i can sit with this

DSC_3151

i can sit with this

when i am
prickly, fidgeting
inside

because
i cannot figure
outside

i announce:
i can sit with this

I can sit with the
unwieldy sum
of
money heart family
noise
plus
a broken coffee cup
and bad hair cut

i can sit with this

and I must
sit with this

without naming
or solving

just sit and say
in a very gentle way
as if sweeping cooling cloths
over a feverish forehead

i can sit with this
i can sit with this

and then without
fanfare i find
i am empty
and i am sitting
peacefully
with nothing
and everything
all at once

Monday Morning Mary: Remain in Love

Mary and Jesus in Ocean Grove - 2

In These Times

You have turned to me
in disbelief, shaken
as the earth cracks
like bone
under the plan and force
of stricken minds.

How, you ask,
can this continue to happen?
How, you wonder,
can your tiny prayer matter?

I tell you now
that it does.
That all the tiny prayers
of the world
add up
like the grains of sand
that line the oceans.

Imagine yourself
on the shore of Holy Presence.
Release the answers
you have disguised as prayer.
Receive the messages of love
that arrive on soft waves.

Do not neglect such imagining.
It is prayer.

Walk now, back into your
day which is no longer ordinary,
and be a sanctuary.
Serve love.
Welcome love.
Remain in love.

 

Mary and Jesus in Ocean Grove

Photos taken by my sister, Christine. If you zoom in on the first one, you can see rain streaming like tears down Mother Mary’s face.

Automatic Reply: Out of Geraniums

IMG_4618

Automatic Reply: Out of Geraniums

On Friday, July 15, I will be
     Out of Geraniums
          due to a mama-doe
               who wished to make milk
                    for her baby-dears.

I will have limited access to
     Hot Pink and Fire Red
          but may be reached by Shasta Daisy.

If you need assistance
     with your wings
          please contact Summer Fairy
               who will direct your call
lovingly
     to the myrtle patch
          at the edge
               of the deep deep woods.
     
     
IMG_4612

All that’s left.

 

Automatic Reply: Out of Geraniums

IMG_4618

Automatic Reply: Out of Geraniums

On Friday, July 15, I will be
     Out of Geraniums
          due to a mama-doe
               who wished to make milk
                    for her baby-dears.

I will have limited access to
     Hot Pink and Fire Red
          but may be reached by Shasta Daisy.

If you need assistance
     with your wings
          please contact Summer Fairy
               who will direct your call
lovingly
     to the myrtle patch
          at the edge
               of the deep deep woods.
     
     
IMG_4612

All that’s left.

 

Prayer for Getting in the Clear

Golgotha by ALFRED HRDLICKA

A Prayer for Getting in the Clear

When you dwell in the dark quadrant of despair
and the book of your life
has become some jumbled hieroglyphics
on a gray, windowless wall,
I stand for you.

I stand on the Green Lawn of a Better Day.
Barefoot, in tadasana, I stand for you
like a mountain, grounded deeply in the earth
and I breathe into my core your garbled chapter.
A violent wind
circles my head like a black wreath.
I remember my own tempest,
how unsure I was of my ability to endure,
how lost I was when my map of Right and Fair
burnt up.

I stand for you at the Crossroads of Change,
my feet firm, the howling wind of shared pain
crossing my head in every direction.
My hands lock over my heart.
Inside a prayer grows wings
and takes flight,
hooks the maelstrom by the tail and trails away
until you and I are both once again
in the clear.

Golgotha -2  by ALFRED HRDLICKA
Both photos:
GOLGATHA, 1963 by ALFRED HRDLICKA
Installed at Storm King Arts Center, New York
 

As I wandered the Storm King grounds, I was drawn to this somewhat remote figure in the woods. It had a presence that I couldn’t name. I didn’t identify the title or artist until after I’d left the park. Golgotha was the site of the crucifixion of Jesus. As I studied the photos I’d taken, layers of meaning revealed themselves slowly in my mind. The splash of sunlight at the heart of this figure solidifies my sense of belonging in front of that sculpture at that exact moment.

Find Water, and You Will Find Freedom

Water on flower 8

Find Water, and You Will Find Freedom

Find water, and see beauty.
See beauty, and make art.
Make art, and feel joy.
Feel joy, and find freedom.

 

This poem is simple to read. But, if you choose to wade in, you might discover the poem as a body of water, coming in waves, one line at a time, each line becoming a contemplation or an assignment. Follow one, and see where you end up.

Water on flower 10

“The most powerful presence in every poem is what is left out… {A poem} is about creating a sequence of words which work through suggestion and leave space for you to envisage, evoke, or incarnate that which is exactly suggested.” ~~John O’Donohue, From the recorded lecture, “Divine Imagination.”

Water on flower 11

Monday Morning Mary: I Cannot Believe in That God Any More

Beach blanket 2009

I Cannot Believe in That God Any More

that giant man with a biblical beard
looming in the sky
unhappy with my mistakes
sending me bad stuff.

The God I love
is a beach blanket
wild with orange and hot pink patterns
sheer enough for light and air
to drift through,
the kind of blanket
that catches in the sunny beach breeze,
flapping and bubbling,
the blanket I can’t wait to
smooth across the hot sand
and plunk my goofy bones down on
so that I can partake in the full menu
of blissful beach therapies:
sand, salt air, surf, sun, sleep.

On ordinary days, like today,
when God is not a beach blanket,
she picks up her knitting
and settles down next to me on the couch
so I can take a nap without worrying.
As I lose myself in the reverie
of the God/beach-blanket metaphor
and all its possibilities,
she loops her long hair behind her ear,
leans over, all pleased and all,
and kisses my forehead,
right on the third eye.
 

Our Lady Star of the Sea - 3

Monday Morning Mary: To Be Moved

cherry blossom 1

To Be Moved

When you make time
to travel to the cherry blossoms,
may you also clear your eyes

so that when you arrive
under the canopy of white lace,
the delicate spirit of each tiny flower
will have a direct path to your heart.

In this holy instant,
when your heart becomes a vase
as large as your being,
you will receive more beauty
than you thought possible.

Joy will rise inside you,
pure as water,
until you contain nothing else,

until you are fully moved,
and from your eyes
tears blossom.
Mary - Mariandale

 

Saturday the weather was gloomy, and the sky was as white as the blossoms, except for one brief patch of blue. But the thousands of cherry blossom trees at Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ were at the peak of bloom. The overcast skies in some ways made the blossoms appear all the more magical.

More scenes from Branch Brook Park, Newark NJ…

 

Monday Morning Mary: 1 Week Later

We Are Love

1 Week Later

The shock waves
have not ceased to pulse
outward from the terminal
through Brussels
across every body
of water
and every body
that reels
on this rocky planet

we are love
those who buffet the waves
with whispered prayers
from our faraway posts,
linking, locking,
writing a reply
immutable as the stars
and growing longer
with each new signature:
we are love, we say,
we are love, we pray,
We Are Love.

#WeAreLove

Our Lady of Lourdes