belonging

belonging
note to self

you do not recognize
how you belong—
you feel inelegant
awkward and other

until one day
it becomes clear
your belonging
lives in kinship
with what is—

each time you
remember this
the mind, for
an enticing flash
goes still

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

tear off the cloak

tear off the cloak
note to self

you put it there yourself
to percolate blunt truth
into acceptable story
it seems rash to live
without it—until you do
and you look back
wondering—why?

it’s leans to bittersweet
turn toward your lot
whether a cascade of
griefs, ailing child, or
lost possibility
we’re given a fistful
for our very own—
we all have something

tear off the cloak that
served as your shield
it didn’t hide much
you only thought it did
live raw—turn your face
to the pinging rain
feel the chill roll
down your cheeks
let grief break you wide
love all of it because
this, this is what you have

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—please understand that many will be rewritten.

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.

stardust

stardust

note to self

pour in
pure consciousness
veil with stardust
and pond muck

we are part cosmos
part earth slop
undoing ourselves
with rapacious speed
why would we
want to save us?

a splash of ingenuity, yes
but floods of ferocity
fires of venom
maybe worse
disregard toward our
dear earth and its beings

yet I pray for
the hope that waits
at the tar black
bottom of Pandora’s box

may stardust
enlighten pond muck
may that box
slam shut returning
our human family to
civility and kindness

may we cherish one another
because of our differences
add back the dove
the olive branch
and most of all
love

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.

the indifferent warming light

the indifferent warming light
note to self

it’s not personal
oh, you wanted to believe it is
love is simply love
wild and bright, a warming light
impartial and unconcerned
it belongs to no one in particular
it belongs to everyone
you flailed and railed—
two years metabolizing
it’s just not personal

thank you to David Whyte for the phrase “the indifferent warming light.”

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.

the owls sing

the owls sing

languid in the hot tub
late late at night
the owls sing for me
two mated pairs
high in the neighborhood
oak and redwood
calling to each other

they know I’m there
listening—
companions as I soak and
ponder how things are
their sonorous tones
a haunting music
both intimate and lonely

am I eavesdropping
on a love song?
the state of their world?
are they discussing the hunt?
is it a partnership dance
and I am their witness?
their sentience
sweet company

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.

troughs and waves

troughs and waves

note to self

that’s life—
dips and hilltops
troughs and waves
a skin-and-bone
roller coaster
sometimes free fall
it can buffet, a sideways
bluster, other times
a zephyr—
delicate and free

rarely tranquil

when days roll by
smoothly for a while—
writing flows, friends
thrive, my earth suit
functions as it should—
I can feel it coming
barometric pressure
behind my heart
heaviness nearby and
I wonder—what, how
and when? never why

will I bear it well?

I don’t pray for specifics—
we’re given our share
from the big field
I pray for insight and grace
sometimes on my knees
often snuggled in bed—
for those I love, I ask
for the highest good
and I pray, oh I pray
for surrender

fault lines

fault lines
note to self

brush by delicate brush
a painstaking excavator
I uncover the skeleton
of what he did—I was
only four years old
that’s faraway past
yet it carved fault lines
in who I might become
cautious instead of creative

every touch leaves signs—
elephants snap limbs
monks arouse hearts
with their clarity
soldiers blast cities to rubble
ants stumble while hefting
a giant crumb—each
singular action shifts
the bones of our world

pick petals from the daisy
it matters, it doesn’t matter
it matters, it doesn’t
both are holy true—
meet the long ago
metabolize and mend
admire fault lines everywhere
trace with care and gold

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.

this day

this day

this day begins thick-eyed
poems stripped sleep
at midnight, slipped into
bed at two—writing hours
where’d they go?
fruitful with not much on
the page—exercised the
muscle, stretched and feinted
words and phrases deleted
added moved deleted again—
in the morning
a homemade mocha
jumpstarts the engine
thank heavens I don’t have to
explain myself, but if I did
a shrug of the shoulders
this is how it is
expand and pare, expand and
pare until finally, it can rest—
until tomorrow

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.