Drops of Color/ This Garden

Drops of Color
This Garden

I am
dwelling in a garden
from which no one is banned
except in fairy tales.

Tasting of its fruit daily,
I am invited to bite into
the succulence of life.
Revealed is the essence
of goodness filling
and satisfying the Soul
—no one blamed for
having eaten.
A still small voice
says,
‘share, offer and let
everyone consume and be filled.’

Open the eyes of the heart
and see
—find a way back
‘into’ a garden never really having left
—no more ‘mea culpa’
—no more beating the breast
of unworthiness.

Take in a land flowing
with milk and honey.

Let us care for this Garden.
She’ll take care of herself
if we falter to see all her
original blessings.

All invited to the table
in this Garden of Abundance.

About this morning…

About this morning…
Beneath a sea of bubbling
black licorice,
my ‘soles’ have walked.
Majestic stars, like diamonds,
splashed in the seamless ocean
flow above my head.

What was different about
this morning?
Twenty four hours earlier,
my body lay still on a table.
Overhead, it certainly was 
not the Milky Way.

I was in a galaxy of wondrous
beings who brought ‘balm’
to my eye.

The first phase of healing—
a picture taken.
The second phase, I beheld the 
crushing pieces of matter that
would no longer obscure my vision.
The third, and final phase,
the placement of a lens
delicately woven in by
the Physician’s Hands…
and a tender unknowing hand took mine.
I trusted all was well!

When I woke,
a sense of wonder ‘held’ me.
An unknowing fanned over
me, and a calmness pursued
as I lifted my eye’s lid—LOOKING!

What I sought as I 
gazed was uncertain.
When I stepped into
the visible sunlight remaining in the day…
something changed!

Just what…no words could form
the anticipation brewing within.

I slept well,
and as always, the moon beamed through my
window luring me to rise.
I took my first
step and held my place.

Pausing, I lifted my head, tipping itself
like a pitcher pouring itself from 
the opposite direction…Upward!

My eye bore witness to the stars
like SEEING them
a first time.
One by one they sparkled.
I began to count them, to name them
aloud…
so many, too many to add!

I wished to hold this encounter forever…
Mindful of many who have
moved on from this world
as I know it.

So often
I feel them keeping watch over me.
Lit candles
ignited in the sky.

Now, about this morning…
I am SEEING more clearly.

Are the stars more numerous than our descendants?

I have read somewhere this is so…

Perhaps, each one visible
and invisible to my watchful OPENED eye.
A Sacred Ancestor
invites me now to slowly
bow my head with thanks!

About this morning…I SEE!

Drops of Color/ Fiery Furnace

Drops of Color
Fiery Furnace

As the night slowly
begins to lift its shade
and stars melt into
a pool shining back upon themselves,

there is a moment, the sun,
a fiery furnace,
flips its switch ‘on’ throughout
the forest.

In that brilliant 
flicker, the trees reveal their
true colors, and then
go back instantaneously
to their grand splendor
of browns.

Unseen

Unseen

It matters not
what unseen path
lies ahead.

What matters
is the courage
to know when to
press on

or

remain still
for as long as it
takes the journey to 
unfold.

Drops of Color/ Strings

Drops of Color
Strings

Six strings
running parallel.

Its body
a hollowed tree trunk.

A branch
shooting through
the center
becomes a lengthy neck.

Six leaves
attached to the strings
—metaphoric vines.
Each leaf alters the
tune of the fitted
strands.

A hand reached for
a pic and plucks
E, A, D
then G, B and E.

A vibrational energy
staggers within the space between
the strings.

The free hand
stretches fingers between frets
—chords played.

Strumming rolls on
like the tide moving
in to meet the shore.

The sun rises
and a tune plays
itself.

Shadows streak across
the landscape.

A flock of geese becomes
notes flying through clouds
—their wings flapping,
writing a symphony.

As the day begins to set
—the stars become white
notes on a black page.

The music finds 
another way to 
express itself

—splashing into the Milky Way.

Fluttering

FlutteringCrossing the ocean
—her wings changed
the winds.

Broken in places
—she found the strength
to arrive.

Lightly landing on flowers
—scenting the traveler
with sweet perfumes
preparing its
‘fluttering’ life
for its eternal departure.

Drops of Color/ A Pot of Gold

Drops of Color
A Pot of Gold

At the end of the pier,
‘a pot of gold.’

Metaphorically speaking,
a rainbow of floating
kayaks—‘wait.’

Then, the sea,
the sojourner,
and a single oar

‘glide’

rhythmically, harmonically,
channeling the wind,
the waves and the vast
expanse of a voyage
leading to a pot of gold
that cannot be brought back,
traded in or possessed.

The treasure LIVES within—
the sojourner never the same.

Three Bees

Three Bees

Three bees landed upon a 
golden Sunflower.

The first Bee gently let out a 
soft buzz,
“This padding beneath my slender 
limbs is so lush and soft.”

The second Bee chimed in
releasing an extra buzzzzzzz
and questioned,
“How do you think this flower
creates such a wonderous
bed from which to nibble such luster?”

The third Bee…remained silent
for sometime!  The two Bees
stared, holding their gaze
before their companion
buzzed ever so subtly,

“The flower provides us this
gift by B-ing.”

Drops of Color/ Keyboard

Drops of Color
Keyboard

Some one
turned it around.

Ebony, ivory
—they have taken opposite forms.

Ivory has become keys of
soft brown wood, brown delicate pitch.

Ebony keys, now the color
of snow, hang on the
keyboard’s branches.

Closing one’s eyes,
fingers dance.
A familiar waltz flutters
across a long
board walk.

The song heard in each note
is that of the ocean
tumbling over itself
when one dares to ‘jump in.’

