To have left a place better than one found it…


To have left a place better than one found it…
(Inspired by the book
In Kiltumper: A Year in an Irish Garden)

Arriving, everything appeared so new.
Taking in all the wonders…
Were my eyes like a camera’s lens
snapshots, one after another
—no order, sequence, structure?

Who was before me, holding me?
What did anything mean? Did it
matter?

Somewhere along the way,
a book forming.
The pages left unnumbered.
Words splashed on a page and then
like a barren desert, they
disappeared like a mirage.

What was this place?
Who am I or what is it I’m becoming?
I’ve discovered buried treasures.
The jewels, the gem stones, the 
hidden diamonds in the rough.

I left them
so that another passerby would find
them and walk on richer for having
found the pearl of great price.

Now, my pockets are empty of all
that I thought, hoped, dreamed I 
needed.

Everything realized in 
the absolute of nothingness.

Belongings left for the next sojourner
to embrace the ground of being, the
soils millions of years old laced in 
stardust.

What I have found…
May I have planted a new garden
of blessed abundance for what lies
beyond…when my footsteps rejoin
the landscape into which  I was breathed.

Green Dresses

Green Dresses

Perhaps, a Spring sale?
Shades of Green
—some ‘greens’ soft, translucent
others vivid, striking, blossoming.

Every ‘rack’
more and more green dresses.
No brand names here.
No ‘designer’ holds ownership.
Yes…each dress altered,
shaped, fitted.

Gathered eloquently at the neck lines,
the greens drape down
—the sleeves allow the defining
brown skin to enhance the 
elegance created
and being re-born.

The dresses touch the floor
stitching into the ground.
No price tags attached.
These garments not for sale.

These green dresses ask only
that we tend to them
—that we look upon their loveliness
—that we stop needless cuttings
so the green dresses
may LIVE into
lasting tomorrows.

Drops of Color/ Horse

Drops of Color
(Inspired by Geraldine Brooks book: Horse)

Horse

A book
came galloping into
the meadow of my being.

Swiftly, attempting to keep pace,
I turned page after page after page.

Trotting through paragraphs,
black letters took on new meaning.

I dropped the reins on the white
pages.

I heard a soft whinny.
My eyes filling with tears
blinded me until
I saw the book for what
it was…

A message,
historical grains of truth.

The race is never over
until we all have
moved beyond the finish
line…

leaving no one behind.

Nothing shall I want…


Nothing shall I want…

Nestled.
A tap heard on the window—

Pulling off covers,
tiny dust particles
cascade down the glass.

I gaze into the night sky,
a solitary star.
I crack open the window.
Star light pours ‘in.’
I watch as the planet makes its way into my
dreams.

I hear song birds.
The stars turned to winged
angels.

More bird songs outside the window.
No-thing shall I want.

Let me be kindness—

Let me offer and seek goodness
here in the house of the Lord.

When I look within the Heart

When I look within the Heart

Pausing,
I listen for the sound
—there it is
beating softly.

I close my eyes
hearing the rhythmic melody
playing itself.

I am lured
like a fish drawn to bait.
I swim holding the moment
because it seeks not to be captured.

Eyes opened.
I see into the Heart
—it is a tree
with thousands of branches.

Invited into this Heart space
 gifted am I,
with vast encounters
widening the wonders
through Seasons.

I have seen the Heart barren
—its nakedness
raw, humble, allowing stretch marks,
creating more room for growth.

The Heart of the tree blossoms,
tiny intricate buds, delicate
decadent delights
waiting, waiting, waiting
to unfold.

Then, when the Sun holds
the sky in its fullness
like millions of ballerinas upon an 
invisible stage,
their footsteps,
pirouettes
as they dangle from stems.

Coming full circle,
the beating
Heart reaches its ending.

The tree’s leaves
turn into an ice-cream
parlor of plentiful flavors:
orange sherbet, rainbow red,
banana foster and mint green
chocolate chip.

Whisked away,
the wind
carries the melody—
the leaves
fall behind

AND

the Heart
grows expanding love’s
limitlessness

beginning over once again.

Why I walk

 

Why I Walk

Two legs—

Wings lifting me.

Two legs have carried me across grasslands,
wet forests, snow covered mountains, gravel dirt paths,
over bridges, bustling roadways, baked dry sands,
puddled paths where drops of rain
soaked my Soul leaving me drenched with wonder.
Inviting me to step, to step again and again.

My breath—
a rhythm, a cadence, a meditation, a rosary with beads.

