Friday, April 29, 2016

love you with joy {poem}

What joy can I bring you?

We know pleasure,
oh yes, how we know pleasure…

but I mean not of a single finger
up your spine to wake your
skin and bring your chest to mine--
no, I mean the loving trace

of my hands on your strong back,
and our sleeping tangle of fingers and legs
like roots weaving to ground together.
I do not mean your lips on the cusp of my chin,

warm breath at my neck,
but the words of your mouth--
the questions that cut the tension of touch
and ask me to go deeper.

I mean the joy in knowing
we can conflict and emerge more intimate,
not colliding in lust,
our bodies worn but our hearts more weary;

I am here to hear all you have to say,
and hold you more closely than
the arms that pull each other from our clothes
ever could.

Let us instead pull each other from our souls,
vulnerable, naked, free.
Delight in my laughter,
and I will in yours,

have the courage to love me,
dance because yes, my hips fit perfectly in your hands,
and when we make love let it be in the joy
we have found in being in love.

As published on Elephant Journal:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Alone and not {poem}

I am alone and never alone with you.

You are embedded in the most
naked parts of my soul;
The first I think to tell
and whom I most wish to listen.

You alone comprehend my duality--
I see the brilliance
in your strength and your soft hurt.
Blur the lines; we harmonize.

I feel your distinct embrace
whether your fingers lace with mine
beneath sheets for a night
or your words wrap themselves

around my heart, lingering until
the next time we meet--
the nights are sweetly sleepless
with or without you here.

Space makes no difference
between us and time holds no meaning.
Look at the stars on any night
and I will see you there.

Love anyone else and see
the contrast to our potent relevance.
We are a love unfindable.
We are an us undefinable.

Defiant, even. Taking the road less travelled,
and knowing not where it leads
and caring even less,
for the company is irreplaceable

and trust connects our separate paths.
We flow. Synchronized.
You take the words out of my heart
before I can gift them to you

and we stay attune, borrowing feelings
but leaving them where they
were found so that we might touch them
when the missing is the most palpable.

Oh these late exchanges.
I would not take sleep over time with you
will rest enough knowing
we only need to dream to meet and dance.

Our love is poetry, each word necessary
rhythmic and pulsing, infinite in impression. Raw.
Written by two whom only know
to live in the depths of each other.

Go deeper with me yet, insatiable.
More love to find beneath the wise willows,
in the roots of the oak trees--
meet me in our rabbit hole

and fall asleep with me to the sound of the sea.
Wake again more alive, with a resounding
belief that ours is not a love
to try to understand

but to hold as I would be held by you,
if you were here on this night I sleep alone.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Some of the People I know {poem}

Some of the strongest people I know are the most gentle. 
Sometimes the strongest people I know cry the sweetest tears. 
At times I know their strength more fiercely in their humility. 
Always in their vulnerability. 

Some of the bravest people I know have the most fears. 
Sometimes their bravery comes from a need to conquer. 
At times what is unconquerable feeds their courage. 
And they learn the powerful grace in surrender.

Some of the most joyful people I know have sadness. 
Sometimes their light is made brighter by the raw truths in their darkness. 
At times they are so moved by what they have found that they howl 
with sorrow fuelled compassion, humanness.

Some of the most lost people I know have the greatest propensity to live.
Sometimes their confusion is but the siphoning through of what matters the most.
At times what they find filters through is a potent dose of brilliance, inimitable.
And they embrace their journey in its entirety.

Some of the most alive people I know die time and again.
Sometimes they change in but a moment, fluid, evolving, existentially free.
At times they are so unattached that they scatter impulsively, undefined
and come to land in a deeper, more expansive sense of self.

Some of the most governed people I know have the wildest dreams.
Sometimes their discipline is what grants them their freedom.
At times their boundaries so respectable that I crave
the guidance of their sureness.

Some of what I know of myself is not myself at all.
Sometimes I am brave, strong in joy and sadness, alive and dying.
At times I am sure, mostly I am wild, always I am free
ever willing to grow, discover, express the dual nature of me.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I dance {poem}

I dance for the moon,
letting her pull me as she does the entire ocean,
sway me through the thick air
loosen my hips and
lubricate my spine.

I dance for my sisters
feeling their feminine pulse with my own--
freely expressive, bold, and alive.
I sway my thick hips
and pour open my back.

I dance for the music
of everything living. Cicadas they call
and roots pound with bass,
the Earth is my sitar--
move my hips, move my heart.

I dance for you--
for the weight of your hands on my hips
and the look in your eyes that said
I was yours to love
as the jazz dripped cool down our backs.

I dance for myself
and my sweet desire to live, to move
and to love each inch of my skin.
My soul at my hips,
the song in my heart.

