Sunday, December 29, 2013

Intentions... and 2014

We’re down to the last couple of days of 2013. As the year draws to a close, and I continue to try and recover from a term of doctoral studies that just about did me in, I find myself taken by the very impermanence of… everything! Life is so very dynamic, and so are we. How beautiful is that! I’ve found that there is nothing more magical and gripping as the present moment, and my present moment is truly enchanting.

Being in my present moment… and taking in the sumptuousness of it all… I recognize that I would like to carry with me an intention into 2014. As I see it, an intention is not the same thing as a resolution. Resolutions are self-promises we make when driven by much necessity and little emotionality. As a result, we rarely succeed at keeping our resolutions. Intentions, on the other hand, are self-determinations we make with much emotionality and little or no necessity. Because our feelings are very much in the picture when it comes to our intentions, more often than not, we are successful in making those intentions real.

As my life unfolds in a series of present moments, the intention that I would like to take with me, to decorate every present moment as it happens spontaneously and spellbindingly, is this thought from the eternal Rumi:

I wish you all a 2014 filled with treasured intentions, and the patience and persistence to pave the paths that lead to the manifestation of those intentions. 2014 is going to be a magnificent year. I can feel it in my bones.

A Very Happy 2014 from me… to each and every one of you! :-)


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Figure and Ground

Unknown Artist

how do i begin to paint
this picture?


in thought
in sensation
in body

you are

like yesterday
and tomorrow

and here
am i

the phobic lover
the pillar of organs
 and bone

for this stiff, unyielding heart

which forgets—time and again—to pulse

to curl into the totality of you
and ease

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Where I've Been...

Unknown Artist

It’s the first day of fall. Yes, it really is! And though I’ve been back from my summer break for a while, now, I haven’t been back to my blogs. Truth be told, I was aching for an extended separation from technology. So, I took one. I’ve been doing the bare minimum, in that respect, i.e., sending and responding to important emails, taking care of educational and professional needs, and other such things.

On the personal end, I’ve just been so beautifully inside my world… so embedded in the realness of it. It’s almost as if I’ve been rediscovering the world I live inside… and the world that lives inside me. That’s not to suggest that these two worlds are separate from one another. They’re not. And so, I’ve been reconnecting with myself… and with my world. What a delicious dance it’s been!

How spiritually massaging it was to distance myself from my everyday existence, and take a break, for a while… only to return to that existence with freshly etched dreams and expectations. But, there’s just so much to do! So, while my break is truly over, I continue to inch my way back into all of the usual and habitual activities I like to engage. My coursework. My clients. My clinical papers. My students. And, a research study. But then, there’s room for pockets of free time, as well. There must be…

And so, on this first day of Fall, 2013:

I stop and watch the dust in the air swirl around… and settle.
I observe the leaves as they morph from green to gold.
I feel the cool nip of the morning air against my arms.
I smell fall... and winter in its trail.
I find pockets of empty space... and here I rest.
I allow the empty space to remain… empty.
I sit inside myself… and stay… for a spell.
I write… and write… and write some more.
I breathe… and breathe… and breathe some more.
I recline… inside the unknown.
I open myself up to the moment that is here… and now.
I lean into the enchantment this moment delivers… and it leans into me.
I am in this moment.
I... am... this moment.

As the ever inspiring and ever stirring poet, Mark Strand, once wrote:
Each moment is a place you’ve never been.

Now, that’s a truth!

Oh, and by the way… it’s lovely to be back!

Now, that’s another truth! :-)

Monday, July 8, 2013


Overflow, Andrew Wyeth

Hold tight to me now, for
You remain you, My Heart.

And I? I remain unchanged.

The arc of the flesh glows emerald.
The surging breath pumps amber.

For you, My Heart, I sing
A song entwined in healing.
But, then… what song isn’t
A search for a cure?

I grasp for images, dressing them
With my humid fingerprints.
I sweep my gaze across the bare window.
Where am I? What do I want?

This Here is mine.
I fill my mouth with the nurture of it.

In a distant Here,
A woman waits, watching the clock.
Which do you prefer? She says.
The past, or the future?

I want to ask,
Don’t I have another choice?

Ancient prayers still harbor powers.

Carry me across the river.

I open the doors to you,
My Temple.

I breathe my prayers for
Earth. Air. Sky.

Carry me…

What will I do once I've received?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Via Somniorum

Viaggio, Gianni de Conno

This, too, was a dream:

the eyeless grasp of limbs
to the beckoning window frame

the alchemy of finding and
grounding the unexplored

our bellies like fluttering moths
our palms drunken with vision

your breath all over my shoulders
my teeth all over your spine

the crossing of
squares of solitude

the dancing of
lanterns on water

the . . . oh, but
i no longer know what to say
without betraying myself

whose poetries are these that
hover above this canyon of light?

i’ll leave my sighs
at the doorstep, my love

i’ll fall in love with you
just one gasp more

i am filled with arrows

not suffering, my love
but refuge

not blood
nor wound
nor scar, my love
but delivery

not . . . must i say more?
whose poetries are these?

let my voice rest inside
the coils of this insolent silence

but know this . . .
i cannot turn away from you

so many anchors leap from your eyes
i seek you inside the as yet unwitnessed

the ink glistens at the tip of the pen
the dream swims at the lip of desire

whose poetries…?

my mouth will never desert this page

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"The Dancer" is Published!