The tide in—
the harmony echoes
and, as it rises to make its 
way out,

the pianist pauses
long enough to allow
each note to carry on
and on.

Eyes open—
the colors of the keys
have turned to blue
and, pulled down by
the undertow,
the urchins begin to sway.

 

Vivid Recollections

Vivid Recollections

DAWN (0-20yrs)
Crawling,
an open doorway
—hands grip the edge of wood.
Lifting, now standing on two
wobbly limbs
—hands let-go
then, The Fall.

Attempting again and again
fall after fall…

Years pass
—now, running through fields
gliding as if on waves
—swinging from branches.

Peace here,
but returning home
—the glass ceiling is broken.

Solace found in an empty church.
NO words.
Staring up at an altar
—seeing a suffering man
Love swaddled me.
I fall and then
—lifted by unseen arms.

School days, childhood friends.
I played hard, studied little.
On the field, I could release 
all that was pent up inside.
I excelled cracking the bat
at the ball, striking the racquet
hitting a winner over the net,
serving and volleying to lead
the team to victory.

So proud, on the sidelines
the family—an illusion.
I continued to play.

Countless persons stepped in,
unknown at the time,
—they nurtured me.

One man, a father figure, impacted my life.
He left the world too soon.
His final words written to me,
“How I wish I were your father
so I could have had you forever.”

Church, that quiet haven,
no longer had answers.

The introduction to substances
provided little/if any comfort to me,
especially when I had to care
for persons whose addictions
tore the bandages covering
the scars that never
could heal.

DAY (20-40yrs)
Wandering  away—
I put down ‘the games.’
I picked up books and a 
new family bound me in their
loving pages.

New writings.
Upon completion of my studies,
out I stepped
—working with neglected and 
abused children.
Next, I worked with 
incarcerated juvenile girls.

The work was natural,
easy to empathize.

Then, a call.

My grandma suffered a massive stroke.

I bargained with the One I
called God.  One moment I asked,
“Please, end her suffering,” then I’d ask
for a little more time.

I flung the Holy Book across
the room and wept.

I sat beside her.  She, unable to speak,
barely moved any
of her limbs.

I looked into her eyes.
She looked back and folded
her hands in prayer.
My Wise Ole’ Grandma.

Death came for her.
I chose to embrace the hand of
 Death’s path.
I walked beside others as 
a Chaplain as they faced
life’s transition
from here to eternity.

All are equal here.
 I recognized immediately that it
doesn’t matter if one is rich or poor,
black or white, male or female,
no matter what faith one practices
or does not practice.

In life’s turning of the page,
The End becomes New to 
the one passing.

The living hold
the memories.

DUSK (40-60yrs)
Another path revealed itself when I embraced the
role of a Peace Officer.
An only woman in a field of Blue.
I was surrounded by brothers.
A small few would have liked
me removed (and baited their traps),
instead, an injury took me out
of a hid-den prison.

No longer a hostage,
no longer able to walk, 
I wondered, if I ever would stand.

An old lover found me once
again.  Pencil in hand,
I began sketching images
of persons.
Ordinary people from
The Hebrew Testament and The New Testament.

Before I realized what was it happening,
the sketches took the stage.
I was breathing life
into old stories.

As many times as i broke open
the Word, I knew the journey would
be different.

What unfolded is
the story of my own words in
photographs and colored artistry.

Spiritually,
I have walked a path unknown.
Glancing back, I’ve 
watched a mosaic forming

many blank ‘areas’ held open
for life still being lived.

Changes began unfolding
for individuals who were
pillars in my life.

It was easy to be in a Chaplain
Role, but to these persons
I was more than Chaplain.

Loss, another loss,
cognitive changes,
decisions to move into a 
safer setting, taking the set
of car keys…

It was now time for me to walk.

First, down into the depths
of the canyon.
The Grand allowed me to descend.

Coming up,
I walked with others on
The Camino Mary Magdalene.

Alone, but not lonely,
I walked The Camino de Santiago.

My steps would travel to England’s
Coast to Coast, to Wales, The Pembrokeshire Coast Path and
to Italy’s, The Camino St Francis.

A Pandemic ‘struck’ the World…

I have walked a daily pilgrimage.

I suffered an injury that
shook my core.
Still, here I write, walk, sketch,
strum a guitar, provide pastoral care
and tend to the needs of loved ones.

I have lived the life of the sun’s
rising.  I have been to where 
the sun is at its highest point
mid-day.

I am at the place where the sun is
making its way to the west.

DARK 
I am not here, yet,
BUT, I’m living beside the
persons in my life who are
leaning toward life’s settings.

When the sun goes down
on another life lived,
I fall.  I touch the ground
where they rest.

I weep watering the earth.

I rise in the early
morning hours trusting
the stars lighting the way for 
those who have passed.

Lasting flames
light a way through the 
darkness I shall one day
follow.

I trust the words…

the words of the suffering
man I stumbled upon
years ago,

“I am with you till the end
of the age.”

 

 

Drops of Color/ Above the Mantel

Drops of Color
Above the mantel

The warmth of the
fire contained.

Rising
a sea
and the sun setting.

Vessels
harbored after a long
day of bringing in a catch.

In the distance,
you can hear laughter,
merriment,
folks dining on
what the waters have provided.

Can you see it in the painting?

Perhaps, one
 story drifting into 
another.

Can you hear the sound of the gulls?

What are you hearing
as you ponder so many possibilities?

Above the mantel,
a painting.

Contemplate what the tide
in your Soul is embracing.

When we are still…

When we are still…

and gaze out
upon wonder,

why, even the clouds
appear as if mountains

OR

perhaps the mountains
have transformed into
bursts of clouds.

Drops of Color/ Windows

Drops of Color
Windows

Why do i go on sketching images
of windows…
leaving words on their ‘pane?’

