haiku: flickering memories

haiku: flickering memories

Totties’ white crochet
in Fall’s dancing light adorns
the royal blue chair

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
October 31, 2022

photo by author

author’s note: remembering my maternal grandmother, Aline Feustel Martin (1889-1979), who we grandchildren called Tottie all her life.

poem: her morning reverie

poem: her morning reverie

framed by the golden light
of the Fall day

in the rocking chair by the window
in the sun’s warmth

body still, mind quiet
eyes soft, breath even

soul ascending
on wings of spirit

ageless dreams
of Home

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
October 23, 2022

photo by author

poem: an elder’s perspective on time and space

poem: an elder’s perspective
on time and space

thinking of the past is useless
unless it informs the present

always going for the gust
is a fool’s dream

worrying for tomorrow
a thief in the night

thus taking more time
mindfully present here and now

with loved ones, dear friends,
soul mates, and witnesses

wherever you go, there you are
you will find me there

covering less ground somewhere
between disengaged and belonging

close to home
Homeward bound

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
October 27, 2022

author’s note: My reflection on aging

was sparked after reading Thomas Merton’s
quote, “Take more time, cover less ground.”
John Kabat- Zinn is reflected in a book title
of his, “Wherever You Go, There You Are.”
And Ram Dass’ iconic words, “Be Here Now”
from his book by the same title is
represented in the poem. Merton, a Catholic
monk; Kabat-Zinn, a biomedical scientist
influenced by Buddhism; and Ram Dass,
a Harvard social psychology research professor who became
a disciple of Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba.
These and others have been my teachers from
whom I have learned about living, aging, and dying.
I have tried to be a good student and continue to learn.
photo by author ‘On the Front Stoop’

poem: a caregiver’s satori

poem: a caregiver’s satori

with the beauty of
a new autumn day
this tapestry
of colors

blue, pink, white
sky above
orange, red, yellow
leaves below

a caregiver’s day
begins early
it holding
much to do

caring for
my beloved
ordinary chores
and errands

here and now
this satori moment
and then the laundry,
meals, and dishes

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
October 13, 2022

photos by author

poem: the autumn of life/ winter’s coming

poem: the autumn of life/
winter’s coming

suddenly
a gust of Fall breeze
flattens the tall grass
with a swoosh

peacefully
butterflies dart
and flutter
in the frostweed

blissfully
the golden sun rays
play upon our skin
warming our core

gratefully
our breath catches
walking the path
heading home

mindfully
aware winter’s coming
and light’s fading; hope is
a glowing ember in our hearts

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
October 2, 2022

photos 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: 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.