Reflection: Invitational Presence, Noticing Who Notices, Opening Our Hearts To One Another, Belonging

Reflection: Invitational Presence, Noticing Who Notices, Opening Our Hearts To One Another, Belonging

How do we express our Highest, Most True Selves into the world and authentically belong together in mutual relationships building soulful communities?

Much of my poetry is my effort in exploring and arriving at answers to this very question. Certainly that is the central theme in my recently published book, ‘The Poetry of Resistance and Transformative Healing”

One master teacher, in her book, ‘Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home,” offers this sage advice: “If you are doing your part to brave the beautiful values that are coursing through you into the world, then all that’s left for you to do is to notice who notices. Don’t dismiss the invitational presence in others. Keep these ones close by noticing their gifts in return. Practice at opening the heart, yours and theirs, through fierce inquiry and the expression of truth.” Excerpt from Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home by Toko-pa Turner (

Beloveds, let us do the hard work of fearless self inquiry leading to Self Truth, the courageous expression of these our highest values, noticing, opening hearts, and coming together in invitational presence building authentic communities, and coming home in mutual belonging together.

Love one another!

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: writing is a lifeline

poem: writing is a lifeline

arising, my core flame
burning low, a small ember
weakened and weighed down

sitting quietly,
with little spark to spare,
rallying a bit in the silent stillness

working on my poetry
like the breath returning
stoking my inner flame

prana’s flow
chakra’s balancing
life force energizing

my writing seeks meaning
and purpose deeply
connecting me to my inner core

and a lifeline of belonging
united in community with Beloveds,
I write as my life depends on it

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 15, 2021

image Chakra Energy Centers

Author’s note: The Svadhisthana Chakra, our
second chakra at the bodys sacrum, is represented
by the color orange and the element water, and it
is our energy center of creativity and self-expression.
Balancing this chakra, through breathing, pranayama,
visualization, and other techniques increases our
appreciation and creation of poetry, art, literature,
dance, theatre, music, and other forms of self-expression.
It is a conduit of inner vision and outer manifestation
of the good, the true, and the beautiful. Chanting
the sacral chakra’s mantra ‘Vam’ properly helps
balance this chakra. The mantra is chanted as a vibrational
tone and not spoken as a word. Check a source such
as YouTube to learn how to intone the mantra properly
for optimal effect.

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

haiku: a summer’s day eternal sunshine

haiku: a summer’s day
eternal sunshine

the lake smooth, serene
paddling to the hermit’s hut
deep peace abiding

Herb Stone
here&now worling poetry
May 11, 2021

photos by Herb and Cathey Stone
‘YOLO Boarding on Draper Coastal
Dune Lake 2017’

poem: radiant Nature, Humanity, Earth, and Heaven coalescing

poem: radiant Nature, Humanity,
Earth, and Heaven coalescing

now in the Vernal Equinox
of the Northern Hemisphere
in North America
of the southern United States
outside Nashville, Tennessee
in the Southern Hills

the Earth’s vestments of verdant green
the ‘lil woods thick in foliage
deep in dark shadows
abundant wildflowers grace the fields
rabbits stark still buck and run
birds so abundant buzzing your head

the hermit of Bird Heaven
goes out walking the grounds
marveling calmly this obstreperous display
the Earth’s flora and fauna
throbbing, radiating energy, life, and growth
here radiantly all things coalescing

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 10, 2021

images: Pachamama, ‘Medicine Birds’
by Li Lian Kolster and Greenman, ‘Tree of Life’
by Brigid Ashwood

quote: the epigram from my new book of poetry, The Poetry of Resistance and Transformative Healing

poem: from human suffering comes collaborative strength and solidarity

poem: from human suffering comes
collaborative strength and solidarity

allowing pain to strengthen and heal you
is to share the connection and strength
of solidarity with other human suffering

by singing together from our woundedness
meaning is given to our and others stories
by becoming a corroborative voice lifting all up

beloved fellow voices in the mercy choir
let us join together singing
our prophetic laments and soothing psalms

remembering the most precious gift we can give
another is our presence and attention here and now
belonging together in in authentic healing communities

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 5, 2021

images: Savasana Chakra Garden by Kimberly Russick,
photo of Savasana Class unattributed

Authors note: Savasana is a healing Hatha Yoga posture of
deep relaxation between sleep and wakefulness. It is also
called the corpse pose. By entering this deep meditative
state of nidra consciousness we can reach higher stages
of well being that relieve stress and result in wholeness
and healing. Savasana is usually taught and practiced
as the last posture in yoga classes and with the guidance
of the instructor can be transformative.

poem: the importance of wildflowers

poem: the importance of wildflowers

the wildflowers this Spring,
with the frequent rain,
are bountiful in the
low, marshy bottom land
near the creek offering showy
super cluster

their colorful and vibrant tableau
attracting the pollinators,
supporting complex ecosystems
in our great nest of being
all interconnected

their simple beauty appealing
to our human eye and soul,
perhaps one may be forgiven
a small fresh sprig pinched
for their beloveds cap, their face
all aglow

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 3, 2021

photos by Herb Stone

photos by Herb Stone