A sole touches ground—each decade need not be counted.

The ground…an altar.
Incense rising.
Song birds, the choir, how can they keep from singing?

It is why I walk.

How can I not step when the doorway
‘open.’

 

 

Drops of Color/ Pickin’ Cotton…

Drops of Color
Pickin’ Cotton

From the bowels
of wooden vessels
draping the ocean
carried against their will
taken from their native land
ripped from mothers’ arms

they sang

Their groans
were hymns rising above
the clanking shackles
chaining them, one to another
hid-den below deck

they sang

When they reached a new shore,
paraded they were
like livestock.
They were forced to learn
—NEW ways
—another language
—an understanding that 
they were being ‘offered’
a better way

they sang

In the fields,
 the sun blazing
and
the ‘felt’ strike of a whip
on their backs
—hungry, thirsty
they worked, served

they sang
while pickin’ cotton…

Beneath the starlight,
they gazed upon
heaven’s dome trusting
the eyes of loved ones
past and present 
looking upon them
Ubuntu
(I am because you are)

they sang

their song echoing 
through pages
of recorded history
and sung
note, after note,
after note

they sang.

 

Celebrating Black History Month

 

Babylon


Babylon

The clouds packed the sky like
milk
drops in a cereal bowl
blocking, holding back whatever intrepid
visitor might attempt to dip a spoon
and taste its substance.

Music is happening…
I don’t know the song—
the minor octave heard.

Below…
breaking through the clouds
the sun, a fiery dragon,
lights the sky.

Climbing the Tower of Babylon…
 not in search.
A silent voice, “Go up, Reach up, You’re already there.
You LIGHT this world as I do!’

Did I hear that?
Was I speaking in tongues
with no one present to interpret?

No-thing needs to be offered.
The Divine descent begun.

“What you seek is seeking You”
                                          ~~~Rumi

Three Chairs

Drops of Color
Three Chairs

‘Hold still,’ the first chair to the right
said to the middle chair.

But, my leg, one of them ‘any One’ seems
stuck in a crack and I’m   ___________

Before finishing the statement, the chair
to the left said,

‘If you can lean toward me, together
perhaps we can set you upright.’

So, they tried.  Even the chair
to the left, tried to push its seat to
offer aide.

Finally, the kneeler spoke:

“Each of you is just right
for whoever finds themselves
seated in your ‘place’

AND

I hope they’ll see me a moment
bend on knees
long enough to offer thanks.”

Here Again

‘Anthem’
by Leonard Cohen

“The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be

Ah, the wars they will be fought again
The holy dove, she will be caught again
Bought and sold, and bought again
The dove is never free

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

We asked for signs
The signs were sent
The birthed betrayed
The marriage spent
Yeah, and the widowhood
Of every government
Signs for all to see

I can’t run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
A thundercloud
They’re going to hear from me

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
there is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

You can add up the parts
But you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march
There is no drum
Every heart, every heart
To love will come
But like a refugee

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

That’s how the LIGHT gets in..”

Here Again
(excerpt from a journal)

A familiar place
yet changed.

So, too, this Pilgrim.

A walk.
Unknown terrain…
What will the ground be like?
Soft?
Soaked?
Untamed?

Will it be like my Soul, a seed,
rooted again and again.

A tapestry of threads
beauty never fading…
colors binding!

A simple instrument I am…
—No-thing I seek.
Wishing only to be ‘played.’

I’ve let-go.

You seemed to have ‘passed’
—blossoming are words
like ballads,
harmonizing effortlessly
carrying me to edges…
I LEAP!

My boots, light like feathers
fanning their way to the sun.

“Anthem” sung by Leonard Cohen
accompanies me.

I set foot in the ‘cracks’ 
so the LIGHT might be made
manifest in me.

Listen…
the sound of the birds,
‘what will they seem to say?’

Even if no sound be heard
—if no sense made in these varied sentences
—it matters not.

In between the spaces, each word…

a crack—

‘that’s how the LIGHT gets in.’

Drops of Color/ Look up…but behold what lies below

Drops of Color
Look up…but behold what lies below

I have held my gaze
—above stain-glass windows
calling for the sun
to illuminate artistic expressions.

A lofty bell,
every strike marking the hours
of the echo vibrating into heaven’s dome
unleashing the winged angels
tucked into the bricked arches.

Countless persons
enter, exit, enter for long moments,
exit retuning again and again.

