Have you noticed?: a poem

Have you noticed fall announcing itself
quietly in the blazing orange tips of
green leaves?

Have you noticed the smile of a neighbor
as she notices your face soften
having caught sight of her sprightly pup
on a morning walk?

Have you noticed the tension untangle itself
from your shoulders as a sigh pushes out
the last bit of anger
when you see him
and choose to forgive?

Have you noticed yourself grow bigger
as your heart beats love
love
love
love
throughout the body?

Have you noticed the subtleties of exchange
sharing a seat with a stranger
on the bus?

Have you noticed the longing of missing a loved one
and how if you conjure up a hug
in the minds eye
your skin gets warm from imagined touch?

Have you noticed how todays make tomorrows
and does it make you want to live
more consciously
and grow trees
and leave goodness in your wake?

Have you noticed?

non-attachment: a poem

Non-attachment

Like the perfect slouchy sweater
shoulder seams landing
somewhere on the upper arm

enough material to
flow to
billow

a  little extra
enough for your love to gather
in his hands
and use to pull you near

fitted enough to show
the curve of
the shoulder
the bumps of
the bosom

a little extra
but not enough to tangle in
not so much plenty
as to become constrictive

Non-attachment

Like an expert rider
holds the reins

a gentle tug
a slow leading motion
right or left

a quick drawing back
stop
a loosening switch
gallop

total wisdom in the communication
of horse and man
leather and the subtleties
of the wrist

Non-attachment

not
attachment

sink your hooks in
puncture the thing
you loved most
whole

holding fast
makes shaking arms
fatigue
gripped fingers unfurl
the will of the body wins

Not
detachment

stoic, grey mind
all neutral
no vividness, no color, no pulse

a false notion
that no hurt can get in
when numbness is itself
deep pain

Non-attachment

full of love
and letting go
space to breathe
and a tight squeeze
upon reuniting

trust in the unseen

felt emotions
deep
knowing the whole landscape
to the fence line

felt
then held tenderly
as you hold the hand of a child
growing independent

Non-attachment

learned best through the
poetry of daily life
Can you let yourself be cradled
by your own
growing
wisdom?

You can’t get there from here.

Physical metaphors are powerful because they help us build a bridge from the tangible or “real” to the spiritual or intuitive. Sometimes I’ll be going about the daily tasks of life and have an epiphany right then and there…like I did driving around in Portland recently.

Portland is a sweet little city and it’s pretty easy to navigate once you learn the layout (quadrants!) and the major crossroads. I, however, have never been one to take the main throughways, because they feel slower to me since there is usually quite a bit more traffic than on the back roads. I like the movement and sense of freedom (read: no cars in front of me) taking the back roads allows even if the cost is going slower. (Are you already starting to see this as a metaphor for life?) So I keep trying new routes driving the city and because of Portland’s wonky layout, I inevitably end up at a dead end. In fact, I usually make many unexpected detours before reaching my final destination.

At first I was getting really frustrated about this—apologies to my sis who witnessed these freak outs a number of times. Then, the epiphany: You just can’t get there from here. It’s nothing to fret over, it’s just a fact. You can’t drive through the house at the end of the street, so you’d better turn and keep on moving.

This is life, too. If you want to meander, learn your own way, discover and explore instead of taking the known and fast route to “arrive” you’ll be making a lot of unexpected turns, romping around on new territory, and at times taking longer than your compadres on the highway.

You’ll also be learning more, seeing more and enjoying more beautiful scenery since you’re going slower. In either case you’ll likely experience frustration—on the main thoroughfare because of traffic and lack of expediency and on the back roads because you’ll be lost a lot. My frustration started to calm when I realized that obstacles are often just guidance to a new route. And this, for me, is one of the key differences between trying out an unknown route and sitting in traffic or whizzing by on the super highway, you’re always moving and usually at just the right pace to make choiceful decisions about where you’ll go next.