The Day The Wind Stole My Salad

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It was a bright and breezy day

had I been wise I would’ve stayed

inside from where I could observe

the golden sun, the pretty birds

inside where food stays nice and still

where knife and fork can bend its will

where salad and its dressing wait,

until their turn, upon my plate

but that day I just could not bear

to see, I’m here, and life’s out there

it would be rude, on such a day

to leave the Spring alone to play

so happily my plate and I

went out the door to lunch outside

***

my feet had barely touched the grass

when wind flew by, and quite unasked

it danced my salad quite away

and only let the dressing stay!

Well naturally, I rushed back in

before that, cheeky, hungry wind

could fly away my shepherd’s pie!

Yeah wind, I’d like to see you try!

 

So now, unless it’s grey and still

I’ll eat inside – oh yes I will!

 

 

Everything Bows

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Everything bows.

Everything makes way

(reluctantly or otherwise)

like day gently kissing

the stars alight

with a final smile from the sun

who leaves the sky

to dim the lights

so the moon can make

a grand entrance

 

or the abundant fruit

that bends the branch

until its sweetness tempts

the very grass

to reach up and touch

while the trunk holds

its upright poise

as if the universal mother

made it walk back and forth

with a book on its head

‘shoulders back!’

 

So when I bow my head

I offer you the fruits of our friendship

and allow you to see my soul

shining behind me

in reflection of the light

in you

 

Living map

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Like a mandala made of sand

you painstakingly shaped my

pieces into a whole

I’d never before seen

 

but just as the picture

begins to make sense

you cast me into the sea

with light ceremony

 

uncountable coloured grains

tossed on wild waves

already sinking

but somewhere

 

in a mind

a memory

a moment

an image existed

 

though it is not the goal

rather a map that lives

a land both formed and referenced

with each new breath

 

for time’s patience alone

permits cartographers to believe

in the fairy tale of their own accuracy

 

in truth

that river they plotted

has already changed course

Freckles

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We walked
on that beach too perfect
to be real
where the freshness of the breeze
was felt
yet failed to move
a single hair
on the golden softness
of your head

***
You ran to greet the waves
who rushed and roared
like a pack of boisterous puppies
full of love and jump
and inevitably knocking you down
to lick kiss you,
but you just smile wildly at me
before wading deeper
to dive through the skin
between this world
and that

***
I left you there
for I had worldly callings to attend
but I’ll return
to find you as dolphin,
or seal –
the same sure smile
and salty skin
goading the sun
‘come catch me!’
before disappearing below

***
but the freckles
won’t wash off

Balance

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‘Idiot!’ I cursed

as failure jumped

with all its weight

onto the seesaw of my faith

sending subtler memories of success

flying though the air

***

it took a while

for failure to get bored

with the lack of movement

***

with a sigh she left

to search for her flown friend

so they could meet again

across the seesaw

and, together, know lightness

 

 

Curiosity, and other blessings…

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Regular followers will know of my love for the humble acrostic, and recently I decided to write a few to hand out as New Year blessings when we had a celebratory lunch at the place where I work (we hadn’t had time before Christmas). It was such fun to see the joy people got from them, saying how appropriate the word was to them right now, and that they were going to put them up somewhere they could see them each day. Anyway, thought y’all might enjoy reading a few of them too…so here’s a selection:

 

Curiosity

Challenge me to find my own way
Under no circumstances give me the full map
Revealing all in a neat dissection of mystery
Ink in recommended destinations
Or the worst places to be avoided, then
Set me free with my pencil
In faith that I can carve my own path
Trial and error, not tried and tested,
Yields the richer wisdom

 

Stillness

Stop for a heartbeat
Then let the sound of that inner drum
Initiate an in breath that
Lingers, and an out breath that
Lazily lets go into
Now, and now, and now
Empty of expectation
Stare brightly into that peaceful pond and
See yourself undistorted by life’s ripples

 

Equanimity

Emotional eruptions like to be
Questioned, given loving attention, and –
Ultimately, understood
And held with spaciousness
Not judged, or condemned, rather
Invited to bring to the table
Multiple experiences to be digested
Into nourishing insight
That allows the heart and soul to say
Yes, you too are welcome”

 

Acquisition

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Friends admire

the new painting

hanging a little cramped

above my corner desk

 

then fall back

on my bed with laughter

in an erruption

of unswallowed tea,

 

‘Are you insane?’

