My Poetry Book Is Now Available!

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I’m so happy I can share my work with you in a new way! My book of poetry, 59 Prayers, is now available in print. 59 Prayers is a collection of poems that blossomed from the union of my writing life and my spiritual life. It’s not a book of religion or sanctioned prayer, but an exploration of love, doubt, suffering, and joy.

As some of you may know, I’ve been on a long healing journey. During that time, when so much stillness and solitude were required, poetry became a lifeline. The writing process enabled me to transform negative energy and amplify positive energy. I chose to examine ordinary events through the slow lens of poetry. I created poems that made me feel better. And I have always hoped that the poems would make you feel better, too.

59 Prayers includes some poems that have appeared on this blog as well as other poems I’ve written from the same sea of experience. Some of the poems in 59 Prayers come from a place of struggle or questioning, others from a sense of communion or divine presence. Some of the poems offer blessing for special occasions or life events, such as marriage or interviewing for a job. Others seek to find meaning and beauty in an imperfect world. It’s my hope that you will find the book to be an experience of blessing and healing.

Thank you for following my blog and supporting my work. The world needs more love, and this is one way I’ve chosen to contribute.

Blessings,

Cheryl

 

59 Prayers is available for purchase on Amazon.

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Let Time Be Shy

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Let Time Be Shy

Do not chase time,
driving too fast
to the next of too many
destinations

Unload your calendar
from your right shoulder
Sip coffee on your patio
in the cool morning hour

Let time come out
like a fawn from the whispering greens
Do not reach or try to squeeze it
into your travel mug

No, keep your coffee
in a porcelain cup
Ask nothing
See everything

Time will lie down and stretch out before you
on the sun-ripening earth,
a sentient deer
with nowhere more important
to be.

 

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i can sit with this

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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: For Those Who Don’t Do What We Think They Should

pink tulips

We are so wise
when it comes to others.
We can see clearly
exactly what it is they
should do to fix their problems.
We may even give “advice,”
and when these others
do not follow our or any other advice,
and their lives worsen
or break,
we suffer extra
from our own anger
and frustration.
What if we could see our advice
as false wisdom,
and instead of judgment,
offer compassion?
Compassion for those who don’t do
what they should
to help themselves.
This would also mean
holding up a mirror
to see our own veering
from wise fixes
and healthy practices,
and saying,
Life isn’t easy.
You’re doing just fine.

 


Our Lady of Lourdes at St John Lambertville NJ

Monday Morning Mary: Our Lady of Dollar Store Daffodils

dollar store daffodils

 

Dollar Store Daffodils

Winter has not yet relented.
The earth has not softened.
Bulbs have not awakened.
Being tired of winter
does not change the weather.
You cannot rush the daffodils.

But you can ask:
Where might I find beauty right now?
What can I create in this gray space?
And most importantly,
What version of the truth
will I tell myself today?

Do not be afraid of dollar store daffodils.
Imitation by a pure heart
flatters God.
Mary Gray March

Monday Morning Mary: This Too Shall Bless

Tiny Steeple Big Sky

Tiny Steeple, Big Sky

This Too Shall Bless

What is in your dominant hand?
A keyboard, an apple,
A set of prayer beads?

Travel up your arm, your neck,
into the wiry treetop that is your brain.
Is there a hyper monkey hopping
branch to branch, upset
and upsetting?

Whatever the monkey says,
you can say,
This too shall bless.

This too shall bless
you or someone else
or both of you.
It is not for you to decide who gets blessed
by your suffering or how.
It is not for you to see the blessing
or know it has taken place.

If you can say in adversity,
This too shall bless
you open the window of possibility
through which you may recognize
that in this, this terrible thing,
there just might be a purpose.

Gaze out that window.
As surely as the sun is gilding the earth,
someone is healing.

William Adolph Bourguereaux

painting by William Adolph Bouguereaux

Monday Morning Mary: Life Is Not a Program

Encapsulating Ice
Programming 102

Life is not a program,
an algorithm
       to design and master.
IF/THEN is a construct of logic
       that keeps you locked.
OPEN the eyes of your heart
       to the beauty of elemental formations,
       the shapes of water and conversation.
Do not wait for conditions to be right.
SNAP the photo of the encapsulating ice
WHEN you see it.
       Or better yet,
STAND still for FIVE seconds,
and say,
       WOW.

MM walking

Monday Morning Mary: The Subtlety of Protection

MM in snow protection
When you pray for protection
       do not look for a castle
              or a sword
Protection may arrive as a thought
       to do one microscopic action
              that seems totally unrelated
       but triggers a series of happenings
              that you may never see,
a subtle web that lands you
       here, in this very moment,
safe.