poem: for the Ukrainian women in the black parka and scarf (I am signaling you through the flames)

poem: for the Ukrainian women
in the black parka and scarf
(I am signaling you through
the flames) 

her blue eyes squint
from the sting of the smoke
flaxen hair covered with
a large white bandage
her high cheekbones
smeared with blood
lips searching for words
which do not come
hands extended, palms up,
crying out for justice

her weary visage
hangs in the ether
of eons haunting us
for the hundreds of million
war casualties from stones,
arrows, bullets, bombs,
humans cruelty and incarnate evil
fueled by human desires for
power and control always
resulting in violence 

may her suffering
ignite in us
the awareness that
the line of peace and violence
runs through every human heart
asking our self: what is the mirror
of life holding up to us, what are
we creating and how is it creating us,
and what is it we intend to create
here upon this earth home 

thus may the compassionate heart
of the enlightened mind overcome
the sovereignty of death culture,
such that in her suffering we lament,
embodying the life force and peace
in every breath, manifesting
peace is every step, our lips
perpetually chanting peace,
shalom, shanti, salaam, and our poetry
defeating the conqueror with word 

in our third eye the bloodied woman
with her haunting blue eyes and flaxen
hair and high cheekbones transforms us all 

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 26, 2022

photo Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Images

Author’s note: It is with great respect I
credit quotes from my poem from other
master writers and master teachers.
The subtitle of my poem is a line from
the poem ‘Poetry as An Insurgent Art’
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Stanza three,
lines six through eight are by the writer
Mark Nepo and line nine and ten are by
the writer Gary Zukov. In stanza four
‘the compassionate heart of the enlightened
mind’ is a Buddhist teaching taught by many
including Sogyal Rinpoche, and ‘peace is
every step’ is a book title and teaching from
Thich Nhat Hanh. All of these writers and teachers
are masters of their art and should be read and
studied for their wisdom especially in the area of
peace and life viz-a-viz violence and death.

May be an image of 1 person and standing

poem: the Zen-like simplicity of spiritual practice

poem: the Zen-like simplicity
of spiritual practice


washing laundry
chopping wood
carrying water

imminent and transcendent
feet on earth, head in heaven
as above so below

within the mundane busyness
facing the forge of transformation
from emptiness to eternal presence

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 24, 2022

photos by author:
‘my laundry runneth over’

https://herbstonejr.com/poem-the-zen-like-simplicity-of-spiritual-practice/25/Test https://herbstonejr.com/haiku-old-man-dreams/21/Test

poem: where is everyone?

poem: where is everyone?

the ninth of ten siblings,
high school cheerleader,
dancer in the band,
friend to all she knew,
aunt, wife, mother, grandmother

her dreams and memories
are filled with people
which she often
vividly remembers today
feeling their close presence

she will often ask:
where are the young ‘uns,
is everybody upstairs,
didn’t so and so spent the night,
isn’t there thirty in our group

beloved, just us two
old folks living alone;
others out on their own,
some living alone, others passing on,
where is everyone indeed

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 18, 2022

photos: 1) the cheerleader
2) one of ten siblings front
row center (only nine are pictured)
3) Grandmomma

Author’s note: The elderly in our
society face multiple challenges
when it comes to remaining socially
engaged as we age. Perhaps first is
that our culture idolizes its’ youth and
encourages maintaining one’s youthful
attitude as long as possible into old age.
This negates the value elders may bring
to our culture such as seeing the world with
spiritual maturity and offering their wisdom
from long experience. Additionally, for many
as they age, there are factors leading to
increasing loneliness and social isolation.
Some of those factors include cognitive
conditions such as dementia and Alzheimers,
other worsening health conditions of
aging, living arrangements, and lack of
transportation, among other factors. We must
do better at forming inclusive, intergenerational
societies that value and bring dignity
to all regardless of age.


poem: remembering why I write (when words are slow to come)

poem: remembering why I write
(when words are slow to come)

on this journey
through the Cosmos
and beyond into
the Great Mystery

Life is beautiful
and holy whole
filled with stories
worthy of remembering

making sense
knowing meaning
finding purpose
fitting it all together

yes, writing down the bones
of this world, Self,
relationships, and community;
of our one wild and precious life

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 14, 2022

art: uncredited cover art to the book
The Crack in the Cosmic Egg by
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Author’s note: Quotes in my poem:
‘Writing Down the Bones’ is a book
by Natalie Goldberg, and ‘one wild and
precious life’ is from Mary Oliver’s
iconic poem ‘The Summer Day.’

