holding hands,
fingers intertwined
sun warm on
your back

the sweet-tart taste
of fresh-squeezed
orange juice
slaking your thirst

splashing cool
stream water
on your face after
an autumn hike

the first, rich
scent of rain
on parched ground
after a dry spell

your precious body
your one and only
earth suit

all of it
all on loan

2023 ©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
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?

eddies and whirlpools – redux

eddiesImagine—we’re floating down a gentle river in inner tubes on a blazing July afternoon. Our butts hang in the cool water, the tube surfaces are warm—growing hotter where the water does not splash on them—and the sun beats down on the exposed parts of our bodies.

Then, abruptly, a whirlpool catches your inner tube, and for a little bit, the tube is spun in place in the river, and you are seemingly separated from the main flow—then the whirlpool disperses, and off the ride goes again.

A while later, an eddy pulls my tube into a bend—a quiet nook in the river—and now I appear to be independent of the main flow. Then the eddy gives way, and the tube rocks a bit until the current grabs it and pulls me back into the main body of the river.

We are always one with the river, but seemingly separated at times. What a delicious metaphor for awareness and embodiment. Awareness is the river—always there, always alive and flowing. The whirlpools and eddies are embodiments—where for a little while, we show up on the planet; we look separate, we may feel separate, but we are never separated—or independent—for one instant from the grand flow that we are.

Then the body dissipates just like the eddy back into that from whence it came, and once again, only one awareness, one river.

Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015
image credit


woman umbrella in shallow waterRecently I’ve been bringing up the subject of my eventual death around my adult disabled son. It’s time to redo our wills and set up a special needs trust so that his health care benefits will be protected when he inherits whatever modest amount we’re able to pass on to him, if any. He really does not like me to talk about dying; he thinks my attitude is too casual. But that’s the reality here—all bodies come and go, and we have no control over that. We cannot foresee when, how, or where the body will slip off.

It’s also true that many female members of my family have lived to be very old—into their mid to later nineties. But I could just as easily be snuffed out tomorrow by a texting driver, or a falling tree. I’ve grown much more interested in quality of life than duration.

Or we could outlive my son. He told us last week that he hopes he goes before we do. He’s exhausted from living with chronic severe pain, and he can’t imagine living without our support.

I’m much more interested in speaking the truth than in making him comfortable by avoiding the topic. Besides, I no longer believe bodily death to be the end of life. It clearly isn’t. Life will barrel along just fine without us. And when what we recognize as life is done–such as planets, suns, and universes–awareness will still remain: pure, still, and awake.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit: Panhala Poetry

hot tub epiphany – point of view

deer like pumpkins tooDeath.

I think about it a lot, perhaps because of being in the sixth decade of life—Fewer moments left ahead than behind.

We consider death a mystery, and yet it is present with us every moment as a thought or feeling, sensation or perception–or the moment itself–arrives and passes away. There is no life without death.

I soak in the hot tub with my head propped on the edge, taking note of the waxing moon’s angle, the placement of the few constellations I recognize. Then noticing turns inward, resting as unchanging awareness that has no opinions, no voice, no beginning or end—wide awake, alive emptiness.

When death arrives, that ground of awareness will remain just as it is, untouched, eternal and infinite. What leaves is the point of view, nothing more.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo from our home in Oregon