poem: the Wren Songs and the Wiggle Bottoms

poem: the Wren Songs and the Wiggle Bottoms

my dependable companions
appear each morning this Spring
outside the patio doors
where I write upon arising early

the mother wren and her companion,
aka the Wren Songs,
her song of three to four notes
filling the air

the rabbit couple,
aka the Wiggle Bottoms,
darting and rollicking on the lawn
before the ‘lil woods

mom Wren Song begins her busy day
of feeding her nestlings
atop the hook pole, insect in beak,
with a swoop to the nest inside the old grill

the Wiggle Bottoms appear to burrow
in the hedgerow at the property line,
they gyrate, kicking and jumping,
then suddenly flop down nibbling the clover

these my trusty companions
close by each day
their company delightful
singing, feeding, darting, nibbling

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
April 29, 2021

photos by Herb Stone

poem: your creation goes out into the world

poem: your creation goes out into the world

having the creative urge and vision
to write a book is like
carrying and birthing a baby

writing the book, editing, rewriting
is like raising your child
and teaching it all you know

publishing the book
is the rude awakening the child is grown
and now must leave the shelter of home

now realizing you have done all you could,
infusing your love, authenticity, and truth,
your creation must travel afar on its own path

one hopes to hear good news on the journey,
standing on its own, now belonging to the world,
beyond our protection

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
April 26, 2021

photo by Herb Stone
‘My book comes to visit’

poem: among the cattails

poem: among the cattails

cattails standing like sentinels
in the boggy wetland marsh

this beautiful early Spring day
the sun warms the Earth

 its’ soft fluffy down
lofting skyward, seed dispersing

riding the cool breeze
swirling about our heads

like a Mesozoic dream
these ancient plants adapt and survive

the humble cattail
providing habitat and food

sustaining the Earth
we admire their gossamer display

 lingering  awhile
among the cattails

 Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
April 7, 2021
 
photos and videos by Herb Stone

Reflection: Aftermath of the flooding

Reflection: Aftermath of the flooding
Walking at Radnor Lake Natural Area yesterday, witnessing the aftermath and power of the flood waters these last few days after heavy rain over the weekend (and it rained heavy again last night).
The waterways are running swift and deep, carving new branches here and there.
Herons and turtles survive on a log, a large salamander meanders by, and a fish and crawdad perished by the way.
Wildflowers and trees are all abloom. The smell of wet loamy earth fills the air. The warm sun helps us forget the raging storms we have just experienced.
I mumble a little prayer for those who suffered injuries, damage, and death from the storms with a word of gratitude for the sunny calm this day 🙏💓

Reflection: The inside out and upside down ministry of Jesus, the Universal Cosmic Christ (by whatever name) and my prayer to be with those on the margins as God calls me

Reflection: The inside out and upside down ministry of Jesus, the Universal Cosmic Christ (by whatever name) and my prayer to be with those on the margins as God calls me

( I originally wrote the reflection below several years ago as I underwent a particularly challenging realization with the institutional church of which I was a congregant eventually resulting in my departing the church for what for me is a much more meaningful spiritual life centered in celebrating the gifts of all spiritual traditions and being grounded in the evolution of True Self (discipleship) and belonging together in authentic communities (the kingdom or kin-dom). My relationship with the Divine Cosmic Will (God by whatever name) has never been stronger.)

My increasing awareness, especially now in my life, is that Jesus is always with the outsider and outcast who suffers and hurts for the world and shares the pain of others.

Jesus leaves the institutional worship place, sometimes in anger, as we see in the Temple story of the ‘den of robbers,’ to be with those who are on the outside and who just can’t cut it in those places anymore. I think of this as the spirituality of imperfection. Certainly we all are united in our imperfections.

In Jesus going out to these outsiders, he, of course, takes leave of those who are arrogant and prideful and all knowing and thusly, the insiders of the worship place’s, with their dominant cultural traditions and hierarchical hegemony. These insiders are, of course, generally those leaders in power and control, officially or otherwise.

Other good and innocent souls linger there as well perhaps holding onto the law and its rules of right and wrong not having yet experienced the truth, beauty, and goodness of our shared suffering and wounds and imperfections.