I suppose it is the gazing ‘outward,’
and then I’m suddenly taken
back to lingering memories,
lasting moments.

I wipe the glass again
and clear the streaks.

Often, I leave the window wide open
letting in the rays of the giant flame
lighting the Universe.  I draw back
the curtains allowing the rain
to get ‘inside.’   I love the crystal
snowflakes, each one unique unto
itself, and my words slide down
the bank the drifts formed upon  
my sill.

When winds come, they rattle the
frame.  My words remain open,
the sketches illuminate a page,
and I find myself staring
into a future continuously
awakening, waiting

for each of us to open the
Windows of our Soul’s, realizing
we are all living what is in
front of us!

What’s your view?
What is the tapestry of life
opening through your spirit?

Break the glass if you are not
free to share.  Escape what tells 
you this is as far as you
can go!

Sit on the ledge of the window…
seek the wonder you are!

The greatest gain you’ll ever stumble
upon is becoming who you are…
not what the world expects!

Look out your window this day…

Can you see?

Totem

Totem

This totem
leads to here
and NOW…

Look no further than
this place you stand…

It is exactly where you
are meant to be.

Drops of Color/ …Take my Hand

Drops of Color
…Take my Hand

Oh, this night
 lures me.

I am like bait on a line
cast upon the black sea before me.

I walked dangled between starlight
and the night’s sky
where a light shines brighter than the sun.

Blinded am I,
as You  lunge
from the hidden depths
to snag me from the line.

I am held by You.
I am not afraid
that You will consume me.

I long to enter You
and You release me.

How do I express this love unfolding,
Beloved?

I cannot!

There are no words and, even if
I had them, WORDS cannot make sense.

Do I truly understand your intentions?

The love I seek is You.

I have known love through
endless encounters
—like the reading of the same
page over and over
until the words melt
into my Soul.

I wait for your love
that muses
in the night
like a song waiting for the melody.

There are no road
signs for this path.

No internet connections
link me to the outpouring
of your love.

You silently embrace me
and, when I believe 
You are gone, ‘lost forever’—
You set my heart like the moon
painted on a black sea.

Oh, the colors you allow me
to behold in these hours.

When the sun does shine,
your luminous presence
shines within me.

I wait
again and again
as you take my hand.

 

A quick note…
A gentle hand has taken mine.  A pilgrimage unfolds.  I’m off on a new path!
I will carry you in my backpack—until my return.
May the One holding your hand ‘always’ be with You!

Drops of Color/ Weights & Measures

Drops of Color
Weights & Measures

Balancing scales
—one side dipping down,
another side rising.

Who decides
the values placed
on the scale?

If we lived
the lesson

—to share our surplus
with the least of 
our brothers and sisters

—to satisfy those
who hunger and thirst

—to comfort those
broken, filled with anguish
because of unsurmountable
loss,

Then…really no one would be
entitled to set the scale.

We would all love enough
to see that ONLY
Love is the balance.

 

 

…the music

…the music
The tide is in
‘imagine’ the music that
shall ensue when the waters
pull each vessel out
dancing on the sea
changing its motion.

In Gratitude of Hours

   In Gratitude of Hours

“My life is not this steep hour
through which you see me being swept.
I am a tree standing before my background,
of my many mouths I am but one—
the one, indeed, that’s always first to close.

 I am the space between two notes
which, if wed, ring crossly:

For the death note craves finality—

but in their dark interval the two meet,
embrace again, and tremble.

And  the
beautiful song goes on.”

                                                                          ~~~Rainer Maria Rilke

In Gratitude of Hours

How do you pen
the correct words of praise,
of gratitude?

 How is it they flow like a river
and, at times, like a salmon pushing against the current?

 When words no longer suffice,
pictures form…
sketches, paintings, portraits, landscapes—each giving gratitude to and
for You becoming new again
as in the beginning.

 Gratitude often unleashes itself
like a fountain from my Soul…
no words, simply a crescendo of
vibrational humming rising, falling, growing
louder, and then, silently filling in the
spaces before another note plays itself
from the chambers holding my lungs.

 For these hours, I give gratitude.
And yes, too, and for You…
and yes, to all sentient beings.

 Praising life even in chaos,
we evolve, becoming new.
These hours of gratitude are
no longer chains that bind…
instead, they are hands, held open,
reaching out, touching, and joining
with a soft paw, the firm bark of
an oak, the sea and its sand
coursing through my fingers.

For these hours of gratitude,
I pause…

 The soft silhouette of the fern
invites me to stay awhile.
And so, I do.

 Always gratitude in my being
that You join me here
…in these hours.

 

 “I am not what happened to me,
 I am what I choose to become.”

                                            ~~~Carl Jung

 

A note of thanks for the kind messages shared regarding The Book of Hours. Many of you have inquired how you might read The Hours again in their entirety.
Simply go to www.onesingledrop.com    Click on BLOG and scroll back to the ‘beginning’ of The Book of Hours.
The penned words and photos were birthed during the height of  the pandemic and found their way to my 2022 website and are now concluded. 

 

…becomes

…becomes
The very stone becomes
the reflection in
the water just as the
water becomes the 
stone lapping the shore.