It feels like eons since I last announced the publication of a short story or poem. It’s no surprise, really. Lately, my writing has centered around proposals for research studies, literature reviews, and clinical papers. That’s not to say I haven’t been creative writing (hey… clinical papers are creative, too!). I have been… really… I have. Trying to get through doctoral studies without having a creative outlet would be insane… and I don’t want to go that route, for sure! On the other hand, writing a poem, short story, or piece of creative non-fiction is one thing. Having it published is quite another.

Long story short…

I am honored to announce the publication of my short story, “The Dancer,” in the ever-beautiful and ever-intriguing Yellow Medicine Review: A Journal of Indigenous Literature, Art, and Thought. This illustrious journal features narratives of subjective cultural experiences, and “The Dancer” is just that! It is a story of somatic experience, existential meaning, spirituality, and holism. It is a story of beauty beyond the physical… and faith beyond reason. It is a story of transcendence. It is a story of immortality. It is a story of Egypt. It is a story of love.

I am proud to say that this is not my first publication in Yellow Medicine Review. My short story, “Zar,” was published in the Fall 2011 edition. I would also like to say that, time allowing, I plan to write more material for future publication in this delightful journal.

The ravishingly stunning Spring 2013 paperback edition of Yellow Medicine Review, guest edited by Natalia Andrievskikh, is available for purchase from Amazon, and yes… I highly recommend it! Please do spread the word!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Consenting Muse

Art by Leonor Fini

The door splinters.
The wood planks sail on the horizon.

The open sky calls.
The rain tremors and falls.

Body. Breath.
Sensation. Consciousness.

Crimson petals pressed to white paper.
The fortitude to know, and to go.

Leaf. Bark. Root.
The autumn brambles, left unattended.

A harvesting of love and joy.
A gathering of stone and bone.

The tender flow of words . . . unhurried.
It’s an old story . . . the calm that comes with
Knowing . . . and going.

There is no nip inside that air.
There is no ebb inside that flow.

I talk to you in a dream.
But . . . pardon the intrusion.

I was saying . . .
May I ask . . .
To trust without shadow,
What does it take?

The heavens are boundless.
There is a use for every darkness.

Intuition. Imagination. Invention.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sulfur and Cinnabar

Art by Gianni de Conno

Maybe it will always be
This way:

The cavernous howl of agitation
in the ribs,

The harried pull of magnetism
in the core,

The clashing knuckles—
white with desire,

The disordered breathing—
haunted by time.

How do we do it?

We stare unblinkingly anticipation
steeps beneath our skin
and betray nothing.

We tread the floors of want
to undress or not to undress
without twisting our ankles.

We do not move
our lips are swollen with hunger
to the persistent heartbeat of the walls.

An owl hoots at the periphery of
the moon-washed window.

We leave the light on—
the door open.

How do we do it?

We don’t touch a thing.
We scald.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Distillation, The Fourth

Self-Portrait, Nevine Sultan

Click to read the first, second, and third “Distillation” poems.

* * * * * * * * *

I see you, My Ghost,
after an immeasurable duration of separation.
And though the ‘immeasurable’ is relative,
my first thought is, God, you look so old.

I know this thought should be followed by,
I wonder if you think the same of me.
But, I do not have that thought.

Instead, I think how reverent it is to
age from the lashes and strokes of life.

I think how immaculate are the creases that
cut the edges of our lips and
slice the corners of our eyes.

I think how eloquent are the words
we speak when the spirit wisens,
and surges, like a ghost—

Like you, My Ghost,
inside of me.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

In Secret

Art by Gianni de Conno

The last time we met,
You brought me your dream—
A life wish thrust into the
Vortex of Finitude.

And while you spoke, you flamed,
Violet tongues billowing
Through glassless windows,
Sparking their alchemy sky-high.

No longer were your words
Superficial or intellectualized.
No longer was your voice
Timid or unheard.

From your lips shone
Constellations of stars.
From your eyes keened
Recrudescent echoes.

The well of impotence runs dry,
I said.

You said,
Ah, yes! That’s so.

We glared at the vivid blue of
The air encaving You and Me.

We weighed our words
As if they were wisdoms of old.

We scattered the ghosts:
Ashes to blaze!
Dust to gold!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dress Rehearsal

Photo by Brian Ferry

Let me die on a shimmering summer's day, my eyes
burning like torches—aflame, and swallowing
that Eden—my body painted with
skylight, throbbing inside an
endless yawn of clover.

Let me die in the changing wind
of a plummeting evening, my
lips wide with gratitude, my
cheeks firm with authenticity.

Let me die boundless and ageless,
my face smudged with dust from
the hidden stars, and with traces
of places much larger than me.

Let me die… Oh! But then, dying by
design is a battle unto itself—and, as if
I could. As if my perfect plan were nobler
than the tender hover of The Universe as it halts
in mid-whirl, glances in my direction, and mutters,

Come, Beloved. Come!