Dance for it all.
For your grace and your wonder, to touch
a vibration that you cannot see.
Move your hips, arch your back,
set yourself free.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Friday, April 22, 2016

day twelve

"Diez huevos org├ínicos, por favor. Gracias"

I spoke too soon.


First, I politely ordered ten eggs (because I can never remember twelve in Spanish, so I never get a full dozen...) breaking my vow of silence on the very same day that I took it. But, breakfast…..

For the next ten days I didn't say much more than a few "ow's," and listened only to the ridiculous dialogue of my distracted and quite imaginative, mixed tape lyrical mind (whose obscure, and borderline spiritually toxic soundtrack included Medicine by Rising Appalachia, chanting Jai Shiva, Head over Feet by Alanis Morisette, and Get Low by T-Pain), at times laughing aloud at the absurdity of me. Which I hope did not disturb anyone else's silence or leave the impression that I am, perhaps, more crazy than I am. Or just, that I am.

I am.

That was the very simple guiding mantra of the twenty minute to three hour meditations of this 10 day silent retreat. Or rather, the question: who am I? *

And the very non-answer answer can be found in your spiritual heart. Not your heart heart, that masterful feeling organ that pulses your vitality through your body, but the one that attends similarly to your soul. Your spirit. Your youness and the isness, oneness of everything and everybody. And it is something that there are many and no words for, a very necessary experience of existence found in silence, in simply being beyond the doing, "knowing" mind.

And I talked, too soon, after it.

And not enough about it.

That was the second time. Leaving the retreat I broke the silence in too many ways about too many unnecessary things that took me too far from the very palpable result of this whole journey: the undeniable feeling of self.

You feel everything and can deny nothing. It is all there for you because it is all within you, from what you project into the experience to the moments you land back in your flesh from somewhere ethereal and as gorgeous as any bit of jungle I have seen here--from the very marrow of your self. Although my days of sea, salt, and sun, words, movement, and anything in a tortilla are very simple and leave plenty of space for me to know me, there is something incomparable to the nothingness that is everything of silence--and its remarkably loud.

To be with you in this prolonged, intentional, intimate way: remarkable. Any distractions you create become a part of your unravelling, and you have this birds eye view on the very wondering of your soul. And when everything is directed toward the heart for observation it bypasses the didactic mind and instead of undergoing some sort of psychoanalysis of bad or good it just is. Because without the personality to dictate how you are going to perform this quiet ceremony of sorts, you get the undramatized version of yourself and the most tenderly simple resonations of what matters--a quiet symphony vibrating inside of you. And no matter what awful rap song would pervade my space to whichever rawly impactful chakra purging lightening of self that I was immersed in, the sensation of being oh so sweetly satiated by something I could not quite define never mind control, and really did not care to understand, lasted through the sleepless nights and sunrise walks like an elixir of truth.

Because it was.

Truths. Every meditation an offering of simple understanding in oh so potent form. Epiphanies that landed in ways that were not merely neat, oh-I-get-it realizations but would embed themselves in the very fibres of your being so that you might weave a cloak from the inside to wrap around your exterior, enrobed, embraced by non-duality. I felt as if I were sea glass, softened by the steady massage of the ocean and glowing softly--not in a way that called to be seen, but in a way that was seeing and accepting. So much to see. So much acceptance.

So much to share.

But even this seems like too many words and not enough.

And it is all a bit much, trying to process and digest and remember is pulling at the strings of that cloak and re- sharpening my salt-exfoliated edges, especially when accompanied with re-organizing life beyond the silence. I want to stay in the quiet and the feels.

Last night I was asked directly for the first time after ten days of silence: how do you feel?

Afraid of losing how I felt in silence.

I struggled as everyone there did: with the stillness--most often ending a three hour mediation in a sort of seated sprawl…--with the lack of sleep (dreams are wild when you are in that sub-layer of awareness for hours of the day), with the wandering egoic mind, with the maddening desire for creativity and expression, and was literally in some form of countdown (minutes of meditation, meditations in the day, days left at all) for the totality of the experience to be over and yet now that it is, I want back in. I want to steep in that heart wisdom for more than hours, for days or for howevers long, until my entire being emerges, prune like and cared for, and then and only then fully expel every bit of holy-YES for every body, in bit pieces of the most sincere sureness. To share and write, to cry and dance and laugh however crazily from the grandmother soul of my mango-filled belly, head back and heart open.

How do I feel? Gorgeously overwhelmed. Alarmingly peaceful. At odds. In full surrender. And understanding why after each meditation, the bowl would chime and we would be told "a few more moments" to sit with the stillness we had just witnessed. Sit a little more with the self. No rush, no waiting. Ease of being. Aware. In the heart.

So all I have for now is a passionately suggestive: Sit in your heart. And then sit a little longer. Feel something, then feel a little truer. Know yourself, and then dig a little deeper. Trust your intuition. Listen. Love.

