Three years old and holding up VERY well!!
Somewhere in the dark,
in the warmth of black-red
before we woke up swimming,
surfing sultry heartbeats and
waves of new bones growing
green and rooty-fibrous,
we navigated bold our
seas secure and buoyant,
our universe and listened…
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
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)
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
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.
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…”
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
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…
A poem about death, and why persist when we are creatures who simply are unable to accept that death is all there is…
A poem about life, and how to find it, how to secure it and most important how to keep it by giving it away…
There’s deep green truth
in the spectral grey heart
of this ghastly pale notion
haunting our desperate minds:
our own truest blue heart
is most deeply discovered
in desperate ragged edges,
jagged, sharp, contrasted,
in tight precipice moments
(both high, and oh so low)…
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 sound like
*past* and *present* and *future*
period. period. period.
and my heart the ellipsis that lingers
like the freshly baked bread…
butterfly, bone, breath over breadth
I’m a butterfly carved in bone
I am diamonds in the night…
An older poem about transition and the power of congruency
The hate and ignorance
of the petrified forest
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.
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.
I take treasure from my heart
pleasures, pains, my every dart
burn them for a brand new start
the incense of my spirit …
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.
in the wind my skin
revels amidst bitter-sweet
echoes of that day
wind, you will have a
terrible time smothering
my soft clarity…
and as it unfurls
the hard ground exhales
and i become light
as i sit in winds
my heart rises up
when liberty sings
though limbs sit so still
though limbs sit in winds…
I am gunna begin reposting older poetry, here on Grace Notes…because Facebook is a wasteland of the driest thirstiest most stingy desert sand that has ever been. Proverbs would say that Facebook has two sisters: “Give” and “Give”.
My older work is good…at least, in my own internal scales of what I like and do not like, it weighs out as treasure. I feel it in my bones…it RINGS of true truth. But it is unwieldy, this blog, in getting to those older poems…one must make time and space to even find them, let alone to eat them and digest them…
…because my poems are not immediately burnable carb calories…
Anyway…here they are, such as they are.
This particular poem is about finding my voice as symbol of finding myself. It examines paradigms and presuppositions, and advocates for freedom from old superstitions and lies…and freedom to timeless Truth.
I still struggle to dig it out,
that splinter you shoved into me,
down my throat without so much
as a shot of whiskey or
a shot in the dark.
and you are so certain, sure
of how to walk the world an…
I am wearing the turmoil of Spring in my hair
I have worn it so young and so old
It’s for you that I wear Spring so zestfully there
For your heart, I am wearing Spring without a care
For your soul, well I wear Spring so bold.
But you rush thru the seasons so fast and so blind
Looking into the future so blurred
It’s for me that you strain your eyes, trying to find
Something different, a lodestone to anchor your mind
Alas, you miss the damage incurred.
I guess pacing is part of the problem, my dear
You pull hard, while I toddle along
For whatever our eyes rest on, touch on, hold near
those things take flesh and blood then they stoke up your fear
And they co-opt your voice and your song.
Can we walk thru the seasons together, our hands
Clasped gently yet joined as we wait?
You can see far, rejoice in the coming of that
I can see up close, making the moments grow fat
While the seasons just slip out the gate.
Standing beside gull-force winds
strong enough to blow a waterfall
back into its own face, something
no man has experienced but needs to
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
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
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
And again…from Last Year:
it was a village
no longer existing
it was a laugh
that echoed that village
and hung in the air
like smoke from a fire
extinguished in nightfall
and drifting in winds
and lonely midst stars
while crickets and frogs
lament as it faded
and pebbles and diamonds
all heaped up at random
and sticks and steel swords
all jumbled together…
Source: A Handful of Memory
My own poem from last year…I do really favor this one.
it looks the same to you
whether you stand
in winter or summer
…the gate of my heart…
Source: ever Spring, ever Autumn
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.
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
in purple flow
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…”
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…
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
when I happened
upon this floating
aground there, on
the edge of water
and land, the edge
of full and empty
the edge full
of sky and space
about who had
taken the child
who laid there in
the basket, in
that place and in
the edge between
those flowers gathered
in the edge
of truth and wonder
A poem from 3 years ago…seems appropriate in light of the marches!
Source: Miriam’s Song
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.
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
male: devastated by Man Cold.