Book of Hours/ Final Hour

BOOK OF HOURS/Final Hour

 “We shall not cease from exploration,
and the end of all our exploring will be
to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

 ~~~ T.S. Eliot

Final Hour

Here we are…but where?
Weeks ago, at least it seems weeks, I sat before this
windowpane.  Outside, there you were…so, very far
away, yet, I felt if I simply lifted my hand,
my Soul and yours ‘touched.’ 
It was the messenger that
brought us here, joining us…
Spirit of Life, I did not
know you then, and yet, I did. 
Here I sit again, and
begin again this circular dance. 
I trust the steps
I have taken before, I am taking them for
a first time…NOW. 
Perhaps, the words penning
themselves on this paper make no sense.
Is it sense I seek? 
Heaven’s no…it is you I seek who is the
complete contradiction of any sense…
at least for me.
You are lasting…for even if I confuse myself
with ‘thought,’ You are a thread with no end.
You weave beginning a day.  Curling through the
eye of the needle, you swivel unseen through night,
stitching your way through dawn.  You ignite the sun.
The complexity of the day, a pattern you know…needing no
practice.   As dusk’s seam wedges into this exploration of life, the thread
unveils itself all the more releasing yet another strand
to make the journey again, and for a first time.

Pray with me…thank you!

 

 

 

 

…blessed Union

blessed Union
A small vessel 
—A vast crystal clear sea
—a blessed Union

Book of Hours/ 10:00 p.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/10:00p.m.

 “Preach the Gospel
at all times…
and if necessary
use words.”

 ~~~Francis of Assisi

10:00pm.         Hour

 The        pause      I         make
between     each        word
is       the      prayer    I   make      with
  words!

Silence         is    a       response    when
        the    heart       waits     for
  each            breath   and      trusts
              another        follows!

When      my      last     breath
                   taken—–     

               I         pray

the        hours         lead       me          back
          over         the      tranquil         paths
   I             have        wandered         and         allow
me          the      gift        of               knowing   I    am      in
                heaven     from        where   I   have
                           always     resided .

Pray with me in this hour…
11:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in the hours remaining.

 

 

Peddled

Peddled
The bicyclists
rode in with the tide
and peddled upon the waves
letting-go of the handlebars.

Book of Hours/ 9:00 p.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/9:00p.m.

 “Follow the grain in your own wood.”

 ~~~Howard Thurman

9:00p.m. Hour

9:00p.m.—this hour has its own chord.
Each hour has played its own unique melody…
Each a separate key on the keyboard, and yet,
‘all’ these hours hold a melody, a harmony
that is lasting and eternal.  Each moment in
this hour, the stars glitter and, if you seek
this quiet place inside yourself, trust you will hear
The Big Dipper begin a hymn.  Orion will join in
and The Milky Way will splash a tune across the
night’s sky while Pleiades, the seven sisters,
lead an acapella.  Here I sit.  I start to hum.
The vibration begins in my belly.  This, my favorite
form of prayer.  I make it up as I go along.
A shooting star leaves a trail continuing the
refrain.  This hour, a chorus…everything
chiming in in this darkness.
Countless beams of starlight
illuminate the stage. I am dancing, and the melody rises.
A perfect pitch finds its way into the night…
Hid-den creatures, all with one accord
begin to ‘hum’ from their bellies.
The Universe is a concert breaking open.
Every player has a part in the performance.
This is REAL, this is life’s live
Production, and it is not put on for just
this night.  This show is sold out—
the curtain never closes.
Encore after encore…this hour, this holy
Hour, a lowly bird trusts its perch
and sings the world to sleep.
I find a branch to sit upon and listen…
I simply listen.

Pray with me in this hour—
10:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in the hours remaining.

 

 

A ladder

A ladder

I climbed a ladder,
but
it was not until I
descended ‘into’ the 
shadows, I discovered
the direction I sought.

Book of Hours/ 8:00 p.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 8:00p.m.

“All shall be well, and all shall
be well and all manner of
things shall be well.”

 ~~~Julian of Norwich

8:00p.m. Hour

 Darkness has set in.
Like a seed planted in the ‘ground of being,’
unmovable beneath the soil, the seed finds a way
to break.  Pushing, prodding, am I like this seed
beneath the canopy of the night’s sky? 
Here, I burst while a thousand stars pull me into their
light.  What is my prayer in this kaleidoscope of
twinkling white diamonds
spread across a black pearl table?  I pull up a
chair to gaze a while.  I am upside down,
 yet no-thing falls upon me.
 I am falling into this hour, intentionally.
Every second, I drop lower and lower and the
descent brings me nearer to You.  I am guided
through a black hole…an abyss, and I cannot
find my way—ah, yet, I trust the hid-den path.
Mindful of this road, knowing not a direction…
There is no North or South, East or West…
all ways in the absent void…lead to You. 
My eyes closed, I touch you at my side.  I know it is You.
I fear not that it be anyone else.  It is You
and Spirit who meet me in this timeless
hour.  We are gathered together in this
space over and over.  I follow even
though the way uncharted, the road lies
off the map.  I step in a forest of
flowers that bloom in the night.  Their seeds
know when to unfold and it is well…
very well with my Soul.

 

Pray with me in this hour.
9:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in the hours remaining.

 

Center Stage

Center Stage
Divine Light has its way
of ‘pointing’
to that which appears insignificant
and casts its glow
allowing it center stage
and says…
‘the brilliance of creation would
not exist without
your being.’

Book of Hours/ 7:00 p.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 7:00p.m.

