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

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.”

Reflection: On Aging’s Bad Breaks 

Reflection: On Aging’s Bad Breaks 

My first two thoughts: we get plenty of ‘em, and aging is not for the timid. 

My beloved wife fell this past Monday and fractured her ankle. A stumble and a fall in the blink of an eye.  A good thing we were home, and she fell on the carpeted floor. 

It is a bad break to fall in the fragility of our aging, and breaking a bone is just plain bad anytime. After writing my poem for Cathey, ‘I got you,’ suddenly I did not as I was too far away to catch her. 

With the strength of our love, our deep trust in one another, and critically, a resilient sense of humor, we meet these challenges and those to come.  

I love what Anne Lamont recently said on her Facebook page about turning 68. After opining what is left for those of us aging who have witnessed the foolishness, evil, tragedies, and suffering of the world, she says: “So what does that leave? Glad you asked: the answer is simple. A few very best friends with whom you can share your truth. That’s the main thing”, and “we look up. In 68 years, I have never seen a boring sky. I have never felt blasé about the moon, or birdsong, or paperwhites.” 

Ah yes, in our aging, we cling to a few dear friends, sharing our truth and belonging, and looking up and around at the beauty surrounding us.  Please send prayers and healing energy for Cathey and a good recovery for her.

We send each of you our love, gratitude, and appreciation!

 

 

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’

Reflection: On Being a Mystic in the Third Millennium

Reflection: On Being a Mystic in the Third Millennium

“Why, when God’s world is so big, did you fall asleep in a prison of all places?”-Rumi

Dorothy Soelle uses Rumi’s quote above as the introductory quote in her 2001 book ‘The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance.’ She goes on to write that two of those prisons for her were the German protestant church and the academic theology of the post-Enlightenment.

She elucidates this as follows: “….I can simply say that what I want to live, understand, and make known is the love for God.” She says that God’s love for us and our love for God must be mutual, and that mysticism best expresses this mutuality between God and humans and advances the Beloved community of radical grace and radical love.

Beloveds, let us here and now love one another in, with, and through the Universal God of All!

Note: Ms. Soelle lived in Cologne, Germany, born 1929, died 2003.

Art ‘Rosa Mystica’ by Shiloh Sophia McCloud

Reflection: On Being Present and in Conversation with Others

Reflection: On Being Present and in Conversation with Others

My (an old man approaching his 74th. birthday) most
fond wish and deepest passion is the Communion of Souls
brought to bear through our right action of mindfulness, intention,
purpose, discipline, and practice. And grounded in True Self,
Authenticity, Mutuality, and
Belonging together in Communities.
Dear Beloveds, may we awaken, personally do the
work, and collectively join together in the unitive experience of
the Divine Ground, Radical
Grace, and Radical Love.
– Herb Stone, poet and author @
herbstonejr.com

Let us consider this plea in its perennial expression of our sisters and brothers:

“For a lack of attention, a thousand forms of loveliness evade us everyday.”
– Evelyn Underhill, Mystics

“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible.
To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple,
obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.”
– Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

“The divine Ground of all existence is a spiritual Absolute,
ineffable in terms of discursive thought, but (in certain circumstances)
susceptible of being directly experienced and realized by the human being.
This Absolute is the God-without-form of Hindu and Christian mystical
phraseology. The last end of man, the ultimate reason for human existence, is unitive knowledge of the divine Ground—the knowledge that can come only to those who areprepared to “Die to self” and so make room, as it were, for God.”
― Aldous Huxley, The
Perennial Philosophy

“We expect a theophany of which we know nothing but the place, and the place is called
community.” -Martin Buber, Between Man
and Man

Christmas Morn Reflections: The Cosmic Christ comes into the world in the way of weakness, vulnerability, and need and a mission of radical grace and love for healing the world of power, oppression, and violence and lifting up the oppressed

Christmas Morn Reflections: The Cosmic Christ comes into the world in the way of weakness, vulnerability, and need and a mission of radical grace and love for healing the world of power, oppression, and violence and lifting up the oppressed

“God entered into our world not with the crushing impact of unbearable glory, but in the way of weakness, vulnerability and need. On a wintry night in an obscure cave, the infant Jesus was a humble, naked, helpless God who allowed us to get close to him….The Bethlehem mystery will ever be a scandal to aspiring disciples who seek a triumphant Savior and a prosperity Gospel.” – Brennan Manning, Shipwrecked at the Stable

“The whole point of the kingdom of God is Jesus has come to bear witness to the true truth, which is nonviolent. When God wants to take charge of the world, he doesn’t send in the tanks. He sends in the poor and the meek.” – N.T. Wright
art by Gari Melcher ‘The Nativity’