Some poems and thoughts coming your way in later days.


(and if you wanna steep for ten days until prune like and inexplicably at ease with all of your everyness:

* I will talk more about this question later, as it is not meaning anything to do with your personality or defining qualities, but something much much more. And also my aversion to this question and subsequent replacing it with "know yourself." But who am I to suggest mantras--T-pain showed up in my background noise.

This piece is now up on Elephant Journal:

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Letting love take it from here {poem}

I've given myself to you time and again,
let you have my heart and have it handed back to me.

You have walked away, closed and bounded,
then sent a whisper in the night of missing me as yours.

You have made sadness familiar to me
in all of these goodbyes--

yet I would take back none of them.
And, now, I will take it from here.

The love I wanted from you
I will give to me.

I will reach deep into the vastness of my heart,
and plant seeds of forgiveness,

acceptance, and love into its fecund pulse
so that I might be sustained

by what courses, warm, thick,
through my veins--alive in self.

Alive in love.
I will not grow weary wanting

what cannot be given,
will not tire from desire to co-create

but write instead my own great romance
from the love I was created.

I will dance under the moonlight
with my arms to the sky,

letting the stars pull at my fingertips
and spin me as you may have,

wanting nothing more but to fall
asleep in the tender shelter of my skin.

I will love this body not for what it can do
but for the songs that it holds

in harmony with the sway of the trees
and the pounding bass of the sea.

I will love without a calculation
of value, without seeking reciprocity,

the only exchange I make is in
receiving as vulnerably as I give.

I will love with tenacity,
reverence-- spirited and free to love

as I may. Love as I can. Love as I am.
I hope you will do the same.

I hope all lovers will not be caught wanting,
broken, questioning love.

but know it to be in themselves always,
plentiful and unwavering--

undefined by another's acceptance,
inimitable as your own sacred offering.

Love on. Love hard. Love you.
Let love take it from here.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Friday, April 8, 2016

Love is alive {poem}

I want you to know what love is.

For it is not a feeling you have felt
nor one that you can learn.

No darling, it is something far more palpable.



Love is not something you fall into,
not anything to find or trade for,
but something you come from.

It exists in the marrow of your
soul, permeating your heart
and encompassing your entire being.

It is limitless, with a disregard
for object and highest reverence
for truth.

It hardly whispers at all, and is not
provoked by lust.
Love is not a stimulant,

not a high, not a vortex,
but a force, a vibration
of the most potent quality.

It is not something to complicate or master,
to control or understand,
but rather, when we are purified

it is love that we radiate.

Love is a light.
Love is life.
I want you to know love

so that you might know what it is like to truly live.

As published on Elephant Journal:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The poetry of alive {poem}

I set out to write by the sea:
the ocean in her grandeur
colliding with the rocks and shore
so fully alive
in her untraceable power.

Her body was a fortress
I could not move against,
and so, I moved with her--
allowed her fully palpable energy
to take me.


My spine arching to each wave,
surges of energy into my chest
my heart,
my breathe.
I could feel her calm urgency
pulsing through me. I was

in awe,

Black sand in the contours of my shape
and salted hair--the wisdom
of Grandfathers in each powdered
grain of volcanic ash
exfoliating my every part,

connecting me deeper to all
that was before me
and all that is with me.
Blending masculine
and feminine--

Sweetly simple.

Every sound, every sensation,
every resonance
from everything living
massaged into my being
and messaged my soul:

Feel something

it was anything but a whisper.
And so I poured myself back into
the wildly mysterious ocean womb
Rolling, still, as she was.

I moved,

And the ocean became more
concentrated in salt
and more concentrated in me--
I became the sea
and the reflection of the stars and moon,
and I remembered again

that all life is one,
that all is alive.
I set out to write by the sea,
but she wrote herself into me--
Living is poetry.

As published by Elephant Journal:

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Wisdom Men

"Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands
Medicine Woman, Medicine Man
walking with grace, I know your face, and I trust your hands"

A week-ish ago I posted a shout out to the women in my life. Spoke of being so enraptured by Yelapa, by Mother Earth in all of her powerful, fertile, radiancy. It was a collection of words and photos redolent of feminine reverence, and while I have shared in celebrating this reverence with the women whom inspired that work, I have also come to believe the same can be celebrated with and for men. That the feminine and masculine are not in fact counteractive energies that serve to balance us humans, but instead, as all things yin and yan, we are one-- forever spiralling together, apart. Rather than try to balance the two, we ought to embrace each with equanimity--allow them to blend harmoniously.

(Harmony. That word. Mmmm.) 

There is conflict, often, when we are trying to achieve balance as if in fact it is something to achieve; in such it becomes counterintuitive to pursue balance when really surrender, listening, and internal wisdom will even you out so sweetly. You will, as you know, find within or be brought by the laws of attraction, precisely what you need. And so when the masculine requires the feminine, there she is. 

