Sunday, September 24, 2017

With Mercy for the Greedy by Anne Sexton

With Mercy For The Greedy by Anne Sexton
for my friend Ruth, who urges me to make an appointment for the Sacrament of Confession

Concerning your letter in which you ask
me to call a priest and in which you ask
me to wear The Cross that you enclose;
your own cross,
your dog-bitten cross,
no larger than a thumb,
small and wooden, no thorns, this rose --

I pray to its shadow,
that gray place
where it lies on your letter ... deep, deep.
I detest my sins and I try to believe
in The Cross. I touch its tender hips, its dark jawed face,
its solid neck, its brown sleep.

True. There is
a beautiful Jesus.
He is frozen to his bones like a chunk of beef.
How desperately he wanted to pull his arms in!
How desperately I touch his vertical and horizontal axes!
But I can't. Need is not quite belief.

All morning long
I have worn
your cross, hung with package string around my throat.
It tapped me lightly as a child's heart might,
tapping secondhand, softly waiting to be born.
Ruth, I cherish the letter you wrote.

My friend, my friend, I was born
doing reference work in sin, and born
confessing it. This is what poems are:
with mercy
for the greedy,
they are the tongue's wrangle,
the world's pottage, the rat's star.
I am reading about nonduality.  (How could Jesus dying brutally, violently, cruelly by crucifixion have such an impact on bringing love, mercy and forgiveness into the world?  A paradox, no?)  How have I not ever studied duality/nonduality before?  I came across the subject in an amazing, 138 page book that Little Flower gave me, "you are here" by Thich Nhat Hahn.  She bookmarked the chapter, "Healing Our Wounds and Pain".  Indeed. It continually surprises & astounds me, page after page.  Some books we are meant to read exactly when we are supposed to read them.  This is one for me.  xo

Friday, September 22, 2017

I Do Not Write Poetry by Carol Carpenter

Datura Moonflower's birth...

I Do Not Write Poetry
By Carol Carpenter
it writes me
into the blue-black center
of my birth back then
when I slid head first
into sterile white with no words
for my life pushed into that mid-afternoon
glare of Detroit time clocked in and out
at the Ford Body and Assembly Plant
and ticked off by the White Castle
belly-buster burgers slammed one after the other
onto the greasy grill and patted flat by the slender cook
who knew her blank-verse days ended Sundays
in the Temple Baptist church on Woodward,
the main drag for the ‘43 Ford V8 DeLuxe coupes
revving up and running lights too red
after the world war I read about in poems
without rhyme
and later, words
slapped me flat as a White Castle
when poetry sizzled blue in my mouth
dribbled onto pages of my life
and wrote me into a simile
as if I could puzzle out
my birth and death rites
and scrawl poems in between.


Happy first day of Autumn!  You'd never know it here in the sweltering, humid swamp, but I have spotted a few red leaves fallen from the trash trees.  The hummingbirds are fewer as are the dragonflies, but butterflies are everywhere, covering my Zinnias and Gerbera Daisies.

May Autumn bring us all peace of mind and an absence of pain...


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

When Someone Deeply Listens to You by John Fox

Summer, you started out!

When Someone Deeply Listens To You
by John Fox

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you've had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.

When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind's eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered.

When someone deeply listens to you
your barefeet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.


When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~Henri Nouwen


This poem is for my new friend, Little Flower, who has one of the purest, kindest, most compassionate souls of anyone I've ever met.  In my time of deepest need, she was not only present with me, but also spoke beautiful, healing words to me and listens to me weekly, never judging me.  She is a survivor, a wounded healer and an angel.  

Do someone/anyone a favor this week and deeply listen to them.  It's life-changing to have someone listen to you with empathy and compassion, not interrupting or judging.  

Blessings and Peace, 

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Wine of My Own Poetry, Lala, 14th Century Persian Poet

My prayer flags on a foggy morning...