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…
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… ❤
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
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!
Come Holy Fire, we answer Your Call!
and All Reborn, and Love is All in All,
“Someday…someday the snow will fall!”
I am reblogging this poem from 2 years ago…here is the key passage:
“I step to the rail and look back
peering intently into the fog
thick and lingering,
but 2014 is shrouded, hidden
and if I hadn’t lived it
I wouldn’t have believed it
was anything more
than a dream.
It was a year that hollowed out
thinned out, emptied out
but never declared its intention.
I don’t think it ever knew
or if it even could…”
I feel it still.
Laying at the base of my throat and throbbing
dully, quietly slumbering with one leering eye
cocked open always and leaning towards my heart.
chipped and worked, touched and chilled
by the frozen fingers of dread
I step to the rail and look back
peering intently into the fog thick and lingering,
but 2014 is shrouded, hidden
and if I hadn’t lived it I wouldn’t have believed it
was anything more than a dream.
It was a year that hollowed out
thinned out, emptied out
but never declared its intention.
I don’t think it ever knew or if it even could.
It was a year without windows
but many doors
There is more to life than meets the eye,
more than can be measured by the senses or a census
but this morning there is just the fog behind
View original post 115 more words
I just strive so hard just to remember,
just remember what I just now said,
just remember what I’m gunna say
and just said and just say and just said (and just say).
and your mind just strains hard to recall
what you’ve said, what you just mean to say
and then just reaches forward so quickly
to grab onto what you’ll just say next.
Mem’ry just pulls against expectation
twin sisters just trapped within time
like quick pagan twin versions just jumping
just like virgins, or just like Three Graces…
they just melt in our faint grasp completely
fleeing ere we can touch them, just gone
in that moment just blooming, becoming
we just clinging tight to a mere echo,
to a faint rumor lurking, just lingering
an arroyo called ‘Just Vanished Self’
and that rumor just leads me to moments
of kindness, just unmeasured time
elemental unfettered just kindness
that settles, in just quiet knowing
just a knowing so gentle and tender
of my heart’s every deep just desire
and a time of just tears just like rivers
rushes just to the ocean of being
just to wash mem’ry, anticipation
(they’re just one and the same all the time)
I just witness my fiery capacity
to just love but it just strains its tethers
to long splintery docks, just grey time
that prevents me from leaving, just sailing
on that lake singing just of the ocean
of just being…being..just in time
just unbound, just free in my just joyful
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…
…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…
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…
God with us. God with us.
God is with us.
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.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
Part Conclusion: https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-advent-conclusion/
a quiet roaring
that horror harms
rises up thru jade velvet
moss dark and pungent and drawing
thru silent silver
This poem is about how the work of Advent involves a preparation of Empty Bequeathed…and it uses transition as its vehicle.
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,
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.
away with the gimmicks
we’re done with your crap
the lies that you laid down
the manger a trap
we want a tradition
that’s living and free
and songs of thanksgiving
and fresh liturgy
that’s ancient and yet new
and still relevant
so profound, so simple
the Eucharist true,
sending out, gathering,
preaching Good News
Restore the New Baby
the Time Bomb in time
the Bread come from Heaven
the Living New Wine
away with the gimmicks
the scripts and the lies
So faith, hope and love can
come open our eyes.
and what, Mama?
You turned me inside out
so red, so dark, a cave…
an old sock wooly
on the outside,
and yet hollow
and full of things
and yet the holder
of a galaxy of galaxies!
You took my emptiness
and filled me with Yours
which aches with the pregnant
potentiality of it all.
what am I gunna do
with this new ache
You gave me?
and grant that grace,
that terrifying removal
of veil and valence and vector…
and this new and bracing ache
remaining behind like
a lost tooth in my
I went to that mat of death
alone and yet surrounded
to discover that pile of me,
I bone of my own bone…
what gain was there?
what loss endured?
my mouth stoppered
my eyes covered
ah but ears so open-wide
to hear the death song sung
so slow and yet so steady
tock-ticking its way round
that twisty path to me
laid there like a circle…
my big-hand little-hand me
Ya know, even Jesus,
being a dude and all,
didn’t get it!
He thought He
could do it all
with just 12…
and Himself of course!
L. O. freaking L!!
What else would you
expect from a man?
