Maddog 'n' Miracles -- Poetry

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Table of Contents

She Moves..........offered by Carolyn
The New Age (Nashville Version)..........offered by Carolyn
Blessing for a New Home..........offered by Carolyn
For B.J...........offered by Carolyn
Science Lesson..........offered by Carolyn
Friends And/Or Lovers..........offered by Carolyn
Pieces of April..........offered by Carolyn
Unsuspected..........offered by Carolyn
When Two People..........from I Ching and Poems of Rumi
Affirmation..........offered by Monty
For Bob..........offered by Carolyn
Vayden on My Mind..........offered by Carolyn
For Ceile..........offered by Carolyn
I Sat at My Desk..........offered by Carolyn
For Dutch..........offered by Carolyn
In the Body of the World..........offered by Carolyn
I Drove to the Lake Today..........offered by Carolyn
Summertime is Letting Go..........offered by Carolyn
Here Sits the Goddess..........offered by Monty
I Believe..........by Julie Hardy (Carolyn's daughter)
Love Watches..........offered by Monty
Standing on a Bridge..........offered by Monty
The Child of the Magical Meadow..........offered by Monty
Getting Older..........offered by Carolyn
White Flags..........offered by Carolyn
Wild Things..........offered by Carolyn
Earth's Daughter..........offered by Monty
Fire..........offered by Monty
Night's Grace..........offered by Monty


She Moves

She moves
In the waters dark
She moves
Far below the surface
She moves
Singing in the deep places
She moves
Her voice only a murmur above
Her ways unseen, yet grace-filled
Unknown, yet acknowledged.

Deep within the earth
She moves
Cracking stone like dry twigs
Restless in Her sleep now
Waking, yet to come forth
Shaken by Her movement
Trembling at Her impact
Catch at what is falling
For She moves.

Lie you down and feel Her
Let Her body lift you
Earth and water shifting
Air and fire waiting
In the depths
She moves.
Know Her not, but trust Her
Walk among the chasms
Fall and drown as need be
How can Her life not be?
How could you be "not we?"
Walking on the surface
Let the Deep receive you
Let the rhythm lead you
Let the dance unfold you
For She moves.

---------------------- Carolyn Blankenship 2/95

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When Two People

When two people are at one
in their inmost hearts,
they shatter even the strength
of iron or bronze.
And when two people understand each other
in their inmost hearts,
their words are sweet and strong,
like the fragrance of orchids.

The tender words we said to one another
are stored in the sacred heart of heaven;
one day like they will fall and spread,
and our mystery will grow green over the world.

----------------from the I Ching & Poems of Rumi

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The New Age (Nashville Version)

When churches all turn into dance halls,
that will be heaven on earth.
You won't have to contribute, believe, or sign up,
and no one will say, "Yes, but first..."

You won't have to be holy,
or have to be saved; be a preacher, a priest or a nun;
surely not celibate, pious or grim,
your bumper will read, "God is fun!"

There's never a cover, a dress code or fern,
and happy hour lasts all night long.
The band never quits and they never take breaks,
and they play all your favorite songs.

Now churches are awful exclusive,
about who, when, and what they allow.
They box up their concepts and market beliefs,
and ask you to take all their vows.

What bothers me most (pardon me, Holy Ghost),
makes my head hurt and wrinkles increase,
is they want to fight wars from here to the stars,
in the name of the Man who said "Peace."

Well, I don't claim to be quite enlightened,
but I feel like I'm well on my way,
since I'm not telling others, my sisters or brothers,
when, where, how or if they should pray.

When we all learn to love one another,
and trust in this thing we call Fate,
we'll give up our searches, won't even need churches,
we'll just want to celebrate.

So we'll trade off the suffering Jesus
for the one who turned water to wine;
we'll give up the cross and learn to rejoice,
let the true light of innocence shine.

Then the churches will all become dance halls,
and places to celebrate life--
no mention of sin, for we all will be cleansed
from the need to feel guilty or right.

