the thorn

the thorn
note from self

she sucks
on her thumb
the wound
doesn’t bleed
but the rosebud
embedded
its armor

it throbs

she locates a pin
cures it in spirits
bites on her lip
and digs
the whole thorn
needs to come out
or will fester

so it is with
misunderstanding
knife deep
but with care
the full root
must be plucked
or else it regrows
and could claim her

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

late-night encounter

late-night encounter

for Conny

2 a.m. wakeup
cradle my arm
toddle down hallway
sleepy, unsteady
headed for fridge
whole-milk yogurt
good bed for pain meds
I’m at a retreat
tiny cell a nun’s cloister
five-hanger closet
narrow bed, desk and sink
my home for a week
I find kitchenette
open yogurt one-handed
four spoonfuls enough
long highway toward home
my pill and to bed
neighbor emerges
says something soft
but I can’t understand
point to my ears
woman enunciates
“are you in pain?”
I nod, “yes I am”
she says “bless your heart”
her spirit flows forth
enfolds me in
warmth and affection
tears spring to my throat
clog there—oh!
the kindness of strangers

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

keeping spirits up

keeping spirits up
note from self

the work—
applying what she
knows to be true
kindness required
there’s injury, pain
life’s a slog
every minutia
a class in attention

he makes the mocha
she knocks it over
floods the counter
rivers the drawer
spatters oak floor
one-handed, she
snatches the laptop
out of the wave
unscathed

chance for harsh
words—none
or blame
doesn’t happen
they work
in tandem
she “I’m sorry”
he “no need”
they remake
the mocha

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

testament

testament
note from self

amidst the deepest ache
and throbbing twinge, stars
still bestow their grace—
even in pain, she stalks
the thread of love
that nourishing wine
and why would she not?
the earth still spins
it orbits the sun, not her

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

on fire

on fire

she borrowed an arm for a lifetime
attached to a body, of course
it’s nearing the end of its tenure
and now it is hounding with heat
the wrist is a livid bonfire
flames licking and curling inside
coals glow red in the shoulder
there’s a white pill
for muscles and tissue
for jangling nerves, a
red-and-white capsule to take
they only pare aside edges—
the urge is to push pain away
but that turns it into a “thing”
so she draws it close, yes
unpacks what it is—precious and
and tender—a near-and-dear friend
melding titanium and tissue
it’s so busy in there
she dives deep under pain
finds more primal sensation
the clean tingle of being alive

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.

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.

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.

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.

skin suit

I wake up as
pure being, stretch
oh so carefully
then clothe
myself in life

another day
in my skin suit
aching back
ease on clothes
make my mocha

morning treasure
diverts attention
makes the day
sustainable
I take a grateful sip

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
disclaimer: I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—
they may never turn into anything more than a clumsy attempt, or they might flower.