Finding myself at an interstice in the
journey, words slow to come,
remembering why I write, and what
Annie Dillard wrote about “The gaps
are the spirit’s one home….Go up into
the gaps.” And so I go, writing it down.


poem: soliloquy on aging

poem: soliloquy on aging

lately finding myself
taking some time off, slowing down,
being quieter, more still,
disengaging from daily routines,
in need of a hae’lan

it has been a long, harsh winter,
worldly challenges of apocalyptic malaise,
the ever present change of
aging, illness, loss, relationships,
community, belonging

not a single thing but a whole thing
needing time to face, and including
my shadow, imperfections, dis-ease,
slowing it down, fitting it all together
forming a new gestalt of Life (and death)

beloveds, yearning for restoration and
re-engagement, from this exilic journey,
to a new complementary perfection,
of authentic wholeness and holiness,
belonging together in radical grace and love

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 10, 2022

photo: writing at my desk

https://herbstonejr.com/poem-soliloquy-on-aging/12/Test https://herbstonejr.com/quote-undefeated-laughters-healing-and-salvation/08/Test

Reflection: On Being a Mystic in the Third Millennium

Reflection: On Being a Mystic in the Third Millennium

“Why, when God’s world is so big, did you fall asleep in a prison of all places?”-Rumi

Dorothy Soelle uses Rumi’s quote above as the introductory quote in her 2001 book ‘The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance.’ She goes on to write that two of those prisons for her were the German protestant church and the academic theology of the post-Enlightenment.

She elucidates this as follows: “….I can simply say that what I want to live, understand, and make known is the love for God.” She says that God’s love for us and our love for God must be mutual, and that mysticism best expresses this mutuality between God and humans and advances the Beloved community of radical grace and radical love.

Beloveds, let us here and now love one another in, with, and through the Universal God of All!

Note: Ms. Soelle lived in Cologne, Germany, born 1929, died 2003.

Art ‘Rosa Mystica’ by Shiloh Sophia McCloud

tanka: glory of heavenly and earthly bodies

tanka: glory of heavenly
and earthly bodiesheavenly bodies
and earthly bodies in glory
glory of the sun
and another of the moon
and each star their own glory

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 2, 2022

Author’s note: The photo is
my own and was taken as the
sun was rising on the eastern
horizon at 6:09 AM on Sunday,
January 30, 2022 at Nashville,
Tennessee. Also visible is
the planet Venus and the waning
crescent moon. My tanka poem
is inspired by 1 Corinthians 15
in which Paul the apostle explains
to the early church in Corinthia the
resurrection of the body of Christ
from the dead. He speaks of the
different types of bodies, each in
their own glory, including earthly
and heavenly bodies and physical
and spiritual bodies.


Reflection: On Being Present and in Conversation with Others

Reflection: On Being Present and in Conversation with Others

My (an old man approaching his 74th. birthday) most
fond wish and deepest passion is the Communion of Souls
brought to bear through our right action of mindfulness, intention,
purpose, discipline, and practice. And grounded in True Self,
Authenticity, Mutuality, and
Belonging together in Communities.
Dear Beloveds, may we awaken, personally do the
work, and collectively join together in the unitive experience of
the Divine Ground, Radical
Grace, and Radical Love.
– Herb Stone, poet and author @

Let us consider this plea in its perennial expression of our sisters and brothers:

“For a lack of attention, a thousand forms of loveliness evade us everyday.”
– Evelyn Underhill, Mystics

“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible.
To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple,
obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.”
– Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

“The divine Ground of all existence is a spiritual Absolute,
ineffable in terms of discursive thought, but (in certain circumstances)
susceptible of being directly experienced and realized by the human being.
This Absolute is the God-without-form of Hindu and Christian mystical
phraseology. The last end of man, the ultimate reason for human existence, is unitive knowledge of the divine Ground—the knowledge that can come only to those who areprepared to “Die to self” and so make room, as it were, for God.”
― Aldous Huxley, The
Perennial Philosophy

“We expect a theophany of which we know nothing but the place, and the place is called
community.” -Martin Buber, Between Man
and Man