My Valentine

My Valentine

You touch me
Your fingers closing
And opening
Lightly
Over the holes
The openings
And orifices
Of my body

You place
Your mouth
Over mine
And blow
Softly
The breath of life
Fills me
Inflates me
Brings me alive

You play me
I am
Your flute
Wooden
In my flesh
The notes you find
Float
Delicately
Achingly
Dancing on unseen currents
Like the smoke and smell
Of incense from India
Lingering
Before being carried off
Into your silence

Your sitarIMG_0515
It’s metallic notes
Cut me
Like King Solomon’s
Sword of truth
Revealing
Who rightly owns
This child of mine
Borne all these years
Alone

The buzz
Of it’s electric wires
Carves me
A butcher’s band saw
Ripping me
From one end
To the other
You lay me open
Down the middle
The flesh
The bones

Reaching in
As hunter, as killer
Victor
Owner of me
Your hand touches
Then pulls out
My heart
You hold it high
Turning it
For me to see
To know
To feel once again
While you squeeze

Played together
This flute
That sitar
I become, willingly
The sacrificial lamb
On your altar
Of rite
And reverence
Hung now
Upside down
To bleed out
This blood spilled
In anger
Hate
Revenge
Blood I have tasted
As the wolf
Living in sheep’s clothing

You hang me
By my heels
With one hand
In the other
You hold my heart
You marry me
To myself
What was once taken
Now given back

At last
You spank me
Like a baby
To come to life
To breathe the air
That others breathe
To welcome me
To this other world

JL Grady

Lie Down in Leaves

Lie down here
In my lap
Go slack against
My strong back
Lift up these leaves
Pull them over you
As your blanket

Look and let this sun
Touch and smooth over
Your cheek and brow
Warm hands hold and frame your face
The day holds you in its one eyed gaze
While my limbs cast cooler shadows on this place

Each tree comes in threes like thee
As we stand in morning sun with you
This tree itself
The shadow it lays before you, then moves all day
And its shape cast in frost while still night
An icy outline laid out on the ground
For the sun to melt
Weeping away at the edges
While slowly exposed to light

Touch too these layered stones
Grey and granite iced
White marble is the other slice
Both dark and light are life
Equal here, each to hold you, both can mark your path
Lie down here
In my lap
Pull them over you
As your blanket
It’s time, this place
To rest in peace

Water I Have Not Learned to Drink

Divine Light
Is always radiating
Thru human form

What the World gives me
Is what God gives me

If only I will be with it
Sit with it
Breathe with it
Not run from it

Constantly moving
Swimming
Searching
Hunting, not finding
Not satisfied, nor fed
Drowning
Thirsting
Surrounded by water
I have not learned to drink

I drift
To the bottom
Of this sea

Perhaps at the bottom
I will lie
In warm sand
Or stand under oceans
As light as soft rains

When will I release
Let go
Fall

My way, my way, my way, my way…
Help me!
I can not stop
Driving
Endless changes in direction and motion

When will I release
Let go
Fall

What arms are waiting for me?

The Way

The way is barred
The gate is closed
The fields and fruits
Forbidden

You lift
The lock
Oversized
Heavy in your hands
Whose fingers could turn and twist this?

The chains
Thick
Crossed over
Back and forth then back again
Enough to hold a ship
Whose arms could lift them?

The door
Monstrous
Shut tight
On hinges
Not meant to swing open
Whose shoulder could pry or bend it?

You stand
Alone
Head hung
Solemn
This test beyond you
No cracks, no holes
To see what’s beyond you

Is the promise withheld?
The journey ended?
Why, when you have heard
The singing
In your dreams
Every now and then

Beyond gates and chains
Lie you dreams
Beyond gates and chains
New seeds of life float
On warm currents of words
Of Love
Whispered
You need only reach out to touch
To hold and in your hand
The seed will grow

Beyond gates and chains
Lie your dreams
Beyond gates and chains
New streams of life
Wander down hill sides
As if going in and out of pews
Bending your knee to sip
It is a thirst you have not know before
The taste is your life
You need only kneel
And drink deeply
For the water in you to flow

11 – Arising, Passing Away

All things
That have the ability to Arise
Have also in them
The capacity
For Passing Away

This day
This sun
The fog
Mist
Dew on the grass
Blue air
This Season of Summer
And the next one of Fall
This evenings full moon
All Arising
All Passing Away

These late Blackberries
Tomatoes still in the field
The green houses
Barn shed
Drives and paths
Birds of the sky
Chickens in the hen house
All Arising
All Passing Away

This farm
It’s farmers
This town
And community
The villages
Homes
Businesses
All those in it we know
And those we don’t
Arising
And Passing Away

All nations
And countries
Politics and parties
Perspectives and beliefs
Views, notions and opinions
The doers of good
And the doers of evil
All Arising
All Passing Away

These sands
This beaches
The waves
One Tsunami
Coastal villages
Hurricanes
All islands
Ice and snow
Rain, mud
Heat, cold
Storm and calm
Each one Arising
Each one Passing Away

