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Showing posts from November, 2015

PALO SANTO by Shannon K. Lockhart

  I spent most of my life feeling censored… Ironically, it wasn't until I lived in Guatemala as a human rights and mental health worker, working on a project called "Historic Memory," that I began to feel freer to explore who I was and what I wanted to say. I also experienced many things in post war Guatemala that are difficult to put into words, in part because it all happened in languages that are not my native one, and in part because sometimes the depths of experience surpass words.  A few years after I moved back to the US, drawings and poems began to pour out, surprising me with their vibrancy and emotion. I had promised the people of Guatemala, the survivors of unspeakable acts, that I would remember them and tell their stories. Our stories became entwined, sacred acts of defiance in the face of those who wanted to erase the truth.  Palo santo and copal are two different types of incense used to cleanse the air and draw the spirit world and the actual


  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

LUNA BELLY by Tracie Nichols

I've written more poems by the glow of the bathroom nightlight than have ever passed through these fingers in daylight hours… With children and a husband sleeping, my options for nighttime writing without waking anyone are limited. So, the bathroom nightlight and I are old writing companions. One night my mind was yadda yadda yadda-ing. It had been a day of pushing myself way outside my comfort zone -- and not in a good way. Easing into the bathroom to brush my teeth (yes, the same one with the nightlight) I glanced out the window and with a soft, almost audible, whoosh! I was in the sky with Luna. Out of the natter chatter and into myself -- into creation. And, well, the poem can take it from here… Luna Belly by Tracie Nichols chatter natter chatter dark and still as this night is my head is anything but 
 then through the window SHE slides into view 
 her full-bellied semi-circle self stilling my natter chatter mind


I write on a similar path as the moon caresses the sky… She shows herself to me. My emotions and thoughts tempered as much by her shadows as her light. I hold with deep respect the changes of my femininity. Age is also playing a role as I see myself step into her truth and find her voice. It is through these temperate transitions of tenacious insights, I write. The moon is at half and I feel her growing energies within. I learn from the split of dark and light. Peace comes from facing and untangling our shadows. I watch the moon as nature's candle light; it glows an inordinate amount of wisdom. I listen and feel and learn to follow her guidance. She has mastered the tides of the sea and has much to teach me. There’s always something magically when I look to the sky and know, we all share a stellar cloak of the heavens. This poem sprung from a restless night when the half-moon’s presence comforted me. Let the Moon’s Nectar Trickle over Me By Carolyn Riker

STAND TALL by Kim Buskala

Through all the violence put before our eyes and ears, may we hear  nothing more... Instead: Let there be songs of freedom. Let us embrace each  other. Let there be love. Let there be peace. Let it be. Stand Tall by Kim Buskala Why all the violence The blood shed Such shame To prove we are strong We are here to win The hearts of many Shattered with a single shot A bullet to the head A bomb This ain't Love It's war This ain't Peace It's friction It's tension It's more I don't get it I never will What if we choose to do nothing But stand still Not to embrace An eye for an eye A tooth for a tooth A hand or a foot Is this progress or stagnation? Still is still moving. (Find more of Kim's poetry in our new book! Just  click here )  Kim Buskala :   “ I consider myself a free spirit, I fly by the seat of my pants. I have always known that I was going to be married and raise some awes


  Last  September 27, 2015, was the first day of a yearly, week long, meditation retreat for me… This was my 4th year of attending. Each year it is at a different setting, always deep in nature’s finest. This time it started with a Harvest Full Moon, the Blood Moon, and a Total Lunar Eclipse! How powerful a time to be aligned with nature’s rhythms! As I integrate my experience from the retreat, I feel and notice the connection to this moon/eclipse. These words resonate with my inner self…a process of becoming, illumination, awakening, transformation and balance. Observation of my relationship with self and others. Clearing of old patterns, change and going forward. I am in awe of what silence brings, connection, practice on this spiritual path and a heart so open! Tears of joy, love and devotion… Photo curtesey of Monsuno Media A Ret reat for the Soul by Nancy Carlson I find myself in apple-tree land of forests green-rolling hills, mother-earth’s home,