Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Some Mornings

There are some mornings
(like this one)
I lie in bed with
the sense of you
sitting by the window
watching me sleep
which you have never done
and the sense of your absence
is more like a fullness
more like a presence and 

there are some mornings
(like this one)
I lie in bed with
the weight of your absence
the weight of your presence
holding me still and I know
I'm a little bit crazy
to allow this to continue for
all these long years, this
wondering how 
I could have blown it 
so badly
wishing I had trusted my gut
and just ran out the door after you, 
leaving everything behind

saying, "Wait! 
Yes, go ahead,
yes ask me,
please ask me," and
"I will,
yes I will,
yes, let's!"

Friday, June 14, 2013

On Being a Monk, an Artist, a Mystic: An Assignment from The Artist’s Rule


A year or so ago, I found this delightful little book called "The Artist’s Rule, A Twelve Week Journey: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom."   It was exactly what I needed, and total confirmation that I am on the right track, whatever that is.  The first time I read it, it moved me to tears on nearly every page.  It was, as she said, like coming home.  I didn’t do any of the exercises, however, I just read it.  Recently, though, I bought the book with the intention of actually doing them, and so far, I have honored that intention.  One of this week’s assignments was to write a poem based on the title of another, which she suggested.

Whenever I write poetry or a short piece about my own life, it always feels like I am invaded, or inhabited by and filled up with the idea of the poem or the story.  This was a new experience, to write as an assignment. It was interesting to discover that the Muse was with me just the same. The Muse, I am learning, can be invited in.  I don’t have to wait for her. I can’t speak for how good the poem is, but I can say that once I began the journey to write it, that sense of fullness, that sense of the Muse’s presence, was with me.

So here’s the poem:

Like a monk in a monastery, 
I sink into the morning’s silence
and breathe in to its fullness,
letting it fill me to the brim
with its luminous presence.

In the quiet of morning rounds
I listen for the still, small voice
in the whisper of sheets as they glide over pillows,
the hiss and pop of the coffee maker,
the clank of dishes and rattle of silverware
as they are lifted high and returned
to their rightful places.

The depth and roundness of the new coffee mug,
itself a sacred vessel in the colors of Morocco
remind me of the need to empty and fill, empty and fill
ever open to possibility and change.

I decorate myself with fabric and bangles, angles and sparkles,
dance into the day like my own little Mariachi band.
Surrounded by reds and purples and blues, I splash and glue them
onto canvas and fill the universe with my love and gratitude
for the colors of joy and laughter.

On the way out the door to the “real” world, I avert my gaze
from the tangle of amp wires left forgotten under a window
and the messiness left on the counter by hands I happen to love
and remember, instead, the Four Sisters leaning over a stream,
their green leaves shushing as one in a warm breeze,
the four of them enchanted to be in the world
with such delightful, birch-y company.

Friday, June 7, 2013

How I Knew He Was Trouble


I knew he was Trouble
by the way he smiled
when he learned my name
and put a face and a body
and legs-in-a-dress
to a voice he’d heard on the phone
and how I was,
in that moment,
exquisitely aware that I am a girl.

I knew he was Trouble
by the way he leaned toward my car
with the palms of his hands on the window ledge
and the curl of his fingers over the rim
touching the inside of the door, and
how I noticed the strength and shape of his hands
as the sunlight danced over 
the downy hair and muscles 
of his beautiful forearms.

I knew he was Trouble
by the way his eyes stayed on mine
that color of brown I could drown in
taking in everything about me all at once
in a pleased sort of way
and by the way he was easy in his own body
as he chatted with me and how
the plane of his chest and the curve of his shoulders
held up his shirt that barely touched his belly
and by the way his jeans fit over his thighs.

I knew he was Trouble
by the way his eyebrow shot up
and his nose crinkled disbelievingly
and his hips shifted outside my car door
when I explained why I was in the parking lot
and used the words ‘preschool’
and ‘granddaughter’ and I knew by the way
his eyes looked me over and he repeated the word
‘granddaughter’ as a question 
in a snorting sort of way,

I knew he was Trouble
by the way I whooped out loud
as I drove out of the parking lot
and pounded the steering wheel
and told God,
‘Now that’s what I’m talking about!’
and the way I laughed at how I always want
the 30-something-year-old
and by the way the image of his glowing forearms
and the shape of his thighs in his jeans
and the color of his eyes as they took me in
kept returning to me
all day.