It’s not a question.

Three months rent.

It only lives

 

in my bedroom

because I have no lounge

or such

to call my own

 

It’s slightly akward

to be honest

this intimacy

for I know enough

 

of creativity to recognise

the artist has parted

with nothing less

than a tangible extraction of his soul

 

for a mere ninety days

of roof over my head,

and so in playful moments

I ask my new acquisition

 

if it too might like

a cup of tea

(which is both foolish

and ironic if you saw it)

 

for I know its aliveness

is not so crudely sated

and so I sing

to it sometimes

 

and deceive myself

into believing

I see the paint sparkle

just a hint brighter

 

while I’ve turned siren

and my song

calls the waves

boldly towards me

 

from a sea that’s wet

only beyond the canvas

 

 

This poem was inspired by a brief visit to http://www.castlegalleries.com/ in Exeter, where I’ve come for some cultural immersion and get away from it all day offness. Hope 2016 has begun well for you all –

 

Blessings,

 

Harula x

 

P.S. And no, I haven’t yet bought a precious painting, but you might be able to tell I kind of like the idea…

 

Death Is Another Country

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The lights were always dim –

When I sprinkled blessed water
(was I doing it right?)
over the face of his dead mother,
on my way to the airport

When I visited my neighbour
and watched
as she flexed the limbs
of her dead baby daughter
to fight the rigor mortis
and I left my gift
of powdered milk and sugar
for the mourners’ tea

When I met my grandmother’s death
in a crowded restaurant
serving without a smile
until my boss decided
I was putting folk off their food
and sent me home

But I wasn’t home
I was never home when death came

So I cried into a public phone box
to hear a voice
that could shrink the miles
because I wanted to be close

Death breaks bonds,
and calls ‘Come, gather –
you need to reweave your web’

I’ve much yet to learn
of death
but I do know its invitation
is mocked by wielding numbers –

Death mourns
when we let its holes become canyons,
watching from the sidelines
the falling

Walking along

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Walking along
I sang to the trees
You’re so wise
Won’t you help me please
x 2
They said;
You gotta feed your roots to know who you are
Be strong but also flexible and you’ll go far
Now open up sweetheart, what ‘ya tryin’ to hide
You have so much, be generous and life will be kind

Walking along
I sang to the sea
You’re so wise
Won’t you help me please
She said;
You gotta know everything you need’s inside
Just dive down deep and treasures you will find
Stop being so scared of what’s outside of you
‘Cos darlin’ I’m telling you that’s not what’s true

Walking along
I sang to the breeze
You’re so wise
Won’t you help me please
She said;
Lighten up honey if you wanna be free
Just spread those pretty wings and come and fly with me
Your dreams should be big enough to fill the skies
Your life is just beginning, come on open your eyes

Walking along
He shined his rays on me
I sang father sun
Won’t you help me please
He said:
Shine the light of truth on all you think you know
Then you might grow some wisdom, not a fat ego
And if the skies darken and you’re scared of the night
Have faith my child and trust in the return of the light

***
Walking along
I sang to the sea
You’re so wise
Won’t you help me please
x 2
She said;
You gotta know everything you need’s inside
Just dive down deep and treasures you will find
Stop being so scared of what’s outside of you
‘Cos darlin’ I’m telling you that’s not what’s true
***
Walking along
I sang to the breeze
You’re so wise
Won’t you help me please
x 2
She said;
Lighten up honey if you wanna be free
Just spread those pretty wings and come and fly with me
Your dreams should be big enough to fill the skies
Your life is just beginning, come on open your eyes
***
Walking along
He shined his rays on me
I sang father sun
Won’t you help me please
x 2
He said:
Shine the light of truth on all you think you know
Then you might grow some wisdom, not a fat ego
And if the skies darken and you’re scared of the night
Have faith my child and trust in the return of the light

This is a song I wrote just now as I walked in awe at the wisdom of nature. My computer won’t record sound/video right now so I hope to sing it for you some time in the future…and hey, if before then you find yourself humming along and finding your own tune – great! – go wild:)

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