Sunday, October 19, 2014

At the Turn of the Day




















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

At the turn of the day you must agree to one thing:
To love this world more than you fear it.
Go forward with your disappointments. Watch
how even the light chooses a place to die, beautifully. We
can never know what becomes of unutterable
questions, or why we were made for this particular life and
not another.
I find it useful to be delighted:
something just happened that I can’t explain.


©2014/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
To be published by Homebound Publications in October 2015


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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

These Bones
















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser


It seems that I am forever
trying to fall in love with
these bones, and the flesh
that keeps them hidden
away so that they might remain
mostly unspeakable.

This is your story too, if you are
honest about it. Being human.

***

When I was a little girl, my mother dressed
me in brightly colored bathing suits so that
I could be spotted way down the beach;
even then, I had a penchant for wandering.

I bent over sand buckets to identify shells for
delighted old ladies and gentleman, handed
sharks’ teeth to astonished little boys,
but gathered the round, white vertebrae of
ocean-going fish for myself; a wild child seeks
adornment from the sea.

All you need is some string and you
can make a necklace.

And, there have been other bones:

Turtles left to the elements at roadside,
the deer the hunters lost to forest secrets,
dogs piled high at the end of an old road in
the middle of nowhere on a day that I had dedicated
to being charmed by birdsong and birds,

and I have visited museums, many of them,
where bones stare back at you, begging you to
remember a life that you never knew, to
imagine something when it was ensouled
and might have chosen to eat you for being so
close, or it might have run. But, it wouldn’t
have stayed, not like this. Not this still, forever.

These other things are so easy to love, like this
stark day with the sycamores bearing their ribs.

***

They say that poems should have good bones.
Stories can be ligaments and tendons.

***

I wonder what our Mother feels in that moment
when we walk away from her for the very
first time,

and later when she hears us remark:

“I have been abandoned.”

How easily we abandon ourselves
to stories in which we do not belong.

***

Here, on Earth, we live such a story.
Being human.

***

I love all the old stories – the ancient ones –
in which ancestors are more than just bones,

just bones,

especially when the ancestors were not
just human like they are now,

in our way of speaking of

the world as not needing us.

***

Maybe, someone will adorn
themselves with these bones,
my bones.

It could, perhaps,
be me.



© 2014/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
To be published by Homebound Publications in October 2015

Feel free to share

Monday, October 13, 2014

Like An Old Goose
















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser


I’ve heard people say in rapid passing, “You must
be clever to find the words that describe a day.”
This astonishes me. Always. Isn’t a day simply there,
turning about, perhaps like an old goose situating
herself on a bed of down, in the gratitude-chamber
of your heart?

Nestle deeper.
Be still.
Crack open.



© 2014/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
To be published by Homebound Publications in October 2015

Feel free to share

Friday, October 10, 2014

Boundaries
















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser


These old meadow-larked fields have their
tumbled rock walls with golden lichen suns,
and the forest, its shaggy edge.
My cabin has a magnificent mahogany
door, solid and rich vibrant brown,
salvaged from someone who could not love it
like I can; do not give away privilege to the
first hellos and last goodbyes of any given
day unless there
is great joy in it, and some amount of longing.

Boundaries have their place.

When I first moved to this mountain land, I
raced about in the thick duff putting up

‘No Trespassing’

signs on any tree that would agree to hold them.
But the trespassers and those big black bears take
them down: one malicious, one curious.
I’ve calmed a bit about the lines, well, more
accurately, somewhat surrendered, now making a
mark with silver paint, brushing on my grief for feeling
the need to do this at all – to say ‘No!’ because
the sacred is not always understood on sight.

What does one make of a life like this?
How many marks are needed
and in what form
for a woman to be heard?

“This is the threshold of my home.”



© 2014/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
To be published by Homebound Publications in October 2015

Feel free to share

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ginseng Thieves




















I found them on knee, on a Saturday morning,
early, digging three-pronged ginseng.

I told them to stop. And, go. And, was
only semi-polite about it.

They seemed surprised that I could arrive
there, just then, and spot
them in their leafy camo, such baggy pants,

and that I could speak a thing or two about the blond
roots (they’d broken most of the root hairs) gripped in
their pocket-buried hands, to which
red clay still clung, hopeful, that I’d get it set back
within this Earth;

It still had work to do:

this world needs holding.

***

This is what it is like to suddenly
realize that you are inhabiting
your belonging:

The forest had called out
to me by a name

I knew.


©2014/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
To be published by Homebound Publications in October 2015

Feel free to share

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sunflowers
















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser


There are many kinds in my garden.
I grow them as teachers.

I love them; how they embody joy
in a way I find curious and, on days that
I won’t tally,
elusive.

What is it like, I wonder, to be the thing
on which soft bumble bees alight (they are soft,
I have petted them) to collect their dusted gold,
or butterflies – the fritillaries, sachem skippers,
and monarchs – nectar their brave, dazzling lives,
or a differential grasshopper sits long enough to
complete his survey and report unto God
about the things going on down here?

If I chose not to plant them, it wouldn’t be such
a happy garden, and this could be one of those
unlived lives that catch your eye at check out.

It’s true.

I’ll tell you that Summer has gone and they – the
sunflowers - are now bent at the waist by
the weight of their heads, looking
like skinny monks at prayer seeking
emptiness
as fulfillment.

This is when I begin to listen most carefully to the soft
om resonating across the beds of straw at their feet.
Hear now, the wisdom gained from two months
of standing still,

and in the last breath of a well-seasoned death
that I record in my cells,

a vow of endless servitude:

“Now, I shall feed the birds.”



© 2014/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
To be published by Homebound Publications in October 2015

Feel free to share

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Caterpillars
















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

All summer long they are out there chewing
on something that is unable to shoo away their
multitude of tiny, suckered feet.

Maybe it calls out to the birds,

“Come! Perch here! Eat these!”

And, some birds do, definitely,
and toads,
and mantises,
wasps with effective yet questionable tactics, those
ladybird beetles that you naively think are
so lovely and kind,

but there are still more
scissoring away at the edges, sculpting, stripping,
all feeling fully entitled to gluttony;
there will be no acknowledgement of sin, oh no,
no repenting, no statements of any kind that
end with

Amen.

I love them.

Every single one is perfect in its beingness,
and I needn’t struggle with the ethics of it all.

***

I listened to the evening news.

How much longer until the butterflies emerge?

I’m not sure that I have the patience to wait.



©2014/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"
To be published by Homebound Publications in October 2015

Feel free to share