Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fighting Wars










Image: Gregory Colbert, Ashes and Snow

I’m not opposed to the wars that you fight
on the inside of the precious container that hosts your soul.
Struggle is a gift claimed only by the living.
Inner-conflict, an initiation rite for those who have
finally sensed their humanity.
Do embrace the enemy that is the sweet angel
come to wake you for mid-day prayer,
And, then,
let this be it!
Refrain from enlisting in the projections of another’s battle.
Well, yes,
you may decide to lure their combatant
into the trenches and bless them there,
But,
this is all.
You must become so busy learning not to be at peace
with this world
that you finally surrender,
courageously
pledging your allegiance to
love for everything and nothing more.

© 2014/Jamie K. Reaser


Written in Phnom Phen, Cambodia - where, if you listen carefully, the ghosts of genocide will tell you what they have learned.

(Feel free to share. Poetry is meant to move.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentines





















Image: John James Audubon

Years ago, on a day near Spring,
the world came to life.

Music was found in every bush
and near every stream.

The composers played not instruments,
nor did they have hands, nor lips.

Yet the music played on,
and many melodies mixed.

The suitors chose their lovers,
and the lovers gave them
their hearts.

On the couples sang,
and the melodies took new form:

No longer were they solo,
but now duet.

As the daylight grew dim,
the songs broke off,

And all the wood birds were silent.

© 1984-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
Written for a 10th grade 'Humanities Class' assignment

Note: Valentine's Day - like many of the holidays celebrated in modern times - appears to have its ancient origins in practices intended to honor Nature.  In the case of Valentine's Day, fertility and abundance would have been the likely themes. It wasn't until the end of the 5th century that Pope Gelasius outlawed the Nature-based traditions (probably related to Lupercalia festivities) and declared February 14th to be 'St. Valentine's Day.' The Middle Ages mark the beginning of 'love' as a focus of the holiday. At that time, it was commonly believed in England and France that February 14 indicated the start of the breeding season for birds - and thus the date became associated with romance. The first written Valentines didn't begin to appear until 1400AD.

So, whether of not you have a certain someone in your life to celebrate love/romance with on Valentine's Day, we can all take a moment to honor that one relationship that sustains us throughout our lives...Nature's gift of abundance.  Consider putting a little something special out as a reciprocal offering to the birds...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Offerings



















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I knew the weather forecast,

so I arose early from under my pile of warm blankets
and put the seed and suet cakes
out for them.

I was still in my pajamas (or, something like that).
It was cold. Bitter.
The first flurries –large flakes – were falling.

They rushed in while I was still standing by the
feeders. They too knew what was coming. Somehow.

And, I started my day thinking about offerings:

How they can become so few and scant
in this human-clad existence.

Yesterday, a new friend stopped by for a chat.

I offered her tea and homemade cookies
of peanut butter and molasses
and other fine things from my cupboards.

And, we talked for a brief while.
This was a mutual offering.

What should one do with a life
that is lived with the luxury
of hands and feet
and eyes
and mouth,

but make offerings?

Once the other becomes visible,

How can you not but go to them
with hands outstretched and full?

(Maybe the invisible ones too.)

I am here, again, at my keyboard,
compiling words, wondering how best I can
make an offering of them to you today.

Somewhere among them is an unwritten question
about the presence or absence of something.

Please,

offer it up like the kind of prayer
that you can actually believe in,

like the kind of prayer that can
change
this world.

And, please: gift it to yourself.


© 2014-2016/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Winter: Reflections by Snowlight"
Published by Hiraeth Press
www.hiraethpress.com

Feel free to share