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: writing in time of pandemic, climate change, social injustice, tyranny, and gratitude for what matters

poem: writing in time
of pandemic, climate change,
social injustice, tyranny,
and gratitude for what matters

writing from our home
in Nashville, where we
are under an excessive
heat warning all this week,
high humidity and temperatures

my beloved and I
both testing positive for COVID
for the first time and
quarantined at our home,
we are managing

writing this now,
my eyeballs hurt,
my fever is breaking
and I am covered in sweat
and trying to control a bad cough

tragically, we are inundated
daily with bad news of
gun violence, mass shootings,
and extrajudicial shootings
of young black men by police

and all this, not to mention,
the house hearings on the
criminal ex-45th. ‘president’
and his fascist, anti-democracy,
insurrectionist efforts to steal election

dear hearts, grateful for
all of you who have expressed concerns
and who walk this journey with us,
blessed to belong in authentic
community with you all

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
July 7, 2022

photo by author

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: for the Ukrainian women in the black parka and scarf (I am signaling you through the flames)

poem: for the Ukrainian women
in the black parka and scarf
(I am signaling you through
the flames) 

her blue eyes squint
from the sting of the smoke
flaxen hair covered with
a large white bandage
her high cheekbones
smeared with blood
lips searching for words
which do not come
hands extended, palms up,
crying out for justice

her weary visage
hangs in the ether
of eons haunting us
for the hundreds of million
war casualties from stones,
arrows, bullets, bombs,
humans cruelty and incarnate evil
fueled by human desires for
power and control always
resulting in violence 

may her suffering
ignite in us
the awareness that
the line of peace and violence
runs through every human heart
asking our self: what is the mirror
of life holding up to us, what are
we creating and how is it creating us,
and what is it we intend to create
here upon this earth home 

thus may the compassionate heart
of the enlightened mind overcome
the sovereignty of death culture,
such that in her suffering we lament,
embodying the life force and peace
in every breath, manifesting
peace is every step, our lips
perpetually chanting peace,
shalom, shanti, salaam, and our poetry
defeating the conqueror with word 

in our third eye the bloodied woman
with her haunting blue eyes and flaxen
hair and high cheekbones transforms us all 

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 26, 2022

photo Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Images

Author’s note: It is with great respect I
credit quotes from my poem from other
master writers and master teachers.
The subtitle of my poem is a line from
the poem ‘Poetry as An Insurgent Art’
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Stanza three,
lines six through eight are by the writer
Mark Nepo and line nine and ten are by
the writer Gary Zukov. In stanza four
‘the compassionate heart of the enlightened
mind’ is a Buddhist teaching taught by many
including Sogyal Rinpoche, and ‘peace is
every step’ is a book title and teaching from
Thich Nhat Hanh. All of these writers and teachers
are masters of their art and should be read and
studied for their wisdom especially in the area of
peace and life viz-a-viz violence and death.

May be an image of 1 person and standing

Jesus, the Universal Cosmic Christ, is a revolutionary

Jesus, the Universal Cosmic Christ, is a revolutionary
please visit my web page for more of my poetry, reflections, and quotes @herbstonejr.com
Thank you for your support and happy reading
click image to see it in full 

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’

Advent Reflections

Advent reflections: When Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, meet during their pregnancies, they rejoice in the ending of Empire and its oppression of the lowly under which they live at that time with the Roman occupation of Judea

Mary sings a revolutionary song to Elizabeth, known as the Magnificat:

The Magnificat: Luke 1:46-55 NRSV lyrics:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

German Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer called Mary’s song “the most passionate, the wildest, one might say the most revolutionary Advent hymn ever sung.” Bonhoeffer, who would be hung 12 years later for resisting Nazism, added: “This is not the gentle, tender, dreamy Mary … This song has none of the sweet, nostalgic, or even playful tones of … Christmas carols. It is instead a hard, strong, inexorable song about collapsing thrones and humbled lords of this world … ”

Sister Elizabeth Johnson says “The Magnificat is a revolutionary song of salvation whose political, economic, and social dimensions cannot be blunted. People in need in every society hear a blessing in this canticle. The battered woman, the single parent without resources, those without food on the table or without even a table, the homeless family, the young abandoned to their own devices, the old who are discarded: all are encompassed in the hope Mary proclaims.”

image by Ben Wildflower
click on image for better view

Advent reflection: embracing the Life giving mystery of Life together vis-a-vis the personal hubris of self in a world to be calculated and exploited

Advent reflection: embracing the Life giving mystery of Life together vis-a-vis the
personal hubris of self in a world to be calculated and exploited

it is in our inability
to sit with and receive
the mystery of human’s
greatest gift of Cosmic Christ,
come down to us
filling our hearts with Love
to be shared mutually
with others, which is our
greatest human downfall

instead substituting our
selfish hubris too often
learned on our knees
at the Empire’s fortress
where we are led astray
in its’ lessons of power,
control, and violence
which hardens into
private, selfish hubris
thus losing our respect
for the mystery of Life
and Love and our Eternal Being,

failing to see and denying their
crucial transformative processes,
clinging to the old ways
of seeing the world as something
to be calculated and exploited
for our personal, selfish gain

dear one’s awaken,
prepare,
participate

art: ‘Dalit Madonna’ by Jyoti Saha

Author’s note: My reflection is
inspired by the writings of the
German Lutheran Pastor,
theologian, and martyr Dietrich
Bonhoeffer, who was hung by the
Nazi’s for his resistance and religious
beliefs after spending two years in Nazi
prisons and concentration camps. I offer
these reflections from the perspective
of spiritual experience universal to all
creation and humanity whatever one’s
religion, faith, beliefs, or traditions.
Herein lies our hope for the Oneing
of heaven and earth in true belonging
in authentic communities of radical grace
and radical love. Advent blessings!