Category Archives: Prose and Poetry

The Color of Today





This day is a day
where the color of the sky 
and the bay are the same

It's a soft gray
where the edge of the sky blends
with the horizon line of the bay

It feels a bit upside down

As if I too could blend right in
and lose myself in 
the softness of this gray landscape

Would that be so bad?
To be held by the bay and the sky
in a liminal space?

Would that be so different really
from the space I occupy 
right now?

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Trusting Intention

I've begun to appreciate
how my writing and my spoken word
both offer mirrors

I've had glimpses 
of this working, noticing
how intention finds a way to express itself

You may have had someone suggest that you
Trust the Process,
but suppose that trusting 
is itself the process?

I can have in my mind an idea of what 
I want to say or write and the more
I think about it, 
the more opaque it remains 

If instead I allow my attention
to drop down into my body,
I can simply be present
to the intention I hold

It is, however, a process that only works
when I trust that my intention is clear

Speaking and writing from
a place of intention reveals
the most meaningful representation 
of who we are

Trusting my intention can bring forth
words that mirror what's true for me

I suspect it may reveal what's true for you as well.  
 

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Zen Moments

It's a wonder sometimes
how questions position themselves 
in my mind,
seeming to emerge 
from the depths of me

Am I seeking something
truer than the breath I draw
or the smell of a flower?
More real than the purring 
of a cat beneath my hand?

Perhaps the answer can be found
tucked inside the pages of a book,
years after having been put there.
Is it as true now as it seemed then?

Is it a measure of trust that
gives us the strength to stand 
and take the next step forward?

The answers are so much less important
than the questions, which are themselves
nothing more than 
whatever you need them to be.

Everything is of a moment.
The more appreciated moments you have,
the less you need to question,
the less you need to be seeking answers,
the more the answers will reveal themselves.

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Inclining the Heart

A phrase captures my attention
and before I can register
the intention behind it

My mind carries it off
to places I didn't 
ask to go to

"Inclining the heart" is one such phrase.

I expect that my mind will make up a story
to embellish the phrase 
and yet I am convinced that this 
is not the mind's business.

Inclining the heart happens
when the whole body leans into,
pivoting to lend the weight of our core
to the task or issue at hand.

The mind just needs to quiet itself
and be present to what's happening.

Most important is that the heart
need only begin with a softening toward.
A full-court press is not required.
You needn't wait until all your
ducks are in alignment.

Turn toward and allow.
You can tell when this happens
because the chatter dissolves, 
along with the judgments, the stories 
and the what ifs.

They don't stay away forever.
And should they intrude and distract,
which they will,
claim your heart space as your center.

Take a deeper breath,
lean in 
and see what happens.

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The Stories We Inhabit

We all have stories.
Some of them are true.
Many of them are real
but not necessarily true.

Taken together they make up
who we hold ourselves to be -
in the past, in anticipating the future,
and as we breathe in and out 
in this present moment.

These stories don't exist independently from us.
We are the ones who keep 
breathing life into them.

We are the ones who offer them power.
Oh these stories are such a burden.
Oh this story brings such guilt and shame.
Oh how to escape my past.
Oh why can't this be like it used to be.

Not all are dark and shadowed.
Some indeed are light and uplifting, 
but have you ever noticed how 
shadows often obscure the sun?

This question I would pose to you -
How might we meet these stories head on?
Do we invite them in to take a seat?
Do we let them hide in the closet 
and come out whenever they choose?

Naming them is a way to 
shift your perspective, 
create some distance and
make some space around the story.
 
You can acknowledge a story 
but set limits on when it can intrude 
and when it needs to back off.

This is more than a delicate dance. 
 It can be a way to interrupt the pattern
 of responding that keeps a story alive.

And if you don't quite understand
what I mean by "story" -
Well then, that's another story...
   


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Sweet Talk at COP27

If sweet talkin' be song
we are definitely livin' it
when we should be killin' it.
Really.

Here's how it goes...
"You know I care about you
I wouldn't do anything that
would hurt you, and besides,
you need me."

This is the song that the Fossil Fuel Industry
uses to keep us attached,
keep us dependent and
trusting of their so-called good will.

