Touch Me

Touch MeOn my body; inside my heart—
There are secret places
Where no one has ever touched,
Never seen the wounds and scars….
Places where words only interfere,
Sad corners where only sighs and whispers make sense.

Touch me in the early morning light
When night still clings to flesh…
Touch me at midday when confusion
Crowds upon my mind….
Slowly seeps into hollow of the bones.

Touch me again at twilight
As I commence to know again
Who I truly am— in evening
When I finally begin to see and hear you.
Touch me always as a child will touch,
Who never has enough of love.
Pick me up and then lose me
Right there within your arms
Where finally I know where I belong.

I have known sufficient pain and loss
To know how precious love can be.
If ever I am lost again, let it be within your arms.
Touch me in crowds, when a single look
Says everything I need to know…..
Touch me in solitude or when I rest in sleep,
In absence of clear thought when I need to reach for you
Is strong through time and miles and dreamy space.

Touch me when I ask; touch me when I don’t ask.
Touch me when I’m afraid to ask or hesitant to speak a word.
Touch me with your lips, your hands, your heart,
Your very presence and breath that fills the room.
Touch me in the stillness of the quiet hour
Where always I am searching for your eyes.
Touch me on jagged edge and in my tranquil center.
Touch me where I am strong enough to give,
Return your tender love and know our hearts as One.


My Life is But a Little Raft

RaftFor years I mistook my little raft
As being best and most important boat
In entire ocean….
I worshipped this raft above all others.
It took me years to turn attention to wide ocean,
Shore, and the wind and the ride
And the air I breathe each day.

Now I enjoy beauty of Sun and Moon
Rather than wish to argue about
Whose finger points most accurately
Toward whatever Light shines down.
I live my days with larger
Awareness of infinity and spaciousness—
No longer simply “out there” but
Also found “in here”.

There is no solid boundary
Between outer and inner— all is One.
I trust more fully my own inner experience
Because the Universe and God
Have allowed me sight,
Sought and found me,
Continually refine me within daily fire
Toward a greater and larger Good.

Needing Time to Reflect

 Moon ReflectingTonight, I am the Moon
Forever held within another’s arms,
Slowly spinning, perfectly, so that
My dark side is never seen.

When I slowly rise in the east
Whole world runs to see me.
Look up, as I look down to touch your heart,
Gaze into desperate eyes praying for love.

Never do I speak, not even a whisper,
Though many do think they see me smile
As my light shines down through clouds.
To some, I appear forlorn and alone
Though I have thousands of stars for my friends.

Slowly I walk… traverse the night sky
Waiting for great God of Light to appear…
He who is bringer of morn.
When He comes in the dusk and the dawn—
For a moment we almost are One.
Then quietly I fade to the west—
Even I need my time to reflect.

“More!” is the Message I Hope to Bring

More is the MessageFor Laura and Emily

To both daughters— we still wake under the same Sun
Learn in freshness of every early morning an old lesson
Learned again and again as Earth is warmed by spring light—
Heat allows the world to start over, riot of blossoming color,
Dew upon green grass departs as birds lay eggs in nest—
All signs that even a broken heart can heal.

I write poetry, in part, because I bless children—
Not only you but especially you, believe the reach of arms
Is wider when wordless prayer is swiftly sent.
Do you ever sense an invisible embrace? Do you ever
Glance and see stalwart tree and think
How kind its branches are, to shelter under
Leaves those who cannot explain what sorrow needs?

Words are only words, meager at times, yet
Sometimes strong as certainty thinks it knows—
Power not yet acknowledged
Questions the house and every closed door,
Unread books scattered across the floor.
“More!”, you say. “More!” is the message
Spoken by dawn each day.
“More!” is the message of every wave
Washing against the shore, containing even
Salt of truth that stings the wound,
Brings forgiveness, brings healing, brings hope.

Today, I am grateful for daughters,
Young and beautiful and strong.
As long as stalwart tree does stand
Its arms reach out, hold space for the lark
To sing sweet song. hidden or clear,
There’s always deeper meaning here,
Every note enlarging the circle….
Warms the air for easier breathing.

For now, I leave a note, a poem, a song,
A wordless prayer that
Whatever light you see
Will be enough to touch your grief,
Illuminate a portal not yet seen—
A wider room, a wilder meadow.

Die If You Must, But Put It Into Words

Die If You MustIn Honor of Dr. Louis R. Ormont

There have been times
I thought I could not get closer
To grief without dying.

And Lou said, “Go into the grief;
Die if you must.
Tell us what you feel
Even in the places
There are no words.”

I went closer,
And I did not die.
I was held
by stronger hands than mine,
sitting in a circle
at whose center was God.

Now I walk with head held higher;
Laugh heartier;
Linger to admire, admire, admire
The things of the world,
Both seen and unseen.
My ears hear between the lines,
Sense a presence
Within a spacious silence.

Sometimes there is trouble on the wind.
Wild geese scatter broken in the sky.
Love is not always returned.
Still I bow and whisper
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you
For the consoling presence of the circle,
For the accidental and intended mercy,
The presence standing here, even now.

My Sister’s Ashes

AshesIn a few weeks, I’ll go back to Missouri,
Take my sister’s ashes in a box,
Spread them out on old north farm
Down by the creek that runs through timber,
Down by the creek in wet black mud.

I still remember her standing among walnut trees,
Wading into cold water of the creek
With sun shining through green leaves and branches,
The entire world reflecting as water in her eyes….
Entire world dark within her shadowed eyes.

As a little girl, she walked barefoot in that mud,
Washing feet in cold water while shoes were on
Banks of the curving meandering creek,
Down behind old barnyard gate where cattle grazed.
Above the wild geese flew, straight among white clouds
As she sang the same old blues held within her heart.

Now it’s time to take her back again,
Spread her ashes there in wet black mud—
Waiting there for her all these years,
Waiting for her while she strolled the world.
This time she’ll come back not to visit
But to stay for good on that curving avenue,
Once again no shoes covering her feet,
She’ll stay forever on the banks of the creek.