poem: somewhere between solitude and loneliness

 

poem: somewhere between solitude and loneliness

being here now in solitary existence
somewhere between solitude and loneliness
reflecting on recent events and experiences:
aging, disease, injury, separation, siloing,
the world and its totalizing systems

struggling, striving, sitting with challenges,
reconciling the grace of our being,
the preciousness of our life together,
and the amazing beauty of our Earth Home
with tender heart and teary eyes

busy, tired, and weary at times,
continuing at my task knowing
that we can bear it together
through connecting, belonging, and sharing,
grateful for authentic relationships and community

sitting quietly, listening,studying, reflecting, creating,
and connecting continue in this busy season of the suffering
arriving as an unexpected guest at my door,
each invited in and treated with truth and respect

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
June 21, 2022
art by Andrew Wyeth, ‘Christina Olsen, Triton’
Author’s note: I have struggled to write this, or anything else down, for over a
week. Knowing that sharing one’s suffering is very unfashionable in our
contemporary culture and society of everyone for themselves, I hesitate. I do not
share my poem from the perspective of being a victim, or a denier, or a masochist,
or from a place of apathy. Rather, I share from the perspective of witnessing,
better understanding, gifting, connecting, authentic belonging, and healing in the
tension of our suffering and our joie de vivre! The last three lines of stanza four
are after Rumi’s poem ‘The Guest House.”

poem: visions of hope, transformation, and manifestation

poem: visions of hope, transformation,
and manifestation

hooking one’s hopes on the egos
of humans and worldly events
crushes our souls

peace is denied at the tyrant’s whim,
human rights are ruled unconstitutional,
life, liberty, and happiness end at the point of a gun

we, in the world, not of the world,
Earth students, Spirit beings,
our hopes are set in shared visions

the diminution of ego of True Self,
the diminution of control of Authentic Being,
the diminution of personal power of universal Cosmic Consciousness

our visions of yes/and unity, wounded healing,
mutuality, beloved community, wholeness,
the way of the Cosmos

one’s authentic hope lies
in deep intuitive knowing, envisioning,
and faith in manifesting transformation

beloveds, be the change
shanti, shanti, shanti
thou art that

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry

May 15, 2022

poem: the peace of kindred spirits

poem: the peace of kindred spirits

beyond our struggles with sentimentality,
hubris, conceit, nostalgia; and subduing
our apathy, helplessness, and perverse
notions of suffering

manifesting our inner True Self,
coming to full fruition, joining
with others in the mutuality of belonging
together in authentic communities

realizing the deep knowing and peace
of meeting the other and connecting
as kindred spirits; two lost pieces
of a puzzle fitting effortlessly together

now the bigger picture beyond self
arising into relief and clarifying its movement
towards deeper and more inclusive
authentic, complementary wholeness

my deepest gratitude and appreciation
for you kindred spirits who see me,
and I, you, wounded healers all,
dear friends belonging in beloved community

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 12, 2022

art image unattributed

poem: sitting at the hospital manifesting a healing

poem: sitting at the hospital
manifesting a healing

exiting the great facade
of the cavernous hospital
shaking off its stupification
stepping into the pristine light

bird sounds transport me
into the present moment
flower scents rife
in their perfumery awaken the soul

my morning nature walk
to the big pin oak tree
its gnarly bark rough to the touch
grounding my Body on the Good Earth

at the midpoint
reversing course back to the room
five minute cross legged sitting zazen
unclutters my Mind

connecting with the Heart chakra
energy of the Spirit flowing
through the body’s energy channels
filling our being with Love

Body, Mind, Spirit
re-balancing here and now
prepared for the new day
meeting it in each present moment

expecting a healing

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
April 24, 2022

photos by author

Author’s note: Our sixth day of my
wife’s hospital stay, I am finally clear and able to express some of our experiences. We turn and open to the healing energy of
the Cosmos as well as utilizing her
professional care. Her rehab and healing
is challenging, slow, and promising. Our
hope to return home soon.

poem: “I got you”

poem: “I got you”

seated, hand on her cane,
gray head bowed down,
reaching out
she takes my hand

after a few false starts,
gently lifting
and steadying her,
she rises to her fee

opening her eyes, unsteady,
she says, ‘so sleepy, let me get
my balance’ and I reply
‘I got you baby’

she rest her head on
my shoulder, my chin on
top of her head, our arms
wrapped around one another

we take a deep breathe,
inhaling, exhaling,
until she says ‘OK, I am ready,’
and I slowly step back

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
April 2, 2022

image: by author 

Author’s note: One tender, fleeting
moment in a day of care-giving for
a spouse with Alzheimers.