In the dark I rest, unready for the light
which dawns day after day, eager to
be shared.  Black silk, shelter me.  I
need more of the night before I open
eyes and heart to illumination.  I must
still grow in the dark like a root not
ready, not ready at all.

 ~~~Denise Levertov

7:00p.m. Hour

Is it the dark we fear,
or do we fear what we have been told lurks in the dark?
Darkness shades the world…it reminds us of death.
How many so frightened to speak of death?  How many
will not broach the subject until it is staring them in
the face and a cry heard, “Why?”  So many believe
that through the death of one man humankind was
saved.  Did humankind need saving?  What about
everything that was before this person?  Was the
Incarnation a reality that was simply not seen in life each day,
every hour, and yes, seconds?
I love the man who said himself to be the Son of Man [Humankind].
He spoke to all, reached out to the lowly,
was transformed through others who asked for his
aid.  He guided others to ‘see’ differently.
Love, his only message…no matter the price.
He chose death in his final hours…he cried out to his
God, “Where are you?”  Then whispered in tears, “Forgive them, they know not
what they do.”  I pray you God…
weep and continue to weep when you see violent
destruction, bloodshed, cruelty.  I cannot imagine you
turning over your son, whom you love, to fall victim to an inhumane act of
torture. 
I see you standing with
others in tears—pleading for Peace, working for Justice,
Feeding the Hungry, removing children
from cages and bringing them, re-uniting them with their kin.
These hours, the months of the pandemic…death wove itself across our world…
Our entire World.
So many lives taken by an unseen predator.
I, too, lost a loved one who lights the stars over my head. 
I join hands and hearts with countless
Others.  We were, we are The Synagogues, The Temples,
The Mosques, The Cathedrals
standing together in the forests, the mountains, alongside the rivers and oceans
to remember.
How we will meet again is not clear…at least not for me. 
I trust we meet now, each day in these hours.
Although we do not touch physically, we touch. 
I know this as YOU hold this pen, and the words write themselves.

Pray with me in this hour.
8:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in the hours remaining.

 

NOW and every day hereafter, join me in a moment of Silence.
In Unity, let us remember the 10 persons who lost their lives in an unspeakable act of violence in Buffalo, NY.
So many persons are losing their lives to senseless acts of horror.
May they rest beneath the brown, rich soils of Mother Earth and Rise shining like stars.
May we respond ONLY in Love…may our tears water the ground where their human shells will lie
AND 
May we trust their Souls dwell in the air we breathe…
Let us live each day so that they are never forgotten.

 

 

 

Rest

Rest

Today is a brilliant day
to begin unfolding all the
creativity birthing inside of you.

Suddenly, a soft voice, or the echo of a breeze,
seems to say,

“Come, lie in this hammock,
let yourself rest in
the sweetness of savoring
nothingness.”

The mind, the heart, the body,
embrace the stillness.

Rest

Book of Hours/ 6:00 p.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 6:00p.m.

If you have built castles in the air,
your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be.  Now put
the foundations under them.

 ~~~Henry David Thoreau

6:00p.m. Hour

I clicked my heels…
I was not attempting to escape this hour.
I clicked softly, bringing me back home from Oz.
At one time, I imagined the Yellow Brick Road.
I have had friends:  Scarecrows, Tin men, and even
Cowardly Lions.  Perhaps, a part of me resided in each
of those characters. (Oh, and yes, Toto, too) Have I encountered
a Fairy Princess…a good witch?  Have I actually taken the broom
of a bad witch and swept her floor in hopes that she
would see the entire world is not against her?
Did I believe behind some giant screen there was this
Magical, All-Powerful ‘Oz’ who could make my
every wish come true?  I am clicking heels
this time so I do not fall asleep in a poppy field
with flying monkeys overhead.  Really, what is
this prayer?  As these hours draw nearer to the completion
of a twenty-four-hour period, through seasons, through
years…stories play through my mind.  You are certainly
not the great and powerful Oz my heart has sought.
You are more Auntie Em…You are Uncle Henry…
Spirit…You are Professor Marvel, an Itinerant Fortune Teller
who recognizes a child has run away and you guide her
to return ‘Home.’  As simple as it sounds, returning
home is the journey of our lifetime.  These hours
lead me to you…a golden wheat field, a foundation
laid, set.  When it is time, it will start anew.

 

Pray with me in this hour.
7:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in the hours remaining.

 

 

Perch

Perch

Find your perch
and rest awhile…

Book of Hours/ 5:00 p.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 5:00p.m.

 Be yourself, everyone else
is already taken.

 ~~~Oscar Wilde

5:00p.m. Hour

 They say the eyes are the windows to the Soul.
These windows—a set of eyes…they gaze
from inside out…they gaze from the outside in.
What have they witnessed?  Has my vison changed
as time reveals itself over and over,
this hour, from these windows?   I ride as if
on a Ferris Wheel. I see for miles and miles.
Only for seconds, the picture changes—the
scenery, its landscape, positions…a rhythmic
cycle always forming new faces and holding a
familiar place.  How can ordinary windows reveal
so much, and how can so much unfold, becoming
something new again and again?
How can the ‘viewer’
not be changed in this hour, this specific time of
day?   No matter from which side of the window I stand,
the fading of light reveals images…
a casting of myself.  I look, I smile, I make a
funny face.  The window laughs, or was it the wind
pushing itself to get in?  My face reveals soft lines,
gentle wrinkles, adding to the personality of my character
growing with age.  I would love for others to see in me eyes
that express kindness, lips that speak truth, ears
listening to voices calling out, a nose that takes in
life’s delicate scents and breathes in its pleasures.
I would love others to see my open arms embracing
everything that has come my way…even the moments of
trial that broke my heart wider to love more
completely…even if the love denied.
So much more lies through these windows.
My eyes glimpse heaven in each of you…
my gaze has been blessed to behold.
I cannot begin
to count the endless faces of you, God,
that you have allowed, invited me to see.
And through this window,
You have allowed me to see You in me.

Pray with me in this hour.
6:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in the hours remaining.

 

  

Drops of Color/ Conversation with a Flower

Drops of Color
Conversation with a F
lower

Who asks you,
‘What is your race, your gender,
your creed?’

Pardon me, I could not hear
you.

‘Does anyone question the essence
of your being?’

Forgive me, I really cannot
understand what you’re
saying.

Help me…

Suddenly, the flower
unfolded itself before me.

Its beauty, its sweet savory perfume
expanding between us.

No words necessary.

Really, so simple,
if only we ‘saw’ the
loveliness in one another—

Each of us…A Divine Unfolding!

Book of Hours/ 4:00 p.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 4:00p.m.

 Once we believe in ourselves, we can
risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous
delight, or any experience that reveals
the human spirit.