Beneath the bridge,
water flows under an arch—
trucks and buses move along
holding the view of the steeple.

Below
the color in the water
—broken shards of tents.

Those who dwell here know not
the chorus of angels
lifting a golden chalice.

Wait, perhaps these persons
are Angels
knowing the riches of heaven.

They are unseen,
often unnoticed,
and they move as the church bells sound
so only those who are able
recognize their presence~~~

shattered fragments
of the truths of a 
hid-den Gospel foretold.

 

 

so blue

so blue…
Winter mornings.

Words melt into
frozen snowflakes.

I pause and listen.

A hymn rises.

The sound so blue.

Drops of Color/ Windows

Drops of Color

The Window

Sitting beside a window,
I suddenly noticed
the reflected glass ‘gazing’ out
into my Soul.

How might this be?

I nudged closer to its sill,
and I heard a sound
drawing me closer and closer.

I perched myself upon the
window pane and there it was
that sound, a familiar song,

“I see trees of green
red roses, too,
I see them bloom
for me and you
and I think to myself…”

I was waiting for the glass to shatter.
Would the window see my Soul in
shattered pieces?  Even, if so,
each fragment part of the story.

I closed my eyes.
The window did not break.
A soft breath released itself,
from my being.

The window, yes, the very window
‘opened,’ continuing its refrain

“…What a wonderful world.”

 

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…lost in heaven

…lost in heaven

Walking with you each day
has become a tapestry mosaic.

Piece by piece,
my steps, your steps
~~~intertwined.

Often times, they are One.
I cannot notice
what is Yours?
Mine?

After a distance,
as I glanced back,
and turned,
I realized that I was not
changed into
a pillar of salt.

I saw,
I bore witness
to the artistry being conveyed.

So much revealed
that was unrecognized.

After so many uncounted, uncalculated
steps,
the design fashioning itself
~~~everlasting, eternal.

Here I am, 
lost in heaven NOW.

Excuse me while I lace my boots.
I’m heading out
to walk in wonder
and fashion more pieces
in the mosaic
of life.

A new image
hid-den and revealing
itself throughout time.

Drops of Color/ Sometimes

Drops of Color
Sometimes

in prayer…

A hand creates a fist,
clenching the sorrows, the lament,
the senseless inability to embrace 

Oneness

Words crushed in tears,

THEN

my other hand appears

as if attached a first time
and cradles my braced knuckles,
softening my fingertips,
applying balm to my palm

so the anger, the pain in me
might soften

so these hands,
this Sanctuary that is

OPEN to and for all.

Amen.

The Frame

The Frame

Create what lies
within the frame

OR

behold the image
cast between
four wooden slats

AND

set sail.

The moment of birth…

The moment of birth…

the wide expanse
of a sunrise

Is it enough?

Everyday, casting warmth
even if hidden
behind an array of bundled clouds

Is that enough?

Birth…it is ongoing

leaving the safety of
a comforting cave, my mother’s womb.

Life pulses
amidst airstrikes:
bombardments of advertisements
offering more, More, MORE!

Enough already!!!

Beating to the rhythms,
cycles
~~~moments of birth
 guiding us back to
the comfort of the dark cave.

Success, recognition, honors,
all the fan-fare, the ribbons,
the golden certificates!

Not nearly enough!

One exhale of breath
releases what once seemed so relevant.

The inhale~~~
lungs expand.

Kindness, gratitude, forgiveness
of a self
alive in a moment
mindful of the disparities

It is ENOUGH!

Open hands, a heart beat softens
~~~bringing to the world what I am
able and unable      unto death.

And then, birth…

Yes, Mother Earth cradles us in
the ‘rubble’ of her womb
creating~~~enough.
Written and inspired under the wise tutelage of June S. Gould,  Ph.D.

Drops of Color/ Fragments of a Self

Drops of Color
Fragments of a Self

Each piece
a story.

Every ‘frayed’ edge
holds a glimmer
of light
discovering in pools of deep
darkness vast avenues
rising to the surface
becoming whole.

Missing pieces, searched for,
lost until found.

Were they deliberate, these missing pieces?

Perhaps…the ‘timing’ absolute
to see the significance of the ‘absence’
longing to be addressed.

The wound, a fragment of a Self
beholden to its beauty.

Just who am I?  

A fragment of a Self where You reside.  Not only in a 
jagged ‘piece’…

You reside in EVERY segment.
You are the Life in me
endlessly becoming
a ‘work’ 
created in awe.