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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Butterfly Epiphany

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Butterfly Epiphany

Without the eyelid of judgment,
Everywhere
becomes the mirror
of my own
beauty.

Nothing real stops me.
What is Real
lifts me.
My two wings—
poetry and prayer—
unzip the veil.
My flight pens
a white message
briefly visible.
 

 

 

Automatic Reply: Out of Geraniums

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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.
     
     
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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.

Monday Morning Mary: While You Were Praying for Signs

Deer in Valley - One

 

While You Are Praying for Signs

While you are praying for signs
a handful of deer rest
in the woods
just beside you

While you face east
with the morning sun glinting through
the singing trees in a blessing onto your face
the deer face east, too

While you are silent in devotion
the deer you don’t even know are there
are silent, too

Only when you are done
standing before the Holy Mother
filling your spirit for the day
only then as you take your first step
back into your day
do you see

two deer resting peacefully
in the little valley beside you

and between you and the deer
is your dog
also quiet on the autumn earth

here you all are
in a rare harmony

you struggle in your flawed capacity
to take in
the fullness
of what
you know must be
a gift

it is not the hidden deer
which you now discover to be five
or the silence of your dog in their presence
but the calm energy
that flows freely
like script
among all of you,
evenly creatures
receiving
an answer

 

Deer in Valley - Four

After this lovely experience with these deer this morning, I tiptoed inside to get my camera, and was able to capture the shots you see in this post.

I think the shot above has four of the deer.

Deer facing away

I never knew deer had “eyes” at the back of their head.

Deer three

Someone new arrives.

Deer - Two

May you find the signs you need today.

Blessings,

Cheryl

 

Monday Morning Mary: How to Pray Barefoot

sacred trees

How to Pray Barefoot, Early Spring

Go to the grove of trees.
Go to the sacred grove
of the sacred trees.
Those three sturdy beings
near the stream,
or the thin twins
where you buy bread,
or the full wild forest
in your head.
If there is any question
about their sacredness,
ask.

Take off your shoes
and stand with your flesh
touching the earth,
which is surprisingly
soft and unexpectedly
warm.
Remember,
as the sweet virgin grass
awakens your soles,
what is spring
what is eternal.
And without uttering a sound,
simply be
in the ongoing prayer
that exists among those trees,
the earth,
and the small head of grass
rising between your toes.

As you remain still
within this integrating psalm,
something in you
will inevitably heal.
twin trees

Our Lady of Mercy

Giving Thanks When Things Seem Spare

Sometimes it seems that almost everything is gone.

Loss comes, and drains the blue sky and lush greens from our world. We focus on what is gone. Our vision is darkened as if by a veil. We struggle to get back to what we once knew, what was once ours.

But what is gone is no longer real. What is real is what is left.

Yes, loss itself is real, and for serious loss, grieving is a necessary process. But at some point, the fact is that the leaves have curled up and blown away. Our landscape has new space, a space that allows us to see more clearly everything that is still there, everything that is real. Inside illness, we have bodies that still do many things with ease, like hear or see. Inside job loss, we still have our talent. Inside heartbreak, we still have hearts that love.

Through the eyes of gratitude, our world slowly comes into focus, and we start to see simplicity and beauty in our world. We appreciate the delicate branches of a beech tree echoed by the sturdy silhouette of a linden tree. We find delight in three leaves, two beechnuts, and a glass pear.

For all I have discovered in spare landscapes, I give thanks.

The Falling

This morning’s sun is strong enough to warm my face and permeate my closed eyelids so all I see is gold. Small sounds sprinkle through the fallen leaves. I think at first, small critters.

Too delicate. Sounds more like fairies.

I open my eyes.  It’s the falling. The actual falling. As the golden autumn light pours through the sweet gum, gentle stars are coming unhinged. Scores of leaves descend around me.

The falling is quiet. Easily unnoticed until I choose nature.

A small wind curls through and carries me to the enchanted forest I have imagined since childhood, a gilded autumn place with a singular cabin, firewood stacked outside, and fairies with acorn caps in every corner to keep me safe.

This is magical.

All I did was stop to listen and see.

I am here for the falling. And in this moment, I am certain that this shining, drifting, rustling gentleness is infinite. Leaves will fall and fall from an endless reservoir of stars. The arms of each tree will shed, yet remain ever full of gold and light.