They always think a few inches is a ruler!
“Hey buddy, suck it up Bro!
Rub some dirt on it
Call it good”!
We know different,
am I right?!?!
Every woman knows
it takes 14
to make a goddess!
A living zesty busty
hippy jazzy sleek
fat hale hearty
oh so yummy
JUICY LUCY GODDESS
made of us…we happy 14.
Our Hearts have twined,
our souls have moved
And Mama, She poured
out Her glue
and birthed and
been born US!!!
goddess awake and so divine
and we decree our ministry:
the mission of the Broken Pot
forever pouring, ever filling
ever loving, ever willing
always welling upward welling
Then? Mama Herself
presses in and on to us
(We Happy 14,
extension of Her face,
Her mask created!)
And caps this Broken Pot of wee
with Holy Trust and Sacred Mercy
running burning everywhere
We Happy 15
“April is the cruellest month…”
T.S. Eliot said…
he simply wasn’t paying
the steep cost of attention.
It’s in the brown pits of November,
when we lie in hopeless wait,
in limbo stuck there in between
the stupid and sublime…
stuck in that old and barren hollow,
wedged between a grease congealed
KFC bucket called Autumn
laying in dead crackly leaves
and its winter-shadow-self
approaching in uneven shambling
gait with cutting winds, harbingers
lurking in its fraying heart.
I listen hard, I strain my soul
in this insensate endless month
for a song, a sound…anything?
maybe a last, desperate word
Reeling, I go through the gates
of death that loom large in the night
aware that I may well be robbed
of all this nothing left to me,
of all the rest of my short years
aware the grave cannot give praise,
that death cannot sing elegy
and I know, finally, that we
are sick for life, and desperate cling
to this nameless shining thing,
a fountain sealed, we drift toward
our edges, there below revealed
in such familiar frightening
familiar numb-ed anguished sting
shared just by one Incarnate One
a weak and beaten broken man,
a God defeated, crying in
the quiet weeping freezing rain
falling slowly in the black
and cloying plummeting sloe dark
that’s darker than our darkened world
blacker than all blackened loss
blinder than all senseless hate
and bleak as splintery bloody cross
and it is there our questions cold
fall limp…just like the rain itself
and like His sadly dripping tears
(Himself a rain so red and warm)
and here His tears mingle our own
and here His blood flows from His side
and there the final faint quick spark
flickers within His ruined hide
His broken heart amidst the dreck
of our lives brutally played out
in this tragic blind senseless wreck
where light lays down, and breathes its last
and mourns all dreams of futures past.
our only hope a hang-ed man
become the lowest of the low
embodying every despair,
He gives a cross to cling to, know
a hang-ed man, His own self there
insistent Incarnation fair
drinking the deep cup of despair
and promises that it is Done.
(Many thanks to Kathie Whitesel for her amazing piece used above, and her generous allowance of her art to be matched with my poem…it is the perfect image for that part of the poem. Kathie I am so grateful!! ❤ )
flick of silver tail,
flash of waning argent light
bloated belly rolling over red echoes
of a blooming crimson sky
and then these little gifts eternal
nestled in the cleans-ed sand
another flick of tired tail
a last flutter of a gaspy-gill
and all is still…
floaty toward the slumber stop
and all is still
white in the
flashing golden air
flaking off as sky goes
pink at the edges
and falling away
in honor of the Death Song…
and echoes flutter
and twisty fall
my upturned face
and chill each spot
with that fading Western Glory
I turn, and face my fire-pit
embers dead and full
of waiting bones
Ah, waiting bones, still and calling
crooning for my naked tired flesh
to lay me down on them
(extension of my bones’ face)
and those bones, those
cold glowy bones stark
dig me with rooty bites
and toothy ancient secrets.
I turn my face to see the Last,
the Last Swan soaring, lingering
watching to see me to my
earthy bed of bones
and then I give in
and give myself to those
greedy-needy hungry bones
who must have me for blood
and fertile fire for winter
for winter lasting thru
I close my eyes and sink,
a silver rain red and slow
smoking into that earthy
boney glow…and sigh
and trust the crooning process
of deep marrow…of deep bone.
Run, Child, from the once into the upon and thru the times
to emerge knowing that leaves ARE…
having passed from once there
upon a tree
Look Child, in my voice’s sound and hear
the siren call of Riotous-Red Drifty yellow
(sounds like MMMMMMMM!)
