Poetry Is Made for the Open, Available Heart

Don’t even think about it. 

Poetry isn’t made for the controlling mind. 

Poetry is made for the open, available heart – 

Empty but full, 

Ready but not waiting. 

Like a slow rolling thunder storm, 

the words come when ready. 

Sometimes slow, large drops. 

Others: torrents and a splash. 

Don’t even think about it. 

Be a conspirer instead – 

Communing with the loveliness of a deer 

or the bony curve of an ankle. 

Who knows where this or that goes? 

Follow to enter the sublime wonder of uncertain creation. 

Who knows where this line goes? 

Follow. 

Trust. 

Make your availability to inspiration known!

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Master of What?

Of fine tuning

careful listening

slow, steady attunement to another being.

Of recalibrating what bliss means-

with once singing joints now rickety,

tired and aching from carrying a little one –

but redefining ecstasy to encompass new reference points.

No, I am not presently a master of Yoga or the Intellect,

only having plumbed the depths of my own soul.

Master of this:

The Inner realm that is also the Outer:

reflection of divine light

also known as Love,

reverberating in all my cells

and in my slow beating heart-

quiet master of my own loving, aching soul’s journey

through time and space

Nothing more, nothing less.

Just Here, simple, in love in the face of small things.

I am not a master of words.

My particular realization concerns itself with Presence,

that act of grace filling body

coming together to form spine and stomach

and eyes flashing only glimpses of Divine reality within.

Ushering forth new life,

A mother becomes master of

Chopping wood

Carrying water

doing laundry

dishes

carrying

holding

feeding

loving

nurturing-

Some say ‘mundane’

I say beating heart

full of love

resting in simple dance of Being.

Nothing more.  Nothing less,

still refining,

Like the great crucible of life that is

The Womb.

Dusk’s Perfect Moment of Disappearance

The Great Mother

takes us to the place of Quiet Wordlessness,

shows us how to dance in the realm of shadows,

moving like a lover in an exquisite Garden.

She shows us how to let words dissolve,

like wisps of cloud at dusk’s perfect moment of disappearance into night.

She beckons us to know (full bodily) the infinite wonder, just beyond the gate of intellect.

Travel beyond that place to the realm of the Heart, and find out what it means to Love,

not be in conviction,

but wonder – heart and body open and breathless,

like the orgasm just passed, still lingering

in breath and fingertips,

giving birth to the next great understanding…

Late Night Inspirations From My Mother, Circa 1978

When I had just welcomed my second born into the world last year I took time to really slow down and relish the first months, truly feeling my place in a long line of mothers and newborns. During my three-month maternity leave (which also felt like a rare moment of human nesting and hibernation) I dug up old journal entries, wrote long letters to my boys for when they are older, revisited my ongoing family history projects and research, organized photographs, began a baby book of memories, and dipped into the myriad folders I have with family memories and keepsakes. How amazed I was when I came across this poem written by my mother, Joan Ellen McNamara, when she was nesting with her second newborn, my most precious little brother. Entitled Late Night Inspirations, here is a window from February 26th, 1978 – as well as a reminder of the unchanging experience of motherhood throughout the generations…

I think that I shall ever be

so grateful if I never see

another diaper wet and soiled,

another day when plans are foiled;

a little boy who is fussy and crabby,

a little girl when not so happy,

those midnight feedings at one and five,

and in-between when I’m barely alive.

This little boy who cries for food

then falls asleep before he’s through

which means that in an hour or so

we’ll have to give it another go.

for another box that needs my touch

to be unpacked – there is so much!

and really now, you can keep

those nights of quiet, peaceful sleep.

Ha! Ha! I say that just in jest.

I’m dying for a day of rest!

But in all truth I wouldn’t give

away this life that I know live:

To hold a babe within my arms

and be beguiled by his charms.

To watch my little girl at play

as she busily whiles the hours away.

Oh sure, I rant and rave, complain

but within my heart, in love, they reign.

For I’m sure there is no greater joy

than found with my little girl and boy…

Five Generations, on Rowan's Wall...
Five Generations, on Rowan’s Wall…

Life Plucks Us When it is Our Time…

————-

Life plucks us when it is our time.

Like the solo

desert

bloom

amongst cactus trees:

we are called to open towards the heat of life

and then to close

at the perfect moment

of dusk,

into the cool, dark, expanse

of infinity.

There are never two of the same.

One precious imprint,

now traveling with a wild breeze

across rocks and space

into the vast crevices of the heart…

————–

Loosening of Self into Service

Notice what you are up to:

Resisting the intense

(often overwhelming)

responsibility

of caring for another human being.

Resisting sensation:

physical contraction of co-sleeping, carrying, breast-feeding

shoulders rolled forward, tight neck, sore back,

stillness filtered as stagnation

which is

actually Grace, Mystery

Abiding.

Instead: A Reckoning with what’s greater than yourself

while also perfectly accepting limitations.

All of this a huge gesture of love, a relaxation into the grace of giving, a loosening of self into service…

Ode to Quantum

Silence is a beating heart

and if you walk into it

you will eventually come to a room

that has been calling your name

since before you were born.

There you will find

the mirror of darkness

reflecting back to you

everything you cannot see.

The invisible and intagible will be revealed as real

and your heart will find its peace

and your mind will find its terror.

The heart of silence is a beating mirror

that lets us see all of the opposites as One.

Reality is a tiger whose stripes are the waves of possibility…

                                                                                           – Diane Cory