Category Archives: writing

the thread

First, a comment about process. I don’t know where these poems come from. What a mystery! I stare at the screen and wait. Usually it’s the middle of the night. If I wait long enough, feel deeply enough, something generally happens. Pondering what I’ve just written, I fiddle. A lot. I refine words, try different line breaks, should it have stanzas? Must I turn it upside down? It’s not lonely work, but it is work alone. Eventually, my body says, “Stop.”

Some poems are a wrestling match, and I return again and again for days. Weeks. Longer. Others show up and I’m satisfied with the form. It says what I intended. Some are strange, and I think, “What is this?”

If you’re a poet, what’s your process? Please share in the comments. I’m curious to know.

the thread

note to self

you were young when
you noticed the end
curious, you picked it up
fine—gossamer, even
tugging might snap it, so you
followed the garnet silk instead—
over under around and through
—then you dropped it

in the myth of
Ariadne and Theseus,
he found his way through
the labyrinth home—
an arduous journey, by
following a slender red thread

diligent, moving with care
you sought the thread’s
end that you’d lost—
a few years passed
finally, there it was!
in lush, native terrain
you picked it up again, faithful
to the path it announced—you too
remembered your way home

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Filed under Musings, Poetry, Surrender, writing

this day

this day

this day begins thick-eyed
poems stripped sleep
at midnight, slipped into
bed at two—writing hours
where’d they go?
fruitful with not much on
the page—exercised the
muscle, stretched and feinted
words and phrases deleted
added moved deleted again—
in the morning
a homemade mocha
jumpstarts the engine
thank heavens I don’t have to
explain myself, but if I did
a shrug of the shoulders
this is how it is
expand and pare, expand and
pare until finally, it can rest—
until tomorrow

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 feelings, memoir, mind, Musings, Poetry, writing

ravished

ravished

okay, it’s true
I’m ravished by poems.
lines brush me awake at
twelve, one, two
if I resist getting up, they’ve
vanished by dawn.
gone. I’m left bereft

words stalk, draw me
from bed—most every
night now—a phrase
threads through me
like tendrils of dreams,
shakes me and won’t let go
until they find their home

here on the page.
I’ve given up
no more withholding.
words, have your way
confide to my heart
pry me open
play me, your flute

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 feelings, insomnia, memoir, Musings, Poetry, Surrender, writing

stubborn heart

I posted the same poem twice last night. Sorry!

stubborn heart

note to self

I suffer a stubborn heart
hard wood grows slowly
this hickory didn’t flower
until leaning into old
but it’s nice here
if I overlook aches and
pains, insomnia and such

and take a risk
give myself a chilla
—a challenge—
at this phase in life
just do it
meet that urge
no room for reticence
commit my stubborn heart
think of it as steadfast
abiding and resolute
nourish it with time
respect
courage
I hear my mother’s voice
use your words

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, Elias Amidon, feelings, memoir, Musings, Poetry, spirituality, Truth, writing

sighing

sighing

note to self

I sigh a lot these days
in the brief moment I allow
to check world news
war
sigh
autocrats
sigh
climate
sigh
drought
sigh
politics
sigh
fire threat
sigh
mass shootings
sigh

sighing to release grief
grief so deep
it almost swamps me
yet lives
a lump deep in my gut
stay with it, girl
this is important
feel it
and sigh
sighing is a prayer

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine

disclaimer: 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, Love, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Poetry, spirituality, Surrender, Truth, writing

moving pieces around

think outside the box quotes business concept

I spend hours imagining what might happen next in my novel. I live in two simultaneous worlds. There’s the outer: husband, son, friends, teaching, writing groups, spiritual community, and the inner: the life of my characters, their challenges, setbacks, and growth. Both are equally alive and real to me. The novel characters remain active in my mind as I walk, shop, and visit in my daily life.

I do not look to writing for my happiness–that kind of unshakable contentment is never found in something that comes and goes. Nonetheless, writing is a passion. It’s what I must do, and one way I give back.

