Category Archives: memoir

sanctuary

sanctuary

note to self

this is where
I go to get quiet—
my inner sanctuary
sink deep and listen
if I am still, I can find
the cathedral of words
part prayer part supplication
part statement of intent
words pouring
from the wordless
to write myself awake

there’s nothing to do
yet still I’m compelled—to convey
what cannot be written or spoken
or painted or sung or sculpted
although it can be revealed
the ineffable—
transparent
luminous
empty
open

*thank you to Ayaz Angus Landman for the phrase “cathedral of words”

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.

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Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Poetry, Rupert Spira, spirituality, Surrender, Truth

lunch

lunch

a red-tailed hawk
pierces the sky
nabs the goldfinch perched
near our sunseed feeder
my heart lurches at
the violence, so
surprising and sudden
your song ripped
from the air

still-warm meat, now
bits, feed growing eyas
we all have to eat
nourish precious young
I absolve the hawk
pray the little finch has
no huddle of offspring

is it really violence?
the hawk’s native tools
sharp beak, razor talons
there is no choice—use
the means she is given
or die—grim reality
but true

I was only seven
when I noticed we all
eat each other—
life, no longer benign
the dismay, the awe
that’s the way on
our lonely blue planet
at a galaxy’s edge
it only seemed mild
but never was—
child-mind at play

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.

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Filed under Awakening, children, Daily reminders, memoir, Musings, Truth

polestar

polestar

note to self

since young, I’ve
heeded it, although I
didn’t know its name
nur—sacred light
it’s inside everything
shimmering radiant
not quite evident yet
wholly there and aware
a generous wealth
the wealth that matters

this manifest world—
a ripe Fuji, juicy and ecstatic
begging to be devoured
that’s fine—crunch it!
quench your hunger
a temporary satisfaction
recognize what it’s made of
remember your polestar
and above all
share the nourishing light

nur is Arabic for divine light. My first teacher, who died twenty years ago, always described it as unmanifest 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.

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Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, simple pleasures, spirituality, Truth

touchstone

touchstone

note to self

in the presence
of a fresh breath,
today, amidst strife,
news so disturbing
I cannot watch
but know about anyway,
it trickles in the back door—
Ukraine’s destruction,
rolled back freedoms,
climate misery,
election madness—
still
joy flushes through
how can that be?
how can it not be?

wonder doesn’t arise from
this world—it seeps in
from the big field,
a welcome touchstone—
surprises, delights for
an instant or a day
the blessing of a passionflower,
their five-fingered hearts
begging bees, jasmine climbing
the arch in our front yard
fragrance scenting the air
fresh potatoes unearthed
soil clinging—a bounty
thirty-nine pounds!
carrots, too, their
salmon selves slipping
from their bed.
soak in this joy

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.

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Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, Love, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, Poetry, spirituality

pilgrim

pilgrim

note to self

since eleven,
a pilgrim, a wayfarer
but not out here
on the inner, instead
what is this?
what am I?
what knows before
anything came to be?

prior,
prior to this outrageous
cosmos—and the birthing,
dying, exploding, expanding
delicious, rollicking mess
of a world, stardust everywhere—
prior to thought, what is that?
what sees through these
eyes? those?

it’s lush in here
the big field of knowing
the password is surrender
however, beware—
beliefs fall away
consciousness shines
a relentless taskmistress
it asks for everything

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.

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Filed under Advaita, Awakening, Daily reminders, Dzogchen, feelings, Kashmiri Shaivism, memoir, mind, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, Poetry, spirituality, Surrender, Truth

dripping in the night

dripping in the night

after bedtime
water drips from the
cedar onto the roof
rolls into the gutter,
the plunks a consolation
to my desiccated heart.
blessed rain!

thirty-three years lived
off and on in California—
now, in one June downfall,
almost an inch?

I long to stay awake
soak in the rare and
fleeting melody, a denser
song on the shingles
hollow in the pipes

the rainfall, the cedar,
the shingled roof—
my very own self and
the friend in another guise

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.

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Filed under Daily reminders, feelings, Love, memoir, mind, treasure

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.

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

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

time is on fire

time is on fire

note to self

watch out!
here in the declared world
time is on fire
the more you rush the
higher the flames claim

slow your steps
breathe through your
thoughts. the moment you notice,
they’re in the past anyway.
finished.
thought can not be immediate
how shocking to glimpse this

sniff the purple iris
allow its bouquet
redolent of grape to
sweep through you
be one with you
before naming it and
fixing it in place
giving it distinction

step out of time
let the world burn
that is its nature. rest
in the cool of the big field
you can’t touch it
but it’s there—
steadfast and reliable

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
.

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ravished

ravished

okay, it’s true
I’m ravished by poems.
lines brush me awake at
twelve, one, two
if I resist getting up, they’ve
vanished by dawn.
gone. I’m left bereft

words stalk, draw me
from bed—most every
night now—a phrase
threads through me
like tendrils of dreams,
shakes me and won’t let go
until they find their home

here on the page.
I’ve given up
no more withholding.
words, have your way
confide to my heart
pry me open
play me, your flute

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.

4 Comments

Filed under feelings, insomnia, memoir, Musings, Poetry, Surrender, writing