Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

in the stillness of the sun

December 20, 2017


that’s not it.


this is it.


that’s it.


this isn’t.


winter’s  wind     and         breath

each leaf   moved differently

shaking      gentle            still



between, beyond, within

September 22, 2017

where you’re from  <——–>  who you are

between, beyond, within

allyship  <——–>  identity

between, beyond, within

being exclusive  <———>  feeling included

between, beyond, within

students teaching  <——–>  teachers learning

between, beyond, within

bird landing  <——–>  parent dying

between, beyond, within

never the right time  <——–>  it is time

between, beyond, within

neutrality supports oppressor  <——–>  equanimity enables action

between, beyond, within

celebrating diversity  <——–>  further objectifying

between, beyond, within

dancer sleeping  <——–>  coma patient dreams in dance

between, beyond, within

poverty  <——–>  privilege

between, beyond, within

ignorance of intelligence  <——–>  wisdom of heart

between, beyond, within

sun setting  <——–>  lamp lighting

“You have become undone, released, unmoored.
You are floating and will seek safe harbor.
This New Perspective will allow the insights to
pour out on us, seal us, reprove us, imprint on us,
teach us, reveal us, search us, speak to us,
instruct us, renew us, intercede for us, strengthen us,
quicken us, comfort us, lead us, sanctify us,
flatter us, humble us, right us, re-imagine us,
chastise us, and completely fall on us.

“One who bears a bowl of water feels its weight,

but if you go right into the water it will be all over

you, and you will not notice the burden of it.

~ David Byrne, The New Sins, p. 93
(modified for gender neutral language)

above. below. in-between.

April 26, 2017

up :: hvn


there :: horizon-gazing :: in-the-margins/periphery



down :: errth


here :: on-the-nose :: center-of-mandala



connector :: humn


balanced :: t/here :: neither here-nor-there and both there-and-here


missives from the playground

March 14, 2017


adult playground – in photos

child’s playground – in words

both true.


how to make chalk hand-prints (best results when 6 – 8-yrs-old):


get a friend to trace around your body sprawled on the asphalt/ground with chalk


spend long time deliberately skrushing in various solid colors with huge sidewalk chalks; for clothing, hair, accoutrements, and skin of your silhouetted image [could take 20-40 minutes]


lightly pat your open palms onto chalk colored self-portrait a couple three times


place hands firmly in an unchalked spot on the asphalt


leap up into a handstand – after a breath, plant feet again earthward one at a time and stand tall [takes 1-2 seconds]


there they are. bright colored hand-prints clear and detectable for all passers-by


2017 how to

January 3, 2017


how to be with the messy in-between of

frozen-with-fear and taking action


to be with the messy in-between of

my intentions and making big mistakes


be with the messy in-between of

making big mistakes and results of my actions


how to be with the messy in-between of

results of my actions and my intent


sync to sink




sink to sync


photo haiku

September 21, 2016






listen. differently.

July 18, 2016

DSCN4814listen differently. to your child,


listen. differently. to your familiar news media, your parent, your neighbor, your lover…






to your friend, spouse, frenemy at work…


differently listen to your sibling, your best mate, your teacher…




listen to your heart…


your feet differently contacting the earth… listen   (   (  (  (  ( ( ( (((

DSCN4792there are familiar pathways for sound in your neurons.

DSCN4787grow new ones!

DSCN4811be changed by what you hear 12 inches below your ears…

DSCN4807be the change…



give everything a Way

June 6, 2016

releasing fingers

waves of sand glitter-rain down

seeds somersault up


accumulating merit

water canyons through

giving ev’rything a Way

it is not my right…

April 25, 2016

…to enjoy a walk by a river as a human


the midges, skinks, mosquitoes, millipedes, bees, black snakes

and all else were and shoulda been miffed at my stromping through their territory

(which is not a gendered, nor an agendered, “bathroom”)


the turtles slunk-plumped to a swim

away from sunny logs

even as i couldn’t detect my disruptive creeping


it’s all i could do today…

to see a sweet slow paced spring-to-summer ing ness


i could not make it to Raleigh today

waterside seemed

the pace to be


freedom is not standing with all options

endless amazing choices

open to you


standing here

can be

and often is

an immobilizing




in space



freedom is moving

with and into life

engaging a path

a way

and allowing capacity to breathe

and change course

as needed…

ground…’s day

February 2, 2016

“…I gentle you…”


yes. that sounds workable…

i counter some of Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s wonderful words… enough to  wonder at my sharing this piece; yet, i enjoy this piece enough. it is years old and still relevant.

it’s queer. i can see the usefulness in her words. that’s why i share them here. there is a point to them. and to their opposites. and even other views…

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

losing hope is encouraged by me. acknowledge, breathe, be with what is. i encourage you to be hopeless, to not need hope. to inhale and act skillfully and fullheartedly because you don’t need the futuristic distraction of hope. see. listen. respond. now.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.


Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

yes, both/and. my timbers (cells, organs, bones, breaths) are presently shivering veneers. and yet they too are of greater forests (lineages, mentors, teachers, beloveds, gone-befores).

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

veering towards the unmended is vital. some focus is required here. mending is required. allowing sp a c e and nesting/resting for weakened states is crucial. what is other or outside my reach is critical for me to at the least see and love, if not even touch.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

i don’t think so. ehem. depends on what you mean by believer, greater, and grace. i’m of the godless, atheist, Buddhist leanings. and i still exist and have a place in this mandala.


Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

ah, yeah, we can mend now. close in. okay.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

i will try to not give up. i try. no promises- they smell like hope an’ shit…

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

yeh, fire can be molten lava or sparkly licking flares. water can be frozen sharp piercing or flowing rolling down down down…

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

tumult. calm and balance the tumult…

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

i do invite despair, with space – breathable, healing, non-indulgent space. i understand your point, just sayin’. despair has a chair and eats from my plate daily.



The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.

there is plenty of despair if/when i contemplate what my being on earth might be why for… ah, it is that spirit i don’t get with. i don’t think rejecting idealist monism excludes me from exploring existence as a ship made for sailing rough seas…

By Clarissa Pinkola Estes

American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.