Lines written at the Hospital

I am here,

sitting cross-legged

on your bed,

staring out and seeing nothing —

except you lying in your bed

at the hospital.

 

I see your old

faded teddy bear

on your dresser.

I wish you were

that wide-eyed child

in awe of the mysteries

of the world.

 

The crisp white blanket

and the chambray sheets

on your bed

are rough against my skin.

I pull my knees to my chest

and rest my head

against my knees.

 

I do not think I have ever felt

such pain in my Soul.

I used to think it was

empty and dark

inside

but now it aches

from seeing you hurt so

body mangled and distorted.

 

My mind is numbed

by the thought of your pain

and the strength you have

to go on, despite the pain.

 

My heart sinks when

I think of how

you have hated this life

so much that it led you to this.

But what keeps you

chained to this shallow existence?

 

I have been told

time and again

that love heals all things;

however,

my past, future, and present

are ever-affected by

your presence in my life.

How can healing begin when

you will not let my love

seep deep within your being?

 

Spring 1994

Lines written while grieving

To MHS

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Shall We

th

Shall we dance?

No, stand still and feel

My heart expand.

Shall we run?

No, this is the place for

Staying, breathing, and

holding space.

 

When time is unable to be

Outwitted, it is hard to

Hold unbounded space

For another

Or one’s self,

Hard, but not impossible.

 

Shall we count the stars?

No, be silent and be filled

With the luminosity and the Universe.

Shall I lay still?

How can I when your music

Sweetly saturates my core

Senses and opens me to new realms.

 

When time is unable to be

Outwitted, seconds feel like

Centuries, and just one breath

Can send the wheel spinning,

Creating lifetimes of birth and death,

Spontaneously helping us to break free.

 

Shall we die?

Yes, but not unto each other,

But rather

Into each of our new selves.

Shall we rush to love?

Yes, what else could

This life be for, other than

Cultivating loving?

 

When time is unable to be

Outwitted, there is only

Time for love.

 

1/2/04

 

 

The Breath of Transformation

th

The bell of mindfulness

Invited me to wake up

And remember my breath

For just one moment.

I knew the news before

I heard her voice.

This messenger held no

Surprises for me.

 

Breathing in,

Breathing out,

A transformation takes place.

Breathing out,

And releasing,

Just releasing,

Until departing becomes arriving.

 

I checked the calendar

to see if today was an auspicious day,

For some reason,

Any reason,

To help me make sense

of this awaited loss.

This present moment

Was arising and descending

Right before me.

 

I knew that my dear new friend had,

in one breath,

become a part of my ancestral heritage

and my future all at once.

I bowed to him with gratitude and honor.

I knew to see his smile again

All I needed to do was close my eyes

And smile as I had when he was

there before me just a few hours before.

 

I hear my own voice in my mind ask,

“Friend, are you there?”

A full and jovial voice answered

with no hesitation,

“Friend, I’m neither here nor there.

I just am. ┬áThat’s all we ever are.”

And with a tear and a smile I said in return,

using his own words,

“I like, I like it

It makes me happy

when someone believes. . . ”

And I knew we were now one.

9/20/2003

For TM

The Empty Chair

th

There is now for us,

An empty chair

That sits and waits

For no one to return to it.

 

Our circle once cast by chance

Is now broken.

Despite our wishes and prayers

We grapple with reality

As our hearts and minds

Attempt to make sense of

What we cannot comprehend.

 

We know, in our lives, that

People are not with us

For a lifetime, but often

For only a time in life.

Too often this goes unrecognized

In our world

And we miss the simple grace

That accompanies sitting together

In the circle.

 

We struggle in the midst

Of days flurried with activity,

To make room for silence,

To appreciate our small blessings,

And catch glimpses of our most profound lessons.

 

Today, we take the time to honor and embrace

The common that may be sparked

As one soul crosses another’s path,

Even now as we sit in the circle

Where the empty chair awaits

For no one to return.

12/1/2004

For Shelley