Monday, June 22, 2009

Inversion, A Rose Opens

I say I am here as a Witness. I don't mean this as if I am some special creature given a unique task. I am sure Witnesses are a dime a dozen and in some real sense there is no one who is not a Witness. And yet in the story I tell myself, I am in a lifelong argument with God about some aspect of this life, a focus, as if I have come here sure I will win this argument if I give it due diligence. What amuses me, I am more sure of the plot than I am of the substance. I am not that sure what exactly I am looking for. When I am at my least mature then I claim I want to declare a world without suffering, that it is suffering that is the sticking point and that it is suffering that should depart this life. But that is purely adolescent and ever since I have learned the heavy forgiveness lessons I know that is not really it. But I remain toe to toe and eye to eye with the Creator. Yes, indeed.

Here is a Witness story.


Dropping down from here,
From this single star,
I have come to see your life
The way it really
Is, not the way they
Say you are in the stories.
It's a steep descent,
A quantum shifting
Down for up, charmed for strange, you
For me in this ploy.

I am upside down,
Not ready - such timeless light.

January 18, 2009 9:51 AM


A Rose Opens reads fine to me as a love poem to a human lover, or a psalm to God. This is often true. I know I am not the only one who believes that love is always divine. Why wouldn't God have gray eyes, or blue, or brown, hazel, even black? Why wouldn't God have eyes? In a book called The Shack, a best seller in these parts because the story takes place in Oregon, the author envisions the tripartite Christian God as a black woman (God), a young beautiful woman (the Comforter), and the man Jesus. Female two to one...that's about right. That's a Trinity I can get behind. There are many such alternatives. The Chinese say, Heaven, Earth, Man. That too is about right. Hindus have masculine Trinities and feminine ones. Buddhas have multiplied as well.

But when I write, it is of me and you most often. Me and the three of you is cumbersome and crowded.

A Rose Opens

In your sight a rose
Opens at my feet, white, white,
A fragrant vision
Of grace. I've found your
Gray eyes. I have crossed my life
On long starry paths
Of fate, of destined
Solitude to reach this place
Where you welcome me.

January 18, 2009 10:46 AM


  1. A Rose Opens, this one reminds me of Beauty of the Earth, one of my favourite ritual songs. "Beauty of the earth; white moon on the waters; you are she whom we find; at the end of desire." I'd sing it for you if I could; it's best sung.

  2. The songs to God as the Beloved in human terms are always the best, St John of the Cross, say, some of the Sufi ones. They touch on that heightened awareness of love that paradoxically never quite comes with human love, just hovers round the edges of it, and comes in dreams.

    These are amazing.

  3. Rachel, I would love to hear you sing it.

    Thank you, Michelle.

    Lucy, sometimes it does come from human love but it can't last in that amazing place. We are always expelled from the garden and it is always somehow our own fault.

  4. ...One's so sweet
    So overly loving and gentle
    He lets people in
    To his innermost sacred temple
    Blind faith to care
    Blind rage to kill
    Why'd he let them talk him down
    To cheap work and cheap thrills
    In the plan-oh
    The insulting plan
    God must be a boogie man!....

    Joni Mitchell

  5. It's interesting to me that we all witness, really, but in our own ways. Our minds are wired differently. Mine is wired to the breeze on the leaf, the rumble of the filtered river, to a bulging bag of penny candy. No kidding. There I witness. Oh, and in the sweet smell of my daughter's hair. Such an errant creature she is that can not smell badly, no matter her effort.

  6. Hey, you do know I write poetry through my back door, right? You don't have to go but you don't have to wade through my window either, unless you care to.

  7. All clammed up

    I welcomed you warmly
    inside here, it’s true, the fire stewing charcoal
    and my banged-up old tea-kettle

    Now here you stand, smiling
    that Cheshire-cat grin,
    that sunshine façade roping me in
    all poetry, stories and a fresh
    baguette, still crisp
    in its brown paper sack
    tucked underneath your arm.

    So why is it that
    all I can think is dammit,
    you’re gonna see
    the thin-woven legends
    right through into
    this twice-mixed, thrice-baked
    garage-sale value priced chaos
    that I really am

    and so you will go
    on your merry way, dropping meaningless
    promises to call?

  8. Ghost, it is really fine thay you invited Joni to join us. Thanks so much. Hi, Joni, come back any time.

    Erin, I get the smell of your daughter's hair. The same thing happens with kittens and puppies and I assume the young of all the mammals basically, just like it is so easy to recognize the young. That new creature smell is the best perfume. I also get your witness, though it isn't really mine.

    And yes, I have visited often through your back door. I thought I even have commented once or twice. Perhaps I just meant to. I have not written poems to your poems, I don't believe. I love your poetry and apologize if you don't know that. The truth is that I like tagging along with your WIAW blog and basking in your prose.


    I Am Not A Flat Man

    I've been here before,
    you are not the only one.
    Others, same struggle.
    I cannot break through,
    Know I am not the flat man
    who would walk away
    midway through the vows
    that arise between the lines
    and instead would ask.

    You send me away
    though my soul shows through my bones,
    through my naked bones.

  9. God Christopher..that was beautiful.

  10. I remember someone telling me, half a lifetime ago, that so-and-so was "damaged goods" and therefore best avoided. What a silly idea. We all are damaged goods, in one way or another, that or none of us are. Thank you for reminding me...

  11. {{{Michelle}}}

    Rachel, it matters what "staying away" means. There are many people who I would not marry or trust long term in some other intimate way, and others I would if it came up, still others I yearn to be with.

  12. Christopher, yes. I agree, absolutely. I do think it's important, though, not to write anyone off because of their life experience (which we all have) or their scars. How each of us handles what life throws at us, that's probably more important. As for yearning/partnering, I have no common sense at all, and probably never will, but I certainly do have boundaries and limitations as to what I can endure.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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