the test

the test
1974

infant son
malformed heart
callous docs
severe surgeries
wailing baby
life, a hard cushion

she was pushed
to notice the good—
so many gratitudes!
hot tub’s warm embrace
hound’s comforting nudge
her little boy’s hug

noting grace became
her way—she learned to
heed life’s finespun
palette—delicate
melding from one
soft hue to another

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

listening

listening

note from self

this world calls—
begs for attention
she cannot refuse
too fast, too fast
(or so she thinks)
her heart answers back
“what’s needed here?”
“can this being help?”
instructions are clear—
attend with care
be kind
spread love—
that’s all you can do
to mend this riven world

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

sown with love

sown with love
note from self

it’s been her work
for over five decades
stretch open and open
and open some more

life broke up clods
tilled in amendments
turned under red clover—
readying for love seeds

now nurtured and
tended, her heart is
fertile land, sown and
ripened with love

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

the teacher

the teacher
note from self

catapulted onto stone
she can’t speak
and barely breathe
yet there’s an invitation
let pain be pain
the aching, stabbing
lie-still-on-the-ground
wait-to-see-what-happens
or, let the mind get busy
building stories into suffering
pain and torment
the double whammy—
far worse than finding the
thread of breath again
accepting help
and staying only oh! only
in the present moment
here, in the warm sunshine
lying on hard rock
head cradled in her
husband’s precious hands

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

give something precious

give something precious
note to self

give your attention
spread kindness wide
save the wee bird
that spilled from the nest
be bountiful in this
wounded world
share a smile, a soft
word—phone your ill
friend, warm her sphere
giving will fill you to
overflow
crack yourself open, be
a torrent of tenderness
use yourself up—
your well is replenished
again, again, and again

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

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.