tanka: the murmuring of flowing water

tanka: the murmuring
of flowing watersitting by the stream
silently in solitude
with mindful presence
water’s memory runs deep
flowing home to ancient seas

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
January 16, 2022

video by author

Author’s note: I wish to thank
my English friends,
Emma Hepburn and Rosie Dowbekin,
for their love of the beautiful
streams in England, which
inspired me to write this tanka
poem. I am forever grateful
for your inspiration.

Click on video and turn up sound to hear the murmuring stream

poem: and now it is Christmas ‘time’

poem: and now it is Christmas ‘time’

time slows
and deepens
at Christmas

from 40 days
of waiting
expectantly

to the coming of the
Universal Cosmic Christ child
God with us Emmanuel

time now comes to
its eternal
fullness

filled with awe
and reverence in
this ever-present moment

standing in the silent
snow covered field
in bleak mid-Winter

stripped of adornment
travelers weary
in the cold and mud

only the
angels, shepherds, and magi
will witness this New Day

that Heaven and its Love
reign down on me and us all
then, now, and evermore

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
December 24&25, 2021

photo by author in
‘A Snowy Winter Eve’

poem: refrain to the Light in Advent at Winter Solstice

poem: refrain to the Light
in Advent at Winter Solstice

O Winter Solstice
O Star of the East
O Oriens
O Holy Night
O Radiant Dawn
O Nativity
O Eternal Light

come
shine down
on those
who dwell in darkness
under
the shadow
of death

that they
may be transformed
with eyes to see
the beauty
and ears to hear
the good news
of Heaven and Earth as One

Amen

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
December 21, 2021

Author’s note: Today marks the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. It is also the 24th. day of Advent. It is the day the antiphon O Oriens is sung. The Nativity of the Universal, Cosmic Christ is later this week followed by the Epiphany. Light upon Light! Many religions and spiritual traditions celebrate the Light at this time of bleak mid-Winter. O Orien lyrics appear in stanza two.

YouTube music video: Queens’ College Choir, Cambridge, Queens’ Chapel Players, Silas Wollston, Album And Comes The Day: Carols and Antiphons for Advent

poem: the intensity of now (where am I and how did I get here)

poem: the intensity of now
(where am I and how did I get here)

yesterday a shadowy memory
tomorrow unimaginable
there is only the intensity of now
stuck in the present moment

past experience unretrievable
and unavailable in creating one’s future
thus stuck in the eternal present
necessarily filled with questions

answers: you are at home
where we live husband and wife
together for fifty years
now elders to a younger generation

we humans carrying on our Earth journey
closer to its end than its beginning
Cosmic Love reigns Supreme: we remain
grateful, in awe of the mystery, hopeful

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
December 18, 2021

Author’s note: The poem reflects my experience caring for my beloved wife with
Alzheimers. As memories become murky and unreliable and the future
unimaginable, the present is filled with questions and takes on a new intensity of
being stuck in the present. What remains is love, gratitude, awe, and hope on the
journey.

photo by author
‘Gulfview Heights Beach on the Gulf of Mexico, 2017’

poem:  this Advent season of waiting, watching, witnessing, awakening 

poem:  this Advent season of waiting,
watching, witnessing, awakening

all Creation groans:
humanity expectant,
pregnant with the anticipation
of waiting and preparing

Earth and Heaven are changed:
the star in the East,
the road made straight in the desert,
the low places made level

the world of  human society changed:
the great leveling, scattering the proud,
bringing the high, low, and filling the hungry,
sending the rich away empty

the incarnation of
Universal Cosmic Christ consciousness:
came down to us, comes now,
and will come again

vigilant, waiting, watching,
this knowing deep in our bones,
in every cell, in every breathe,
our Advent witnessing and awakening

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
December 9, 2021

photo by author

Author’s note: The poem draws on
Matthew’s story of the Magi, Luke’s
Canticle of Mary, and Isiah’s prophecy
of John the Baptist from the Bible. It is
written from the perspective of spiritual
experience universal to all creation and
humanity whatever your religion, faith,
beliefs, or traditions.  

