poem: child of the universe, hippie, yogi, elder

poem: child of the universe,
hippie, yogi, elderneither clinging to a nostalgic past,
nor projecting a future of sentimentality,
now resisting social norms of
emotional idealism and neurotypical
stereotyping

I, being a witness of here and now,
maintaining spiritual consciousness,
invitational presence, and attentive
mutuality, connecting deeply at soul level,
opening to the wholeness of other

we, belonging here together in beloved
community, falling upward in grace and love,
cycling through the bardo, eternally together
with the supreme in cosmic union,
that am I (tat tvam asi)

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry

August 28, 2022

photo by author

“Here is, in truth, the whole secret of
Yoga, the science of the soul. The active
turnings, the strident vibrations, of
selfishness, lust and hate are to be stilled
by meditation, by letting heart and mind
dwell in spiritual life, by lifting up the
heart to the strong, silent life above, which
rests in the stillness of eternal love, and
needs no harsh vibration to convince it of
true being.”- Patanjali, The Yoga Sutras of
Patanjali

“The Perennial Philosophy is expressed
most succinctly in the Sanskrit formula,
tat tvam asi (‘That art thou’); the Atman,
or immanent eternal Self, is one with
Brahman, the Absolute Principle of all
existence; and the last end of every human
being, is to discover the fact for himself, to
find out who he really is.” – Aldous Huxley

“It is only those who are in constant revolt
that discover what is true, not the man who
conforms, who follows some tradition. It is only
when you are constantly inquiring, constantly
observing, constantly learning, that you find
truth, God, or love.”- Jiddu Krishnamurti

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: 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
Spring.

 

poem: a paean for senescence

poem: a paean for senescence

our growing older
is not a linearity starting here, ending there,
not a timeline from beginning to end,
not a simple chronological
counting of the years

to be sure there
are circles, loops, and spirals,
bardos, gaps, and liminal spaces,
and ones functional/dysfunctional
life experiences

and of course
in our aging
one is vulnerable
to life’s foibles and frailties
which we must suffer

thus in our senescence
we prepare,
countering bitterness with beauty,
hopelessness with creative imagination,
infirmity with wholeness

embodying a faith that sustains us
for those unseen things yet to come
in our Cosmic journey home
in the truth of the Universal Oneing
of consciousness human and divine

being gentle with those things
unsettled in our heart and soul
knowing our cries, laments, and joys
are heard, and there is place of radical grace
and love that perennially longs for us

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
November 11, 2021

‘Spiral of Life’ art image by Susan Bruck

poem: ‘I missed the party in the field’ (let us stay just a little bit longer)

poem: ‘I missed the party in the field’
(let us stay just a little bit longer)

my beloved sleep-wakes
souls visiting her dreams
elders surrounding her
she stirs perplexed

‘I missed the party in the field’
she mumbles to me that

her parents are having a big party
in the big wheat field

these images calling to her:
there is always a place
where you belong
and a home welcoming you

my sweet, the party only begins,
upon your arrival, at the time,
whenever you are ready, but now
let us stay here together just a little bit longer

the two of us practicing
mutual radical grace and radical love
for all beloved beings upon this Earth
all walking each other Home together

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
August 27, 2021

photo by author
‘Walking each other home’

Author’s note: My wife’s lucid dreams
now occupy a liminal space in our aging
together as she experiences the effects
of Alzheimers and recovers from a recent
mild stroke. We will celebrate our 50th.
year wedding anniversary in November
2021.

poem: crossing paths, intertwining, all aglow, letting go

poem: crossing paths, intertwining, all aglow, letting go

moving at the speed of mindfulness, intent, and purpose
my love and I drift through these days in the sea of here and now
with the greatest care in every breath, every step, every touch

here amongst the majesty of Earth Home on this night,
under the spinning Milky Way, hints of Autumn to come,
the smell of salty seas and only sound the Earth’s moan

the slow rise and fall of breath,
soft whispers of comforting reassurance,
the souls of kin, friends, and ancestors all aglow

intertwined like fragile vines through the seasons of life,
since that first crossing what seems like another lifetime,
now holding more tightly than ever before

then the life ship sails on slipping its Earthly bonds,
upon the Cosmic voyage, beloveds depart,
into the Bardo luminosity of the one True nature

passing in the dark night,
crossing paths,
intertwining, all aglow, letting go

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
August 10, 2021

art image ‘Night Crossing’ by Regina Valluzzi

poem: in the flow embracing the sweet spot in aging

poem: in the flow embracing
the sweet spot in aging 

in the reprieve
following the onslaught
of our mortality

detecting their is
a sweet spot in the tartness
of our aging

things s l o w  d   o   w   n
having more intimate time
for one another

our rambles shrink
to a home and a field
comfortable in its familiarity

there is a touch
of surrealism
expanding our consciousness

a touch of lament,
prophetic vision, and hope
in things to come

and a renewed creativity
witnessing the wisdom
one has hard earned

so now in this in-between place
coming into one’s Self fully
and walking one another Home

faith sustains us preparing
for unseen things to come
in our Cosmic Journey

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
August 7, 2021

photos by Herb Stone

Author’s note: I wrote this poem
just after my wife’s stroke from which
she is now recovering nicely despite
its challenges. Our 50th. year
anniversary approaching in November.

poem: grace can only be received with an open hand and held humbly with a light touch

poem: grace can only be received with an open hand
and held humbly with a light touch

old man chuckling lightly to himself;
the notion of ‘aging gracefully’
a boondoggle to his mind

all empty busyness and waste of time
this holding on for dear life,
with a stranglehold on ‘grace,’

to our youthful foolishness
with a denial of our falling up
now, as I begin to see more clearly

the thread of life running ahead
yet never disappearing
to an end I do not know where or when

sensing this falling upward
in a cloud of unknowing
as one’s status, health, energy,

influence, and appearance wanes
falling upward with an authentic grace
freely given towards our Truth of Self

and the Authenticity of Belonging together
and eldering in community of liberation
more spirit than body and mind

lamenting, visioning, lifting up,
radically accepting and loving,
laughing eyes on the thread running ahead

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 25, 2021

photo: the author at Draper Coastal Dune Lake
in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, U.S.A.


 

 

 

poem: a story of our saving grace

poem: a story of our saving grace

fleeing the city and civilization,
traumatized, seeking solace,
she who lost her husband and young son
in the gun violence of a mass shooting,
takes up residence in a remote wilderness cabin,
cut off from the world, off the beaten path,
depending solely upon her self-reliance

her first winter here, the nature of the wild slowly
wearing her down, she cries out in the dark void
“it’s not working,” weakened and dying, she lays,
until the stranger stumbles upon her helpless,
near death, nursing her back to health, standing by her,
no questions asked, accepting her self isolation,
teaching her how to live alone in the wild

after the stranger does not return for a long while,
she hikes into the small town nearby for the first time,
finding him dying of cancer at home on his death bed,
he confesses his own trauma of killing his wife and
young daughter while driving drunk many years ago,
she now understanding she is not alone in her grief,
that wounds and healing shared, grace upon grace we are saved

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 18, 2021

Author’s note: This poem is inspired by my seeing
the movie ‘Land,’ a film by Robin Wright about
severe trauma, survival, human kindness, grace,
and healing

image ‘Cabin in the Wilderness’ unattributed