poem: the poet in times of war’s calamitous uncertainty

poem: the poet in times of

war’s calamitous uncertainty

witnessing, entering the chaotic fray
with nothing but words of reality on the
ground and perennial truth of the ages

resisting the post-truth totalizing
systems of fascist lies and violence
of the powerful and controlling

oh, Liberty, perennially calling all
to live free of oppressive
tyrannical authoritarianism

bodily, directly, non-violently,
affronting the oppressor’s
indignities and injustices

with no assurance of personal safety,
soul bared, wounded healer,
lamenting, revisioning, transforming

more imaginative, true, authentic, holistic, just,
life-giving alternative counter dominant
cultural ways of being together in diversity

veritas vos liberabit

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 24, 2022

Images: 1) ‘Ukrainian teacher bombed out of her apartment by Russians’ by Justin Yau/Sipa
USA, 2) ‘Maternity ward patient
and her unborn baby killed by Russian attack on the hospital’ by Evgeniy Maloletke/ AP

Author’s note: ‘Veritas vos liberabit’ is latin for ‘the truth shall make you free.’

My poem is written a month after Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and the continuing war resulting in approximately 5,000 Ukrainian civilian deaths, millions of refuges leaving their country, cities bombed to the ground, Russia commiting war crimes, and a very uncertain future for all. I wrote the poem remembering that poets through the ages have always been the bane of authoritarian tyrants, as poets, within the poetic tradition and the expressiveness of the poem, are prepared to reveal the darkness of war and tyrants, in ways that perhaps preachers, journalist, diplomats, heads of state, and others (except the survivors) are not able to do. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, poets are the only ones capable of articulating the transcendent nature of things by identifying ‘symbols’ and ‘emblems’ of the world. Thus we see a role of the poet as truth-bearer of the prophetic tradition.

poem: a lament for when loss and chaos overwhelm us

poem: a lament for when loss
and chaos overwhelm us

at times we find ourselves
struggling to follow that string
which runs in and through
the losses of old age, illness,
loneliness, and change, and
the worldly chaos of power,
control, violence, war, greed,
injustice, pandemics, and
calamitous uncertainty

trying to maintain hope
over the fear and anxiety
of personal and collective angst
rendering the mind
like runaway horses pulling
a chariot, the body like a
bag of bones, and the spirit
like a ghost, we are reduced
to a frazzled remnant of wholeness

until that time we turn around,
softly and gently opening our soul,
heart, and hands, carefully looping
that string which runs freely through
the loss and chaos of our lives
leading us to return to that place
which is our unchanging connection
to eternal Truth, Wholeness, and
Belonging

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 14, 2022

image: block print, ‘Mary, the Untier
of Knots,’ by Kreg Yingst

poem: a Lenten blessing for personal and relational transformation for all

poem: a Lenten blessing for personal
and relational transformation for all

in some shadowy Lenten corner of our
desert hearts, may we face all of our
small self-serving definitions of Creator God,
and the idols we erect and worship
of our hubris, conceit, and sentimentality

liberating our self from this wilderness,
following the Way of the Cross, as did Jesus,
the Universal Cosmic Christ, and resurrecting
into a more authentic becoming
with the Spirit

Creator God’s grace and love universally and
unconditionally given cannot sustain New Life
in an arid heart and wilderness mind,
the vine dies and fails to produce the
communal Fruit of Life

may the Divine Creator be the lotus flower
upon the throne of our heart chakra,
om manni padme hum, manifesting love,
grace, kindness, and compassion
to every corner of the Cosmos

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 9, 2022

images
Lotus heart chakra – unattributed
Open your heart, Paschima Namaskarasana,
Reverse Prayer Hands – unattributed

poem: the bluebird and wren returning to nest on Bird Heaven Hill are a boon

poem: the bluebird and wren
returning to nest on

Bird Heaven Hill are a boon

neither winter’s harshness
nor war’s evil
keeps the the forces of nature
from its way

the spring season
brings the bluebird and wren
back to their nest
precisely on spring’s first day*

the bluebird inspects
its house
as the wren chirps on high
announcing its arrival

within the natural order
of the universe harmonic
forces flow as all things
work together for the good

and so our weary souls
seek the light
from its pall to
rebirth and resurrection

like the birds nesting
in the ‘lil woods,
putting our house in order
and singing the new day

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 20, 2022

videos by the author

*Author’s note: March 1st. is
the beginning of meteorological
Spring.

 

Fat Tuesday gives way to Ash Wednesday

Fat Tuesday gives way to Ash Wednesday

the clown of yesterday’s revelry
finds their self alone
in their shadowy desert cell
light flooding in and a jug of water

nothing to do but to be with one’s self
giving up the distractions
and fasting from excess, reflecting deeply
our relationship with Cosmic God

confessing our human hubris, conceit,
and sentimentality, repenting those things
that separate us from God, and reconciling
with God, the Cosmos, and all God’s beloved

knowing the trials to come
dying to ourselves
resurrecting in the New Life
radical grace and love abounding

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
March 2, 2022

Author’s note: I originally wrote this poem
on Ash Wednesday 2018 and have republished
slight variations of it since. The version above
is its third rendition.

Art by Carl Spitzweg, ‘Ash Wednesday’