Category Archives: notes to self

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

all you can do

all you can do

note to self

nothing’s “under control”
you may think it is, but
it’s a wild mess, wholly
pandemonium,
all happening, happening
redolent and rampant
spilling out in endless
variety—us included—
and brought into play

so relax.

there’s no stopping it
squalling newborn
assault rifles for sale
your first, tentative kiss
tender lips caress yours
friend’s death diagnosis,
and then your own,
sunrise aflame—apricot on cobalt,
sour milk and moldy tortillas,
puppy snoring in your lap
all of it, erupting at once

relax.

forget the mind
the craving to name,
to nail down something,
anything, and
give it meaning.
troublesome thoughts—
oh, suffering ensues,
that’s guaranteed.
meet it, whatever it is,
not slantwise, straight on

and relax

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, mind, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, spirituality, suffering, Surrender, thoughts, Truth

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

every riven thing

every riven thing

note to self

looking around, it
all seems bruised—
maimed from the get go
and yet I hold hope
of a loving outcome
I know that hope is futile
yet I cup it in my hand
a delicate swallowtail of faith
bold black markings on
dandelion yellow

that’s why I read novels
but never thrillers. a complex
ending, okay, but positive, please.
there’s enough negligence—
and worse—right here,
dealt out on a daily basis.
our world, straight on:
starvation, murder, fires
but riven hearts radiating love—
piercing light, pouring
through the cracks like suns,
generous and free

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, Musings, notes to self, spirituality, thoughts

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

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.

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

this, too

this, too

note to self

so tired.
tired of infighting and
hatred. tired of lies.
what is this human
aversion to truth?
we’ve slipped
off the diving board.
let’s cherish the bowl
of our fragile home.
wholeness is no longer
possible in the manifested
world. Kintsugi calls.
we can mend ourselves
with rivulets of goodness.
it takes more juice
to frown than smile.
choose gold.
gold lacquer and rice flour,
a delicate harmony.

start.
sit in silence.
parse what is.
right now. all of it. the lush
air at sunup’s first blush.
hawk nabs gopher.
gunfire.
parents beg.
even DNA required.
weeping, they
comfort each other.
this, too.
with a slender brush,
smooth liquid gold
into the seams.
kindness.
peace.
care.
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.

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Filed under Awakening, children, Daily reminders, death, feelings, insomnia, Love, memoir, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, pain, Poetry, Silence, spirituality, suffering, Truth

stone in a backpack of boulders

stone in a backpack of boulders

note to self

the backpack load
unbearable unwearable
too heavy
digs ruts in our shoulders
yet we must heft it
and now,
another stone
a huge one

a school we never heard of
filled with young children who
have lost buddies they played tag,
hung upside down on bars
and now are forever gone
they’ll face enduring night frights
stained with crimson—
how will they recover?

when will we ken
the fatal disease of
separation? without
the resonance of interbeing,
how linked we are,
every one of us, no exceptions,
this will happen again
and again and 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.

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Filed under Awakening, children, Daily reminders, death, feelings, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, pain, parenting, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, Truth

collateral beauty

collateral beauty

note to self

I look for it everywhere
only way to stay sane
today, it’s apricot aloe vera
the pompous blooms
dot our garden
my friend the squirrel
sleek and springtime fat
keeps me company
dances on the fence
while I write
jasmine! saturating the air
eager children on tiptoe
search books in the
little free library my
husband built
it matches our home
what a playful surprise
it takes daily tending
remove extra books
sometimes it’s stuffed to
overflow
fill empty slots
the neatening grounds me
in collateral beauty
delight erupts
take note
drink it in
let it nourish you

share

thank you Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer 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.

4 Comments

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

the weight of impotence

the weight of impotence

note to self

stopped watching
TV world news
clicked off NPR
but on the iPad
catch myself roving
through BBC, CNN
and The Guardian
impelled to know

crushed by agony
in our world, I ponder
my own actions,
minuscule movements
of love, one in 7.9 billion
7.9 billion!
impotence weighs me down

and yet,
the eye of the heart flames—
see, over there,
the mare licks her foal
still amniotic wet
long, slow strokes to
ground him into life

with tender fierceness
watch the red-tailed hawk
feed snake to
squawking fluff balls
or the hospice nurse plump
pillows for the failing elder,
offering gentle words

oh please! dear self
faced with global turmoil
even though you
lie awake and quail,
remember—
thought is ineffectual
it holds no other sway

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, Kashmiri Shaivism, Love, memoir, mind, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, thoughts, Truth