And there's never a line for the bathroom,
and they don't even check your ID,
and heaven on earth will be dancing and singing
and loving and letting things be.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 1980

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Blessing for a New Home

[Note: This poem was written for the Haralson's Housewarming in 1987]

By Webster's definition,
we come together to 'bless' this house --
to consecrate it
to set it apart for a holy purpose
to grant divine favor to those who dwell within
to gladden it -- oh, especially that!

We bless the threshold,
that it may know the tramp of merry-makers,
the step of those seeking consolation,
the skip and slam of hungry children,
the familiar tread of family,
the feet of countless friends.
May the doors be open to new experiences,
as well as warm traditions,
always, always to each other,
and may it swing both ways.

We bless now, the fireplace, the living room.
Make of it a shining, sharing place
to warm the hands and heart.
A place of laughing faces and roasting marshmallows,
of quiet touch and comfortable silences,
of stories, music, and drowsy, yawning peace.

We consecrate the kitchen,
where we break bread with one another daily.
Here we create that which nurtures and sustains us --
the melting pot of bitter and sweet,
the alchemy of spices and heat,
that turns the gifts of the earth into our very body and blood.

We set apart the bedrooms for intimacy and joy,
for second chances, miracles and transformations.
We bless these places of renewal and retreat
where we take off our masks
along with the costumes of the day,
and share in our dreams in sacred darkness.

Bless the walls that shelter us,
the windows that open on the world,
the nooks and crannies that are hard to clean,
the corners and closets where we curl
to lick our wounds,
indulge in self-pity, talk to the cat, plot revenge,
hide Christmas presents and steal second helpings.

By Webster's definition
a home is a dwelling place
a restful and congenial place
one's natural environment
the members of a family
the center of things...
Make of this house, a home
blessed with joy and inspiration
peace and healing
and most of all, the Presence of Love.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 1987

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For B.J.

The old barn
hunches on the hill amid the weeds
paint peeling
shingles helter-skelter.
A wobbly windmill
clatters in the wind.
I came to listen
to the ghosts of summers past --
to find the lost children,
you and I.
I hear them now and again
whispering in the hayloft,
giggling behind the squeaking door,
whistling through the tall grass.
But they are elusive
as the first star to the right...
and yesterday's children
bare-legged and sun-warmed
go
dancing
laughing
through the shadows of the mind,
straight on till morning,
lost to today.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 1991

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Science Lesson

We rode our bicycles along this rutted road,
the low-hung branches tickling upturned faces
fresh and freckled,
unmarked by knowledge of the world.
The highway that tore through the sunflowers
did us this one service --
made our country road a passed-by place
deeded over to embracing elms and wildflowers.
A place to come for quiet and faded flashbacks.
Running through tall grass and singing crickets,
turning and turning,
heads spinning,
til we stopped
and felt the earth turn instead
and knew for the first time
the round and holy wonder
of riding unharmed through a universe
of black holes, space and shooting stars.
From that time on we understood much better
Newton, Einstein and Columbus.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 1975

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Friends And/Or Lovers

If I were sixteen
I'd love you madly --
with a million giggles
and a thousand bitter tears.
But I am grown
and years have shown me
a way refined and confined
by society's standards.
They would change it
by changing the name.
But a heart unconditioned
to fear the word
love,
can call it friendship
and never lose
the laughter or the sorrow.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 1986

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Pieces of April

Pieces of April
fragments of May
like lilacs dried in a dresser drawer
on a January day.
What we had was less than whole
but lovely all the same
and haunts me like the lilacs' smell
in last year's April rain.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 1979

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Unsuspected

Unsuspected
undetected
it must have grown unbidden
Just platonic
embryonic
an iceberg, three-fourths hidden.

Worked together
talked of weather
eyes or thoughts had never met
Unconsidered
passion's river
had not wet my feet as yet.

You looked lonely
I stopped only
to speak, to turn aside
Conversation
Elucidation
You grinned, an arm flung wide.

I met your eyes
was mesmerized
couldn't hear a word you said
I only felt
took half a step
toward your arms -- stopped dead.

You -- unaware
people there
a move I couldn't make
I've got to go
Walk careful, slow
until I cease to shake.

