Tag Archives: direct experience

frayed and nibbled

frayed and nibbled

note to self

there’s no denying it
if you’ve made it this far
you’re a frayed and nibbled survivor
every one of us—from milkweed
to earthworms to gray whales—
are bruised and battered
welcome to our round blue home
that appears to be its calling card

yet there’s a strange grace here
a living flaming presence
amidst these galling times
it doesn’t take effort to notice
more like giving way
take a breath
go quiet
be alert
attend

thank you to Annie Dillard, from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, for the phrase “frayed and nibbled survivor.”

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 Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, Rupert Spira, spirituality, Truth

sanctuary

sanctuary

note to self

this is where
I go to get quiet—
my inner sanctuary
sink deep and listen
if I am still, I can find
the cathedral of words
part prayer part supplication
part statement of intent
words pouring
from the wordless
to write myself awake

there’s nothing to do
yet still I’m compelled—to convey
what cannot be written or spoken
or painted or sung or sculpted
although it can be revealed
the ineffable—
transparent
luminous
empty
open

*thank you to Ayaz Angus Landman for the phrase “cathedral of 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 Awakening, Daily reminders, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Poetry, Rupert Spira, spirituality, Surrender, Truth

lunch

lunch

a red-tailed hawk
pierces the sky
nabs the goldfinch perched
near our sunseed feeder
my heart lurches at
the violence, so
surprising and sudden
your song ripped
from the air

still-warm meat, now
bits, feed growing eyas
we all have to eat
nourish precious young
I absolve the hawk
pray the little finch has
no huddle of offspring

is it really violence?
the hawk’s native tools
sharp beak, razor talons
there is no choice—use
the means she is given
or die—grim reality
but true

I was only seven
when I noticed we all
eat each other—
life, no longer benign
the dismay, the awe
that’s the way on
our lonely blue planet
at a galaxy’s edge
it only seemed mild
but never was—
child-mind at play

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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polestar

polestar

note to self

since young, I’ve
heeded it, although I
didn’t know its name
nur—sacred light
it’s inside everything
shimmering radiant
not quite evident yet
wholly there and aware
a generous wealth
the wealth that matters

this manifest world—
a ripe Fuji, juicy and ecstatic
begging to be devoured
that’s fine—crunch it!
quench your hunger
a temporary satisfaction
recognize what it’s made of
remember your polestar
and above all
share the nourishing light

nur is Arabic for divine light. My first teacher, who died twenty years ago, always described it as unmanifest 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.

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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.

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touchstone

touchstone

note to self

in the presence
of a fresh breath,
today, amidst strife,
news so disturbing
I cannot watch
but know about anyway,
it trickles in the back door—
Ukraine’s destruction,
rolled back freedoms,
climate misery,
election madness—
still
joy flushes through
how can that be?
how can it not be?

wonder doesn’t arise from
this world—it seeps in
from the big field,
a welcome touchstone—
surprises, delights for
an instant or a day
the blessing of a passionflower,
their five-fingered hearts
begging bees, jasmine climbing
the arch in our front yard
fragrance scenting the air
fresh potatoes unearthed
soil clinging—a bounty
thirty-nine pounds!
carrots, too, their
salmon selves slipping
from their bed.
soak in this joy

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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pilgrim

pilgrim

note to self

since eleven,
a pilgrim, a wayfarer
but not out here
on the inner, instead
what is this?
what am I?
what knows before
anything came to be?

prior,
prior to this outrageous
cosmos—and the birthing,
dying, exploding, expanding
delicious, rollicking mess
of a world, stardust everywhere—
prior to thought, what is that?
what sees through these
eyes? those?

it’s lush in here
the big field of knowing
the password is surrender
however, beware—
beliefs fall away
consciousness shines
a relentless taskmistress
it asks for everything

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 Advaita, Awakening, Daily reminders, Dzogchen, feelings, Kashmiri Shaivism, memoir, mind, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, Poetry, spirituality, Surrender, Truth

dripping in the night

dripping in the night

after bedtime
water drips from the
cedar onto the roof
rolls into the gutter,
the plunks a consolation
to my desiccated heart.
blessed rain!

thirty-three years lived
off and on in California—
now, in one June downfall,
almost an inch?

I long to stay awake
soak in the rare and
fleeting melody, a denser
song on the shingles
hollow in the pipes

the rainfall, the cedar,
the shingled roof—
my very own self and
the friend in another guise

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, feelings, Love, memoir, mind, treasure

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.

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Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, mind, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, spirituality, suffering, Surrender, thoughts, Truth

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, loss, Love, memoir, Musings, notes to self, pain, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, Truth