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.”

Reflection: Aftermath of the flooding

Reflection: Aftermath of the flooding
Walking at Radnor Lake Natural Area yesterday, witnessing the aftermath and power of the flood waters these last few days after heavy rain over the weekend (and it rained heavy again last night).
The waterways are running swift and deep, carving new branches here and there.
Herons and turtles survive on a log, a large salamander meanders by, and a fish and crawdad perished by the way.
Wildflowers and trees are all abloom. The smell of wet loamy earth fills the air. The warm sun helps us forget the raging storms we have just experienced.
I mumble a little prayer for those who suffered injuries, damage, and death from the storms with a word of gratitude for the sunny calm this day 🙏💓