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Natural World

Walking

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Mysticism, Natural World, Nature, Poetry, Spirituality, Uncategorized | One Comment

I am a pilgrim
Walking by the light of the moon
In and out of shadows
Having to peer into the darkness,
To see at all.

Beckoned, I am
Urged to keep on the journey
To Press on
Knowing only dimly
And not to depend on better words.

My beating heart is a lantern,
Sure and faithful hope,
Nothing more.
Therein is the union
which claims me
An infinite horizon
Of dawning light
A smile of sunrise and cool morning

Even as it illuminates
Another day of shouting and swords
Which thrive in the afternoon glare
The heat of certitude
The holding of ground
The standing there,
The giving up of walking,
The desiring only to sleep
in the night.

The Gaze

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Mysticism, Natural World, Nature, Poetry, Spirituality | One Comment

“You come here not to gaze at God, but to let God gaze at you”

You are always being gazed at.
Not watched,
Just smiled upon.
It’s what every heart needs.

Even the mountains gaze on you
as you pass.
This whole beautiful earth is
your mother holding you, so present,
Gazing on you.

No, you are not the center of the universe,
But the ages and their stars
Brought you forth
and still wink at you. And the sun
Shines on you just the same.

If you are failing, perhaps
You don’t know how to see
How you are truly seen.
Worthiness is all so freely given.
Don’t let it be the gift that sits on the shelf
Waiting to be opened, while
Nothing springs to mind
to be grateful for.

If you are starving in the midst of
all this simple plenty,
Remember how you are
Being gazed upon
With so much love.

Passing Moments

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Mysticism, Natural World, Nature, Poetry, Spirituality | No Comments

Sometimes life hands us to ourselves
on a silver platter.
At those times, I am filled
with an abiding sweetness,
call it fleeting joy.

Like on those summer mornings
When the world stands in bold relief,
after the birds wake up
And the sun is rising over the mountains
Gold flecking the trees, casting long shadows.

You might see me dancing in the kitchen,
To Handel’s Harmonious Blacksmith
(Yes, it can be done), or
Crosby, Stills & Nash, Vivaldi.

It doesn’t last, but it’s nice.

Our big-little lives
are passing so swiftly
There will never be enough time
For all the infinite longings.
To complete the bucket list.

What we hold is
always a mixed bag:
Toys we cling to,
And so much still to let go of;
Hearts full of love and hate.
We know they will break.
They must break. Open. Spill.

How blessed to be alive,
To catch glimpses
of the glory here, even in the suffering.
We stand in such terrible beauty.
What else can tear us apart,
Touch our soul, bring tears to our eyes,
Give us to ourselves,
Even if for a passing moment.

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Morning After

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Mysticism, Natural World, Poetry, Spirituality | No Comments

Waking up with me
On my mind,
There is nothing to show,
Nothing earned from yesterday.
The cupboard is bare because no bread
has been accepted.
No blood having been shed,
The temple altar is clean.
A stagnant well does not flow.

Outside, the silent mountains stand rooted.
Birds sing, Life is living its own praise.
Only I seem to have forgotten, and the
Somebody that emerges is nobody of import.
From inside the meritocracy
To be a drop in the ocean is a cruel fate,
The game lost.
I am so unaware at these times
That to fall into the ocean
Is to become the ocean.

How impossible it is for a small self
To be a grain of wheat
That dies in the ground to yield a rich harvest.
If we had to do this work ourselves,
There would be no resurrection,
No bread for the world,
No hidden wholeness.

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Sabbath

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Natural World, Nature, Poetry, Spirituality | No Comments

How do I say this?
That we are always walking
On sacred ground,
Drinking the sacred water;
That some things are best
Left alone
So the balance can be maintained.

There is this Sabbath of Being,
A wisdom in cessation,
Of knowing
When enough is enough,
So the earth too can rest from us
And enjoy its life.

We need to observe a perpetual sabbath
From our blustering about, all the
To-ing and fro-ing of control, of searching
For esteem, of making security an idol.
This religion of the ceaseless machine that
never lets us off.