I didn't trust it for a moment
but I drank it anyway,
the wine of my own poetry.

It gave me the daring to take hold
of the darkness and tear it down
and cut it into little pieces.

-- Lala, 14th century Persian poet


Indeed!  I've spent the morning reading, editing and writing poetry.  It's been years since I've had the total freedom to do this without anxiety or fear...  

It is intoxicating. I'm slowly, slowly tearing away the darkness that has been my life---.  

I was crying one day and my old cat, Sophie, jumped up on me and began licking away the tears on my face.  What love & compassion from a cat.  The world is an amazing place...


Sophie & a friend, 10 years ago. :-)  She's 21 years young now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Moths by Eavan Boland

Pink Sphinx Moth, 2007.  My once in a lifetime shot.

By Eavan Boland

Tonight the air smells of cut grass.
Apples rust on the branches.  Already summer is
a place mislaid between expectation and memory.

This has been a summer for moths.
Their moment of truth comes well after dark.
Then they reveal themselves at our window-
ledges and sills as a pinpoint.  A glimmer.

The books I look up about them are full of legends:
ghost-swift moths with their dancing assemblies at dusk.
Their courtship swarms.  How some kinds may steer by the moon.

The moon is up.  The back windows are wide open.
Mid-July fills the neighborhood.  I stand by the hedge.

Once again they are near the windowsill---
fluttering past the fuscia and the lavender,
which is knee-high, and too blue to warn them

they will fall down without knowing how
or why what they steered by became, suddenly,
what they crackled and burned around.  They will perish---

I am perishing---on the edge and at the threshold of
the moment all nature fears and tends towards:

the stealing of the light.  Ingenious facsimile.

And the kitchen bulb which beckons them makes
my child’s shadow longer than my own.

From:  “New Collected Poems” by Eavan Boland, pages 220, 221


My life is discombobulated and not by a hurricane, but by divorce & domestic violence.  My heart goes out to the people in Texas and Florida who have experienced Mother Nature's wild forces.  I pray for you all to come through this as better people, realizing that life is not about stuff, but about, well, life.  It's what I pray for myself, also.  xo, Marion

Monday, September 4, 2017

Solar Eclipse by Marion

Me, chasing the moon...

Solar Eclipse
By Marion Lawless

Ever so slowly,
the hot,
electric blue August
sky faded…

bloomed, BLOOMED(!)
on a cloudless day!

The heat plummeted, 
as if a
storm cloud was
devouring the sun.

No! It was the naked new moon 
gliding leisurely
past the brilliant star
that lights our days

marrying the moon, 

mysterious rock that rules
the night/the tides &
every woman’s 
body & heart.

Oh, the molten heat
the moonlady must have
felt as she melded with 
that quivering, shining, 
shimmering, searing
hottest of stars…

if only for 
two minutes
and a glorious 
43 seconds…

of ecstatic, euphoric


Monday, August 28, 2017

On Joy and Sorrow by Khalil Gibran

On Joy and Sorrow

Kahlil Gibran, from "The Prophet"

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

all that by Charles Bukowski

all that

the only things I remember about
New York City
in the summer
are the fire escapes
and how the people go
out on the fire escapes
in the evening
when the sun is setting
on the other side
of the buildings
and some stretch out
and sleep there
while others sit quietly
where it’s cool.
and on many
of the window sills
sit pots of geraniums or
planters filled with red
and the half-dressed people
rest there
on the fire escapes
and there are
red geraniums
this is really
something to see rather
than to talk about.
it’s like a great colorful
and surprising painting
not hanging anywhere
“all that” by Charles Bukowski from Open All Night

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Broken-hearted Haiku

All my plants have died
except for the Bleeding Heart---
Mocking me, it thrives.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Life Slips By...

And The Days Are Not Full Enough by Ezra Pound

And the days are not full enough

And the nights are not full enough

And life slips by like a field mouse

Not shaking the grass