Take Your Medicine

Silence is the medicine
so desperately needed
in a deafening world of noise
the earth is always waiting
with gentle tea leave tonics
to soothe an aching heart
rough, strong branches
to support your tired limbs
soft, sweet smelling grasses
to cradle a head made heavy
with over stimulation
invite in the fearful feeling
that rises suddenly inside
at the thought of slowing down
prove to yourself
that the world keeps spinning
when you completely stop
rest is the only remedy
that can refill an empty cup
taking a break seems impossible
when you need it most of all
this is your permission slip
to settle into stillness
and reconnect with
the almighty ebb and flow
of ever-present earth energy
pulsating beneath your feet
you deserve to take deep breaths
and sprinkle your days with
compassionate commas
and plump, perfect pauses

The Rain Reminds Me

Waking to the sound of rain
a song of rest outside my window
sanctuary of subdued sunshine
a signal to soften and slow down

Dewey refuge from frantic movement
rejuvenation released from the sky
deflating this bloated baggage of worry
replaced with soothing streams of surrender

Tender tones of grey and blue
wrapping me in sacred stillness
permission to let go and listen
the soft drumbeat of water on leaves

Muffled birdsongs through the mist
relentless ethereal cadence of crickets
full bodied accompaniment to life's chorus
syncopated splashes contributed by clouds

Damp doves drying in tree branches
the whole world holding it's breath
absorbing this gift of liquid life relinquished
awe-inspiring cycle of earth's abundance

Savoring the simple gifts of nature
the last few decades of clean water
overcome with sheer gratitude for
deep exhales punctuated by raindrops

You’re With Me On My Own

Living lattice of spongey spiderwebs
stitches supporting the dark, damp earth
connecting networks transmitting information
between the trees' deeply buried toes

breathing in pulsating energy particles
that permeate the thick air above
quivering conviction of nature intertwined
magical mirror image, veins beneath pale skin

Sacred assurance that all is not lost
the same sun still rises in the east each morning
you reside in the red light beneath my eyelids
retinas stained with sweet remembrance

Everything fades except for this feeling
bitter things only taste better as I age
including this patient pain, the prize I protect
hopeless happiness harbored in secret

Silly dreams pluck breath from lonely lungs
pathetic mantra of "maybe one day"
vindicated by comparison to other
laughably unlikely anecdotes

The small, sharp pleasure of
planning this impossible future
fills my cracked cup enough
to keep going

Besides, we're still connected by
that complicated underground lace
linked inextricably through shared sunlight
eternally sown together with this earth
Mycelium Dreaming – Autumn Skye

Childhood

Thank you for a childhood
free from seductive screens
for long summer days
lying on the floor without AC

Thank you for the silence
of a world before wires
that let my mind buzz with
unhindered creativity

Thank you for the boredom
of being bottled up in my room
finding forms within the waves
of rough paint on my ceiling

Thank you for the woods
for butterflies and salamanders
and all the small creatures
I had space to be acquainted with

Thank you for blanket forts
crisp fall evenings buried under leaves
snow days with red cheeks from sled riding
hot chocolate and dehydrated marshmallows

Thank you for a childhood
full of flower fields and fresh air
the secret memory of that inner stillness
where I can return whenever I need it

Patriot

Despite it all
I still love this country
not the people or the
putrid institutions or the
racist men who impose them

I love the land that spreads
beneath my feet from
sea to shining sea
the majesty of the earth
and all her creatures

I'm proud of our prairies
not the president
I praise the coastlines
not the constitution
written for rich white men

The expansive flowing fields
the splendor of the snow capped mountains
the acres of old growth forests
the vast diversity of lifeforms
that flourish here under blue skies

I won't stand to salute a flag
or die for a monstrous lie
but I kneel in awe before the earth
and count the blessings bestowed
upon me by her beauty

Worthy of Worship

The healing caress of the natural world
is crowded out by skyscrapers and cement
the hum of rubber wheels on the highway
distracts from the mountains rising in the distance

A humbling sensation, a separation from ego
each time I open my backdoor to be once again
engulfed in the cooling exhale of green leaves
being reabsorbed into the breathing earth