And when the feminine is as potent as she is here in Yelapa, there to receive is the masculine, and the two permeate, amalgamate, just mate. The two thrive from the same source of life, love. The two are one.

I felt this most in a powerful ceremony here, where the practice of surrender is necessary, where my sisters were alongside my guide, but the sensational safety I felt was in the men who have gifted me at one time or another, their strength, their unyielding support. There in spirit I came to realize what it is to be held without touching, that the stereotypical representations of men: strength, protection, honour, are so because they are true, and I sat, acutely aware of how blessed I was to have these men exist, now, within me. 

That masculine energy was in each Grandfather: volcanic rocks that rested for three hours in a well stoked fire, welcomed into our sweat lodge and persistently heating our skin as we prayed as I have never known prayer before. Father Sky, alive with stars and the calls of the jungle wild bathed over those who are now family to me, and those men who've been my always were there in the wisdom of the trees that encircled our maloca, with a powerful, quiet, loving attention. Some were there in the organized chaos of my mind, proving to me my propensity to expand and asking me to get more intimate with the workings of that ever working headspace. And the hands that had most recently, most literally held me lingered so tangibly that I could still feel his fingers not to guide me in anyway, but to touch with the longevity of our intimacy, the withstanding vibrancy of our vulnerability--so vital, so present. Presently. Right next to me in the purest of voices, a new male friend saturated the space with song when I needed the pull to that very moment the most. "Gracias al a Vida": thank you for life--the bad with the good, the dark and the light, the masculine and the feminine, in sweet harmony. 

I felt in those moments and my present moments since what it is to know the so called balance of masculine and feminine. I was reminded that I am blessed with men that have stood for me, have offered the same reverence that I offer to my sisters, who have loved me not because they have needed from me, but for what they have found in me. Men who understand that femininity demonstrates the versatility in strength, different than their own, but equally notable. Men who when they take my hand are not trying to take me at all, but to walk with me, at each others side. Who are not threatened when I am bigger, but encourage it. Men who look at me and know what they see and accept it is always changing and worth watching do so. Who know that the worrying suppressed identity of woman is not the true wildly capable, illustrious and intelligently provocative embodiment of feminine. Men made wilder themselves in knowing, seeing, and embracing this--who do not seek to tame; lions to her lioness. Men who allow, rather than control; move from love not force. Men who find harmony with women.

And men whom find the harmony of masculine and feminine within--not by blurring the lines between the two, but embracing both. Men whom can cry the same as they can yell, pull themselves up a mountain with the same raw attention as they plant the seeds of next season, can talk to Mother Earth and mothers in law with respect. Men who father with both their hands and all of their hearts. Men who love from their hearts with body and soul, who see the relationship in any propensity as sacred. Who know the divine feminine and the divine masculine are nearly synonymous. Men whose paradigms have expanded to include within and without themselves, the room for both masculine and feminine. Men whom grow more and more whole every time we meet in more than spirit.

So to every man who is strong, protective, linear, and rationally discerning, embrace the gentle, empowering, creative, heart-forward side that is you too. So to every woman who is gentle, nurturing, thoughtful, and feeling, so embrace the strength, enabling, reasonable, willful masculine within. And so to every man and every woman: listen in, beyond the preconfigured roles we are so confined to by modern societies interpretation of masculine and feminine, and you will find that every jarring diversity comes to soften. The same that can be supposed as man, can be woman--she can be masculine, he can be feminine. Yes he may thrive in physical strength, and yes she may innately nurture, but so can the lines blur as reflections in water. So can we come from the same ever-loving source, for the purpose of something far greater than the simplicity of man and woman, when we can fully, earthily and soulfully, pulse--as one.

ps.  listen to this discussion, a gift from one of the first men to teach me purely by being any and most all of what I have written here:

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ill wait for love {poem}

You say that you are waiting.

I will wait with you.

We can walk alone
but I will still feel your hand in mine,
remember the steps that we took to here,
fingers interlaced like the weaving of our paths
and I will try not to run, pummelling towards what is not yet real.

Our love is tenacious.
Louder than either of these fearful hearts cared to hear
And that volume pounds in mine still.
Matches my footprints
as I take my road.

I am waiting too.
Waiting to know that
our love was meant for something,
that it wasn't just a seed
tossed carelessly into dry earth,
but tucked lovingly into fertile soil,
planted with prayer.

That we are still growing,
That the work of now
is for the work of a forever
that although we cannot know
we can use our hope to light these paths we travel alone.

I wait with you
in awe of the times
we have walked apart before,
and walked apart together,
and welcome each and every road less travelled.
We have never followed a map before
why would we start now.

So, love of mine,
take your path
and I will take mine.
in love
and waiting for what is waiting for us.

As published by Elephant Journal: