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

Mind-full

Mindfulness is trusting
that this moment is enough
showing our appreciation
for the gift of now

Setting aside our doubts
to delve deeper into the present
seeing past the surface simplicity
to be enveloped in sheer awe

Each minute becomes magnified
under the gaze of the focused mind
purpose found in pondering
a cloud's reflection in a puddle

It's surprising what can fill your cup
when you pay attention to the pouring
of each moment into the next
perfect stillness in motion

Outrage Fatigue

Obligated to fight for change
I bared my bloodied heart
inside my clenched fist
I was always much better
at biting off heads than
biting my tongue

Staying silent feels like defeat
it feels like surrender is
the same as giving permission
having the privilege to turn my back
and shut my eyes to the horror
of a society sliding backwards

Abandoning my sisters
just because I am safe
sounds egregious
but how can I kill myself
for a cause that can't be won
I'll only make things worse

Trying to make an impact
from a place of violence and hate
only serves to further salt the soil
beneath our bruised and tired feet
nothing good can be grown from
actions fueled by rage

It's best to hold back rather than
adding to the viscous chaos
my modest gift must be silence
sitting quietly to quell the storms
inside my own soul instead of
spewing more poison

Please forgive me
for long ago losing faith
in the human race
for not having the power
to protect anyone
but myself

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 remerge
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

Playing the Game

What if this is just a game?
would we still feel as attached
to the arbitrary outcome
and keep hacking away
at ourselves in order to win

What if we chose this avatar
in another life we've forgotten
was this path placed before us
with loving, mindful intention
a joyous challenge, a precious lesson

Will we feel silly to wake up
and realize we felt such urgency
a desperate need to get it right
in a form we can return to
as much as we'd like

Abundance

Abundance is a concept
that feels foreign to me
hoarding away all that I have
fearful that it won't be enough
cheating the system
to add to my stash

Trying to prepare
for the daunting unknown
just beyond tomorrow
the world seems viscous
and unworthy of my trust
fate as an enemy not an ally

But despite all the tragedy
that pollutes this existence
today is a day of celebration
a recognition of the wealth
I have been rewarded with
in such unexpected ways

A signal from the universe
that I am being guided
in the right direction at last
a confirmation that I should
keep listening to the small chirps
of intuition that has laid dormant

A reminder that my reality
is an expression of my inner truth
mental, spiritual, and emotional landscape
made manifest in living color
a reflection of the essence
deep within this sacred vessel

Fear can only overtake me
when I give it permission
to enshroud my soul with doubt
and drown out the soft voice
that whispers the deep wisdom
housed within my heart

Trusting in myself to know
the correct path and following it
confidently and without shame
will always lead me to the light
despite the useful suffering
I encounter along the way

Today I allow myself to taste
the ripe nectar of the fruit
cultivated through hopeful faith
I embrace the gift of abundance
bestowed upon me in this
prescous moment 

Cry

SSRIs make it hard to cry
hard to feel anything fully at all
sometimes they are necessary
to blunt the unbearable fear
a protective barrier against the world

But walls meant to defend
soon start to close in and
cut off the true healing of
experience and connection
left cold and untouched by life

It feels good to cry
to release this stagnant energy
that has been choking me
but that familiar, impassable pit
remains just behind my heart

Now tears of joy and gratitude
flow freely from my eyes
but the painful feelings
are still stuffed down and
kept from breaking the surface

They are too big and frightening
to let myself feel, to move past and heal
stifled deep inside they swell and
stitch themselves together 
become congealed with past pain

Threatening to consume me
or tear my paper heart to pieces
forever adding drops to that dark well
discovering the ways I've learned to cope
have been keeping me sick

Moving Forward

Stepping back
taking a moment
to savor and celebrate
the seemingly small
but utterly transformative
changes I have made

Silencing the voice
in my head that says
not good enough
long enough to recognize
that at least now
I can hear it

I cannot ask for more
in this very moment
than the subtle awareness
I've taken years to cultivate
the bliss that breaks over me
as I reflect on my progress

The first step has been achieved
I've made the space to witness
chain reactions that were once
overwhelmingly automatic
I watch them with interest
and deep curiosity

I cannot always stop myself
but just to see is a greater gift
than I've ever expected to receive
knowing what I need to do
visualizing the path to peace
is more than I had before

I cannot expect to rush this process
of compassion, patience, and healing
I have a lifetime to play with, ponder,
and polish this gentle, loving practice
as it continues to unravel and reveal
new complexities and insights each day

I am so excited to see where this 
ancient knowledge of spiritual wellness
will lead me as I stumble faithfully
forward into my own mysterious future
my heart overflows with gratitude
for the lessons I have gathered

So thankful for the wisdom passed down
from strangers in foreign lands
and long forgotten times 
for the outstretched hands of spirits
guiding me from beyond the grave
I will not squander their selfless generosity

I will make my ancestors proud
as I continue onward through the unknown
with a recklessly radiant open heart
and the fervent intention to heal
not only myself, but the wounds left open
by those who came before