Drive home slower
think it over
beginning or an end?
concentration
confused elation
lover and a friend?

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 1983

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Affirmation

Let now my mind return to Love,
that peace may find its home in me.

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For Bob

ice
cracks
and the river
runs
like tears.
snow melts
into puddles
reflecting
spring.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 3/26/85

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Vayden on My Mind

The man on my mind has a southern drawl,
and dangerous eyes, and he travels.
Has a sometimes beard
and ten white shirts
and hair that begs to be rumpled.
And the things we say and the games we play
are a part of the dance between us,
so we step in time to the rhythm and rhyme
of the jester who juggles the universe.
The energy crackles like fourth of July,
or it floats like a leaf on the pond --
it hangs in the air like blue autumn smoke,
and it troubles my dreams in the full moon.
But the words run out and time runs away
and I find myself dancing alone,
and your steps on the floor lead straight out the door,
and sometimes when you're here, you're still gone.
But my eyes know your sight
and my mouth knows your cheek
and my fingers remember your hair
and my throat knows your laugh
and my heart knows your pain --
communion knows no here or there.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 1985

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For Ceile

Mommy, Mommy, it's dark in here!
It's so dark I can't see -- it's so dark I can't hear!
Hush, child, it's only the night.
I'll sit beside you and hold you tight.

Oh, but Mommy, I can feel those things
creeping into my room on claws and wings!
Hush, child, it's only the night.
Look, I'm beside you, I've turned on the light.

Mommy, Mommy, I'm so afraid!
I covered my head and I prayed and prayed...
Hush, child, it's only the night,
Uncover your eyes, it will be all right.

Oh Mommy, Mommy, I'm afraid to look!
If I do, will you stay and read me a book?

I'll do better than that, Love, I'll take your hand
and turn out the lights, and together we'll stand
in the dark by your window and drink in the night,
make friends with the shadows formed by the light
of the countless stars and the bouncing moon,
dancing with clouds to the cricket's tune.

We'll greet each shadow and sing each sound
from the trill of the stars to the beat of the ground.
A heart full of wonder has no room for fear;
eyes full of laughter have slight room for tears.
Back to your bed now, child of my heart,
lay your head on your pillow and dance through the dark.

Mommy, now that I love the night,
I can dance even better in morning's light!
I can jump and whirl and fly to the sun!
It's easier when I don't have to hold on.

Hush, child, my dancing delight,
You've discovered a secret, enough for one night!
We each one encompass the dark and the light,
and are heirs to the joys of the day and the night.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 12/31/85

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I Sat at My Desk

I sat at my desk with an open door,
my head in the clouds,
my eyes on the floor.
I heard a knock and I said 'Come in,'
and I saw a young man with a nervous grin.
'Oh no,' he murmured, 'I was just passing by...
I won't be a bother, just stopped to say hi.'
He was quickly come and as quickly gone,
and I thought of him later on my way home.
Days came on and weeks went by,
and I thought no more of his nervous 'hi.'
But I always worked with an open door,
and one day I heard shuffling on the floor.
I looked up to see his anxious grin,
which I answered with 'Hi, won't you please come in?'
'Oh no,' he shrugged and he tugged at his ear,
'I just thought I'd stop by and see if you were here.'
A ritual formed in the following days --
at various times and in various ways
without warning, his face would appear at my door,
but he wouldn't come in and he never said more.
I found myself wondering, was there a way
I could get him to talk,
I could get him to stay?
But it never worked out, I could not win him over.
So I had to settle for an open door.

