Skip to main content


 I wrote this poem last year when my son was leaving Bali after returning there, to his birthplace, for five years…

It's a long story, but to put it in a nutshell, my son is half Balinese and went there to reclaim his birthright. I had lived there for eight years when he was born, integrating and becoming a deep, intrinsic part of the culture. To this day, I stay linked, but when he left, I felt my lifeline to that island fade a little. I grieved his departure. I understood that it was time for him to leave, just like I knew when it was time for him to journey there as a young man. It was his rite of passage and in many ways, it was also mine.  

Although my own blood is not Balinese, my afterbirth is buried there next to the family temple along with all generations past. I am considered blood to them, through a marriage that dismantled, and forevermore, through my son whose blood is mixed with an ancient, three thousand year old culture that calls me home every day.  I wrote this the day he left Bali. Me, on the other side of the world, but my spirit was there witnessing this ritual. 

The Thrum of his Prayer 
by Leslie Caplan 

The restless angst of spirit calls you 
to sit still

As you pace the room up and down the walls

your ancestors weep for your departure

And as you leave,

the pulse of my lifeline fades

just a little

Like a voice muffled behind closed doors.

You return from one place to another
Wings stretch across sky
where rolling hills turn volcanic
and dry crisp terrain turn wet with rain

As roots slither beneath
the surface of Earth,

the thrum of your prayer
join your hands together
Swirls of incense smoke billow
from the offering you make.

You lean into the whispers
and with holy water, adhere dried grains of rice
to your third eye

As you inhale the wisdom born to you, 

you kneel at the altar that first placed
the soles of your feet to the ground
You are closer now
to the land, to the flower petals that symbolize
a thousand of your lifetimes

Long fingers reach inside layers of smoke
to adorn your hair with flowers.
You bow to the light already inside you.
I bear witness, the glint of obsidian in your eyes
They come from me,
yet deeper still,

they are from the same earth
that buried your placenta
deep inside the chamber
of a three thousand year old Banyan tree

This rite of passage is complete.
You leave there a man
as the child in you remembers
the many languages of your tongue
Wet with flavor
Wet with spiced earth
Wet with knowing that when you leave, 

you are never gone.

Embodying the strength of the warrior,

you can move freely now
between the hemispheres of your belonging.

Leslie Caplan is a passionate writer and has been published internationally. She is a professional Writing Coach and editor who encourages and evokes the strongest, deepest expression of the writer's voice and heart.  She also facilitates writing workshops where writing is used as a tool for revealing and healing.  She lives in the small town of Ashland, Oregon and you can connect with her on her website here. 

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

MY HEART SEEPS by Edith Lazenby

Courage is not only facing fear, but also looking past fear, to see what lies it tells and truths it saves...
Sometimes I sit at a computer in trepidation. The house trembles and I wonder what I will find. 
Truth is not a fact or a feeling. It may rest on love’s heart and walk with integrity. It may stand beyond humanity in ways we can only imagine. Truth can be solid as earth and fickle as wind. But a wind can know stillness and the earth can crack wide open.
Tonight I found a stillness in a crack and managed to balance there...

My Heart Seeps
by Edith Lazenby
I cannot hold on And I cannot let go. I walk a path I don’t know. I feel moonlight But cannot see Its orb midst The cloudy cold. My hands tremble. My eyes tear. My toes wriggle To grasp earth. I want to stand Tall in the light Yet fear shadows all. Inside I crumble Under the weight I cannot shoulder.

FOR THE SISTERS by Tammy T. Stone

These days, I’m finding it difficult – along with many, many others - not to feel disheartened...
I'm disheartened by the feeling that chaos has descended upon us, at the negativity and fear, the anger and reactivity, the violent spirit of animosity characterizing the times. It’s hard not to give in to the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, even as we cling to the strong conviction that it is our positivity and our love that will prevail.
Every crevice of my heart goes out to the suffering (and we are all suffering when one of us suffers), and my heart aches for the untold numbers of women around the world who are immediately and devastatingly affected by recent decisions to cut funding to organizations vital to their health and wellbeing, a movement that horrifyingly undermines women’s sovereignty over their own bodies. Words do not do the feeling justice.
It feels to me that the earth itself is overturning, that our fragile grasp of what is right and true, of our incredibl…

IMAGINE A WOMAN by Patricia Lynn Reilly

This poem invites you to look upon yourself with loving kindness…
Gazing at your own true reflection, you will discover that everything you have longed for “out there” is already within you! I invite you to love your creativity fiercely. Faithfully plant seeds, allowing under-the-ground dormant seasons, nurturing your creative garden with love and gratitude. In the fullness of time, the green growing things thrust forth from the ground. It's a faithful, trustworthy process. AND it takes time and patience.  Blessed is the fruit of your creative womb! I invite you to trust your vision of the world and express it. With wonder and delight, paint a picture, create a dance, write a book, and make up a song. To give expression to your creative impulses is as natural as your breathing. Create in your own language, imagery, and movement. Follow no script. Do not be limited by the customary way things have been expressed. Your creative intuition is original. Gather all of life into your inner c…