poem: the poet in times of war’s calamitous uncertainty

poem: the poet in times of

war’s calamitous uncertainty

witnessing, entering the chaotic fray
with nothing but words of reality on the
ground and perennial truth of the ages

resisting the post-truth totalizing
systems of fascist lies and violence
of the powerful and controlling

oh, Liberty, perennially calling all
to live free of oppressive
tyrannical authoritarianism

bodily, directly, non-violently,
affronting the oppressor’s
indignities and injustices

with no assurance of personal safety,
soul bared, wounded healer,
lamenting, revisioning, transforming

more imaginative, true, authentic, holistic, just,
life-giving alternative counter dominant
cultural ways of being together in diversity

veritas vos liberabit

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 24, 2022

Images: 1) ‘Ukrainian teacher bombed out of her apartment by Russians’ by Justin Yau/Sipa
USA, 2) ‘Maternity ward patient
and her unborn baby killed by Russian attack on the hospital’ by Evgeniy Maloletke/ AP

Author’s note: ‘Veritas vos liberabit’ is latin for ‘the truth shall make you free.’

My poem is written a month after Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and the continuing war resulting in approximately 5,000 Ukrainian civilian deaths, millions of refuges leaving their country, cities bombed to the ground, Russia commiting war crimes, and a very uncertain future for all. I wrote the poem remembering that poets through the ages have always been the bane of authoritarian tyrants, as poets, within the poetic tradition and the expressiveness of the poem, are prepared to reveal the darkness of war and tyrants, in ways that perhaps preachers, journalist, diplomats, heads of state, and others (except the survivors) are not able to do. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, poets are the only ones capable of articulating the transcendent nature of things by identifying ‘symbols’ and ‘emblems’ of the world. Thus we see a role of the poet as truth-bearer of the prophetic tradition.

poem: a lament for when loss and chaos overwhelm us

poem: a lament for when loss
and chaos overwhelm us

at times we find ourselves
struggling to follow that string
which runs in and through
the losses of old age, illness,
loneliness, and change, and
the worldly chaos of power,
control, violence, war, greed,
injustice, pandemics, and
calamitous uncertainty

trying to maintain hope
over the fear and anxiety
of personal and collective angst
rendering the mind
like runaway horses pulling
a chariot, the body like a
bag of bones, and the spirit
like a ghost, we are reduced
to a frazzled remnant of wholeness

until that time we turn around,
softly and gently opening our soul,
heart, and hands, carefully looping
that string which runs freely through
the loss and chaos of our lives
leading us to return to that place
which is our unchanging connection
to eternal Truth, Wholeness, and

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 14, 2022

image: block print, ‘Mary, the Untier
of Knots,’ by Kreg Yingst

poem: gathering of the ole 66’ers (a tribute to ole friends)

poem: gathering of the ole 66’ers
(a tribute to ole friends)friends since school days,
graduating together fifty six
years ago, ole in the sense
of a beloved thing long lasting,
dependable, and trustworthy

gathering and sharing, grateful
for the story of us all and those lost
to us or who have gone before,
and our lives all this time later,
our spirits lighten and lift

having lived long, gathering still,
in the mutuality of relationships
long standing, our friendships giving
value to our survival, thriving in
authentic communities of belonging

sweet memories of our halcyon days,
together, depending on each other
to be there for the gathering now,
beloved ole 66’ers, as we walk each
other home

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 18, 2022

photos by author

Author’s note: Fifty-six years ago in 1966,
we all graduated from high school together and
continue to gather regularly. Grateful for the
enduring grace and glory of these beloved ole

haiku: late snow

haiku: late snow

the late winter snow
covering the Lenten Rose
Easter’s lily comes

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 13, 2022

images unattributed

Author’s note: We had a big,
cold winter snow in Nashville
yesterday. About six inches
deep, and I thought of the
Lenten Rose I had seen
blooming a few day before
on a much warmer day.

poem: a Lenten blessing for personal and relational transformation for all

poem: a Lenten blessing for personal
and relational transformation for all

in some shadowy Lenten corner of our
desert hearts, may we face all of our
small self-serving definitions of Creator God,
and the idols we erect and worship
of our hubris, conceit, and sentimentality

liberating our self from this wilderness,
following the Way of the Cross, as did Jesus,
the Universal Cosmic Christ, and resurrecting
into a more authentic becoming
with the Spirit

Creator God’s grace and love universally and
unconditionally given cannot sustain New Life
in an arid heart and wilderness mind,
the vine dies and fails to produce the
communal Fruit of Life

may the Divine Creator be the lotus flower
upon the throne of our heart chakra,
om manni padme hum, manifesting love,
grace, kindness, and compassion
to every corner of the Cosmos

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 9, 2022

Lotus heart chakra – unattributed
Open your heart, Paschima Namaskarasana,
Reverse Prayer Hands – unattributed

poem: the bluebird and wren returning to nest on Bird Heaven Hill are a boon

poem: the bluebird and wren
returning to nest on

Bird Heaven Hill are a boon

neither winter’s harshness
nor war’s evil
keeps the the forces of nature
from its way

the spring season
brings the bluebird and wren
back to their nest
precisely on spring’s first day*

the bluebird inspects
its house
as the wren chirps on high
announcing its arrival

within the natural order
of the universe harmonic
forces flow as all things
work together for the good

and so our weary souls
seek the light
from its pall to
rebirth and resurrection

like the birds nesting
in the ‘lil woods,
putting our house in order
and singing the new day

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 20, 2022

videos by the author

*Author’s note: March 1st. is
the beginning of meteorological