In the dark of the year
my soul goes into hiding
and I want to sleep
until the light returns.
And yet I must keep going.
There are children to feed
and students to teach
and this body to bathe and clothe
and lungs that need to breathe.
My mind seeks comfort,
the safety of one who understands.
There is no one here besides me,
and the loneliness engulfs
like the encroaching darkness.
And then, faith.
And then, hope.
And then, the memory
that I’ve made it through this before.
Today’s prompt asks us to write a poem that engages all five senses. Hmmm. Alrighty then.
I reach out for you in the middle of the night still.
You were there for years, but now you are not.
The sound of your snoring,
even your breath in the morning,
how much more would I have savored those
if I knew what was coming?
I remember your hairy belly.
Isn’t it silly,
these things that stay in my mind?
I remember running my hand
on your tummy, loving the feel of you,
your warmth; I suppose it’s unkind
to do this to myself, to remember like this.
But do I have a choice?
I can feel the sadness now in the back of my throat,
the tears that want to come.
I can taste those uncried tears,
their bitterness, my fragility.
Now you are with her,
and I include you both in my forgiveness practice.
So many have told me to let go,
to focus on me,
to be my own best friend.
But what to do when nothing feelings like home anymore,
when I am a stranger to myself,
when the most familiar things are the memories
growing fainter with each tear that falls?
I discover that
when I breathe more
I enjoy life more.
my body feels good,
I have energy.
I’ve been working on
establishing a deep, slow,
for years now and
I know that it feels good
when I breathe consciously.
So the work becomes
remembering to breathe
during the day.
Thank you, oh mind,
for giving me the gift
of conscious breathing
in this moment.
Thank you for waking up from the trance
long enough to remember
to breathe just this once.
In the early morning
just before dawn
I had a lucid dream.
My body still asleep,
my mind became alert
that the reality I was experiencing
was, in fact, a dream.
I was facing a dark parking lot
standing on a narrow path
with the woods behind me,
and it struck me how creepy it was
to be there, just standing there
in the dark night alone.
And then I dropped something
(was it my keys??)
and I began searching in the plants
beside the path for whatever it was
I thought I had lost.
Suddenly, I realized,
I’m dreaming! There is no reason
for me to be here in a dark parking lot
at night by myself.
And then came the feeling of excitement
and the exhilaration that rises up
whenever I realize I’m awake
within my dream,
because now I’m capable of anything,
I can go anywhere,
I can have anything,
I can see everything,
the only limit is my imagination.
At such times
I usually choose to fly
just to verify
that I am in fact dreaming.
So I felt my body rising up
toward the sky.
And I had this felt sense
that I had tried so many times
to be in control of this sort of experience,
wanting to master the art of flying,
to be strong and capable,
taking myself wherever I wanted,
Now I wanted to surrender.
I wanted to surrender to God.
And so I let myself be buoyed up,
up, up, up,
until I was high in the sky
close to the stars,
and it was this feeling of being held
of floating in this vast ocean of stars
and it felt so good and so right
to just let myself be held.
I awoke then,
but the feeling has stayed with me,
and this image of being held
by a gentle, unseen, immense force—
floating in an ocean of stars.
On the busy highway today,
so many cars swerving here and there
in an intricate, dangerous dance,
everyone in a hurry,
and I had this thought:
We are all kings and queens
sitting on gorgeous golden thrones
with all of the power of the universe
right at our fingertips
But in our mind’s projection
we forget our majesty.
Although we have all the wealth
of the universe right there in our reach,
we believe our terrible visions
of poverty and lack.
Perceiving ourselves to be
living in misery,
we are blind to the truth of ourselves,
kings and queens that we are.
This forgetting is the greatest tragedy.
And remembering our divinity is the greatest triumph.