God send me into the messiness of this world with the imperfect souls such as myself so that we might commune together in the dark shadows and light spirits as your Beloved children through grace, love, mercy, justice, peace, and hope!

Amen and Amen

Reflection: what to say about this frigid winter and the coming thaw?

Reflection: what to say about this frigid winter and the coming thaw?

One word comes to my mind this morning as I look out my windows and scan the news for information.

Monumental!

Here in Nashville, we had several more inches of snow overnight covering the ice and sleet of the last few days since this all began on Monday of this week. Appears to be 4 to 6 inches total here locally. While the ice and snow has closed down most businesses, schools, and vaccination centers, and driving off the main roads is impossible, our power grid has held up and we have had no interruption of electricity. We have not been off our hill for the past three days, and I am hoping we will be able to drive down again in the next 2 to 3 days. For now we are good on food and supplies and grateful.

I am reading and hearing news reports that 70% of the United States is being affected by the frigid winter temperatures, the ice, and the snow with Texas being the hardest hit state in that its’ power grid is not producing enough power and many in that state have no power or intermittent power leading to water pipes bursting, food emergencies, carbon monoxide deaths, and other crises. The weather situation here in the U.S. is unusual for this time of year in that it is so widespread, severe, and long lasting. Historical records are being set. We pray for all in harm’s way and that warming weather will break the frigid cold soon.

With my birthday coming up this Saturday when I turn 73, I am remembering the February birthdays of my youth when it was almost always cold and snowy or cold and muddy. I remember being a bit envious of friends who had their birthdays outdoors in warmer weather. Oh, I would go outdoors and play in any weather, but the party itself had to be inside. Birthdays in our family were always warm and loving and celebrated with cousins and neighborhood friends. Wonderful memories!

And now, here in the icy grip of late winter, in the solitary shadows of our Lenten heart, we quietly contemplate the self within and the coming of spring with its’ warmth and light bringing rebirth in its’ lifting up of new life. Spring follows Winter as Lent is on the road to Easter and Pentecost. Life’s patterns, tensions, and flow are the threads in the tapestry which interconnect all creation and being as one together. Abide in it. We cry, we grieve, we lament, we rejoice, we hope, we offer thanks!

The old traditions help me navigate the uncertain future.

Beloveds, whatever your circumstances, we pray for you all and send our love and blessings for peace and well being.

Note: Photos are from the last several days since the winter storm set in as we look out the windows and venture into the little woods out back. Beautiful and dangerous at the same time.

Reflection: My amazing wife Cathey and her visit to see me in Rome in 1971

Reflection: My amazing wife Cathey and her visit to see me in Rome in 1971

I met Cathey when I was at home in Nashville on leave from the Army in December 1970 on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. We spent two weeks getting to know one another, and when I returned to my post in Italy, we stayed in touch through letters and phone calls. As I was assigned to a worldwide digital and telecommunications center, I was able to call Cathey through military switchboards in the U.S. who would patch us through.

After meeting, it was soon decided that Cathey would come to Italy to visit me that summer in 1971. She was a single woman living on her own and working when we met. So in order to buy airline tickets to Italy, she worked a second job and saved the necessary funds for the trip.

When she arrived, I met her at the airport in Rome, and we stayed in a small pensione in Rome for a week visiting all the sights including the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Vatican and more. Then we jumped in my Triumph TR4 and headed north up the Mediterranean Sea to Tirrenia on the Ligurian Sea near my Army base. From there we explored the surrounding areas of Pisa, Firenze, and Viareggio. Here we ate fresh seafood in the outdoor cafes near the beaches on warm evenings, drank cappuccinos at the cafe across from the Leaning Tower, which we climbed, and saw the great museums and art in Firenzi. One evening a bunch of us went to the Trocadero Nightclub in Viareggio for a night of listening to King Crimson’s music accompanied by a psychedelic light show. A wild time!

Cathey stayed for several weeks before she had to return home and her work. We drove back to the airport in Rome, and I held her long and we kissed, and then she was gone. When I returned home following my Army discharge later that year in September, we reunited and we married two months later in November 1971. This year, 2021, we will celebrate our 50 year anniversary! Cathey is an amazing woman and wife who captivated me from the day we met and forever more.