Inner Stillness in Predawn Darkness

There is inner stillness in the predawn darkness as

The forest begins to stir around me.

 

They seem to notice my presence

“Someone is among us”, they mummer.

 

As I sit in silence and wait,

The Eastern sky begins to lighten and

 

The earth responds with movement,

Air movement, a stirring, ever so slight and gentle,

 

More sensed than felt.

I continue to sit in silence and wait.

 

At last I can feel them coming closer, one by one.

Not in outer distance but in inner peace.

 

As they circle me I can feel them saying “Welcome”.

They bring such wisdom in their silence.

Such kindness without motion or audible voice

 

But a voice nonetheless, a voice that is felt with the soul

Not heard with the ears.

 

A voice that is eons old, no, older than that:

A voice that has existed since the beginning of time.

 

Since the time before manifestation.

Their voices speak to me in the sweet darkness of the woods

 

Telling me a tale of love, acceptance and kindness.

A story of life, of the essences of loss and the pain of suffering,

 

Of the agony of misunderstanding and mind induced perceptions, and

Selfish longings and needs: all of my own making.

 

But there is sympathy and empathy in these voices too, they know the pain,

They have felt the suffering, tasted the tears and watched their own hearts melt with disappointment.

 

The agony of loss is no stranger to their collective heart, so they truly understand my

State of mind today and give me comfort and love in a way only they can.

 

They know how I miss he who passed through the veil, they know him and he them. They are one together and it is his presence they allow me to feel here in this mourning morning softness.

 

The trees are my saviors; they surround me with their gentle strength and hold me in their arms

In the hardest of times, they understand without judgment, they feel my heart beat with theirs

 

As they stand together – silent sentinels of everlasting light and hope in

Noble silence and truth.

 

I am renewed by their strength, honored by their kindness and

Forever grateful for their love.

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It Doesn’t Matter

Don’t tell me you can’t,

Can’t is a lie

Can’t is a choice

Tell me you won’t

At least that is honest. 

You can, I know you can.

You have before, or was

That a won’t, or maybe just a should.

Could always be a should and

Maybe even a won’t too but,

There is always that “but”.

Always that lie.

Always the “I can’t”.

But this time it doesn’t matter because,

I won’t. 

The Other Side

It is a hard, windy January night.

The dark is deepest this time of year with

The forest asleep, the sky swift, the stars icy and

The snow hard and crunchy under vacant feet.

For now, I am safe on this side of the frosted glass.

But later, when my eyes close, the cold will sneak in and hold me captive in its icy grip.

It will seep into my dreams and turn my tears to ice.

It will remind me of the coldness on the other side and of that empty space in my heart.

The one that used to be filled by you.

The Soulscape of My Heart

Outcroppings of rock and

Lichen covered pinnacles of grandeur are

God’s favorite places.

Here he lets us see,

Lets us in on the secret of what makes him happy.

His eyes sculpted the mountains with a glance,

His hands scooped the valleys with ease giving light and dark a place to play.

His breath still powers the winds that sail and howl over the cliffs

And stir the hearts of human kind.

The mountains are God’s sacred place and

A place where I go to feel His power,

To be closer to heaven

To touch and feel His love.

He exists forever in the hard landscape of rock and

In the soft soulscape of my heart.

Early Morning Silence

This piece is a reflection of my time spent at many silent meditation retreats at the Aryaloka Buddhist Center in New Market, New Hampshire.

 

As I await the morning meditation bell,

A flood of emotion and excitement fills my heart and soul.

The potential for connection is just ahead,

In each moment the possibility for fulfillment.

Hours feel like minutes in the predawn darkness and

Dark widows look down on me like all knowing eyes.

Buddha’s face, illuminated by candle flame,

Comes to life, filling the room with his essence.

At 5:30, a procession of sleepy souls makes its way

Up the creaky shrine room stairs as each takes their place on rows of blue cushions.

There are yawns from the now familiar faces and heads of tussled hair

As we each fade slowly into ourselves and become one in silence.

The next few hours are punctuated only by a creaking floor and the shuffles of re- positioning bodies.

We all appear to be different people on the outside but inside

Our humanness enables us to share a singular mindset and a connected purpose.

And when the days of sitting in silence come to an end, we will each move back into Our individual lives richer for the people we have met and

The fullness of the silence we have shared.

 

The One that Became the Last

 

The sky is happy to hold you,

While the earth and I still mourn your leaving.

They say that time heals but all these years have not healed my heart and

The emptiness of your absence remains strong within me and here in this place,

 

Although this field where I stand remains the eternal now

As it was when you and I walked here together.

The scent of its grass brings my heart and memory back to you every time and

Makes me wonder if the flowers blooming here remember our footsteps and loving among them?

I visit here often and breathe in the scent of this place and remember what it held for us, just you and me, and then I hide behind that memory’s peace where my heart is soothed, but only for just a while.

And at sunset, sadness returns again to dampen the grass and hold still my heartbeat in that remembrance.

Yet despite the passage of time and depth of my sorrow, this place appears to be unchanged

From when we walked its paths together, hand in hand as if we had all the time in the world.

But when I look deeper, I know it is unchanged on the surface only and, like me,

Still holds its breath and waits, and sighs and wonders why…

Why does the sky get to hold you so close while it and my heart long for your footsteps,

The sound of your voice, the scent of your skin, and the light of your smile?