How many millions are out there 
left untouched by this indefinable majesty
a terminal separation from divine source
crammed between steel beams

Reduced to fingering picture book images
of the places meant to be intimately known
the unbridled angst that bubbles beneath a species
ignorant of the scent of the rain hitting dry soil

Buying the lie that we've sold to ourselves of
not needed, even avoiding, this sacred connection
cut off from the great spirit we placed
on a shelf alongside philosophy books

The only God I know is right here within the
shifting forms of this forest teeming with life
I pray to the rolling clouds themselves
not some undetermined dimension beyond them

We preach about the fall from grace while simultaneously
recreating our exile from the garden every day
placing money in a bowl to praise a God
we rip up by the roots for the paper it's printed on

I don't have to wonder if a higher power hears my prayers
they are answered in each sunrise and every crashing wave
responses carried back to me on the evening breeze
a perfect goddess dressed in green outside my window

Summer Slips By

Summer settles in
around the eaves of the houses
a heavy heat that grows and expands

Lush gardens swell
creating a hopeful sea of green
rough leaves reaching upward toward the sun

The atmosphere buzzes
the electric hum of birds and bugs
the gentle breeze rustling through the leaves

The cycle of the seasons
reflected and repeated in each creature
the metronome of moments that connect us all

The misfortune of our
clever distractions that separate us
summer slips by unnoticed beneath the blue sky

Black Raspberry Rain

The warm, thick water
at the edge of the river
guides me along the 
texture of the rocky shore

the soft rhythm of the waves
against my bare legs and feet
sand sticks to me as I reemerge
through the trees along the road

the humid air clings to my lungs
in an oppressive cloud of heat
storms slowly accumulating
above the distant horizon

ripe black raspberries beckon
from the wild hillside bramble
the heat is dissolved by cool droplets
as I begin to collect my bounty

enjoying my palmful of sweet fruit
letting the rain soak my hair
and paint dewy beads against my skin
the swell of sweet music in my ears

I laugh at the sheer delight of being alive
overcome by gratitude for all my senses
overwhelmed with love for this world
savoring the childlike joy of simplicity

each present moment can be populated
with precious miracles like these
may my mind remain still to witness
my heart always open, ready to receive

Reset Button

the smallest dose
of ancient medicine
breaks down the walls
I build around myself
letting the world in
once again

a reminder of what is
the tether of the present moment
pulling me along through time
the curiosity of the child inside
waking to a wonderful world
that's been here all along

the sheer beauty of bird calls
as I add my own joyous song
the deep knowing of connection
that binds me to all beings
in this mysterious adventure
of unlikely existence

the realization that I am here
a vessel to fill up with love and awe
by witnessing the miracle of reality
gratitude spills from my eyes
in salty streams of sacred serenity
thank you, thank you, thank you

The Song

My heart sings for small towns
not for the crumbling, faded houses
or the hollow eyes that inhabit them
but for the spaces in between humanity
the thick undergrowth of untouched hillsides
the silence that surrounds you
as you emerge at the street's abrupt end

winding roads turning to dust
as they weave through valleys
and stitch the mountains together
no turns in sight as you faithfully follow
for miles to a singular destination
in the distant country, past oceans
made of tall grasses and grazing cattle

where the open sky is unhindered
by smog and skyscrapers
and you can feel yourself shrinking
beneath the infinity of distant stars
or cradled by the buoyant brushstrokes
of soft clouds in an endless canvas of blue
swallowed up, dissolved, and made whole again all at once

I've always found safety in the subtle symphony
of places far away from people
the silent prayer of bare feet against the warm earth
sunlight filtered through gently rustling leaves
the tender cadence of countless other lives
swelling and saturating every cell of my being
bowing down in reverence to this ancient rhythm

Separation from source
is the truest form of suffering
caged inside the arrogant design of human kind
cut off from the wind and light
set aside to sit in sterile cells
tangled up in selfish isolation
eating ourselves alive

No, I'd rather wade into the cool embrace
the filthy, glistening grandeur of the river
memorize the ever changing melody
of chirping birds and tiny insects
the healing buzz of their constant vibration
lapping at the shores of my truest self
reminding me of my part in the song