When I realized it had been some time
since my taciturn friend had stopped by to say hi,
though I kept my door pen and saved my best grin,
somehow I sensed I'd not see him again.
I stared through my door into empty space,
when a knock drew my eyes to a worried face.
'You don't know me,' he said as he pulled at his ear,
'but a friend told me you were usually here.
And I need to talk if you have the time --
but I'll tell you now, I don't have a dime.'
I took his hand as he crossed the floor,
said 'Come in, I've been waiting."
And I closed the door.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 1/7/86

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For Dutch

Monday after Monday
as we conspire to steal some time,
shining treasures of the heart
spill out from underneath your office door.
Avast, Matey! Heave the commonplace overboard
and run the skull and crossbones up the mast.
Wearing black eye patches,
we laugh our pirates laugh
and clink the doubloons in our pocket
as we thump along on peg-legs
down the hall
to wider seas.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 12/21/88

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In the Body of the World

In the body of the world, they say,
there is a soul, and you are that --
but we have ways within each other
that will never be said by anyone.
At night we fall into each other with such grace!
When morning comes, you throw me back like your hair.
Your eyes now drunk with God;
mine with looking at you,
one drunkard
takes care of another.

----------------by Rumi, [Open Secrets]

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I Drove to the Lake

I drove to the lake today
and pick up quartz and crystals.
I searched the lines and fissures,
choosing them for your likeness.
I warmed them at my breast
and flooded them with gratitude,
quite expecting them to burst
from the fullness of it.
The moon is swelling towards full,
and some night soon
will find me floating across your lawn
in a swirling, ghostly gown of moonlit blue,
(chanting softly, so as not to wake you)
casting Druid spells from ancient tales
I've yet to read,
with heart-warmed crystals from the lake shore.
Creeping, crouched and quivering
will I go,
back into my moon-soaked bed
to wait and dream of you.
And you will never fail to marvel,
as you cross the yard to set the sprinkler
in the dog-day heat of August,
at the exotic beauty
of the fragrant, unfamiliar flowers
(shaped like stars, the color of the moon),
that keep popping up and strewing glory
beneath your bewildered
but appreciative feet.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 8/6/87

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Summertime is Letting Go

Summertime is letting go,
I know it.
The dust is talcum soft beneath
my bare feet,
but the sun has given up
trying to kill us all,
and has settled for sulking
through the hazy afternoons.
I squint up at the elms --
deep green and holding --
but I see pats of butter-yellow leaves
around their roots.
The live oak sighs
and lets go one curled brown glossy shell.
Some things give up hard
if at all.
September stirs the dry grass
and lifts my sweaty hair up off my neck.
The sun shoots lasers through the leafy haze,
agitated, but ineffectual.
I can smell the promises of football games
and Christmas turkey
just around the bend in the calendar.
Hands in pockets I stare up at the sun.
I got through August,
I'll be here for the bluebonnets.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 9/4/87

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Here Sits the Goddess

Here
sits the goddess
in the summer wood:
Staring into All,
she looks upon some wonder
yet to be beheld in form.
Her grace flows out
to be returned when
Hope has winged its way
to her.
Reflecting, she creates
what might become:
Her hand a flower is,
and holds as well;
its color borne to bless her countenance,
to lift her soul.
And now a word floats
soft as down upon a
warm and lazy draft.

and lights upon her breast,

and spirals to her heart.

What does she hear?
What could it be that
whispers in her ear? --

sweet, silent word of promise-
Love is
here.

----------------by Monty Northrup, July 7, 1994

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I Believe

I believe in the power of believing
In the strength of knowing without even seeing
In faith in each other and love without bound
In promises made without uttering a sound.

I believe in the freedom of giving,
In grace in receiving and goodness in living
that people are stronger than ever they know
and together a force for which mountains lay low

I believe we are gentle and kind at our core
that often we tremble behind imaginary doors
I believe we are vulnerable regardless of walls
and depend on embracing in spite of all flaws.

I believe, we are one by design
Segmented by choice and lost when divided
that our creative force will overcome our destruction
that our winter is ending and spring is forthcoming.

----------------by Julie Blankenship Hardy, Spring 1995

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Love Watches [to Liz]

What is Peace but a
remembering that
Love watches?

Lost, Love watches
Sitting, Love watches
Working, Love watches
Forgetting, Love watches
Remembering, Love watches
Wondering, Love watches

Being one's self,
Love watches

Being one Self,
Love watches

What is Peace but a
Heart content
with being
but its Self
and remembering that
Love watches?

