slant of mind

slant of mind
note to self

look carefully—
does that slant of
mind serve you?
it might be outdated
and need an upgrade
or maybe it can be
thanked, released, and
honorably interred

shame, self-doubt
regret—can you let
them go? notice their
presence and
set them down
slants of mind shade
the truth—
why would you want that?

thank you to Margaret Rooney for the title phrase

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

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.

every riven thing

every riven thing

note to self

looking around, it
all seems bruised—
maimed from the get go
and yet I hold hope
of a loving outcome
I know that hope is futile
yet I cup it in my hand
a delicate swallowtail of faith
bold black markings on
dandelion yellow

that’s why I read novels
but never thrillers. a complex
ending, okay, but positive, please.
there’s enough negligence—
and worse—right here,
dealt out on a daily basis.
our world, straight on:
starvation, murder, fires
but riven hearts radiating love—
piercing light, pouring
through the cracks like suns,
generous and free

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.

time is on fire

time is on fire

note to self

watch out!
here in the declared world
time is on fire
the more you rush the
higher the flames claim

slow your steps
breathe through your
thoughts. the moment you notice,
they’re in the past anyway.
finished.
thought can not be immediate
how shocking to glimpse this

sniff the purple iris
allow its bouquet
redolent of grape to
sweep through you
be one with you
before naming it and
fixing it in place
giving it distinction

step out of time
let the world burn
that is its nature. rest
in the cool of the big field
you can’t touch it
but it’s there—
steadfast and reliable

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
.

the weight of impotence

the weight of impotence

note to self

stopped watching
TV world news
clicked off NPR
but on the iPad
catch myself roving
through BBC, CNN
and The Guardian
impelled to know

crushed by agony
in our world, I ponder
my own actions,
minuscule movements
of love, one in 7.9 billion
7.9 billion!
impotence weighs me down

and yet,
the eye of the heart flames—
see, over there,
the mare licks her foal
still amniotic wet
long, slow strokes to
ground him into life

with tender fierceness
watch the red-tailed hawk
feed snake to
squawking fluff balls
or the hospice nurse plump
pillows for the failing elder,
offering gentle words

oh please! dear self
faced with global turmoil
even though you
lie awake and quail,
remember—
thought is ineffectual
it holds no other sway

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.

don’t go to battle with reality

don’t go to battle with reality

note to self

oh, sweetheart—just don’t!
don’t go to battle with
what is, a war
you cannot win
whatever has ensued
is already here
resistance won’t make
it go away

you can choose your
response—be kind?
helpful? generous, even?

when you’re overwhelmed
watch your buddy
the red squirrel sprint
along the fence
outside your office
no cares,
a speedy-rodent agenda
you’re not privileged to know

smile
breathe
remember
start again

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.

mind game reminder

funny-crazy-mind-bunnies-clipartToday, surrounded by loving, awake friends, I was reminded of other ways to address the nattering nighttime mind.

The thoughts are precipitated by feelings. Sink into those. Welcome them, even if they are uncomfortable. Most likely, they are familiar friends who have been with me most of my life.

The feelings, when I place my attention on them, reveal themselves as simple bodily sensations. Notice these.

Allow pure awareness to seep into them, expanding and dissolving the remnants. Or invite them to soften and gradually disperse.

Rest in beingness.

Repeat again, again, again. Again.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015
image credit

summer evening notes to self

The final light of the day has lit up two trees in the far distance–one a palm, the other a flowering I-don’t-know-what. My heart unites with beauty.

Just as quickly, the splendid light fades.

The eternal everchanging.

To hang onto even one breath, one moment, one slantwise burst of evening light, is to suffer.

Best not to resist–love while it’s here. With the same love, release it freely. The same two trees, now illuminated with a soft gray post-sunset light.

Enthralling.

The mind wants to say “differently enthralling” or “just as enthralling.” What the mind does: slicing, comparing, judging, dicing, evaluating, choosing, rejecting–is required for negotiating some aspects of life. Notice it is always late–it takes ownership and comments after the moment.

When the mind is not required, set it down and rest here.

Rest knowingly.

Behind the palm, against the quiet gray, emerges the lightest dusting of pink. Here, and then gone.

Dusk settles.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014

why oh why oh why?

windblown-leafWe can get hooked on needing to know why. It’s a part of the mind’s final stand, and thought just doesn’t want to let it go.

“But why,” we ask, “does awareness allow itself to be veiled?”

The mind wants to know, and can get lost in creating scenarios, such as “awareness wanted an other to experience love.”

It’s a nice story. If this satisfies something for you, that’s fine, too. It soothed something in me for decades.

“Why” questions have no answers, and engaging with these questions re-activates our already overactive minds. Allow the very thought of “why” to be the reminder to relax. Be happy feeling the “why”–no need to reject it. Allow the wind to sail it away.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit

empty-minded and open-hearted

doorwayEmpty-minded and open-hearted–what a lovely way to live.

After harvesting, fields are planted with crops intended for nourishing the ground. The vegetation is turned under and replenishes the soil. The field lies fallow and rests until replanting.

When the mental task at hand is done, we can allow the mind to lie fallow while we rest in the metaphorical heart–in our native state of being.

Leave the mind alone until it is needed for a fresh batch of practical matters. Its allure is very, very strong. I remind myself: leave it alone.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit