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

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.

slantwise seeing

bridge and bright skyI only dropped acid once, over forty years ago. I spent the clear August afternoon in a lush Connecticut garden, breathing in the piquant scent of ripe tomatoes, and eating sun-warmed raspberries from the vine without the use of hands. The brilliant sunlight seemed dim in the face of the unmanifest light–Nur in Arabic–that clearly birthed the plants, the space, my body. From this unseen, bright capacity erupted everpresent, unnameable isness.

When the drug wore off, so did the slantwise seeing. That day echoed earlier childhood experiences, and the remembering and longing ignited a potent search.

Thirty-six years later, I finally admitted to a precious and trustworthy friend that my quest had failed. I had not found the peace or the clarity I sought. In his wisdom and generosity, he pointed me home. That was seven years ago in August. I took his suggestions to heart. Over time, beliefs fell away. Patterns strained, screamed, and eventually crumbled. My understanding of love expanded. On the outside, much appears the same. On the inside, life as I knew it upended. Searching screeched to a halt. Longing dissolved.

Today, no longer slantwise, the light returned.

Although I still hang out with pointing friends, direct experience is the only reliable touchstone.

It does not fail.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit, with gratitude: Barnstorming blog