wake into this life

wake into this life
note to self

remaining asleep
is no longer an option
this time on our world
demands that you
wake into this life, meet
every other—daffodil
poisonous adder or your
loud, drunken neighbor—
as your equal
and use your aplomb

they, too, whether finely
expressed or not, are made
of pure lively awareness—
they, like the snake, might have
a quite different role, or like
your neighbor, be profoundly
veiled—still, they were poured
forth from lucid consciousness
just like you—imagine that!

with thanks to David Whyte for the title phrase

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

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.

bewilderment and tenacity

bewilderment and tenacity
note to self

this has been your path
bewilderment and tenacity—
wonder and shock at
the ways of the world
the grit to bear down
and bear with—

at the marrow, life is raw
it takes starch and love
and resolve and guts and
bundles of kindness

watch the sparrows bathe
how they dip and shake
the bevy of doves grazing
the ground for seeds
they all know what to do
relax, and you will, too

thank you to Elias Amidon for the title phrase

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

the tender gravity of kindness

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the tender gravity of kindness
note to self

remember—for you
the highest good is kindness
be interested in the grocery
checker—he stands on
his feet all day for you—
and generous with Anne
the blocky woman who leans
on her cane holding a sign
on the corner where you
turn toward home
partner, and dog

kindness is warm
it does not spurn or flinch
but notices what’s true—
the checker has pain
etched near his eyes
Anne’s in a wheelchair now—
love and respect them with
the tender gravity of kindness
another may show you one day

thank you to Naomi Shihab Nye for the title phrase

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

the gift of friendship

the gift of friendship
note to self

when a friend
comprehends the
deepest plane of you—
the heart space where
no words are required
and delight dances—
you have been given a
precious, shared jewel

time and distance may facet
that gem, augment its grace
how the angles redirect the light
if it’s a true friend, one who
lives in being with you
that jewel cannot be harmed—
it is safe, reliable, eternal

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

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.

surrender

surrender
note to self

the colicky infant
yields to the long-braided child
the sulky teen gives way

to the brisk, busy woman
she cedes to a bowed back
and wild egret hair

it’s the way of things
so achingly evident yet
the carnal body squirms

capitulates
yes, to all of it
there is no other concession

of course, be brave
stand and face the bully
care for the injured wren

but most of all
love one another
then, like Beowulf

we must yield
the leasehold
of our days

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.

slender moments

slender moments

note to self

suspended moments—
vivid, lucid
unambiguous

your Prius shoved
upside down dead bug
wheels spinning

he sauntered down
the path—heart
recognition flames

thrown from a
horse, floating in
air—time arrests

in less than a breath
beliefs, a card house
exposed, collapse

you are cast
into the big field
give over, soften

unambiguous
vivid, lucid—those
slender moments

thank you to Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer for “slender moments”

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.