poem: autumn in its ascendancy

poem: autumn in its ascendancy

autumns riot
of color, activity, and light
is a boon for our dulled senses

plants abloom, leaves turn,
bees gather, spiders weave,
golden light and shadows dance

let us find a field
entering as we are able
and marvel its rustic splendor

in awhile
dormancy, darkness, and decay
will send us sheltering inside reflecting

so all hail autumn
in your zenith here and now
harvesting what we may

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
September 22, 2022 (Autumn Equinox)

photos by author

tanka: autumn mundane and sublime

tanka: autumn mundane and sublime

morning cool and crisp
throw a blanket on the bed
earth’s in its orbit
sun low on the horizon
light and shadow at my door

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
September 17, 2022

photo by author

poem: a husband/caregiver’s lament

poem: a husband/caregiver’s lament

speaking honestly now,
crying out into the silence,
seeking to project
understanding, hope, and healing
into the challenge of
giving care to a beloved

having no time
for platitudes,
sentimental claptrap,
and well-meaning advice,
these self serving idols
of comfort, security, positive-thinkers

do not tell me
about long goodbyes
and cruel diseases;
the stigmas of Alzheimer’s, and
its resulting isolation and lack of support,
are contemptible in our competitive society

and so we two, together here and now,
presently in our deathless love,
falling upward into this simple, sweet life,
sharing warm hugs, a deep mutual attentive
presence, and loving-kindness for all beings
in deep gratitude

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
September 12, 2022

photo by author ‘Resting’ and “Here and Now”

Author note: I have labored to write this
piece for weeks in an effort to bring a balance
in the tension between living in a society
that does not value the aging resulting
in trite sentimentality, the isolation of individuals and caregivers,
and the lack of compassionate support and care, vis-a-vis
the reality of caregiver spouses and their
beloved with Alzheimer’s living and loving
with presence and attention together
here and now. Their is a great need for
everyone to better understand those living
with this disease and for more compassionate and accessible
support and care. Let us love one another!

 

poem: child of the universe, hippie, yogi, elder

poem: child of the universe,
hippie, yogi, elderneither clinging to a nostalgic past,
nor projecting a future of sentimentality,
now resisting social norms of
emotional idealism and neurotypical
stereotyping

I, being a witness of here and now,
maintaining spiritual consciousness,
invitational presence, and attentive
mutuality, connecting deeply at soul level,
opening to the wholeness of other

we, belonging here together in beloved
community, falling upward in grace and love,
cycling through the bardo, eternally together
with the supreme in cosmic union,
that am I (tat tvam asi)

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry

August 28, 2022

photo by author

“Here is, in truth, the whole secret of
Yoga, the science of the soul. The active
turnings, the strident vibrations, of
selfishness, lust and hate are to be stilled
by meditation, by letting heart and mind
dwell in spiritual life, by lifting up the
heart to the strong, silent life above, which
rests in the stillness of eternal love, and
needs no harsh vibration to convince it of
true being.”- Patanjali, The Yoga Sutras of
Patanjali

“The Perennial Philosophy is expressed
most succinctly in the Sanskrit formula,
tat tvam asi (‘That art thou’); the Atman,
or immanent eternal Self, is one with
Brahman, the Absolute Principle of all
existence; and the last end of every human
being, is to discover the fact for himself, to
find out who he really is.” – Aldous Huxley

“It is only those who are in constant revolt
that discover what is true, not the man who
conforms, who follows some tradition. It is only
when you are constantly inquiring, constantly
observing, constantly learning, that you find
truth, God, or love.”- Jiddu Krishnamurti

poem: initiation

poem: initiation

witnessing life’s tension
with both/and mind,
opening to the complementary
experiencing the interconnectedness
of all things (oneing),
the initiated adult
in the the second half of life emerges
from their ego’s protective shell
of small self becoming
an invitational presence
of mutuality and belonging
here and now in the
beloved community

Herb Stone
August 15, 2022
here&now working poetry

poem: mindful, intentional, purposeful

poem: mindful, intentional, purposeful

our presence deeply
touching the moment
beyond ego and selfishness

performing acts sacramentally
without attachment
to outcomes

interconnecting as One
in the flow
of all existence

manifesting equanimity of mind
healing inner fears
and worldly suffering

being holistically
body, mind, and spirit
in mutuality with the Cosmos

transforming personal self awareness
through dominant thinking to collective
Self realization of Spiritual Union

prepare
practice
participate

one turns around
receives the key
opens the door, enters

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
August 1, 2022

art image by Meghan Oona Clifford
‘Star Born’

poem: invitational presence

poem: invitational presence

like the lodestar
in the dark of night
calling us to safe harbor

the host setting
an extra place at the table
for the unexpected guest

the healer connecting
deeply with others
through their own wounds

the creative soul
offering its expression
as a gift to the universe

the True Self animating
our life together
in communities of belonging

the spirit uplifting
the life and dignity
of all oppressed beings

the dear friend who
senses our need
and reaches out in support

being the invitational presence
subtly communicating to all
one’s radical acceptance and inclusion

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
July 22, 2022

self photo “Opening the Heart Chakra’

Author’s note: Each of us can cultivate
an invitational presence which is key
to fostering healthy beings, relationships,
and communities of authentic belonging.
An excellent resource on invitational
presence and belonging is Toko-Pa Turner’s book,
‘Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home.”
This is an area I must continually work on due to
a temperament for solitude.

poem: an economy of words

poem: an economy of words

writing over a lifetime
one uses tens of thousand words
baring one’s innermost soul
to the light

words can collect like rain
in the lowlands
and burst forth
in a torrent

and words can be
hard to come by
hidden in the darkness
of stultifying events

one can be filled
to over-brimming
and one can be empty
to the core

now exiled on the high knob
in the dry desert
in hopes dark clouds pour
releasing the light of new life

Herb Stone
July 19, 2022
here&now working poetry

photo by author

serial poem: the caregiver and the beloved “3:00 A.M. humor at the porta-potty”

serial poem: the caregiver and the beloved

“3:00 A.M. humor at the porta-potty”

her hair stabbing wildly
this way and that
brushing it out of her eyes
and softly smoothing it
around her face

very seriously she asks,
in a bright, clear voice,
“do you like my hairdo?”
to which I answer, “well Yes,
I have always liked a French buffont”

silly laughter ensues,
she has always loved my jokes

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
July 20, 2022

photo of my beloved circa 1963

serial poem: the caregiver and the beloved ‘keeping safe’

serial poem: the caregiver and the beloved

‘keeping safe’

there are dangerous places
in a home where the risk are high:
the bathtub, poorly lit spaces,
slippery floors, and the
dreaded stairs

listening for her to roll over
or feet hitting the floor,
ever alert, I write downstairs
in the early morning
before she rises

suddenly appearing before me,
without a sound, as if teleported
down the stairs, her visage startles me:
no cane, no glasses, no shoes,
jumping up to make sure she is whole

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
June 25, 2022

Photo by author

‘Checking on My Beloved’

for our beloved Cat, daughter, sister,
wife, mom, grandmom, sister-in-law,
aunt, dear friend to so many