----------------by Monty Northrup, 2/14/94

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Standing on a Bridge

Standing on a bridge,
clinging to the handrails,
(the bridge having fallen behind me)
afraid to go ahead
in case I've gone too far --
should I go back? --
my vision blurred
by clenching,
thinking
"I must hold on"
"I must hold on"

and singing my dirge
LOUDLY
for fear I might hear the song
sung lightly
by the little child in me who longs
to fly above the world,
above the bridge --

free of all the useless clinging
free to touch
to love
to sing again:
I am not alone
I am not alone
I am not alone.

----------------by Monty Northrup, 7/8/91

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The Child of the Magical Meadow

Listen Children, and listen well,
for I have a tale to tell,
for it is wise and good and true...

Once upon a time, long ago and far away,
there lived a little child
in a magical meadow
full of beautiful flowers and sparkling rocks.

The magical meadow provided everything the child needed.
If she wanted something good to eat,
she simply touched one of the sparkling stones,
and wished for something good,
and the sparkling stone changed immediately
into what she wished for.

This little child had spent all her life
in this magical meadow,
and it was a happy life,
full of wonder
and play
and fun.

Yet, the sparkling rocks were her only companions.
Occasionally, she would feel lonely and sad
(as children sometimes do).
She wondered what it would be like
if there were another child like her
to share with and play with
in the meadow.

Feeling so, she would touch one of the sparkling rocks,
and wish for another child to be her companion, her playmate.
But the sparkling rocks, magic though they were,
would not provide a playmate for her.
And so the sadness and the loneliness
would last a little while --

but then she would return to her usual play,
playing with the sparkling rocks,
wishing for whatever toy,
or plaything,
or good thing to eat
that she wanted,
and receiving it immediately.

But one morning, upon awakening
from a deep and restful sleep,
she looked about the magical meadow
and saw a very large, shining rock,
as big as she was.

Its colors were so showy,
sparkling in the sunlight,
and dancing in her eyes as she looked at it.
Of all the sparkling rocks she had ever seen,
none had looked as beautiful
or seemed as magical as this one rock.
She knew that this must be the rock
which would fulfill her wish --
her longing for a playmate.

Slowly approaching the rock,
she was just about to touch it
and wish for a child friend
when a soft, gentle voice came from the rock.

"If you go home, you will find the child you seek.",
said the voice.

"What?", she said, puzzled.

"If you go home, you will find the child you seek.",
it said again.

This really stumped her,
because she had always thought
the magical meadow was her home.
What could the great magical rock mean
when it said "If you go home"?
Still, she wanted so much
to have a child playmate with which to share.
And so she asked the great, shining rock:

"How can I find my way home?"

and then she touched the rock. As she did,
there appeared (quite mysteriously) three things:
a small leather bag,
an old and rusty key,
and a golden sword.
And where the rock had been,
a pathway of mottled stone appeared,
leading out of the magical meadow
and into a dark forest.

At first, she was more than just-a-little scared,
but by now she was determined
to find her playmate and her home.
Besides, something in the soft and gentle voice
that came from the great, shining rock
had given her comfort and assurance that
this way was truly hers.

And so, picking up the small leather bag the
great rock had provided for her,
and placing the old and rusty key inside,
and strapping the golden sword onto her waist,
she began her journey home.

There were many things to see and experience along the way,
for a forest is very much different than a meadow.
There were plants and trees like she had never seen,
weird sounds and rustlings,
and forest animals that darted among the shadows,
then vanished without a trace.
At times she was afraid,
but soon she discovered that all these new things
were simply the way of the forest,
strange perhaps, and unfamiliar,
but safe, and somehow "as they should be".

She followed the cobbled-stone path a very, very long time,
and became very, very hungry.
There was little to eat in the woods --
a mushroom here, a berry or two there --
and she began to wonder if she might not have been better off
staying in the meadow.,
for at least there she could touch a sparkling stone,
and wish for something to eat, and it would appear.
She was just about to turn back, when she heard the soft,
gentle voice speak from the woods:

"Look in the leather bag."

And looking in the leather bag, she found it was full
of small, sparkling stones from the magical meadow.
And taking one out,
and making a wish for something good to eat,
she proceeded to eat what was provided,
and to regain her strength.