 ~~~E.E. Cummings

4:00p.m. Hour

 The harvest ready…
Autumn changes the colors of this hour—
My breath softer, more silent, and I know
You, YAH-WEH, as I inhale and exhale.
My heart now beats to your unspoken name.
My steps move in the cadence of the air being
taken in and letting-go.  This hour, dusk begins
settling in.  The air changes—a cool breeze
rustles the leaves…some hang-on, others let-go—
hoisted, drifting, soaring and finding a place
to rest.  These hours tucked between seasons.
What is my prayer?  All these minutes that have
ticked on by…were they prayer?  Yes, these
ripened hands of time, they move without some-one
pulling or pushing life to become.  Life unfolds
without ‘me’ and, yet, it asks of me to be a
participant in this dance.  Life takes me, has
taken me by the hand. I have waltzed, Sashayed,
Rock-n-rolled, I have moon-walked and square-danced.
Then, beneath a blanket of stars, I closed my eyes
circling around the moon…a celestial wonder.
I was lifted, so ripe was I, I fell. I fell into
a pile of Autumn’s color-filled leaves only to
rake them higher so I could dive back in and fall.
Full circle, coming full circle, but give me these
remaining hours.  Let these lasting seconds
bring me nearer to you, who is
already at my side.

Pray with me in this hour—
5:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No  worries if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

 

 

‘blow’

‘blow’
I dare you NOT
to ‘blow’ these
beautiful seeds
into the 
Universe

Book of Hours/ 3:00 p.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 3:00p.m.

 “I’ve known rivers:  I’ve known rivers
ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins
my soul has grown deep like the rivers.

 ~~~Langston Hughes

3:00p.m. Hour

This hour basks in Summer’s warmth.  The clouds
overhead bathe in this season…like children, they
frolic across the sky.  I walk in the tall grasses
stopping to rest beneath a tree. Its shadow covers
me completely.  I see the light, and it is making
its way toward the western sky.  I pause…
colors evaporating, fading…the tapestry of this
field knitted so delicately…everything is full
and moving in a direction that suddenly
brings day to night.  The in-between hours at times
seem forgotten…they exist, almost expected.
Perhaps, this is my own expectation—that you are always
here and you are.  How have I changed like these
hours, these seasons?  My steps take place with
greater care. I look out and hold the moment,
know it no longer, nor ever did.  Nothing lasts forever.
But now…I treasure this summer.  I tuck it into
a chest digging a hole and place its ‘riches’—
‘a box of no possessions’—into the ground.
I dig so deep, I hit a spring.  It lifts the
chest from my hands and rushes away deep into
a pool of darkness.  Gone, but all the treasures
the seasons have blessed me with, I give back.
I give back holding the moments in my memory
realizing no-thing belongs to me, and still
I am in all things.
I hear the rush of the river
as this hour flows into the next
tributary.

Pray with me in this hour…
4:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in the hours remaining.

 

 

Drops of Color/ Definition of a Woman

Ketanji Brown Jackson
The 116th Associate Justice of the Untied States Supreme Court
Definition of a Woman

Let us begin with a fresh slate.
Our ‘ribs’ are uniquely our own.
Our physical attributes simply
do not define our brand
of how we are ‘made-up.’

I am fashioned and created 
from a Source who designs

all life in goodness, harmony, and
loving-kindness.

Women have a place
beyond the roles ‘She’ has been ascribed.
The masculine nature, its divine essence,
does not have a right to 
lay claim or set boundaries on the feminine nature.

A woman grows and becomes herself
like a tree planted beside restful waters.

Yet, even restful waters are stirred
when storms arrive.

The tree learns to thrive in difficult
moments and this, too, defines a woman.

A woman is strong and resilient
—if she chooses jeans, T-shirt and
high-top sneakers…so be it.

If later she places pearls around her neck,
drapes herself in a dashing dress which accompany
four inch heels…so be it.

A woman’s love is fierce
—if she has children, help the soul who
attempts to remove them from her nest

—if the woman does not have children,
trust, her feminine nature will pass

through any storm to reach out to a 
child in need, in want, in wonder.

A woman’s inclination invests in birth.
She is a life-giver,
and she has the God-given capacity
to choose what is right for her own body.

A woman carries both
feminine and masculine qualities
within herself
—just like her many loving brethren.

A woman loves to be comforted and
she loves to comfort.

When a man holds a door for her
—the gesture received in gladness.

It is not that she cannot open 
her own entryway
—it is the warmth of the expression.
A woman knows and understands
—she appreciates.

She, too, washes the stains of tears
that fall from men broken by pain
—men who fall into her arms
for solace at loss, illness,
senseless sufferings.

A woman is so many wondrous
expressions
—she is not a label expected to follow
guidelines on being
—she is a creative expression
of a smattering of colors
expressing themselves on a matte
—a work of art eliciting
a manifestation of endless meanings.

A woman cannot be defined.
Words cannot explain
the holy wanderer she is.
She walks awakening this world
with her ‘Yes’ to life.

She lives.  She moves.
Her being cannot be contained
—her lips worth kissing,

and her actions leave the Universe
BREATHLESS.

Define woman…she is the half
of a whole.

She who IS
cannot be anything else
but who she has been designed to be.
Cage her—she will still sing.
Bury her— she will rise.
Love her—she will give birth
again and again.

A woman is Creation
—pregnant with life
in its fullness.

Book of Hours/ 2:00 p.m.

 BOOK OF HOURS/ 2:00p.m.

 Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I—I took the one less
traveled by, and that has made
all the difference.

