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

poem: liberation for the people

poem: liberation for the people

in a world too much with us
so rapidly changing and chaotic
filled with misinformation and lies
the people’s souls are troubled and restless

this world where
politics is so partisan
that lying tyrants
are supported over truth and justice

this world where
we are so deeply divided among ourselves
and as far from the divine as possible
leaves us adrift trying find a hold

this world where
the bodies of the dead float in the Ganges
lie in the hot streets
and burn on funeral pyres in parking lots

this world where
industries refuse to pay living wages
then label workers as lazy and malcontents
for refusing to accept deadend jobs

this world where
local news is a litany of gun violence and deaths
and the weather, even on pleasant days,
is always a threat thanks to reporting of ‘Storm Central’

this world where
consumer products are unaffordable
and /or in short supply
due to fragile infrastructure and personal hoarding

this world as we know it on the ground
with affliction and dis-ease
a pox upon our body, mind, and spirit
beloveds, wherein does our hope lie

a wise sage once said
“we cannot become gods though we may become divine”
through healing our afflictions and suffering
with discriminating intelligence and unity consciousness

liberation for the people
both worldly and divine
immanent and transcendent
True Selves belonging in authentic communities

bipartisan governance for the people
dignified, quality healthcare for the people
living wage work for the people
ethical journalism for the people
sustainable economies for the people
authentic communities for the people
visible hope for the people
wholistic healing from within for the people
liberation from oppression for the people

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 14, 2021

quote by BKS Iyengar, father of modern yoga, author, teacher

image ‘We the People’ poster art from Amplifier

poem: the hermit of bird heaven thinks of Siddhartha Gautama

 

poem: the hermit of bird heaven
thinks of Siddhartha Gautamawhen the hermit
of bird heaven
leaves his modest abode
on the high hill

he thinks of
Siddhartha Gautama
leaving his father’s palace
for the first time

witnessing the human
suffering and injustice
just outside the king’s
huge estate gate

Prince Siddhartha upon seeing
an old person, an ill person,
a corpse, and an ascetic,
is shocked by the suffering

as is the hermit upon seeing
the homeless couple
seated in folding lawn chairs
at the interstate off ramp

it is obviously their home
in the bare dirt on the road side
littered with plastic for protection
and their few belongings

Siddhartha never returns home,
continuing on the archetypal
journey we must all take someday,
he becomes a spiritual devote, then teacher

we, propelled by our own human curiosity,
wanting to know the full story and full truth,
for ourSelf, must also leave the privilege
and comfort of our protective ego and home

thus journeying into the shadows
in a pathless land finding our own way,
solitary pilgrims doing the hard work
finding our story and truth for ourSelves

awakening

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
April 24, 2021

image ‘Buddha Under the Bodhi Tree’
from Self Help Robot

Author’s note: Siddhartha Gautmama
is the name of the human who became the
Buddha. In Sanskrit, the name means
“one who has found the meaning of existence.”