poem: a thief in the night (stuck in time)

poem: a thief in the night
(stuck in time)

in her lucid dreaming
she returns to the
farmstead of her youth
with her family
every night as she sleeps

each morning upon
her awakening she ask me
‘how did I get here,’
‘who brought me here,’
‘what is this place”

never mind that
we have been married
50 years, lived in this
house for 35 years, or never
been apart in the last 5 years

sitting on the bed’s edge
looking into her eyes
I remind her she has
been on the farm all night
while she slept

now back home with me,
that we have not been apart
for a second for many years,
in our house where we raised
our family filled with love

a thief in the night,
stuck in space and time,
the dementia confounding,
now each moment together
all the more sweet

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
November 29, 2021

Image by author
“just resting my eyes”

Author’s Note: A poem
about our life together, my
wife and I, and our experiences
living with Alzheimers.

poem: the elderly couple at the mall

poem: the elderly couple at the mall

the beaming elderly couple
urgently shuffle directly towards us
as we make our way through
the crowded mall

holding my wife’s hand,
she with her cane,
people jostling us
this way and that

me thinking:
do we know this couple,
what huge smiles they have,
hope they stay on their feet

the elderly man holding his wife’s tiny hand
looks at me with prophetic eyes
and declares “Never stop holding her hand”
to which I empathically reply, “Never!”

now, his words disconnected,
saying “Youngsters,” referring to us
and “Sixty-nine years” referring
to how long they have been married

and I reply “Fifty”
as we have just celebrated
our Golden Anniversary
a few days before

now two old couples beaming,
holding hands, knowing long life love filled,
shuffle off our separate ways
disappearing into the day’s babel

love is patient, love is kind,
it is not envious, boastful, arrogant, or rude,
it rejoices in the truth; bears, believes, hopes,
and endures all things; love never ends

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
November 19, 2021

photo by jem vistaprint
“still in love”

Author’s note: The last stanza paraphrases
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, The Gift of Love.


quote: individuals with neurodivergence* belong and add value in a healthy society

quote: individuals with neurodivergence* belong and add value in a healthy society

neurodivergent conditions include autism, ADHD, ADD, Alzheimers, bi-polar, tourettes, hyperlexia, dyslexia, OCD and others that have a neuro-developmental basis

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.”

poem: prepare to be interrupted by God today

poem: prepare to be interrupted
by God today

take a break
from the 10,000,000 things
that distract us

see the Universal Cosmic Christ
by whatever name
in the stranger, other, oppressed

especially those
making us the most uncomfortable
in our privilege

allow the truth, beauty, and goodness
that surround us to act in
mercy, radical grace, and radical love

turn so that hearts are opened
minds transformed
and spirits lifted up

and so this shall be the new way
that God is always with us all
in the mutuality of giving and receiving

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
April 20, 2021

art image unattirbuted