It is no longer adequate
To be reciting creeds.
We need the holy work
Of carrying the bread
Of our worship over the lintel,
Out into the plaza,
Of combining our remembrance with reality
Finding the Presence therein
And making the world a temple.

And then?
Maybe just sitting in the pew
Of a sunlit day.

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The Thief Climbed in through the Window

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Mysticism, Natural World, Nature, Poetry, Spirituality | No Comments

We live within “the big sweep”
Standing in the river,
Some singing, some plunged backward
Into a wholeness not yet perceived,
Still half asleep.
The now still
Waits for eternity,
Time not yet transformed
by consciousness.

“Oh Heaven come,” we shout.
“Oh glory, we await your return.”
Halleluiah!, we cry.
“Come Lord Jesus.”

Meanwhile, the blessed earth
Stands still in awe,
Arms uplifted shouting its own Alleluia.
Knowing what we fail to know,
It silently proclaims
What we are blind to see,

How the thief long ago
Climbed in through the window
Of the world,
And took up residence
In the cobwebs and the moss
In the heart of the lion and the lamb.

Greening

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Mysticism, Natural World, Nature, Poetry | No Comments

No one told us early on
that we were green
except in some way that
we were not yet knowing,
still wet under the collar,
and that in comparison they
were wise and knowing
in the ways of the world,
in how to get around
do something that
could make money, be useful.

But we are green,
like the leaves of trees,
soaking up the sun.
We are makers of bread,
transformers of rays into food.

Pauses

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Mysticism, Natural World, Poetry, Spirituality | No Comments

So much waits to be born in
The silent pauses out of which
Everything flows.
A breathless audience, anticipates
The first note as the conductor,
Posed with raised baton,
Gathers the orchestra.
Dancers in the wings
Stand hushed, ready to
Fill the stage with movement.

Artists ponder before blank canvases.
Gardeners gaze upon
Resting landscapes, white, frozen,
Soundless, waiting, open.

The greatest gifts emerge
from silence.
Words springing forth
from quiet hearts, more easily
speak of love.

We forget the
noiseless background from which
All creativity emerges, all being
Manifests. Let us seek the quiet
In order to belong to ourselves.

Our true home is in the pauses.
In stillness
Our name is revealed.

Root Vegetables

By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Mysticism, Natural World, Nature, Poetry, Spirituality | One Comment

Carrots come in all shapes and sizes.
They have no shame.
Why should they?

Sometimes they are
Joined together,
Long legged and shapely manikins
Waiting to be dressed.
As if male and female, they emerge.
Fashioned in rocky soil they remind us,
Just to live is holy,
Even though times be hard.

We marvel
At what mother earth
Brings forth,
When treated with love and care.

Rutabagas grow
Large and plump or stay
Small and wizened.
Hard to know the “Why?”

The leafy tops of beets
Green and veiny, are delicious
First fruits, early on harbingers.
How rich the red fruit grows
Floating atop the ground,
Sinking its mouse tail deep.

The potatoes thrive in darkness,
And then, like earth daughters,
Are born to the light of day, carefully,
With fork and hands, while

At the edge of the woods the
Sentinel trees stand with blazing
open arms, welcoming all.

Tree of Life

By | Contemplation, Contemporary Issues, Natural World, Nature, Poetry, Spirituality | No Comments

It is such a simple act
This walking in the woods
This stopping to gaze on a tree
It’s naked branches
Topped with snow
An old nest revealed, and
to say with clarity,
Filled with hope, “This is indeed
A marvelous tree. Its dark branches,
Clothed now in white, will
Soon be green with life
And home to birds.”

In a different forest of tangled webs
We sit watching what passes for news,
And it is not so easy
To say with clarity, grounded in hope,
“What I am hearing, clothed as the truth,
is indeed a lie, told by liars,
But one day the green truth
Will be revealed.”

It is not so easy to seek
Day after day the luminous
Tree of many branches,
And deep roots of vital connection—
That inner space
Where there are no lies.