The answer never comes and as

The sun sets and the horizon grows dark

And takes you away from me, again,

 I wonder…

Do you remember the first time?

The one that became the last?

Sunrise Lover (this is a favorite from a few years ago. Reading this always brings me back, back to that lovely place in the past)

My Sunrise lover sleeps in

Soft, warm darkness.

As sunlight filters in at dawn and

The room brightens, his form slowly comes into being,

Emerging from the rumpled pile of bedclothes.

He is smooth, warm, dark and lovely.

I lie next to him, my face resting against his.

In the early morning’s half-light I can just make out

His eyelashes, resting on his smooth cheeks.

His noble nose is outlined by the

Light spilling in through the window.

His lips are beautiful and full,

Soft and sweet.

And as the room continues to lighten,

His breathing quickens and his body stretches.

I move away from him just a bit

To take in his whole being.

He is strong, lean and beautiful,

All I could ever want or need.

He must feel my presence and

His eyes flutter open.

His smile, at seeing my face so close to his,

Is so beautiful and welcoming,

As if to say he missed me while he slept.

She is Not a Quitter

 

My little heart keeps asking me “why?”

I hear her tiny voice in the quiet early morning hours,

but I have no answer for her.

She has stayed up all night again.

Thinking about the past, feeling the pain and sorrow of the now.

She has fallen into a deep dark pit,

Her little voice echos off the steep, cold sides.

I keep reaching out to her but her tiny hands

Have not the strength to hold on.

So she sinks back to the bottom and

Remains in sorrow and darkness.

It is so painful to witness this.

She used to be such a happy little thing,

Always positive, always trusting.

Albeit, sometimes a bit too naive for her own good,

But it was a naiveté not based on stupidity or ignorance but

One based on a choice to trust and believe in spite of the red flags not to.

I am afraid for her, she is tired and there are

Beasts down there with her in the darkness.

They are evil, heartless beasts who lie to her,

Who tell her she is not good enough, that she is unlovable and a fool.

They sneak in while she sleeps and

Whisper doubts in her ear.

I keep trying to tell her to be strong and not listen to their lies,

But I don’t think she can hear me yet.

So, I wait on the edge of the pit

With an open mind and open hand to catch her the next time she climbs to within my reach.

I don’t mind waiting.

I know she will try again soon in spite of her pain and sorrow.

I have faith in her – she is not a quitter.

The Love and Stillness of Forever

Our destiny is love.

In its form of being and nonbeing,

It flows from the source,

From the beginnings of timelessness.

It comes from a place of no time or deception as time is limiting and

Deception is the extinguisher of love.

Loves lies around the edges of our worldly existence,

Waiting for its chance, for an opening to flow in.

It is patient and forgiving but is not to

Be taken for a fool.

Love cries with agony watching our abuse of and unkindness towards each other

But it will never walk away or give up on us.

It sees and is the stillness in me and

Recognizes itself in you and all beings and nonbeings.

There is a lack of labeling in love, no separateness of one from the other.

It does not merely exist in some abstract form as it has no form and is alive in the stillness of all things.

Love seeps into existence in wispy vapors and

Frames the portal to eternity.

Isness and non-duality are the very essence of love, the connection of being and nonbeing,

The beginning and the end, the beginingless and endless formlessness of all form.

Love is the essential formlessness of me and you and

The non-separate nature of us all.

So forget my name but remember when you and I were the formless within each other.

And when you feel that deep stillness and

Have found your remembered place in me,

Come and hold me and we will share together

The love and stillness of forever.

 

Star Soul

Star shine drips from the night sky and runs along the naked winter tree branches like syrup

Leaving iridescent trails of silver to wrap around the rough barked trunks.

The sliver shine lights my way

As it spills star souls on the forest floor and

While I follow the star trails, eons pass in an instant and eternity sleeps

In the soft warm glow of acceptance and starlight.

The cold surrounds my soul and heart in these winter depths but the

Dense air adds clarity to my vision as I walk the trails of stars.

They take me to a different place, a place at once new and ancient,

A place to observe all in silence while cloaked in the winter wood.

I see mosses hold their breath in the glow of the star-flow and hear them whispering their secrets to a silent waiting cosmos while holding tightly to the trunks of the trees.

Late geese fly across the moon, their cries urgent in the night sky

Confused by the uncommon shimmering silver ground below.

I am not alone in this realm of silver winter as

The forest is full of the souls and spirits of summer’s love.

I feel them all around me, darting in and out of tree shadows,

Stopping to watch me from behind drifts of truth and light.

The discarded autumn leaves warm the soil beneath the drifts

And life waits in patient stillness.

My mind becomes as still as the waiting life as I travel the empty space between the stars reflected in the snow’s white depth.

There is no urgency in me or in this place

Only the beauty and silence of peace and star light.

The winter forest is a secret,

A complete world in and of itself hiding in plain sight.

Its silence a decoy to protect its love lying safe and secure underground.

Go to the forest; breathe in the silent dripping starshine,

Follow the starlight as it traces the outline your soul.

Blend with the magic of the forest as

It is only there under the canopy of eternity that you can become as silent and still

As the dense crisp air surrounding you and once again, as in the beginning,

Go home to that place within that holds you in the soft silver glow of now and

Within that silent place returns you to wholeness.

The soul of the winter forest knows and understands you.

She is waiting for your return.