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: loving-kindness for weary souls

poem: loving-kindness

for weary souls

attention narrowing
deep in thought
blank stare
unmoored in rough seas

sensing distress
husband and caregiver
wife and charge
weary souls connect

gently taking her hand
and whispering
“we need some loving-kindness”
she smiles tenderly back at me

metta, compassion,
benevolent tender affection
re-centering us back
in the here and now

loving-kindness
is our healing balm
for much of the weariness
of this world

may all beings be safe
may all beings be free of pain and suffering
may all beings be whole
may all beings be loving and loved

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
September 5, 2022

photo and quote by author

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: initiation

poem: initiation

witnessing life’s tension
with both/and mind,
opening to the complementary
experiencing the interconnectedness
of all things (oneing),
the initiated adult
in the the second half of life emerges
from their ego’s protective shell
of small self becoming
an invitational presence
of mutuality and belonging
here and now in the
beloved community

Herb Stone
August 15, 2022
here&now working poetry

poem: a harsh season

poem: a harsh season

this late summer’s day
sitting among the blooms
of garlic and petunias 

admiring their beauty
during a brief respite from
the season’s searing heat 

she nearby with a wry smile,
resting on her cane, eyes closed,
lost in a reverie 

the past 12 months
of our life’s second half
its own harsh season

 

mindful that earthly forms
wither and fade
yet souls hold their beauty 

grateful for the radical
acceptance and love
of mutual belonging 

aware that our most
high Spirit resurrects
in Cosmic harmony of All 

yes, in the late summer
of our harsh year, seeing
the Beauty now and to come 

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
August 6, 2022 

photos by author 

Author’s note: The past twelve
months have seen a string of acute
illnesses, chronic health concerns,
and injuries for my beloved. We
weather the harsh season together,
and discover the Beauty that survives
and endures now and to come.

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.

poem: a gently healing path back to holistic health (embraced by mother Earth)

poem: a gently healing path
back to holistic health
(embraced by mother Earth)

a tapestry of green
with mixed colors dance
before our eyes absorbing us
into the bright sunlight
outside our door

a cool breeze wraps
our neck with the shade
of the large trees
swaying to and fro
engulfing us

for the first time
in too many days
light lunch al fresco
and a short walk to the
koi meditation pool

gently setting us on the
healing path from our
collective dis-ease and
its isolating malaise to
our shared holistic Earth Home

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
July 11, 2022

photos by author

Author’s note: upon my beloved
and I slowly recovering from
being infected with COVID.