By now she was more determined than ever to find her home
and her playmate,
and she continued on the path through the forest.

One day, she came to a fork in the path,
and she could clearly see where the two branches led.
The path on the left led back to the magical meadow
of sparkling stones and beautiful wildflowers.
To her surprise, this branch was very short,
a few minutes' walk at most.
She was quite tempted to take this branch,
for the meadow now seemed comfortable, familiar, and inviting.

The branch on the right led deeper into the woods.
From her place at the split in the path
she could see a door standing stark and alone
in the dark distance of the forest.
It seemed frightening and formidable, not inviting at all.
She was about to turn to the leftward path when
she heard the soft, gentle voice speaking to her again:

"Remember the key."

And remembering the old, rusty key she had placed in the leather bag,
and remembering, too, how much she wanted to go home and have a playmate,
she took the path on the right, the path into the forest.
And coming to the door,
(and with some nervousness, to be sure)
she placed the key into the door, gave it a gentle nudge,
and watched as it swung open wide, away from her.

Gingerly stepping through the door and across the threshold,
she found that she was standing on a shaky, narrow bridge
which spanned a great chasm.
So startled was she, that she dropped the leather bag,
which fell and fell and fell and never seemed to hit the bottom.
Now she was terribly frightened,
and immediately turned back
to return through the doorway the way she had come,
only to find the doorway was closed,
with the key on the other side.

She had no choice now but to cross the great chasm
on this narrow, shaky bridge.
Timidly, she began to do so,
fear in every step,
until it seemed that she was shaking more than the bridge.
Every step was an ordeal.

Yet, as she finally neared the end of the bridge,
she saw ahead a stunning sight --
a magnificent city rising out of the misty landscape ahead of her.
The buildings were tall and beautiful,
and shone with light through crystal and glass.
She had never seen a more glorious or more beautiful sight.

"At last", she thought, "my home, at last!"

When suddenly, at the end of the bridge,
there appeared a dark and horrible monster,
the likes of which she had never imagined.
Her heart pounding, she was sure
that this monster had been sent to consume her,
and thereby keep her from reaching home.
But by now she was fiercely determined,
and remembering the golden sword lashed to her side,
she took it up in her hands.
Sword raised high,
she approached the monster.
She was intent on slaying this ugly, terrible thing
that would appear so suddenly,
to keep her from her home.
And she could feel the anger and rage arise in her,
the fuel to kill,
as she approached the dark and ugly vision.

But then, for just a second,
for no reason at all,
she remembered her wish to be home,
and to share with a child-playmate.

And just for this little wisp of a second,
she wondered.
Just wondered.
And wondering, she heard again the soft, gentle voice say:

"The sword and the monster are one."

Her heart moved at the words,
and, it is said, in that moment, compassion touched her soul,
and understanding entered her mind.

With that, she laid her sword at the feet of the terrible, dark monster.
And looking up with perfect trust,
she saw the coverings of the monster begin to fall away,
like pieces of a dark shell
that had so long hidden what she could not, would not see.
And as the pieces lightly fell away,
she saw before her a radiant, beautiful child;
the playmate she had always wished for,
smiling and giggling,
and laughingly inviting her to come and play
in the city of light.

And with joy in her heart,
and gladness in her eyes,
she accepted the outstretched hand of her new-found friend,
and entering the city,
lived happily ever after.