 ~~~ Robert Frost

2:00p.m. Hour

This hour, Spring Beginning.
Only a week ago…the 1:00p.m. hour, I was knee deep in snow.
How then, at this 2:00p.m. hour, have the trees begun to
bud?  In my deepest yearning to stay awake in these hours,
have I, like Rip Van Winkle, slept only to awaken to
a sudden newness?  Has the clock ticked so feverously
that I lost seconds, traveled in time, through time
bringing me back to familiar places seeing
things new?  The bark of the tree stronger, fuller…
its shadow, when the sun shines, covers more of the earth’s
floor.  I walked this same path again and again
until I was pulled in another direction. I
did not say to myself, “Wait, I don’t know this way!”
Instead, I moved freely, I stepped lightly…I saw
the blossoms overhead.  Was this a new path for them, too?
I think so.  Leaves crunched beneath my feet.  I
heard the rush of the river.  The hawk soared
overhead.  It mattered not where I was.  It mattered—
I was.  I blessed the ground…Mother Earth,
blessing me.   So filled with gratitude…all these hours.
Have I said thank you even once?  How do I offer
a bouquet of flowers to a Universe immersing
me in a garden so lush, plentiful, and dazzling?
There is not a place you say I cannot go.
Instead, you invite me down paths unexplored,
and I am beholden to wander.
Please, allow the hours to never end.
I thank you.

Pray with me this hour…
3:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay… invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

 

Rooftop

Rooftop
Up on a rooftop
—witnessed by few.

Even if no one bore
contact with such splendor

—beauty cannot help
‘flutter’ in harmony
with creation.

Book of Hours/ 1:00 p.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 1:00p.m.

 For there is
always light,
if only we’re
brave enough
to see it
if only we’re
brave enough
to be it.

 ~~~ Amanda Gorman

1:00p.m. Hour

This hour transported me to a snow-covered hill.
How the hours, like the seasons, pressing forward,
change the face of the landscape…transforming
the Sojourner, chilled to the bone.  Yet, a warmth
within allows me to reside in this space.
The clouds overhead give way for patches of blue
sky…the sunlight meets the crisp air
and, for a time, I am frozen in this hour.
The skeletal trees show off their display
of branches.  Do they miss being ‘robed’ in vibrant
green leaves?  What is it I miss, if anything, this hour?
Each snowflake, its own design…no two alike!  A simple
realization, but is it really? 
Everything that exists, uniquely and wonderfully made.
It is beginning to snow.
I hold my hand out, a knitted mitten covers my fingers.
A glorious design lands in my palm.  Oh, that I could
stay in this place collecting such wonder.  Just what is
my prayer in this wintery season?  I think it beneath the
snow where so much unknown is taking place.  Perhaps,
it is happening in me, too, this hour.  The simple joy in
waiting and the humility to embrace this naked now.
How life shines.

Pray with me in this hour…
2:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—

Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

 

 

Implement

Implement
We are intrinsically
and wonderfully made.

We are gifted with
‘means’ to protect
ourselves.

It is learning how to
implement those built in 
guards so that we
‘also’ do not inflict
pain on others.

Book of Hours/ Noon

BOOK OF HOURS/ Noon

 “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am
following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But, I do believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I do.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by
the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and
you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

 ~~~Thomas Merton—Thoughts in Solitude

Noon Hour

 Twelve grains of sand have swiftly filled the hour
glass.  Halfway through this day, this hour…Noon.
My feet stand on the shore.  The tide is out.
I walk for what seems hours, but mere seconds have
ticked away.  I hear the formation of a wave
forming.  It is followed by another.  The water
begins to fill in my every step removing the
act that I am here.  You invite my Soul to stay.
You carry all those hid-den steps into the sea…
A million grains of sand between the smooth
surface of the ocean’s covers.  Maybe the twelve
grains filling the hourglass are a culmination
of endless hours seeking You.  The surf rises,
a wave, out of nowhere, splashes me.
It is You, it is Spirit soaking me, reminding me that it
is You seeking me.  Again, I want to ask “Why,” but
You have opened the eyes of my heart at the zenith
of the sun’s glorious bliss.  You always pursue me…
the endless Lover seeking Union with your Beloved.
I swim to shore and playfully build a castle—
A dwelling place to rest in You a while.
I do not see at all where this is heading.
Does it matter?  I think not.
I hear the movement of the next grain of sand
slipping through its miniscule space.
The hourglass, giving this moment to the sea’s
majestic breath, to its ebb and flow.
My prayer, alive on this shore,
You—the ocean’s spray.

Pray with me in this hour…
1:00 p.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in the hours remaining.

 

 

Drops of Color/ For No Reason

Drops of Color
For No Reason

A stuffed animal
left behind
‘in a child’s dirty boot.’

A maternity ward
‘has collapsed.’
I look out the window
…I want to hear the cries
of life just beginning.

Instead, I hear the sound of rubble
—person sifting through stones.

From a safe harbor
on the other side of the sea,
I keep watch
—safely
‘in my bed’
—the sandy shore.

The arms of a woman
clutching a blanket
—her child no more

—her husband turns running
the other way
letting-go of her hand.

Tears, like a dam bursting,
—soak his boots
as he makes his way

into a war

holding a gun
he knows not how to use.

Does he really have
to learn THIS way?

‘What is the war of this war?’

He was just warming
the milk in his child’s bottle
—it’s empty.

Are these words of mine bullets?
or are they wounds?
Imaginary shrapnel rips
open my chest wall!

I feel the pain searing my heart
pumping with the freedom to breathe,

and somewhere
NOT so far away

bombs litter the sky—

‘for no reason.’

 

Written under the wise tutelage of June  S. Gould, Ph.D.

