it matters

it matters
note to self

it matters how you
move in the world, if
you are impelled by
friendliness and
kinship with all things—
do you corral the spider
and carry it outside?
or are you closed up
defended, and afraid

you are not a lonely dot
threatened by the wider
ocean—more like pools
that lap each other’s
edges with gentleness
and care
you will be someone’s
ancestor—act accordingly

—Thank you to Amir Sulaiman for the last two lines of the poem.

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

accept the weave

accept the weave
note to self

you’re assigned parents
and a body—no choice there
you show up on the planet—
where am I? now what?
who are these people?

accept the weave—
that doesn’t mean you
can’t snitch when your
cousin spits, reach
for college, a compelling job

or a thoughtful relationship
but resisting what’s given
will only yield anguish—
life is aching enough
without piling on more

it’s a fine demarcation
between acceptance
and submission
what you’re given is
simply a starting place

what lies before you is a
puzzle to parse—only you can
solve it—where are the corners?
are these the boundaries?
what am I?

with thanks to Susan Adelle for the title phrase

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.

stardust

stardust

note to self

pour in
pure consciousness
veil with stardust
and pond muck

we are part cosmos
part earth slop
undoing ourselves
with rapacious speed
why would we
want to save us?

a splash of ingenuity, yes
but floods of ferocity
fires of venom
maybe worse
disregard toward our
dear earth and its beings

yet I pray for
the hope that waits
at the tar black
bottom of Pandora’s box

may stardust
enlighten pond muck
may that box
slam shut returning
our human family to
civility and kindness

may we cherish one another
because of our differences
add back the dove
the olive branch
and most of all
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.

fault lines

fault lines
note to self

brush by delicate brush
a painstaking excavator
I uncover the skeleton
of what he did—I was
only four years old
that’s faraway past
yet it carved fault lines
in who I might become
cautious instead of creative

every touch leaves signs—
elephants snap limbs
monks arouse hearts
with their clarity
soldiers blast cities to rubble
ants stumble while hefting
a giant crumb—each
singular action shifts
the bones of our world

pick petals from the daisy
it matters, it doesn’t matter
it matters, it doesn’t
both are holy true—
meet the long ago
metabolize and mend
admire fault lines everywhere
trace with care and gold

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.

leaving it all

leaving it all

note to self

Here is a villanelle, a French form established in the sixteenth century
that uses meter, rhyme, and a specific pattern of repeated lines.
This, my first attempt ever, is written in pentameter.

sometimes I long to simply take high flight
to leave this crooked world behind, alone
and reach in deep for purest, clearest light

it’s madness here—the mean and righteous fight
they grab and push and nab the richest bone
sometimes I long to simply take high flight

and flee this place at dawn or plushest night
seek peace elsewhere, a place that is unknown
and reach in deep for purest, clearest light

to watch all suffering souls, their dreadful plight
it hurts my heart and makes me feel like stone
sometimes I long to simply take high flight

to soar, and bank, to find the broadest sight
and then unearth the place that’s my true home
and reach in deep for purest, clearest light

how will I find the strength for loft and height
so courage, love, and beauty may atone?
sometimes I long to simply take high flight
and reach in deep for purest, clearest 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.

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.

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.

predicament of being alive

predicament of being alive

note to self

it isn’t easy on planet earth.
losses carve our hearts
staggering low-back pain
your family business fails
a parent’s sudden demise
empty craters of loss

a monarch flickers by
the mockingbird’s serenade
a dog’s cold nose in greeting
jasmine scents the air
chocolate melts on your tongue
the scent of a baby’s neck
enough joy to keep us here. just.

the predicament is this:
how to welcome paradox:
are you vast enough?
open? willing?
can your heart spread wide?
that is what is asked for
the courage to breathe it all

thank you to Margaret Rooney for the title phrase

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.