Reactors
And trains
All cars
And Planes
Buildings and
Armies
Their Hate
Your Love
This Peace
That War
Their Youth, Our Age
All Wisdom and Ignorance
Wealth, Poverty
Happiness, Sadness
Sickness, Health
All Arising
All Passing Away

All these things have the capacity
This step
This breath
This moment
This Touch, Sound, Smell
This Vision
All these
The capacity
For Arising
And for Passing Away

Today

9 – Long to Be

I Long to Be
Lost as a tree
Lost as a tree in the forest

Lost to myself
Shrouded by leaves
Held in the shadows of evening

Letting go of my hold
Hold on this heart
Hold on this heart made of stone

I long to be
Tall as these trees
Tall as the trees in the forest

At home with myself
Covered in leaves
Leaves as bright as the sunset

Learning to hold
Hold other hearts
Hold them safe in this forest

8 – Tears of Sparrows

Tears of Sparrows

Rain dances in morning’s light
Drops as small as the tears of sparrows
Rain drops
Small as your own tears
Squeeze out at the corner of your eye
As you squint to see
Not knowing which vision of life
You wish to believe

One tear like a raindrop rolls
Down your arid cheek
You wandered this life in a desert
Dry winds only to mark your face
Trace your journey
This moment you consider
Letting the tears fall like rain
On the chance
That life will blossom on your cheek
Planted, the long awaited kiss

These tears if you let them
Scratch rivulets on parched ground
Eroding old soils
Making its own lines
On the landscape of your face
Combining both paths of sadness, release
Water seeks water
Raindrops seek teardrops
Together, they fall to the ground
Earth gives one grain
One grain to a tear
To tears that will turn to the rivers
Rivers to move mountains
On their way to the shore
Where the sea swallows mountains
Would you let teardrop fall
If you believed you could move mountains?
Believed you could use them to join with the sea?
Would you notice the rain then, if you were the sea
Could you spread yourself out as wide as the sea
Could you feel the soft drops, the tears of the sparrows
Receiving them all as they joined with the sea?

7 – The Boy On The Dock

EM_Jacket_Front2DETAIL

Note:  This poem is dedicated to all children and the children within the rest of us.
Today, September 7, is  “End Malaria Day”… a day dedicated to eradication of Malaria, a deadly mosquito borne disease that kills one child on the planet every 45 seconds.
– It will take you less than 45 seconds to read this poem – Boy On The Dock
– It will take you less than a minute to read Seth’s Blog today… click link, please read!
– It will take you less than a minute to order the FAB! book (assuming you have your Amazon account set up) he refers to (Total proceeds to save two lives)
– It will take you less than a minute to pass along his blog, or the video or the message or this poem and inspire two more lives to take action.

The Boy On The Dock

The boy on the dock
Only knows Summer
While I well acquainted
Each ending of Summer

Knows only the mysteries
Miracles of this place
While I have given over
To answers and predictions

Knows only bedtime and stories
Bring an end to the day
While I rub up against
End of days, lean on old stories to tell

The water speaks to him
I can not hear
In a language all his own
One I have forgotten

My pen goes silent on paper
Hand poised, motionless
Voice inside inaudible
Silence overtaken by shouting
From the boy on the dock

6 – Driving in Rain

Surprised it was tricky
Being left with some part
Of something that was no thing
A picture of once was
Like driving in rain

We were dividing
Receiving fair shares
Didn’t see, didn’t hear
Cloaks torn to pieces
Skin from the game

Now feeling the shreds
These separated things
Have sharp fibers, rough edges
No handles to hold
Weight of the past

Why are they sticky
And cling to the walls
Have learned how to follow
Never get lost
Fingerprints cover the place

I was hoping for slippery
Simplicity with flow
Ease of coming and easy to go
Hasn’t turned out that way
Marked black and some blue from holding so tight

Foolish in wanting, in wanting
Misunderstandings of life
The now is for nothing
Accept letting go
Desire for the simple
Like driving in rain

5 – Ruth’s Bell

Note: This poem is dedicated to Ruth Denison.  I invite you to learn more about her thru these links.  She has been traveling from her center, Dhamma Dena, in the high desert of California to Insight Meditation Society in central Mass for 40 years to teach a retreat that begins on Labor Day.  This is and has been the last year…

RUTH’S BELL

This Bell, Ruth’s Bell, is ringing
For you and I
To come
To the meditation hall
Now

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

The bell ringer touches
The brass bell
With the gong
In awareness
Or not…

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

You and I
Must now walk worn stone paths
One foot in front of the other
Repeating it
Until we arrive

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

One last time at 89
She speaks to us
Forty years she has come here
Offering only awareness
And you?

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

The Lioness now in Winter
Strong in all Seasons
She is unaverse
To the coming
Cold darkness

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

A fierce protector
Of the Dharma
She roars with conviction
Comes fanged with insight
Wears a mane of time tested truths

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go

A nurturing mother
To young lion cubs
Now come to her side
For tender instruction
This one last time

Mindfully
Or mindlessly
It is time
For us to go
For all things to go