My hand, Baby Girl…touch…my…hand
Oceans Run and Race thru the air
within these sacrificial leaves…
A continent is written in the wind
beneath their stems!
Settle in the sun come down
into a million longing little leaves
all starting…all fall…to settle
Fly without wings, without eyes!
Trust your heart, it sees the leaves
that fall within my Heart for you
Shall you know Peace
Shall you touch Release
and know the adoration in you
My Heart of Hearts
I have come, like Hagar returning home…
back from the dark side of the moon
and I am full of wisdom gleaned
from sun-baked wanderings
across wide bleak and barren lands
and Beautiful Bedouin Deserts
and all the way to that distant shore…
the edge of my soul-wound.
I have faced the edges of myself
I have faced that Gulf of separation
and I have headlong heedless SWAN-DIVED
pure…and I survived
I have crossed over…that gulf
I have TRANS-ED!
And now I run
returned to you, same-sided ones
My CIS-ters dear and precious-rare
marooned and longing for The DARE!
You still stuck on that Lost Coast
of desolation waiting at the long deserted
service station called same old
same old same old old old SIDE
Ohhh Sarahs! I have heard such secrets in
the red-reed voice of Scirroco winds
Oh the things I know, winnowed by that
wind and winnow-stick of courage
from the shifting Sands of self…
I have sifted and been sifted
by the heat and cold and light…and
the dark that knows what sleeps alone
the dark that knows what it knows not
(and nought, ahhh, yes, the dark knows nought)
the dark that knows what it knows nought
and it has taught me Love Notes…
on the dark side of the Moon
OHHHH MY MOON!!!
You see, she is stuck too (just like you, Sarah, just like you)
in his orbit circling and one side shining one side dark
her endless pasted happy smile while growing thin and desperate
and starved, ravenous in the night
Oh Sarah, remember you laughed, back then!
Well, I could teach you a thing or two about Laughing NOW!
Cus from your chuckle sprang a promised child
who grew into a nation dusty rusty red?
But I…me? Hagar??
From the Womb of my laughter
springs forth The Children of Her Promise!
I!! The Outcast ME!!
My Laughing womb brings forth
the very Rose Behind The Sun!!
We are two wombs, two moons, Sarah…you and me
But I’m a moon that got fed up and broke away
and learned to spin and twirl and dance!
I learned how to gladden this close Dark
I have understood how to please the Light
as I spin and twirl and turnturnturnspinstepspinturn
I am your Hagar! Outcast and returned
here in your hour of great need!
I stand before you, with you
with my wand of Cedar freedom waving
and my book of Mama-Conjuring!!
Ohhh Dearest Sarah, can’t you see?
That you are the same as me?
Look past desert veils so long ago assigned
Peer deep beneath this hoary hated hide!
And see the vital fertile oceanic sea…
Ohh Sarah, I see you! I was you…
languishing in bitter wounds of old
I see you in your hurty night
your tear stained grief
and darkened dreams
I see your Chrystal Mountain Rare
now Shattered in Indifferent air
and Chasm shards!
And I have come to mid-wife you
from the womb of your true self
to the mercy of your real True You!
I will help you see with eyes unblinking
thru your tears those canyons riven
by erosion bit by bit from
your most treasured self!
STAND! Leave behind the CIS-ter lands
and join me, we’ll reclaim OURSELVES!
Finally forever truly SIS-TERS
For in truth?
Our destiny is one.
To be exultation light-filled
and spinning wildly,
Joyful in the Night!
So I wanna give a lil glimpse to how I weave poems into poems…this is Sands and Shadows and Pearls, but taken apart into its strands…you can read each strand, and then go back and look at how I juxtapose to create Poetic Harmonics…this should create some depth and distance in the metaphors and implications of waking, dreaming, shadow, sun and what casts the shadow.
I hope you will work with it some… ❤
I do shed tears, these days
I also shed dreams too
I dreamed, last night
I also shed tears too
I dreamed that I walked lands crying
and my tears fell on red sands glistening
my tears on red sands sizzled
because I had no shadow,
they had no shadow
and then in that glaring sun unbridled,
that staring star unfiltered
they became pearls
of My Mother,
the Mother of Pearls
and then I saw,
Her, walking there,
sowing in tears
and reaping in pearls
with nary a diamond
and She turned to me,
She bid me pick them up
and take…eat…and I did
and where they lay
the sand was gone
and green grass jumped lush
into my eyes with verdant glee!