Book of Hours/ 11:00 a.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 11:00a.m.

 “You are the sky
everything
else—it’s just the
weather.”

 ~~~ PEMA CHODRON

11:00a.m. Hour

 A prism of colors highlights this hour.
A culmination of effervescent hues…each one
uniquely its own color and, yet it blends itself into
fullness.  Reaching from one end of the sky to
the other, there is NO fixed point.  An endless
point absorbs the quantum field, this space.
This created wonder gifts us this hour
marking and moving towards the halfway point
of this cumulative prayer.
If there be a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, if I have NOT
witnessed the pot of gold ever present in
each hour, then, I should remain on
my knees until I SEE.
Truly, in this hour, I am sliding along the arc of this light. I splash into a pool of
wonder coming up to slide down the other
side—the other side which truly is
 the same side.
I blend into the colors of this world.
A beam from each color ignites my center.
Here you are.  In my mind’s eye,
Spirit, you cast a rainbow,
A Promise.
I linger here for now.

Pray with me in this hour.
Noon time will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

 

Bars

Bars
The bars
do not hold
anything back.

The bars allow the
bush to spread
and open its buds
beyond anything that
could contain
its beauty.

Book of Hours/ 10:00 a.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 10:00a.m.

 This we know,
the earth does not belong to us,
we belong to the earth.
This we know,
All things are connected.

 ~~~Chief Seattle

10:00a.m. Hour

 The leaves are curling open,
soft green drapes drawn.
I hear the wind breathe ‘into’ them,
the branches cackle.
Awe.  To be touched again
by the new buds unfolding,
covering the nakedness by which the tree has been
adorned.  Wait!  Adorned in nakedness,
the exposed Soul of the tree, like this Soul,
stands beneath these towering pillars of
delicate bark.  How is one adorned when no
longer covered?  Perhaps, in this hour, standing
with nothing but an open self.
Perhaps, unbridled by cover, I hear, I hear
the chirping bird singing from the highest
peak of the tree.  I hear the symphony of insects,
each species singing its own pitch…and a harmony.
Yes, a harmony, balanced as if on a string, and another
string, and another…as if the Universe a harp, and
each delicate strand drawn and plucked
pulsating into this Cosmos a song of Union.
Earth, Gaia, she holds us…her being a womb
keeping watch over her garden.  In wonder,
she anoints and blesses the day, not only the
hour, but every second exhilarated by the Breath of Life.
Life transforming itself over and over—
Never the same, yet always lasting.
In this hour, I listen.  I hear the
heartbeat of a world pulsing within
everything…yes, even in me.

Pray with me in this hour.
11:00 a.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay—invite another!
No worries if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

 

We’ll Ride

We’ll Ride

I may be small
—a tad
wobbly,
but give me time…

let me fall
and get back up

watch me run
—don’t stand in the path.

Rub a gentle brush
across my hide
—fill my trough with 
wild oats.

Wait…only a bit longer
—then get on.
Together we’ll ride.

Book of Hours/ 9:00 a.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 9:00a.m.

 The Root of the Root of Yourself

Don’t go away, come near.
Don’t be faithless, be faithful.
Find the antidote in the venom.
Come to the Root of the Root of
Your Self.

 Molded of clay, yet kneaded
from the substance of certainty,
a guard at the treasury of Holy Light—
Come, return to the Root of the Root of
Your Self.

Once you get hold of selflessness,
you’ll be dragged from your ego
and freed from many traps.

 ~~~RUMI

9:00 a.m. Hour

 Do not let go…I want to close my eyes for just a little while.
Promise you will not let go.  A memory lingers as I recall the moment you first
took my hand.  I did not know the meaning of ‘steps’ yet,
my wobbly legs, knees calloused from crawling, attempt to
rise.  I fall, but you come to my side.  Your hand, it reaches
down…you descend to meet me.  We ascend together.  I am
walking…you say nothing, you do not have to.  You are smiling,
that is more that words can reveal.
You have held on until I was ready to let-go.
You were smiling as I broke out into a run.
How all the years in these hours bring me back to those
drifting moments of your nearness.  You’re gone, yet
you have not let-go.  Sometimes your hand
caresses my face when I sleep.  I wake looking
left, right, below, above!  Was it, was I dreaming?
Let me sleep in this hour, for just a while.
I know you’ll come…you have never let-go.
And, I hold on to every lasting hour.

Pray with me in this hour.
10:00 a.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worry if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

 

Roll-on

Roll-on

The wheel of time
understands when its journey
is ready to move to another level.
The circle rests until it’s time to
roll-on.

Book of Hours/ 8:00 a.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 8:00a.m.

 “Keeping watch…
in the morning
when I began to wake
it happened again

 That feeling
that you, Beloved
had stood over me all night
keeping watch

 That feeling
that as soon as I began to stir

 You put your lips on  my
forehead
and lit a holy lamp
inside my heart.”

 ~~~Hafiz

8:00 a.m. Hour

  In between branches, your light exudes revealing open spaces.
Open spaces in no need to be filled—instead, they become
endless windows allowing you to shine through.  I sit beneath this
tree—before me, a sea which looks like a sheet of glass.
You slide majestically over the stillness.  A fish breaks the surface…it, too,
mindful of this hour, this beginning, this fierce spectrum
of fire that would consume us if we were any nearer to its
vibrancy.  From this distance, your radiant splendor
kisses not only my forehead, it bathes my soul in
a warmth that ignites a soft whisper.  The whisper is my
pursed lips blowing you a kiss…as if you needed my kiss!
Wait, you do…your longing, deeper than mine.  You wait and
wait for me.  You rise and I believe I hear you say,
“Kiss me again.”
And, I do, I do, I do.

Pray with me in this hour
9:00 a.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!
No worry if you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.