poem: beauty’s healing hope rising

poem: beauty’s healing hope rising

recalling the beauty of life
amid the roses and the thrones
always pulls me back
to the both/and wholeness
of here and now

thus remembering

that late Fall light in the Hudson Valley
a favorite literary quote
a snippet of poetry or music
loves most pure moments shared
the haelin of True Self
belonging and walking each other Home

take a deep breathe
loosen your grip
open your hands
opening and turning around
fully embracing and sharing
beauty’s healing hope rising

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
December 4, 2021

music by Ennio Morricone
and performed by Yo-Yo Ma
‘Giuseppe Tornatore Suite’

poem: a sweet visit to Toddy’s house

poem: a sweet visit to Toddy’s house

exiting Toddy’s house
through the large kitchen
onto the screened porch
down the steep back stairs

across the backyard
out to the alley
then right four blocks
to the corner bakery

peering in the huge glass front
with the huge glass display cases
always filled completely
with cookies, pies, cakes, and rolls

entering the store
with its colorful display
and comforting aroma
enveloping all

with a pocket of change
one could buy a white paper sack
filled with their delicious
pastel, buttery, shortbread cookies

and for a bit more
the whitecake with creamy, white icing,
a chocolate meringue or chess pie,
or some fresh Parker House rolls

then on the way back, stopping
by the corner drugstore, its doorbell tingling,
and its wood slate floor, and high ceiling fan
hanging from the tin roof

buying an ice cold bottle of Coke
to wash it all down, a sugar high,
before the hike back up
to Toddy’s kitchen

there one would always find Toddy
in her apron smiling widely, knowingly,
preparing food at the big sink
as steamy pots cooked on the cast iron stove

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
December 2, 2021

images family photos of Toddy
Becker’s Bakery unattributed

Author’s Note: Toddy was my maternal
grandmother. Everyone called her Toddy
which was a nickname from her childhood.
The bakery us grandkids visited was
Becker’s Bakery founded in 1925, which
was one of Nashville’s best bakeries for
decades until closing a few years ago and
always one of the most popular. Getting
something there was always a treat, and we
were close enough to walk when at
Grandmother’s (Toddy’s) house.

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: Thanksgiving passes, Winter Solstice nears, Advent begins (via negativa)

The Season of Advent Begins
Pregnant with Anticipation

poem: Thanksgiving passes,
Winter Solstice nears,
Advent begins (via negativa)

and now the family Thanksgiving
bountiful feast has been eaten
and the days revelry abated
( the dominant culture’s lies
about its oppression of the Native
American’s laid bare)

entering the liminal space
of late Autumn’s cold, short days,
the Winter Solstice nears
(the dominant culture’s
Black Friday and pre-Christmas
buying frenzy muted)

preparing ourselves through
deep reflection and contemplation
in our stillness and quietude
(the dominant culture’s frenetic
holiday festivities and prideful hail fellow
well met transmuted)

coming into the Advent season of the
coming of the Universal Cosmic Christ
and its call to “the high price of full
consciousness” (the dominant culture’s
distortions of Santa Claus and the churches’
sentimental baby Jesus plays notwithstanding)

Christ consciousness incarnate
Jesus is Lord, Come Lord Jesus
(not the dominant culture’s current day
Caesar of power, control, and violence,
but Christ with us in the neighborly
community of the Kin-dom)

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
November 28, 2021

Image by Matthias Stromer
‘Annunciazone’

Author’s note: My poem is meant to
convey the story of Universal Cosmic Christ
consciousness breaking into the worldy
human empires of the many Caesar’s and
their power, control, violence, and oppression.
As a universal cosmic, spiritual story, it extends
beyond the institutional Christian church and is
available to everyone regardless of personal
religious beliefs. It becomes part of the human
story of spiritual growth towards True Self and
belonging in Authentic Community together.
The quote in stanza four is from Richard Rohr.)

tanka: exaltation

tanka: exaltation

these years together
your head on my shoulder rest
and your soulful smile
through fair and stormy weather
exalts us for all to come

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
November 23, 2021

photos by author
“Our 50 Years Together”