My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O lord of Hosts,
my king and my God.
Psalm 84, 3-4
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
Who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the Lord, My refuge and my fortress,
My God in Whom I trust.
Psalm 91, 1-2
The Castle Within
Journey to a place that’s sacred,
travel above, below, within.
I walk a path of emptiness
not knowing who it is I seek.
Clouds catch colors that fill the sky
casting reflections on pure water.
Naked, submerged in fetid water,
utter words, evoke the sacred,
brandish ideas across the sky,
soak in lies that stir within
not knowing what it is you seek
embracing only emptiness.
not understanding emptiness,
your thirst ne’er quenched by stagnant water
you do not know the source you seek
cathedrals, temples, though deemed sacred
cannot answer those doubts within
though spires stretch, they reach not sky.
Drowned in mystery—above, the sky.
Below—a trough of emptiness
that murkiness you find within.
Troubled tempest of primal water
envelops all that you hold sacred,
eludes the meaning that you seek.
What is it, soul, that you seek?
To know who lies beyond the sky?
To touch the silk of all that’s sacred?
To fill the void of emptiness?
Blissful, to float in limpid water?
To satisfy yearnings within?
Satan, begone, for here within
the castle of my soul I seek
not to probe the depth of water,
nor soar to crystal heights of sky.
You tempt, betray my emptiness,
eschew the gifts that I hold sacred.
Your emptiness has birthed the sacred,
immersed in water—filled within
because you seek, you touch the sky.
(Based on the writings of John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila.)
I rewrote this 2011 poem for dVerse Open Link Night, paying more attention to the form–a Sestina with an attempt at iambic tetrameter.
Today I am horse,
surging power trampling fear—
carry me onward.
Just a lowly frog
croaking humble songs of praise,
ever mindful love.
beyond death’s darkness.
At last I’m eagle,
soaring to mountainous realms
Now I dream tomorrow.
Linking to my favorite prompt–dVerse Quadrille. Please join us with a poem of exactly 44 words, not including the title, using the word DREAM in the body of the poem. I chose an old poem from 2011 and revised it to meet the requirements of the form.
We are in the midst of a kitchen remodel so I may be slow to visit but will get around eventually.
My hope is that your celebration, however you view the meaning behind it, may give you the opportunity to reflect on LIGHT, as so many traditions recognize this time of the year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Thirteen of us sit in a circle around Darleen, our friend of Native American descent, our friend who shared a deep spiritual journey with us that was different from what we knew. Over the months she shared the beauty of the American Indian traditions—beauty that enriched our own understanding of the Great Spirit without taking anything from our own beliefs. Beauty that helped us to behold the wonders of creation with fresh insight.
Today, she introduces us to the talking stick. A large hawk feather wrapped around a stick with leather and beads. It is used in tribal councils, and for our purpose in group discussion. The stick is passed around the circle to the person who wants to share her views. Only the person holding the stick is allowed to speak. Everyone else listens.
eagle feather soar
words born of thoughtful silence
spirit wisdom speaks
Posting a 2nd poem, a haibun, for my feather prompt at dVerse Poetics.
sometimes i am so happy it hurts
yesterday i am
play of shadow and of light
sunset’s watercolor sky
letting go her brief yet lovely life
today the texture of a sturdy bark
free flow of cool water
tiny finch whose song is all she has
This week, for the Monday Quadrille prompt at dVerse, Lillian challenges us to paint a self-portrait in exactly 44 words. Whew.
The title of this poem came to me last evening while I was doing dishes, looking out the kitchen window where my husband kept watch over our two small white dogs, romping in the grass. This morning, when I woke up, the poem appeared.
Please join us for this most challenging prompt. This week there is no word that we have to use. Have fun.
but the Lord was not in the violent wind
1 Kings 19:11
whisper to me, gentle breeze
breath divine, speak love
heart me now, creative word
paint me strokes of wild color
float me high above fluffy clouds
wandering, wispy, wondering
where you hide
play me strings of harmony
lull me into grace,
oh, gentle breeze
Bjorn hosts Quadrille 10 this week at dVerse Poets’ Pub. The poem must be exactly 44 words and include the word “breeze.”
The title and poem is inspired by I Kings 19, 11-13. Elijah, seeking God on the mountain top finally finds him in a gentle breeze. Here’s the source quote:
“Then the Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain top before the Lord; the Lord will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains–but the Lord was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake–but the Lord was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire–but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire, a light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak…”
When cherry blossoms
I slept last night beneath our cherry tree, its branches bare of blossoms after the early freeze—this loss, a surprise, much like the morning I awakened and you were gone. Life goes on, so the cliché would have me believe, but the void inside looms, ever-present, like the weight of snow this seemingly endless winter.
Am I to believe that love will return, much like the cherry blossoms I hope for in another springtime?
Will I be one with you again, once I follow you into the void? I reach for the soft assurance of the touch of satin, the flowering branch I culled before cruel winds doused my hope. I listen to silence.
what appears lost shall return
do not be afraid
Today a dVerse Haibun Monday, Kansen Sakura invites us to consider the Japanese concept of hanami. What? You don’t know what that is? Come over to dVerse and learn about it.
My reflections on the Easter Season which many of us celebrated yesterday influenced my haibun–what do the seasons, typified here in the mystique of cherry blossoms, have to teach us about doubt and faith?