Poems and Phantasms

Posts tagged ‘pain’

Talisman

Sometimes we want to

lock pain in, close

the door fast, take leave

where it cannot

grow

breathe

touch

or heal

yet

buried

stifled

numb

we feel

it, still

 

Time comes to find

the door ajar

inside, the familiar

older, condensed

upon itself, pain

 

Fitting into the hollow

like a stone from your

pocket, leaping into your palm

you remember its

color

weight

shape

worn smooth

from long carrying

 

You could hide it

away again

or

bring it into the

light, discovering

streaks and sparkles

you could not see

until you opened your hand

to let go

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Beauty

I got beauty in me

that needs to come out, songs

you never heard, stories

in my bones and fire

in my eyes, too bright

to keep secret

 

yes, the sadness went deep

down to the source, pain

and joy, all soaking up

into spirit and

there it goes

pouring out like water

shining out like light

and singing

 

look at me

look at this new day

this life

this world

gifts, all

“The Invitation” ~Oriah Mountain Dreamer

“Path to the summit of Mangere Mountain in Manukau City, New Zealand” Ingolfson, 2008. (Public Domain)

The Invitation by Oriah
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved

Different Only in the Telling

Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA. James Gordon, 2007 (CCA 2.0)

I have been to the dark places

dwelt in utter depths, felt them

calling their own

inside me

 

too many to count the ways

the paths may differ

the particulars peculiar

but we meet there

all the same

 

and so the flicker of

recognition

greeting

pain

in another’s eyes

 

and the smiles, just as deep

from souls cracked open

to the core

 

hearing the stories different

only in the telling

 

Drawing Lines with the Light

“La Rebeyrolle (municipality of Saint-Priest-la-Feuille, Creuse, Fr), early morning pilgrim’s departure on the Way of Saint James” Havang(nl) (CC A-S A 3.0)

The darkness passes through me.

It would sour my tongue and poison
my blood. Disdain
from one grandmother,
despair from the other.

Pain finds pain and merges, muddying
the source. Sometimes sinks so heavy
it begs for a name. This gift is sharp,
finding the edge of me.

Let it seep out from the holding
cells, deepening my breath
to make room for the shadow.

Unlocked space is forgiving,
gentling the nightmare in my bones.

Drawing lines with the light,
the chosen pieces of me rise
into dawning.

Does it help?

 

We kept vigil with you when we heard

For who could sleep with heart shards in the air?

The static explodes, screaming for your silenced ones

 

Unfamiliar names, unfinished stories

Reckoned into the past unwillingly

 

We imagine your pain

We count our blessings

We say we want answers, revenge or justice

But what is there to hold onto except grief and forgiveness?

 

Every belief a banshee, we try to pray with you

Cursing and beseeching the world and its gods

Does it help?

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