Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This Great Burning

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

There is something within you
that you have been
relentlessly containing
for fear that its emergence
will cause you to
like a martyred monk
on an empty sidewalk.

Here ~
swallow this match.

Each one of us must
learn how to burn.

To burn away:
Limiting beliefs
anything that does not Serve.

To burn up:
Living our dreams
living our passions
for the gods’ sake, Living.

To burn,
As if we are the only holy book
that matters and every page
is inscribed with the still-wet ink
of Love.

I know that many of you,

those of you who courageously
converse through the ample language
of mystic bards,

remember The Burning Times.

That’s not what I speak of now.


We will never set the world aglow
by burning each other in bonfires
of hate or rage or self-loathing.

Truth be told ~

In those fires,
it is ice that claims the
most souls.


In this Great Burning,

the one I speak of now ~

In this Great Burning,

the fire must
spontaneously combust
from within.


you the one reading this poem,

You are meant to enlighten.

© 2011-2013/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life" (

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Behind the Woodshed

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I met my inner man

behind the woodshed

when the chores

had been completed

for the day.

He gave me a bouquet of

redbud, willow, and pungent


We danced under the waltzing

of moonlit bats intent on

satiating themselves

with life.

Oh Sweet Mother Dawn,

How can my lips

be so untouched

and yet so exhausted?

© 2011-2012/Jamie K. Reaser

from "Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life" (to be published by Hiraeth Press in August 2012)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Answers for Mary

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser, mute swan

I saw it, its bill like the compass needle
which is wholly committed to truth.
I knew of its pertinence the very moment
my heart took flight.
You see, beauty isn’t for figuring.
Beauty exists only for the embodiment of beauty ~
a holy union of form and essence
to be lived into the world like
the sacred contract between mated swans.
And oh yes,
with this,
I’ve changed my life.

© 2011-2013/Jamie K. Reaser
Response to questions asked by Mary Oliver in her poem, The Swan.
Published in "Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life" (

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Fiddlehead Song

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

The voice rose like musty fragrance,
from leaf-littered substrate to my ear.

“Do you love me?”

I stooped low.

“Do you love me?”
inquired harlequin green fern
in fiddlehead curl and tuck.

“Of course I do,”
I replied.

“Then, please sing me a song.”

I balked.

Here the delicate melodings of thrushes
disarm choirs of angels
hand-selected by the gods.

I could offer nothing better than an
off-pitched Corvid grok.
On a good day.

“I can gift you some water,
or how about my favorite ring?”

I was hopeful.

“Sing me a song.”

My hopes were dashed.

So I sat there at trailside for 36 straight hours,
nervously relocating last Autumn’s acorns among piles.

How to honor, not insult?

I mused and agonized
as sunlight and moonlight
took turns wandering through the nascent woods.

And then a cool breeze stirred
the understory and me.

“It’s all about intent,”
came the re-minder from my
exasperated mystic pal
on a higher mountain far away.



I sighed and giggled at
my human folly.

And then I claimed
who I am.

Fire ignited deep within my belly cauldron,
causing feisty cleansing steams
to rise within
and purify.

Dews burning off at dawn
serve the forest similarly,

And so, with great intent, I sang:

“I love you…”

to the harlequin fiddlehead,


my voice every bit as
unabashedly wretched as I’d feared.


But before I could offer up an apology
worthy of such outlandish disgrace,

the Osmundia fern replied:

“That’s the most beautiful
thing I’ve ever heard,”

and unfurled.

(c) 2011-2014/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life." (

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What is Joy to the Snapping Turtle?

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

What is joy to the snapping turtle?

His beaky jowl open wide
does not invite a kiss.

His algae-slimed carapace
is rough around the edges,
sculpted by millennia of quarrels
with the world.

It does not invoke cuddle, or caress.

Dare you seek his intimate company,
he will hiss, puff, and rise.
Insist, and be met by a strike
of serpentine appearance and precision.

He has no patience for your curiosity,

No want for admiration or allegiance.

Coo and he will think you ridiculous.

When on land,
he has no retreat from your love
and it scares him.

But oh give him the substrate of
pond bottom muck
and all that he has learned
of passion comes alive.

Like a monk who knows
a specific mist-enshrouded mountain
as the extension
of his soul,

the snapping turtle glides
along a thoroughfare of beaver channels
and snacks on lizard's tail plants
as a matter of meditation

and transpersonal expression.

Watch this ancient master long enough
and you will discover what joy is.

Joy is surrendering your entire being
to the element to which you belong.

© 2011-2015/Jamie K. Reaser
from "Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life" &
"Wild Life: New and Selected Poems"
Published by Hiraeth Press;

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dense Mists

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

The great blue heron

tickles her breast

on springtime buds

as she

lifts and plunges

her laborious wings

over a ridgetop canopy

wet with dense mists

at dusk.

I do believe that Nature

knows something

of foreplay.

(c) 2011/Jamie K. Reaser
from "Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life"

Soul Lines

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

How do you know that I am not

your great grandmother

or that one day I will not be

your grandson?

Maybe I have been a camel

and you, a chimpanzee.

If I am ever a bird,

I pray that I am gifted

a far better voice.

They speak of the Seventh Generation –

Our need to protect this land,

these waters,

the air we breath

for them –

the unborn.

What if we are to be the Seventh Generation

come again,


Am I stealing in this life from

the body that will

carry me in the next?




I think it would be best if we

were all spiders

at least once.

Perhaps that’s what it takes

to understand

how interconnected,


and miraculous

the Web.

© 2011-2012/Jamie K. Reaser

From "Re-Union: Coming Home to Each Other (a work in progress)

I Wish for Only This

Art by Marie Ellerider (1791 - 1863)

The world doesn’t need to know
that I have lived,

Or how many times
I have died.

I do not desire my name
to be spoken of
or repeated in form.

Whatever the elements make
of me is fine.

I wish for only this:

That those I have loved
find themselves,

some day,

crumpled over
in the soil,

raining Her with tears
of ecstatic bliss,

because my soft gaze
softened their hearts.

(c) 2011-2017/Jamie K. Reaser

from "Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life" 

Published by Hiraeth Press