dying away

dying away

every moment
I am perishing
one breath
closer to death
the sun, the moon
even our very own
earth, sources
of sustenance
wither, fade
and ebb away

it’s the way of things

and yet
it’s hard to hold
this—the universe
itself grows, ages
and dies—
my mind, a denier,
even with evidence
doesn’t want to accept

this source of suffering
starts with belief
in past and future
instead of resting
in the cradle of now
it holds us, this now
let the puzzles go
let tension go

now breathe

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

ache

ache

so many kinds
of aches—hips
knees—
hearts the most
painful
to be human
is to ache, tugged
by the thread
of all sorrows

love can remake
and uphold us—
an eagle
the uplift
that keeps it afloat
on the eddies
love is like that
it has lift and vista
buoys and
ferries us through
carries us
to the other side

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

November’s teeth

November’s teeth

Meyer lemon
nestles against
the chimney
soaking up warmth
from last night’s fire
bright fruit ripens
in the late fall chill
in one windy afternoon
the weeping maple lost
all her flaming leaves—
even in California
a bastion of sunlight
ice coats the birdbath

it’s hard
to welcome frost
and warm-coat days
but resisting
is just plain silly
no control
cold comes
and goes as it will

open up this holding
this warding off
of what is
invite it close
befriend it
look deep
into its heart

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

the leaving times

the leaving times

I’m old
not elderly, not yet
though it’s
over the horizon
now visible
marching toward me
precious friends
in trouble—falls
Parkinson’s, frail
bones, cancers
threats of leaving—
embodiment’s way
of clearing space
some days, acceptance
other days, resistance
as though I could
ward off death
this I must
remember—
love is love
inhale a breath
and feel it
everywhere

repeat

the sixth extinction

the sixth extinction
note from self

what will survive?
maybe not humans
we don’t deserve to—
fouled our own home
harmed our relations
the owl and the oak
the rhino the sea bear
the pollinating bee
the list just gets longer

but consciousness
survives outside of time
bright and alive
open and unseen
prior to survival
prior to extinction
before all we can name
awareness abides

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

she sees the world

she sees the world
note from self

she sees the world
as it is—a
splendid shambles
a miraculous mess
that seems poised to
shed humanity over
a few hundred years

what will it look like
in half a millennium?
can kudzu re-green
the planet? will it turn
into a moonscape
like Mars?
and accepts that
she will not know

so celebrates today
and what is known
chill morning air
crow’s hoarse caw
sun-dappled leaves and
her breath in and out
—for now

attune to the world

attune to the world
note to self

you’ve been plunked down
on this blue-green globe and
given a miraculous earth suit

it seems sensible, even prudent
to attune to this world, try to
meet its griefs and joys with
curiosity and grace

and when you fail, oh you will—
that’s as inexorable as death—
like the phoenix, allow the burn
then rise in love and awe

—what other work is there?

thank you to Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer for the title phrase

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.

the body consort

the body consort
note to self

she’s been with you for
27,990 energetic days—
she’s slouchy about the edges
bent here, broken there
a taken-for-granted friend

you’re beholden to her—
she’s overused, yet ferried
you here—for decades
she was treated like a
beat-up truck rather than
the marvel you now know
her to be—oh! to go back
seven decades and reframe
how you dance together

but no second chances
and no time for regrets
go gentle, most of all in
thought—and remember—
she is your body consort

with thanks to Kay Crista for the title

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.