give it up

give it up
note to self

give it up—the
hankering that
claws your gut and
tugs your heart

I was taught
how life unfolds
is not enough—
was pushed to strive
for more—were you?

most of us were
trained to crave—
fancy new boots
a handsome suitor
or swanky school
city life or exotic locale
something! more!

give it up—not the
imagined gains, only
your hungry ghosts
—instead, notice the
steal of light, how it
shivers through trees
the miracle that water
rains from above, your
kindhearted friends
—all freely given

work for change
of course—encourage
discourse and peace
invite healing everywhere
yet welcome how it is
whatever it is because
here it is

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

my father’s closet

(this was my father’s birthday—he would be 108 today)

my father’s closet

I don’t know how
to write about my father
forty-four years gone
he’s still a puzzle
a large, lonely man
who drank too much
and hid it well

but I recall the bouquet
of his walk-in closet
musky and male
suits and sport coats
tidy, shoes polished
till they reflected light
and ties—so many ties
myriad colors, wool and silk
I liked to sit in there
under the jackets and
drink in his spice
it all seemed so foreign

I wanted to know him but
that was not possible
his signature—arctic
wiry hair, his pride
amidst balding friends—
he carried a briefcase
bought plush cars with
skin-soft seats
but what were his thoughts?
his cares?
his dreams?

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.


hoarding cookiesThirty years ago, I used to be what I thought of as an “addictive personality.” I was addicted to trying to make myself feel better: through love, seeking belonging, and even regular marijuana use–to smooth the jagged edges I perceived in life.

I benefited from twelve step programs, eliminated the most destructive substances, and learned to manage more minor tendencies. For example, I ate mint chocolate chip ice cream in a tiny bowl–perhaps a quarter cup. My agreement with myself was if I couldn’t limit my portion to that, I couldn’t have mint chocolate chip ice cream in my house.

But I knew I had not found, nor addressed, the root cause of my wanting.

Fast forward thirty years. I was addicted to trying to alter my experience. I would never suggest this is true of anyone else, or even imply that my understanding would, or should work for them. But as I stopped trying to change what is, and not only surrendered to the heart of my experience, but have been willing to bring it closer rather than push it away, any sense of addictive pull has dissolved.

I am deeply grateful.

© Amrita Skye Blaine
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