My Valentine

My Valentine

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

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

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

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

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
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
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
Hunting, not finding
Not satisfied, nor fed
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

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

When will I release
Let go

What arms are waiting for me?

The Way

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

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

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

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

You stand
Head hung
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
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

12 – And She Is

And She Is
Nine today
It’s her Birthday
And she’s got something to say
So you better listen
She’ll tell you why
‘Cuz she is!

And she is
The bow and the ribbon
The cake and the ice cream
The cutter and the cut up
Laughter laughing itself
The present we all want to open
Yes she is!

And she is
The jumping joy
The latest thing
You never heard of
Just yet
Coming at ya’
And coming fast
She is!

And she is
The trampoline
Of emotions
High as the sky
Watch her fly!
Gosh you’d hate to miss her
Quick catch her
If she falls
You never know
They say she is!

And she is
The belle of the ball
The disco queen
A dancing machine
Just check the boots

That Manon!
She sure is!

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
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
All those in it we know
And those we don’t
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
All islands
Ice and snow
Rain, mud
Heat, cold
Storm and calm
Each one Arising
Each one Passing Away

And trains
All cars
And Planes
Buildings and
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


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