altar of undoing

altar of undoing

brought or dragged
to my altar of undoing
the labor began

sacred endeavor

discern what’s true
and not personal

the rend of confusion
truth frightened me

unwind beliefs
and the stories
that sustained them
pools of misery
tears upon tears

finally! the light
of understanding

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

how do I live?

how do I live?

Live with skillful nonchalance and ceaseless concern.
— Prajnaparamita Sutra

I awaken each morning
avoid the news
it ignites incessant concern
I’ll bear it later in the day

quiet, I sit with my latte
breathe
remind myself of the truth
we are one body perceived
as eight trillion things

the I that I am holds it all
and is also a mere pinprick
of light—oh, the mystery!

my assignment—
live with skillful nonchalance
to balance ceaseless concern
both are needed
both required

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

friendliness

friendliness

care for
and befriend yourself
that way
you are never alone
life is hard enough

it took me most
of a lifetime
to learn this
and I relearn it
every day
listen to your
inner yammering
a frenzied parade
of thoughts
we’re so used to
that voice rattling on
an endless commentary
fine tune your ear—
is it a kind friend
or harsh judge?

if you find the judge
smile and just say

no.
no more

only goodwill here

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

hard bumps – a pantoum

The pantoum is a poetic form originating in 15th century Malaysia that uses repetition. It’s a poem of any length composed of four-line stanzas in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza serve as the first and third lines of the next stanza. The final stanza is often two lines from the first stanza.

hard bumpsa pantoum

life is a bumpy ride
a rumble strip of tests
we are left with one clear job
to hunt for the good in all

a rumble strip of bumps
can pitch you to the ground
search for opportunity
to soften painful blows

pitched onto the ground
push to standing again
look to soften those blows
with a change in point of view

push to standing again
don’t let blows lay you low
with a change in your mindset
you can reframe the losses

be resilient with blows
look for good inside trials
you can reframe the losses
and build a fresh way forward

poke around those hard trials
there’s lessons to be learned
they’ll show a fresh way forward
and point you toward new doors

life is a bumpy ride
we are left with one clear job

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

the seed

the seed

you are the seed
and the one
who tends it

tamp the ground
whisper love
water it
and wait—

each morning
sing to that seed
invite it out

welcoming
calls it forth
the seed will
crack open

cherish it and
its clear seeing

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

leave nothing out – a pantoum

The pantoum is a poetic form originating in 15th century Malaysia that uses repetition. It’s a poem of any length composed of four-line stanzas in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza serve as the first and third lines of the next stanza. The final stanza is often two lines from the first stanza.

leave nothing outa pantoum

the task is to leave nothing out
this is actually a very big order
search until searching is done
ask every question you have

this is the biggest order in life
to meet and to greet your depths
pose every question you have
so nothing is left unexamined

to meet and to greet your depths
requires finding innate courage
so nothing is left unconsidered
face fear, anxiety, and rage

you must find your innate courage
search inward for what’s unattended
unearth fear, anxiety, and rage
find the ground beneath even that

search unattended emotions
we stuffed them down to be safe
there’s a layer beneath even that
the ground of simple sensation

we stuffed them down to be safe
buried, they no longer serve us
find the ground of simple sensation
impersonal, unlabeled, and pure

buried emotions don’t serve us
tear open the box that they live in
dig further to find the impersonal
sink your taproot deep into that

tear open the box that they live in
examine and then let them fly
your root is in the impersonal
true sustenance of all that is

search until searching is done
the task is to leave nothing out

2023 ©Amrita Skye Blaine I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

bloom with laughter

bloom with laughter
note from self

so many bumps
in the road
craters, too—
times she gets
caught, shaken
and rattled—so
what does she do?
soothes a friend’s
blues, mops up
spilled stew, its
gravy leaked wide
walks the dog
who insists, pulls
apart bickering kids
wanders into the
garden throws back
her head and roars
laughing—she feels
eyes are upon her
squirrel hovers nearby
unsure paws folded
as he stares—
giggles
escape her, she
cannot control them
it’s life’s consolation

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

the hot seat

the hot seat

2010-2012

she notes her patterns
most lead to anguish
she must perch on the seat
sit in her stuff and
unwind the past—it’s
daunting and painful
and also the way

when facing what
burns her, her fresh
stare unnerving, she
slips off the seat and
back into her drama
familiar and repeated

her thoughts are not true
they mislead and trip her
committed to face this
she clambers back on
to see through the lie
she so carefully erected

turns over rocks
yanks out the roots
the closer she draws
to her core confusion
like volcanic lava
the hotter it gets

her shame almost
swamps her until
she sees through—
she bows to the seat
knows she’ll return
oh! this being human

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

branded

branded
note from self

she received an order
from destiny—was
branded by love and
the name of her God
right on her chest
over her heart
she remembers the
scent of the searing
the throb of the burn
and the crater it left
others can’t see it
but she knows it’s there
it requires submission
to all that was asked
give it up let it go
and be free

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

fragrance

fragrance
note to self

like jasmine
like frangipani
or the luscious
scent of your lover
the big field is
inviting you home

daffodil bouquet
fresh puppy spice
or the nape of your
infant son’s neck
the big field is
beguiling you home

turn toward the tang
trustworthy and true
follow the trail
the big field is calling
come home come home
come home

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