one breath at a time

one breath at a time
note to self

if you pay attention to
your one dear breath—
the gift of lungs filling
with no conscious effort
how even when you’re
busy and thoughtless
of your breathing—still
only one precious
breath at a time
in and out, in and out
nourishing and sustaining

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

be humble as soil

be humble as soil
note to self

you’ll return to soil sooner
than you think, so why
not be humble now?
soil’s a marvel—holds
moisture and sustenance
feeds plants that nourish
doesn’t deserve the
dismissive name “dirt”
it’s fertile with minerals
and microscopic biome
that break you down
reduce you to fare for
what’s next—redwood or
oak, carrots or quinoa
you are no more nor less
than the miracle of soil

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

every seed must shed its coat

every seed must shed its coat
note to self

in order to take root
each seed faces
the unknown
must shed its coat
to meet the environs
required to grow—is
fertile ground missing?
what then? wait?

it’s the same for her—
dissolve contention
a cloak of protection
and meet what comes
if conditions are hostile
wait—
pausing is prudent

for worse or for better
the setting will change
gushing rain may come
to soften that seed
allow it to delve in
the soil and embed

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

edgewalking

edgewalking
note to self

you walk the edge
along paradox
negotiating the rim
with care—watch out!
you can stumble—
canyon on one side
crevasse on the other

you might go adrift in
the dark side of a story
or the bright—
can they both be true?
try this—embrace them

oh yes, it’s uncomfortable
sometimes agonizing
also boundless and free
balance on that

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

the warm pool

the warm pool
note to self

awareness allows and
welcomes, supports
and underpins—we
birth right out of it
and float in the
warmth of its pool

this that isn’t an it
that can’t be seen
or heard or tasted
or touched or
even spoken about
midwifes us—
we can deny or resist
defy or dispute
no matter—bucking
what’s true will only
prompt anguish
is that what you want?

sit by the pond
feel the breeze
dust your arms
admire the swans
how they guzzle
the water of life—
hear the crack
and the thwack as
beavers raise homes
watch otters cavort
and play on their backs
they do not bemoan
or complain

wild grace

wild grace
note to self

it calls her out of bed—
the wild grace of
flooding words akin to
mockingbirds—occasional
mimic, a borrowed phrase
often her own plaintive song

she looks to morning mist
or coming light, the pad of
fox in the next-door field
soft rustle of finch in firethorn
awaiting a place at the feeder

this wild grace foretells
heart and magic, a frolic
in the field of surprise—
reflecting pond, scrying bowl
inviting herself home

punctured by holiness

punctured by holiness
note to self

she was taken young
her flood of inquiry
a sacred susurrus—
to them, callow flights
for her, honest search
swooping this way and that
the Bible the Buddha the Tao
who am I?
what are we?
parents didn’t comprehend
taunted and put down but
punctured by holiness
resolute she pressed on

thank you to Mark Nepo for the title phrase

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

remember your death

remember your death
note to self

recollect this fact—
every thing returns
home—
no choice

blue whales and the
smallest shrew
all have an allotted
span—you do too

what to make of
this apparent time?
it’s both precious
and doesn’t matter

even stars sputter out
arrivals and leave-taking
can you celebrate
your homecoming?

stay rooted

stay rooted
note to self

amidst hatred
that spreads today
clashes for land
wars over water
discord everywhere

we don’t admit
the other as kin
our whale mother
gopher brother
and human cousin

stay rooted here
in the marrow of
your own heart
the avowal you
know to be true

we are plaited
together
you are my core
and I your breath
there is no other

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

communion

communion
note to self

rabid atheists
her parents
forbade church—
although she
ached for it, no
communion for her
so she found it
in a fresh way

with people who
trust, who are
unafraid to love—
open to full-bodied
hugs and willing to
meet her gaze—
shared juicy hearts
that echo with love

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