Is my interest in these characters a waste of precious time? Does it undermine resting in and as awareness? What is creativity, anyway? These are the puzzle pieces I’m moving around today.

© Amrita Skye Blaine
photo from http://www.freepik.club

 

 

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“Unleashed” is published!

My novel, Unleashed, was just published and is available in paperback and Kindle versions. Below the cover image is the synopsis, and then the Amazon links here and around the world. The young girl, Rowan, is awakening.

Please tell your friends and share with your networks!
All the best,
Amrita Skye
Synopsis:
After her father’s death, eleven-year-old Rowan Graham wrestles with depression. Carolina, her mother, looks for a way to ease her daughter’s grief and decides to adopt another dog. Rowan chooses a wolfhound-deerhound mix and believes she and the pup, Zephyr, communicate through mind-pictures, a phenomenon that her mom rejects.
While vacationing, the family is embroiled in a multi-car accident; Zephyr is pitched from the van and bolts into the wilds of central Oregon. Medics airlift comatose Rowan to Portland for head trauma care.
Best-selling author Moss Westbury is haunted by devastating nightmares. A veteran of the Afghanistan conflict, he writes to expunge his demons. When his nightmares are fueled by unfamiliar howling on his isolated land, he sets out to find the culprit.
Unleashed is a story of devastation, courage, hope, and love, told through the eyes of Moss, Rowan, Carolyn, and Zephyr—each struggling to resolve challenges and fears.
Australia for Kindle: http://amzn.to/2g0RVdk
The Netherlands for Kindle: http://amzn.to/2fAt8fv

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Filed under book, dogs, novel, writing

my memoir has been published!

My book, Bound to Love: a memoir of grit and gratitude has been published! Both the paperback and Kindle versions can be found here, at Amazon. Other digital versions can be found at Smashwords.

Usually my posts here have a different flavor, exploring nondual understanding. The memoir chronicles the pressure cooker journey that drove me toward unwrapping this deeper truth. Perhaps, without my son Thom, I would not have. I am very grateful.

Front cover with white text justifiedThe memoir won first prize in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2005 contest under the name Blood Bond. That was a very bad time to market memoirs, I discovered, because of James Frey’s betrayal of the form in A Million Little Pieces when he exaggerated his personal story, and was exposed.

I let my manuscript molder on my computer for seven years, then pulled it out and walked it through two more critique groups.

Bound to Love is the true story of a single mother who encountered and navigated a complicated nightmare for any parent. My child, the only child I could ever bear, was born with a life-threatening congenital heart defect, and suffered a more brutal health diagnosis soon after. Walk with me as I birth the courage and grit to meet Thom’s compounding challenges.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015

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love waits – a poem

Love Waits

Love waits
patient, unseen, outside of time.
It cloaks as car accident,
chronic illness, or grief;
starry night, baby’s breath, or
first ripe raspberry in spring.

It is waiting,
waiting for you,
waiting for you to turn around,
to finally turn inside.

This love flows, wholly dependable,
unlike relationship, made of two:
at best, a luscious, rampant garden,
filled with surprise and hidden delight—
still—in all its fullness, a mere reflection,
temporary and time-bound for loss.

Love waits,
waits for you,
waits for you to turn around,
to finally turn inside.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015

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hot tub epiphany, on writing

four quadrants of the brainSoaking in the hot tub tonight, I was wondering about writing non-fiction and fiction, and why I haven’t succeeded–yet–in flowing easily from one to the other. I returned to writing a novel a few months ago, and no sooner than fictional words started to flow, this blog slowed to a dribble.

The story I told myself is that writing non-fiction, from direct experience, takes place in a different part of the brain. When one quadrant is active, apparently, the other is not.

Tonight in my head, I heard my mother in her parenting prime many, many decades ago, saying “Hogwash!”

Everything: every object, thought, feeling, sound, and so on, is a modulation of awareness–writing, too. The source of these blogs is identical to the source of my fictional characters. Perhaps, in seeing through and dropping the story, I can move seamlessly from one project to the other.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit: Scientific American

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Daily reminders, Musings, Non-duality, writing