the chain

“An-Mei: You think he sees this pie… now he’s so sorry take you for granted. You think this, you the foolish one. Every time you give him gift… like begging. “Take this. Oh, sorry. Please forgive me. I’m not worth as much as you.” So he only take you more for granted. You’re just like my mother. Never know what you’re worth. Until too late.    …

An-Mei: I tell you the story because I was raised the Chinese way. I was taught to desire nothing, to swallow other people’s misery, and to eat my own bitterness. And even though I taught my daughter the opposite, still she came out the same way. Maybe it is because she was born to me and she was born a girl, and I was born to my mother and I was born a girl, all of us like stairs, one step after another, going up, going down, but always going the same way. No, this cannot be, this not knowing what you’re worth, this not begin with you. My mother not know her worth until too late – too late for her, but not for me. Now we will see if not too late for you, hmm?

Ying Ying: Losing him does not matter. It is you who will be found–and cherished.”

– The Joy Luck Club

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Passages

…And so it goes, this way and that,
where endings birth beginnings’ cry
pierces the night, signals the day
holding the next dream captive, lying
there, your arms wrapped ’round so
small, the rocking chair in the corner, your
mother’s hands and how they combed
your hair, washed it all away once and now
comes back this day and smiles knowingly
as stones in the road fill your shoes, the
crossing marks the starting line, passages
to take on again and again, back and
forth continuing, illuminates the bread
crumbs that line the stony way.

in the midst of it

there, there, right there in that corner
that’s where it was kept, my burning held
dear and close to these things that line
the walls with photos, brings soft music
to the night with finger tips, minted kisses
the roughness of your hands, the low
and mellow tones warm my skin
like Santa Ana’s breathe in summer
where palm trees meet mesquite thorns
the tears of those things lost, found again
lay upon the cottons of this bed with
tangled legs that beg for dancing days
and you there in your solid blues
turn an eye upon the moment to stop
Pan’s playing leading toward meadows
seed with poppies golden happiness
sway with breezes scented with Pacific
mist that crawls the hills, hides my fervor
burning now together in the midst of it all.

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finding peace

“The self-controlled soul, who moves amongst sense objects, free from either attachment or repulsion, he wins eternal Peace.”
– Bhagavad Gita

“If you try to deal with the external environment and all the negativity from others, it’s impossible to find peace.”
– Dalai Lama

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– Things Within

that small space
between pages turn
another time then
her small hands held
pieces of green
delicate dancers
distant birds call
as dandelions smile
walking the mesa’s edge
where the Rio runs
early evening speaks
graces the edges
and softly descends

elevate

Fill your lungs
sing the water
washing over
sing traversing
the course
filling hours
sing.

Sing
just because 

to hear

your voice 

reverberate 

space 
surrounding
you with glee.

Sing

to break 
phantom 
barriers

illusions that
separate
 love

from another
sing.


Walking 

the beautiful 

darkness
lost 
in thought
captured 
there
grace elevates
sing.

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Rises Hope

Chu: Eat, drink, man, woman. Basic human desires. Can’t avoid them. All my life, that’s all I’ve ever done. It pisses me off. Is that all there is to life? 
- Yin Shi Nan Nu

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Life without idealism is empty indeed. We just hope or starve to death.
- Pearl S. Buck

Birdee Pruitt: Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will… 
- Hope Floats

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– 
In Which the Green Shall Turn




morning showers
patter the sill
kaleidoscope
the walk
dancing notes
and melodies 

rouse the sleeping
tousled head
pools reflect
the mottled sky

ruptured storm
captures thought

rests upon
brush and loam

brings with it
her lonely song
yet hidden beneath
amber waves

that carpet
the forest floor

sleeping lies
such subtle
reverie

in which
the green
shall turn
again.

daydream

Image
– between the clouds lie thoughts

the roar of heaven confronts the lawn
brings with it heavy footprints that carry
some other sea planting firmly before
lands solid the oak and festuca blue
provides the mirrored view thundering
intersects air and earth with fire
leaves it mark in puddled hopefulness
where young birds search for food
their song filling the trees with thoughts
roots that dig deeper to steady the day
provide the watcher with a place to rest
lean the heavy arms and melt into the nook
shelter from the blooming luscious show
captures the snapshots of forgotten smiles
where dreams may come in purple shades
such thoughts of earlier days dancing
the wind melts into the vanishing drama
cooling brings such fanciful expectation
that heaven grace another tender touch