This is the song that an abuser 
uses to keep his victim
from rejecting the relationship.

We are all victims of these songs,
sung to us by the corporations
who are invested in coal,
oil and gas.

How do you break away from an abuser?

First you must stop believing he will realize
the damage he does and change.

Second you must accept you are
not responsible for the lies
and destructive actions he does.

Third you must seek help from others
who are aware of and share understanding
of the situation.

Fourth you must realize you have been
and will continue to be manipulated if
you do not end the relationship as it is now.

And most importantly remember
this is a situation where he has 
power over and nothing will change
until that changes.

This, sadly, describes our current relationship
with the Fossil Fuel Industry.

And if you didn't know, now you know. 

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At the Expense of Your Vote

We are truly living
in a time that challenges us
to find moments of calm

Sadly we find our focus is on 
issues that seem to grow big
and weigh us down

Our energy gravitates 
toward the divisions 
wrenching us apart

Country vs country, state vs state,  
community against community,
between family members 
around the kitchen table

Fear and anger have 
taken up the space
between people.

Give yourself over to the energy 
of anger and fear and you 
give away your power to a point
where you won't get it back

Beyond not getting it back
your power will be used against you
by others with more power

Remember that the ability to 
cast your vote and have it counted
is a Right in this country

A Right that we must hold with care 
or it will die at the hands of those who 
care nothing for your rights

Why is this so hard to understand?

**No photo here - you just need to VOTE!







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Tous les Jours

Everyday
the terrible news of gun deaths
shatters us and once again we think
this must be the moment that
changes everything.

Everyday
more evidence emerges of the thriving
systemic racism in our country
and communities 
but we pretend it will end.

Everyday
the levers of power among
corporations and politicians
prevent us meeting the climate challenge
and we pray science will save us.

Everyday
we must embrace the bigger picture
of a greener more equitable world
in whatever way we can.

Everyday
there are efforts to work toward
these possibilities but they mostly
escape our Twitter feed.

Everyday
we must take the next step
even when we lose trust in the outcome.

It's our hope for the future,
depending of course on what we wish
for the generations to come.

Each of us must make that decision
Everyday.

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Where’s the Map?

Often these days
I find myself saying
In our culture we are not prepared
for aging and death.

Ours is a culture 
that denies and denigrates
growing old in so many ways.

My lament, however, is about 
seeking a way to accept 
the aging process and inevitability of death.

How do we go about
living and dying at 
the same time?

How do we navigate
this end of life realm
without direction?

There are expectations of course.
Most of them focus on 
an endless list of abilities lost.

Where is the expectation that
we gain wisdom and grace?
How do we move past 
the invisibility of personhood
that surrounds us?

I've often offered to others
that they trust the process,
but this process requires a level of trust
that exceeds what may have been needed before.

Loving what is - this is the phrase that 
keeps nudging my mind
Easing into what may come,
Taking one step at a time.

Slowing down and 
being more deliberate
has its advantages.
(aka the tortoise)

Maybe less mourning the losses.
More gratitude for the gifts.
Expect transitions to last longer
and let go your idea of what's to come.
Spend more time appreciating the present.

Maybe, just maybe, this has the beginnings
of the map I've been seeking.
Now let's see if I can keep 
from losing my way...

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Perfectly Clear

The weather notice on my phone 
 is telling me 
"It's perfectly clear right now"

So my mind responds -
perfectly clear to whom?
Not to me I'm afraid

And exactly WHAT is it that's perfectly clear?
When one is feeling overwhelmed
with the political landscape, the climate crisis
and the myriad daily issues percolating in front of me -
it requires great effort to see what's clear

Maybe what's clear is the background
against which all of these issues
are playing out

Maybe it can be comforting to know
that clarity can be seen behind
the fast moving pieces 
I often find difficult to grasp

Perhaps one can choose which to focus on
Perhaps this background is the constant,
a particular aspect of living 
one can trust and have faith in

We do need some solid base 
from which to navigate, to take a stand,
to rest in when we're overwhelmed
and exhausted

I suspect that it's from this perspective
that clarity arises and gives us 
the energy we need to keep moving forward

toward a day when it is perfectly clear.

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