Blessed Be Your Longing

“Why are you so determined to keep your wild silently inside you? Let it breathe. Give it a voice. Let it roll out of you on the wide open waves. Set it free”
―Jeanette LeBlanc
“Lots of people talk to animals…Not very many listen though…that’s the problem.” ―Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
“When war is our only industry, the only crop is blood.” ―Will Giles
So that your own heart
Will grow.

So God will think,
I got kin in that body!
I should start inviting that soul over
For coffee and

Because this is a food
Our starving world

Because that is the purest
“My journey has taught me that I must learn religion as the mystics learned it, through the inward quest that Jungian psychology has helped me with so much. Banding together in institutions, whether religious, academic or professional, helps some feel secure and able to look down on the unenlightened. But I’ve clearly learned that the inward quest must become one’s own before it’s any good at all.”
—Bud Harris, Ph.D.
“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: “When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?” —Gabrielle Roth
“Blessed be your longing. Your endless ache. Your sharp crystal shatter. Your sea glass heart.” ―Jeannette LeBlanc

Gratitude List:
1. Monarchs drifting down the wind.
2. Murmurations. On the way home today, I saw, suddenly, in the windy sky ahead of me, two great black shapes like lungs in the air. It was a flock of starlings on a group maneuver. A second later, they banked and separated, and flickered out of apparent existence. When I drew underneath them, I could see a long and ragged flock flying north to south across the road. Only in their communal aerial acrobatics were they visible from a distance.
3. Driving beneath golden walnut leaves twirling earthward.
4. Singing together, and speaking poetry, and telling stories.
5. All the thousand names for God.

May we walk in Beauty!

The Murmuration in the Woods

Gratitude List:
1. Listening to this Winnie the Pooh of a kid humming and singing to himself while he plays: “Umpity Dumpity Dumpity Dum,” and riffs on sounds that pop into his head.
2. Vultures on a billboard by the bridge this afternoon, wings out to the sun.
3. The murmuration flew through the woods behind the house this afternoon, whooshing through the trees.
4. Revising and editing
5. Onion Bagels

May we walk in Beauty!



Today’s prompt is to write a Wires poem:

by Beth Weaver-Kreider

How has it come to this crossing,
this haunted house of mis-

How have we crossed our wires
so wickedly, short-
circuited so utterly
our communication?

Our words don’t even mean
what they used to mean,
issuing from hearts mis-
construing, from minds
tangled like wires,
crossed like fingers
behind our backs.

Gratitude List:
1. Crescent moon caught in the leafy branches of the autumn sycamore
2. Those bright planets keeping her company
3. A murmuration of starlings wheeling in concert over the hollow
4. The old owl hooting in the bamboo grove
5. Vegetarian sausages so I can roast something over the fire, too

May we walk in Beauty!

What Is My Name?

<Prompt 15: Take the phrase “What _____,” fill in the blank, and use it as the title of the poem>  I am stuck on this initiation-poem track.  I guess that’s not a bad thing.  This one’s not so much about a fairy tale, but is connected to a story that I have always found compelling.  Jacob, the main character, is a greedy, self-aggrandizing, conniving, megalomaniac scoundrel.  He’s had his lovely epiphanies, and still he hasn’t changed.  I don’t actually like him very much, but that’s okay.  Sometimes I don’t like me very much either.

He is on the run from his furious brother–who has every right in the world to be seeking vengeance, and one night, all alone, finds himself suddenly wrestling with a stranger in the dark.  The stranger realizes he cannot overpower Jacob, so he knocks Jacob’s thigh out of joint.  Jacob still won’t let his adversary go–“Not until you bless me!”  What is it with this guy and his demand for blessings?  His brother wants him dead because Jacob stole his own family birthright blessing, and now here he is, out in the wilderness, wrestling with a stranger for a blessing.  I sort of like the gall of that.

Yes, the stranger blessed him in the end, gave him a whole new name.  No, it didn’t seem to change him much.  He continued to be rascally and greedy, and he passed on the family curse of favoritism to his own 12 sons.


This time it wasn’t angels riding
up and down their golden escalator.
No happy hallelujahs,
no floodgates of heaven
opening for my vision alone.

This time the angel took on gravity,
grabbed and held me,
wrestled me to the ground.

The angel’s grip was like steel,
like iron, like feathers, ice cold air.
But I’ve been running my whole life.
I wasn’t about to let some angel
keep me from getting away
and getting my way.

I have been limping ever since,
from the touch on my thigh,
but still I wouldn’t let the angel go.

“Not until you bless me.
Not until you tell me,
until you tell me my name.”

And here I am,
building altars in the dawn,
and tasting those new sounds
in my throat, on my lips.

2013 November 082

Gratitude List:
1.  Harvesting potatoes and carrots today with an earnest and energetic bunch of third graders from the Waldorf School.
2.  Hot showers
3.  Going down to Columbia town to shop with my sweetie.  How many years has it been since we two have gone off somewhere to run errands?  It was almost like a date.
4.  There’s a murmuration in the hollow.
5.  A gentle family ceremony for the burial of a little red hen.  We buried her in a nest of dried grasses with a handful of feed and the bright shiny quartzite I found in the potato patch today.  The starlings kept flying through the trees with a wheep and a whoosh, and the near-full moon rose high.

Blessings on the Roots.

People in Trees


<Prompt 11: Write an ekphrastic poem>  Ekphrastic poetry is based on another piece of art.  Brewer posted several evocative images on his blog, and I can’t get “People in Trees” by Mikola Gnisuk out of my head.   And also, today, I have been looking up photos and videos of murmurations of starlings.  Did you know that a flock of starlings is called a murmuration?  Here goes:

At the start of it we traveled through a fat mist,
a couple dozen of us in the thick soup,
and all was silent except for the light drip
all around from leaf to leaf,
and our footsteps on the ground,
and then the huff and shuffle of our breath
as we sped faster through the trees.

It was not fear that drove us on,
I know that now.  Nor just the thrill
of what we knew must come.  Still,
on we moved, and faster, through the birches.

And then the murmurs of the others,
the shift and scrape of feathers
and the whoosh of the wind,
and we were flying, a body of starlings,
twisting and whirling as one through the trees.
Like separate atoms of one single bird
we flew through the morning
and into the day.


Gratitude List:
1.  Light rays through the clouds.  Yesterday, we watched a vulture sliding between those rays, like shifting between worlds.  When I was a teenager, I spent part of a summer in Venezuela.  One afternoon, we were riding in the back of a pick-up through the Caracas barrio, when the clouds opened up and let down glittering rays.  Our host, who was seated next to me, suddenly began singing, full voice.
2.  Even with his razor claws, this warm purring kitty on my lap.  Those poor arthritic paws can’t quite retract the sharp bits, and my shoulders are constantly scabbed.
3.  Setting up a puzzle in the living room.  The kids are finally old enough that it won’t be a total mess, and Farmer Jon is feeling free enough to sit and work on it!
4.  Hot tea
5.  That moment when I am making a doll or an animal when it becomes itself, when I can see the sort of character it will be.  I finally finished my horse today.
2013 November 067
Blessings on the Roots.