crashing

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moving
colors the many
days that
linger here
where fingers
travel keys
sounding the
lonely lyrics
penetrates
cuts silence
the way
dogs howl
moonlight
outlines branches
such crippled
trees call
walking streets
before Scorpio’s
falling
sensing
the liminal rift
before chaos
rips accord
blind
navigating
the wild
obscured
passage rites
where
nothing touches
the warm
and the cold
pacing
your worry
under heavy
stars
ghostly
reflection of
the darkness
crashing
about

the welcome want

– layers of the rough come softly

pauses the moon beside a smile waiting
the hope that raises and lowers breath
cradled in the hues that call your heart
pulls such things in tightly wrapped

what do you call your places there
hiding in the creases fold your words
and oh the longing that hangs subtle
seconds drip these walls with melting notes

after this our days do shorten and long
into expanding lines of waning light
it wasn’t the union that you ran from
but the form lying in the fearsome dark

when layers of rough come softly
touches the edges of this untamed night
brings the color to your welcome want
covers the fading cries of love’s knife

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between trees and dreaming

what washes away those things divine

so much noise swirling
drowns the sweetness
that follows the notes
strung together a melody
takes you down the steps
where you remember
how mama scratched your
sleepy head telling stories
the pear tree so ripe and
how it flavored the air
traveling over the miles
humid and dripping
even the jungle smelled green
longing to hear your
native tongue the beating drums
move your feet to dance
around the shining bottle
family smiles and moments
when children’s laughter rose
parted the curtains that
hung heavy between us
gentle the wind blows through
swept the room’s warmth
over our hill in the woods
where you played under
old cherry trees and maple
sledding through snow
hikes at the end of town
where the road just ended
crossing the rickety bridge
and into the spare stream
the day the bees chased us
all the way back to the road
such beauty touches those
who open their hearts but
how brutal the gnashing
thunder from across the room
washes away those things divine
gone too soon from the
dwindling days’ lace and silk
shed now for flannel
dreams that color these days
leaves you naked before
the velvet hope that
another joy will rise.

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undiscovered

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in that sweet unknown

steps fall
before the dawn
walking halls
while seconds
tick again
inside the
feelings
begin to
take form
surface and
gasp
their first
breath
with that
piercing
cry while
in the corner
of such a
manicured
scene lay
abandoned
the gems
once cherished
now locked
behind
cedar walls
with
old photos
of a love
what could
have been
lost to
things
undiscovered
and searching
turns you now
pleadingly
toward
western skies
in that
sweet unknown
twisting again
for what
might have
been

 

these days

in that upside down kinda way

bending the day’s joy
standing so tall there
lean the doorway smiling
glancing over sideways
with mischief in the air
seen that smile before
not like these notes
how music made its way
made the floor dance
with light feet spinning
days of lavender light
grow and lengthen still
while arm in arm laughing
moving through mystery
seeing things lightly in that
upside down kinda way

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purpose

“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie  Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

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the day came when
answering was more
important than asking
while thoughtful
softened gazes peer
past the vale
gentle sun rising
over the Rio golden
parting the curtain
dawn violet light
presents another
thin space leading
touches delicate
graceful purpose
shows her face
smiles warmth
upon your face
and changes
everything.

once

when left alone it sometimes shines

in the walking
the path
unfolds
blades push
though cracks
while clouds part
to starling blue
awoken reverie
of legs tangled
before dawn
with silent sheets
scent of coffee
cinnamon eyes
call out shadows
grace notes
your singing heart
once revealed
bittersweet bloom
that sometimes
shines.

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such things

such things that linger

the water
lined
with debris
blown leaves,
twigs and insects
swirl, battered 
spring’s torrent
enchanted
tiny remains
while last
night’s storm
captured these
wandering thoughts
such things
take their time
twisting in
dark corners
nothing but
stillness lingers
yet how like
the wind
she howls

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Enchanted Lakes

fences

Even the walls had space

With hesitation   Image
apprehension
fills the envelope
that once bloomed
surrounding senses
as windows break
spaces within walls
pressing in closely
lean the cold stone
unknown features
where a breath mark
reminder tells you
to pause, sigh
turning focused
awareness toward
impervious bastion
built around your
hold, once beautiful
strength and accord
now wonder, asking
when it started
the bitter hindrance
that closed you in.

voyages

sometimes the silence roars

there you are again,  Image
against the wind
walking the roads
tiny steps each day
cutting new paths
the rustling leaves
hidden beneath those
dark strands before you
beating your cheeks
pushing, pushing through
the stinging rain
another day, another
there with yourself
always
interminable sentience
intimate voyage
with pique and delight
anguish and desire
life is relentless, you
always said and
sometimes
the silence
roars.


And here is the song that Sean Peterson Schnell, lead singer and song writer from The Day We Met wrote based upon this poem.  Enjoy!