----------------by Monty Northrup, 2 July 1991

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Getting Older

Years drift by like summer days;
Fingers trailing in the water,
barely seeing through the haze
of sun and mist and multicolored dragonflies,
the shore, the deeper current of our lives.
Hardly noticing the river mother carrying our boat,
more concerned with cushions, baskets, sun hats, notes,
and conversation.
Narrating our lives in lieu of living them, we drift
or madly paddle through the swirling rifts.
Hardly noticing the deeper current's pull;
consuming much, but rarely ever full.
Unaware the river bottom's force,
blind to our immersion in the Source,
idly chattering, dozing, looking far ahead or way behind,
barely seeing, rarely noticing the signs
inherent in each drop and rock and leaf divine.
Laughing at our horoscopes, avoid the eyes,
read the next best-seller, buy the lies
that youth and strength and wit are ours to keep.
We pay the price; we buy uneasy sleep
till Something Somewhere (Great Custodial Kindness)
pulls the plug,
and suddenly we glimpse the draining of the flood
and sense our playthings swirling down the drain,
shattered pieces that will not be whole again.
Enfolding twilight blurs and greys the shore;
encroaching darkness pushing closed the door
on what we thought we knew and know we thought,
and what we most need now cannot be bought.
The mother river dwindling, dissipates,
the water shallow, boat hull thuds and scrapes.
Where do we need to, want to put ashore?
What rusty inner compass can we shake and jar
to read the stars incomprehensible stare?
What whispers of the current's wisdom share?
Dark fears' fingers out from forest reach,
Can we be still
and listening,
step into twilight's peace?

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 9/8/99 & 1/21/00

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White Flags

White flags in the garden
join daffodils in nodding welcome
tiny, tiny, softest baby green
on ground below and limb above
full, frosty, fuzzy buds
pregnant with blossoms
and the promise of summer leaves.

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 2/11/99

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Where the Wild Things Are

Resentment coils in heavy, greasy folds;
a blindness wills the status quo to hold.
Something mean and toothy,
ready to bite HARD
lies wakeful in there,
and could eat alive (and painfully)
Anyone who tells it 'Play along,'
'Be nice,' 'Get over it'
even one more time.
What would it take to feed the beast?
To touch the shaggy head with kindness
and a willingness to understand?
There is no cage to hold the beast -
it crouches in there willingly,
so hungry for approval and permission,
that rather than attack unbidden
it gnaws its own leg off,
refusing to hide, to die, to play along.
Oh, how I do not want
the light to go out of those fierce eyes!
How much I love you, peering in
from my acceptable, comfortable world.
You must get well - we'll heal together,
you and I.
I will be wild and fierce and run barefoot
over jagged rocks in winter,
and howl unfettered at the agony and beauty
of this life.
And you, my snarling, mangy friend,
will learn to eat from a blue crockery bowl
and love the sound of children's voices
coming home from school to pull your fur
and pounce and pummel you with their joy.
Your coat will grow sleek and shiny
and you will sigh by the fire on a rag rug
woven just for you
by the mistress for whom your heart leaps.
And your eyes will echo the glow of the fireplace,
and mine will dance with reflected starlight on fast water,
and there will be such a fullness in our souls
that it will give the angels pause. . .
and cause the avatars to smile
and murmur "Blessed be."

----------------by Carolyn Blankenship, 1/2/00

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Earth's Daughter [to Gina]

Earth's Daughter
never knows
from where she comes.

She feels the draw of sun upon her face,
and rising liquid through the solid crust,
she finds she grows
like vines in Spring's rebirth.

Dust forms her bones,
and moonlight paints her face
as fair as flower
and soft as flame.

She comes to think
that she is bound by tendons
stronger than a cedar's root
to walk among the hungry ghosts.

She does not know
until
the velvet cover lifts
revealing she can fly -
she can!
as high as heaven's stars
to see
her happy children playing
in the shadow of her heart

----------------by Monty Northrup, 12-24-99

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Fire [to Julie]

Fire has no source but God
and cannot be contained
by even That
(nor should it be)

And flame knows not
its fuel
but draws the air of life
unto itself
that it may shine by
means unknown
to light the earth
and warm the mother
of us all
as we sit idly wondering
how can this be?

For fire has no source but God
and cannot be contained
by even That
(nor should it be)

----------------by Monty Northrup, 12-24-99

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Night's Grace [to Carolyn]

How rocks
and birds
and trees
and flowers
still - so still -
do listen now
to hear the sun's
soft whisper
gently pass
as darkness steals
last dusty glow
and frames
the newborn moon
so all
that earth may bear
in daylight's fire
may now desist
and watch in
velvet quiet
Night's Grace
reveal herself
again.

----------------by Monty Northrup, 12/24/99

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