Category Archives: Prose and Poetry

Posture and Presence

 How I hold myself
 is never simply a matter
 of body and bones and muscle
 
 It is also subject to 
 what’s happening in my mind and
 what I’m feeling in my heart
 
 How am I being present to myself?
 Am I grounded and centered
 or caught up in some mind story?
 Am I feeling the heat of emotion 
 pulling at my heart?
 
 Do I feel my feet on the ground?
 Am I focused on difficulties
 and challenges that 
 lead me to “I can’t?”
 
 Or can I simply be present to what is
 and trust that I am really at home
 in this body
 
 And then settle into myself in a way
 that expresses the knowing 
 that posture arises out of presence.
 
 Because the possibility of being 
 truly present is
 what we have each moment
 of every day and
 every tomorrow as well. 

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How We Heal

 Ever really notice
 how the body heals itself?
 A cut or bruise or broken bones
 over time will be made whole  
 
 And even when the healing 
 results in a body that feels less than whole
 and we sense the loss of what used to be
 We can choose to move forward 
 
 This body knows what to do
 If we allow it
 
 And while we may complain 
 about how long this healing takes
 We can also trust that it will somehow 
 do the best it can 
   
 So what I wonder is
 why we often fail to trust
 the healing of wounds 
 to our heart
 
 Or the list of damages 
 our mind holds onto
 sometimes year 
 after year 
 
 Why not trust our heart-mind
 to make us whole or
 move us forward toward
 a place of equanimity?
 
 But always 
 and only 
 if we allow it     

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Life is Just This

 Somewhere between 
 this is me and that is mine
 I fear we have lost our way
 
 We take possession
 of people and things
 carving out some personal space
 then build a wall around it 
 
 Our connection to each other
 and all sentient beings
 diminishes 
 Setting us adrift
 in our separate silos
  
 How do we reclaim what we’ve lost
 unless we can name it
 Until we can imagine beyond
 the complaints and disturbances
 of lives lived this way 
   
 To step into a new story of
 who we are and how we are
 To seek our true relationship to one another
 To see our face before we were born 
 
 Then sharing a glimpse of
 the richness that a well lived
 life can be
 Perhaps that day
 will signal a new way of seeing 
 Our World
 and become the story
 we choose to live by 

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Gratitude

I find the phrase

Holding my experience with gratitude

a more effective way

of being grateful for all of my experience 

Not just the fun times

or the loving relationships

but also the difficult, frightening,

overwhelming and overall 

challenging times

Not easy for sure

but it does lend itself

to allowing for the realization 

that this is just the experience 

I’m having

Instead of putting all my energy

into wishing it wasn’t so

It opens the door to 

a different way of being

and seeing more clearly

This holding of experience

is akin to seeing without judging

Letting go blame or guilt or shame

Clearing the slate so to speak

Holding with gratitude

interrupts the critic and the naysayer

literally putting on hold

the longing for a different experience

And frees me up

to walk a different path

with this body in this life

which is the only one I’ve got

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Bigger Than My Self

Every time I drive by Jamaica Bay 

I look beyond the houses 

at the water’s edge

I look to see the level of the tide

though I really have no need to know

Yet it always feels important just to look.

I notice when the waves cover the reeds

that form small islands just off shore

I check to see if any ducks or geese or egret are about.

I find myself a witness to the mood of the bay,  

watching how the water lies so still or 

how the wind stirs up the waves.

Wondering how the moon can push or pull

the water beyond its normal reach.

I don’t take notes or photographs

I just have pictures in my mind

And I smile

No matter what I find

I feel some reassurance in knowing

that the bay is still there

Even though I don’t know 

where I expect it to go.

It’s a wonder to see it 

every time 

And of course

there’s some comfort too

in the connection that I have

with this place in nature that is so much

bigger than my self.

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Spring Haiku

Brown earth opening
yellow, orange, purple
on green stems

White hyacinth
rescued
from the rain

A screen of fog
no ocean view
the sound of waves

Osprey in the nest 
welcome home
Spring!

Dark clouds
become curtains of water
become blue sky

All the things
seventy-three years
and counting

Interestingly
I have crawled inside a poem
and lost my way




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An April Morning

There is always one Spring morning

when the sky is clear and 

the bluest blue

A day when the air warms 

beyond the usual April cold

when the idea of a beach walk

calls me outside

Then there I am

removing my shoes and socks 

relishing the feel of bare feet in the cool sand

With each sandy footstep I find myself

smiling inside at the thought

that Summer will soon be here

Even the gulls screech welcoming sounds

As I look around at people walking 

seeing kids playing and

dogs running at the water’s edge

I can just feel 

that everyone around me

is also wearing a smile inside this April morning.

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Deep Down Time

Today I appreciate having some

Deep Down Time

to explore the richness underneath

where I can live through the space

in between my thoughts

I find a fertile ground where

thoughts and words emerge

like a giving back

after all that’s been taken in

and tended to like a gardener would

Though I can never be sure

exactly what will spring forth where

and am always surprised when

some volunteers show up

What comes might wrap itself into a poem

or provide an intention for the rest of the day

or a project for the days ahead

What I know for certain is that

my connection in these moments

feels true and whole

Not a searching or imagining but

a grounded sense of the path I’m on

even when the outcome isn’t sure

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In These Times

Today we are all preoccupied with 

The Before Times

Hoping to get transported back there

Wherever there might be

Some of us are even longing for 

The Far Back Times

Of course those memories are often 

based on hearsay

We are in fact still in The Pandemic Times

though seeming to work our way out

And then there’s the continuing

Racial Injustice Times

And also the Burning Times leading to the 

Misogynistic Times

And now The Climate Crisis And Time of

The Sixth Extinction 

We don’t have Time to be longing for the

Far Back Times or even

The Before Times

What we must do is see where we are now

And choose what we want our

Next Time to be

As individual souls

And soulful communities

And soul searching societies

Our Time is here

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Whiteness Undone

Whiteness is a power source

It’s a category we don’t choose but emerge into

A label that separates as it was designed to do

and blinds many of us to the harm it does.

What does it mean to unplug ourselves from whiteness?

Is it possible for each of us on our own to do this

or undo this as it were?

Seems either we assume whiteness is simply The Reality

or we fear losing Power if we turn away from its legacy.

What I wonder most is not so much

how we choose our way out of whiteness

It’s instead the why of it that worries me

Business as usual is a comfortable route

and keeps our focus narrow on the day to day

We need the bigger picture

the one that shows us that you can’t just be anti racist

you can’t just pretend that white supremacy doesn’t apply to you

you can’t think you way out of whiteness

It’s history that’s grounded you in this

and history that’s been rewritten to make you believe

you are who you think you are.

Who would you be if you were not white?

Perhaps you could be just this body that

descended from ancestors carrying their storied history,

born out of a lineage that survived and thrived

by helping each other along the way.

You can be one among a community of others.

It can be community that holds you to the task

that keeps the ground from caving in

that allows the spreading of new growth

coming into the spring of whiteness undone.

Imagine being held in such a community

and remember this

so you can recognize it when it happens.

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