And the pearls tasted like honey
and the pearls
became glory within me
and I rose up on glory,
I rose up in glory,
glory within me
and glory in the air
and I saw my shadow,
distant and crumpled
and pinned to the ground
for always by arrows
and spears and the knives
of those children
of red sand and shadows.
And just as I began to wake
I realized that ever
would they gather there,
around that shadow
pinned and empty
of all save their vitriol and hate
while I walked free but achy
across the red sands,
with no shadow
and that stark sun
except for the glory
that’s given by pearls
plucked from green grass
so verdant that used to be
red sand so hot
on which was shed precious
tears without shadow.
So I wake, each time
I wake and realize
I do not need a shadow
to stand between me and the sun
and some something
to tell me that I am, I am.
I just need those tears
shed on sands red and glaring
become pearls from my Mother
to wrap me in glory
and glory wrapped in me
and no shadow my shadow
(and nights…it is strange
to wake and find the wet
residue of sorrows dried
and digging at the corners
of my eyes),
(last night…it is strange
to wake and find the dry
remnants of dreams moist
and pressed, pushing into
the spaces between me
and my pillow)
(my tears glistening,
not the sands, they lay leering,
skulking, glaring flat and angry)
(the ones in my dreams,
the ones with no shadow)
(the tears and me,
not the sands and dreams)
(like the armpits of abalones,
who also learned to live
not the abalones,
or the red sands,
or the shadows)
(born of tears shed on red sands glaring,
tears glistening and without shadow)
(not shadows or sands)
(because diamonds have shadows
and slinky songs and glittery platinum
brittle best friends)
(the pearls, not
sands and shadows)
(like shadows flee daylight)
(and clear thirst-quenching
(and the pearls of my Mother,
not the sands and shadows)
(not to day,
not in night,
I wake to me)
sometimes in Fall
when the mist is just right
floating, hanging in light
you can make out a wall
a rampart extends
from the Back of Beyond
shouting of a far place
that is ever so near
and if you simply walk
walk right thru that deft arch
on your light tippytoes
you can just about touch
the glowery stem
of the flowery Rose
at the Center of all…
sometimes in Fall
and it is in night…
like a babe in fresh blankets
snuggled and seeing,
quiet and jumping
in jammies with footies
singing of safety,
hot chocolate and nibbles,
then raindrops on rooftops
silver tin foil lightning
slashing thru thick dark air
that quivers and tears
then closes again
with thunderclap rolling
and rain steady hissing
down quiet and soothing
and shushing and rushing
and we settle, snuggle
and Autumn is come
to quiet our soul
I hear those glowy bones glowing,
those bones of mystery-menace bright
so dark inside their red cocoon
but white unto themselves alone
and full of lively light.
The blood of bones in oceans vast,
the breathing moon’s silent contrast,
earth sweats her dew cooling and sweet,
rising to meet all thirsty feet
and bones stirring at last…
To taste again of Love’s Birthright
and resurrection echoes loud
and everything restored, made new
from glowy bones Faithful and True
Bones blazing, Bones of Light
There’s a ship inside my head
It sails upon the seas
that stretch out from my bed
to the far shore of me
sometimes it runs aground
because the tide is out
and blind men think me drowned
and beached deep in their drought
But tides, well they run true
they go, and then return
with glad tidings of you
that splash my bow, my stern
And my sails bloom once more
and dance upon the breeze
I slice thru waves, I soar
set free from my dis-easeTo sail, to skim beneath
the moon there in Her bliss
and I wrapped in Her wreath
and sainted by Her kiss…
there’s a ship inside my head
I sail the ancient seas
of greens, and blues, and red
I sail the seas of me
and you just let that anger
fall out of your sky so deep
meteors, comets, hurtling
heating, skizzing in
and crash landing
on your fiercely beating heart
so never giving up
so never giving in
so keeping keeping on
and now so on the mend
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Jesus said, "Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace." Matthew 11:29 (The Message Bible) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Space for Renewal Program Information and Pastor Robyn Hartwig's Sabbatical Reflections
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