Awakened to My Natural State

Thin Blue Air
This morning I watched birds
Soar high above blue sky,
Loud calls raining down to Earth.
I heard, but felt no need to answer.

Watching them ascend above white clouds
Took me to thin place, awakened to my natural state,
Flying without words to guide uprising flight.
Gliding among currents, circling high and deep…

All memories left behind, all titles lost,
Forgot I had a name, abstained from worries,
Cares, needed no consolation, just simply present.
The veil briefly parted.

For a moment, I lived within the Light.
No waiting room– no windows, walls or doors.
Meandering into empty space, a wide expanse,
It seemed my time and knowledge was complete.

There was no need to get through to God—
For God was within, above, behind.
Cloudless blue permeates the thinnest air. I flew,
Fingers tracing crack found in all material things.

It did not matter. For once, I stood outside
Thin places, my need to breathe my only bond
Holding me to Earth, living without doubt,
Rising, absorbed in fullness of loving Light.

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Triptych of Saints

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There are three saints: Jerome, always in red
Occupies the middle, with humble Francis
Positioned on the left and Anthony on the right.

Triptych of saints together,
Yet each has his own story—
They did not know each other.

Paint, once wet, transformed as it dried,
Became a different color, now chipped
Over seven hundred years.

It’s a miracle it survived at all,
Gold intact, halos remaining straight,
Each panel tells a story of a life.

But there were once mothers standing next to them,
Fed them, rubbed their shoulders when they couldn’t sleep.
How many friends wished them safety on their journeys?

Now they stand alone, framed against blank walls.
They stare into empty space, ignorant of gold frame
Now holding them almost as One.

But the Holy mystery is what we cannot see—
Unrecorded dead now a revelation,
Most profound because there are no names.

With mystery, you cross a line so finely drawn

On the other side of death, nothing can be said.

A Carousel of Color

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Slowly the peacock strutted,

Brilliant colors shining in afternoon Sun.

All eyes of both adults and children

Rested upon this Beauty.

 

He knew, had to know.

Eyes steadily moved left and right,

Never pausing as he walked—

Until someone threw a crumb.

 

Laying upon my lounge by the pool,

His majesty came within two feet,

Paused and looked at me

As though to say:  “You poor fool!”

 

I have no words to name

All the iridescent colors.

When he sang, he made ten trumpets

Sound so very bland.

 

Wherever he paraded at the pool,

He seemed to bestow a sense of purpose—

Healed and soothed all ruffled human spirits…

Carousel of color in the brilliant light.

The Space That Keeps Me Here

 

thFortunately, our words

Have no fixed meaning—

At best they allude, point to

Uncertain directions where sky

Covered in clouds of precise color

No one has ever seen before.

 

Where I was born, all of the streets

Evolved, ended up as fields of corn,

Wheat, alfalfa intensely green,

So smooth you could ride a mare

At a cantor, a gallop that ran down

To a creek, always flowing….

 

Have you ever lived a day so full

That you forgot you had ever lived—

Other days so distant past,

You had to pause, look through

Windows of rooms of memories lost,

Like sitting in a graveyard late at night.

 

Years ago, I helped recover

Man who had drowned— so dead

He’d already forgotten he had ever lived.

And now I foolishly look for answers,

Like a wet leaf looking for a spark of hope.

There’s always a space that keeps me here.

 

This very moment is unprecedented.

When the child points to the bird flying high,

And the father says “that is a bird”….

The child will never see birds the same way again.

I yearn to sit in emptiness, where words do not intrude,

Until my soul is finally filled.

My Empty House is Discreetly Blessed

Sang to me in Rome

It makes little sense to me

To think of working toward happiness.

It comes and goes of its own accord,

Not to be forced, yet it grows—

Slowly, more often out of silence.

 

Roots of the old shag bark hickory

Just outside my windows

Send out tentacles.  No one has seen this.

But I know roots grow deeper in darkness.

Tall tree is fed, lifted higher as roots go deeper.

 

All creation is like this growing tree.

Beginning in silence; beginning inside the bark,

The work is slowly prepared, always out of sight.

Joy, for me, is different— a sudden surprise, freely given

As grace blows to waken, glittering in the sunlight.

 

But happiness is born of contentment and peace.

Perhaps like an old piece of furniture in the corner,

Polished and clean, it waits to be noticed.

Like old familiar gods, it cannot be banished.

It holds its place beside shelf of photographs and books.

 

My life, the very air within my lungs—

My empty house is discretely blessed.

No less are blessed the oak, elm and hickory,

Whether stripped of leaves in winter or

Green leaves that catch light in summer warmth.

 

Happiness is rooted here, gently folded among forgotten dreams.

As friends depart, close the door, joy leaves the house.

There remains an inward living presence….

I am reconciled in love to the silence of the house.

I’ve swept the lingering fear away from every room.

 

No sadness is permitted sway, but now the work begins

As happiness is born, rises out of silent mystery,

Warms itself before the fire of memory. 

No longer need I yearn for something unpossessed.

I am content, at peace, in living prayer and very happy.

Where Old Whispers Dwell

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Hidden inside an upstairs closet,

Carefully wrapped in black silk scarf,

Down in soul of the wishing well

Is place where old whispers dwell.

 

I know this room where whispers dwell,

Packed along with acorns from ancient oak,

Webs of history buried within forest of mind,

Concealed place where no one knows.

 

Keep this secret, deep in the midden,

Bounded by early morning mist…

Forget in a minute what I’ve told you,

Remember nothing of where old whispers dwell.

 

When deep bell tolls for fishermen lost,

Out in uncharted parts of ocean vast,

Beneath thundering waves where old bones rest,

You can hear echoes of whispers in watery graves.

 

I keep such voices alive in my heart,

Meadows where witches dance and cast dark spells,

Caves where little folk keep treasure of gold,

Deep quiet woods where old whispers dwell.

 

One day, perhaps I’ll share the way—

If you kindly ask, before I leave.

Maybe show the way, if you take my hand—

If I remember the place where old whispers dwell.

Miracle in Blue Stone

 

Blue Stone

Thick stone slabs mark pathway

Alongside my house, down to office,

Further down to dock and lake—

An inch and a half to two inches thick,

Weigh more than strong men can carry.

 

Most are four feet wide,

By two and a half feet deep,

Made of native blue stone,

Crevices, veins and fossils—

Each one could be an altar

Used for holy sacrifice.

 

Miracle comes when it rains—

Stone turns from gray to sparkling blue,

Mixed with deeper, brighter hues,

Gleams and comes alive when Sun

Shines and warms each smooth slab.

 

When rain drops fall from heavenly clouds,

Smell of petrichor arises into air—

Petra from Greek for stone,

Ichor is the fluid blood in the veins of gods.

Sounds of thumping drops, dancing

Lightly until they finally come to rest.

 

Transubstantiation happens

Not only upon altars in church—

Where bread and wine are changed,

New essence now revealed,

Necessary sacrifice complete.

 

Blessing of the Earth

Does not come only from words of priests,

But falls from clouds, sunlight, moisture—

Pure and luminous to the eye, new memories

Formed here and now, soaking into dry veins.