Category Archives: loss

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.

6 Comments

Filed under Awakening, children, Daily reminders, feelings, loss, memoir, Musings, notes to self, Poetry, suffering, Surrender, Truth

requiem for the earth

requiem for the earth
note to self

WWII marker at Britain’s
Canterbury Cathedral in
the ruins, granite chiseled
“Father, forgive them for
they know not what they do”
I stood desolate

we full well know
the havoc we wreak on
our beloved earth, our home
the only parachute we have
we want what we want more—
our comforts—convinced the
worst won’t unfurl, yet it’s here
predicted fifty years ago
when there was time
to mend our savage ways
I too am culpable—drive and
cozy near the gas fire

faster, more dire than foreseen—
cat-5 twisters, desperate
flooding, devastating drought
and oh, the fires!
remember how plentiful
skippers, painted ladies
and tiger moths? no
sustaining habitat to feed—
too many of us

how do we create
a requiem for the earth?

I cast my love and warmth—
for the gnarled oak, a century old
its weighty branches pulled toward
ground—the woodpecker’s
flash of red as it drills the bark
the innocent babes born now
on this weeping earth
for my aging body, gravity
calling me home

oh! sing a sacred song
sing it with my whole heart

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, loss, Musings, notes to self, Poetry, spirituality

the ancient ones

the ancient ones

note to self

scientists discovered that
trees respond. that one, there—
does it feel the blaze suck air,
ignite the roots, until it’s
a pillar of raging light,
over 1400 degrees?
is this the tree that only
casts seeds when burned?
a phoenix of desolation?

all I have are questions.

what a transgression—a living
organism, 2000 years old,
is devoured by our careless
inattention. our greed.
where is our gumption,
our brilliance, spent?
what malformed gene
stuffs our head in sand?
we were warned.
we did nothing of merit
and here we are now.

girl, make a difference

comfort the young ones
respond and rescue
the four-leggeds, the
winged things that
we abandoned.
like phoenix rising from ash,
write, paint, engineer,
love this mangled world
with your whole being

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, loss, Love, memoir, Musings, notes to self, pain, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, Truth

predicament of being alive

predicament of being alive

note to self

it isn’t easy on planet earth.
losses carve our hearts
staggering low-back pain
your family business fails
a parent’s sudden demise
empty craters of loss

a monarch flickers by
the mockingbird’s serenade
a dog’s cold nose in greeting
jasmine scents the air
chocolate melts on your tongue
the scent of a baby’s neck
enough joy to keep us here. just.

the predicament is this:
how to welcome paradox:
are you vast enough?
open? willing?
can your heart spread wide?
that is what is asked for
the courage to breathe it all

thank you to Margaret Rooney for the title phrase

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, dogs, feelings, loss, Love, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, Surrender, Truth

a Pantoum on grief

The Pantoum is a poetry form originating in 15th century Malaysia.
It uses a pattern of repetition; the second and fourth lines serve as
the first and third lines of the stanza that follows.

grief

a pantoum in practice
(with thanks to Emily Dickinson for “dwindled dawn”)

every grief is a true grief
a different flavor of love
if we do not love
we cannot grieve

a different flavor of love
without heart opening
we cannot grieve
what if we welcome it?

without heart opening
life is a dwindled dawn
what if we welcome it?
sorrow and joy, one song

life is a dwindled dawn
strangled without love
sorrow and joy, one song
we’re asked to hold them both

we cannot grieve
if we do not 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.

3 Comments

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, loss, Love, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Poetry, spirituality, Surrender, Truth

way of the heart

way of the heart
note to self

the way of the heart
is sacred ground
tread with love, tend
with regard
with kindness
with care

dismissed from work,
life-threatening diagnosis,
loss of a friend or child or mate,
the way is the light that
perforates desolation
forgo the urge to bolt
distress is not infectious
this blaze of the heart
is meant to be shared

foremost, listen.
just that.
anguish cannot be “fixed”
heed the plight
of your companion
or your very own self.
your words aren’t needed
attendance is required to
honeycomb grief and
make openings for light
spacious
aware
clear

with thanks to Margaret Rooney for the phrase “ the light that perforates”

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, loss, Love, memoir, mind, Musings, notes to self, pain, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, Truth

off my wrist they sailed

off my wrist they sailed

note to self 1993

olive wood, worn pecan and
buttery from my touch—
fingering love, gratitude, peace,
and prayers upon prayers upon prayers

ninety-nine beads, each an aroma
of the beloved, plus two carved ones
that divide each thirty-three
a gift from my Sufi teacher—
bestowed from his murshid to him
the indelible chain of hearts

three wraps around my wrist,
always there. for thirty years,
I’d passed the tasbih beads
through thumb and forefinger
marking a sacred word or phrase

precious, old friends.

on a ten-day island retreat
I found a cockle 500 feet
above the sea—a shell, up here?
Did the land upheave
three-hundred-million years ago?

my intention: throw it back
from whence it came,
return it home to the Maui gods.
I made the cast and the shell took flight

as though in pursuit,
my treasured beads sailed off my wrist
aghast, I watched them fly
a long, asymmetrical
arc toward the woods

a chilla, a test, so very clear.
suspended, frozen,
my heart lurched at the loss
they’re well and truly gone

let them go!

did I pinpoint their likely
grave in forest duff, spongy
and deep? oh, I searched!
frantic, desperate, digging, pawing
they must be there.
why had I not replaced aging string?

never found.

cross-legged on my bed,
sick at heart that I hadn’t
released my claim on them
I pondered the test I’d failed—
how will it come again?

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.

5 Comments

Filed under Awakening, chilla/test, Daily reminders, loss, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, Surrender, Truth

his shadow on the couch

his shadow on the couch

If I look slantwise
there he is, still poised,
my sleek Saluki,
paws crossed
elegant, aloof
unfailingly pleasant…

except for cats
squirrels, deer, and
jack rabbit those
he yearned to chase
and, I believe, to kill

yet, there was nothing
brutal about him
pure instinct
clean, direct,
innocent of motive
even matter of fact

at the beach free
to run amidst brethren
he always displayed
good manners
how did he know at
one hundred feet

the Jack Russell,
the size of a cat,
was not prey?
but he knew dog!
oh, the lift in his gait
those chic long legs
the length of his stride

my writing accomplice
he followed me into
my office took to his bed
yawned and snuggled in
if I look slantwise
his shadow curls there, too

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.

6 Comments

Filed under death, dogs, feelings, loss, Love, memoir, Musings