New life

Autumn

Light bright full of delight

Spring afternoon waltzes

In after darkest nights of winter

Have laid claim to the weary soul

Who on the brink of Summer lost the way to the one source of everything

And this return of the light

After the darkest of night

Brings joy and celebration

As the body that was so weighted down by the fall

Of energy which accompanies the dying of the generative season

Begins to feel the sap rising again

And hope comes as the antidote to a despair

Accompanying the lost season

Giving us a reason to celebrate again

In the nature of things

Cyclical time will never cease

As long as we are earth bound

And in the other realms who knows

What other cycles lay claim to souls who passed

Now whispering their secrets to us

Under a cover of silence

And yet

If we become still enough we can feel the life

That we only thought was stolen

Resonating all around us

And with the coming of the spring

A new dawn and phase of living

That offers new life

To everything

 

Waiting

Waiting

this will be my place of waiting

as the caterpillar waits

in its submission

upon an inner alchemy

the inward transformation

of pain and difficulties

Does the caterpillar rebel?

Does it twist and turn

as it dissolves and burns

clean of its old form

growing gossamer wings

here in the darkness?

Does it fight the darkness

or use it

submitting itself fully

to its transforming power?

Does it not rise again

from this cocoon

on wings to fly skyward?

Let me remember this

as I wait

and hold through

in the midst of difficulties

struggle and pain

that these experiences

have an inner power

are working their alchemy

upon my own soul

Let me also remember

that death is not only an ending

but has hidden within it

the seeds of a new beginning

of new life and wisdom.

Love After Love

I want to share something today that is not my own writing, but expresses a comforting truth I so needed to hear today and which brought me to tears.  It is taken from an anthology : Poems to Make A Grown Man Cry and the initial paragraphs are written by the English actor Tom Hiddleson, who chose this poem for inclusion in the anthology for the reasons below:

In the madness and mayhem of modern life, where every man seems committed to an endless search for the approval and esteem of his fellows and peers, no matter what the cost this poem reminds me of a basic truth : that we are, as we are, ‘enough’.  Most of us are motivated deep down by a sense of insufficiency, a need to be better, stronger, faster; to work harder; to be more committed, more kind, more self sufficient, more successful.  We are driven by a sense that we are not as we are ‘enough’.

But this short poem by Derek Walcott is like a declaration of unconditional love.  It’s like the embrace of an old friend.  We are each of us whole, perfectly imperfect, enough.  ‘Feast on your life’ feels like permission, as though Walcott is calling time on all the madness, the mayhem, the insecurity, the neuroses, the drama, and with a big, broad, kind smile, he brings us to an awareness of the present moment, calm and peaceful, and to a feeling of gratitude for everything that we have.  I read it to my dearest friends after dinner once, and to my family at Christmas and they started crying.  Which always, unfailingly, make me cry.

Love After Love

The time will come

when, with elation,

you will great yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the others welcome.

and say, sit here.  Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

The wave and the whale

I felt your sadness

like a wave

entering me

as our conversation ended

My heart aches for you,

all the things you suffered,

all the ways you were prevented

from expressing your heartbreak

I sit quietly with my self

letting this wave roll on

I feel powerless

I pray to a higher power

to take care of you

I know I cannot help

I can only love

I can only try

to reach out

across the seemingly unbridgeable distance

between me and your soul.

I am reminded of

a dream I dreamt

many years ago

you and I walking along a beach

close to the water

coming across a beached whale

One of us said

“The whales are such sad creatures.”

Today I think

of what may have been buried

ancestrally over generations

and may be only

finding its way to the surface

in both our lives now

There is so much I cannot express

I want to protect you

I don’t want you to be alone

but just maybe

you need this aloneness

or it is all you know

Memories of our older sister

and her pain echo here

It is a vast ocean

this pain we know

and have entered many times

These days I know

it is only a part of my soul.

I cannot live there permanently anymore

I will only visit for a time

from time to time.

Yet as long as I love you

I will keep reaching out

as I realise

just how difficult it is

to let you go.

Suddenly… an infinite wilderness

Infinite wilderness

Suddenly an infinite wilderness

opens up

beyond my earthly woes

concerns and heartbreaks

smaller concerns

of a broken self

are revealed as phantoms

that arose out of

a certain incompleteness

we are all still in formation

evolving

morphing

into new forms

new realisations

through this pain

that seems so personal

 but is not

a new way

will be born

caught up in my pain

I forget your pain

for a time

the infinite wilderness

reminds me of how deep it is

how far back it reaches

it is for me to find

love out of this awakening

of a deep deep sorrow

far too vast to name

 to set it free

dissolve it

in a sea of becoming

as I open my soul

to the heart’s wide ocean