A poem on transformation and change, and the practice of choosing a long view.

Image: Adina Voicu on Pixabay

Next time under sky:
Pause.
Tilt head high,
eyes slanted just so
in order to see
slow-rolling clouds
glide,
mirror of life
(and we with it)
moving
just as the ancestors did:
succession of generations
each making
an indelible mark
crossing this world.

Some tread softly,
light with little mark
others: stormy, dark
each pattern it's own
changing and shifting
with day’s wind.

Thoughts too
like clouds -
just observe.
Be more than each wisp.
Choose the long view:
the lifetime,
billion-year view
meeting you here and now.

The truth:
mirroring these clouds
we come right here
and then we are gone…


A poem on moving through perceived obstacles, loyal to your own best self.

Image: JPlenio, Pixabay

To move through sticky places
deep like amber toffee,
dive into the shadows.
Look closely now:
find all the places that drain
twisting even through blind spots
each one a portal into other world.

Consider ways
the subconscious
weaves magic
as well as webs.
Regardless of what catches light here,
give
reach
to find that brightest place -
the one that replenishes
every broken heart
and each chasm
in need of tending.

Become the luminous spark
spiraling into incense smoke
shapeshifting
through each encounter,
even perceived obstacles
inspire curling delight.

Be open here,
generous like sunshine
loyal to your own best self.


A poem on reaching beyond fear.

Image: Hans, Pixabay

How far have we really traversed
beyond our own boundaries?
Not the ones
protecting safety
rather where we hold
ourselves
back from becoming
most free.

In relationship,
stand on rim of deep canyon
wordlessly
encounter untravelled
journey through time and space,
between here and there,
between self and other too.

Walk along those edges,
create space to carry
in each hand the love
along with fearlessness
together
creating
ongoing forces of infinity.

In this expansive place
open
pathways
in which to weave magic:
the alchemy needed
to truly transform
not only self
but world and other
fully participating
and wildly untethered
reaching for another side.

Find the stretch
beyond boundary
beyond fear
discovering
something always new.


A poem on the moment of choice when faced with change.

Image: Susan Lu4esm, Pixabay

Every season has its blessing,
even the one that is cold and dark.
When that moment comes
to turn the wheel of change
resist
and suffer from the staying
or hug close
choosing the unfamiliar
and wait.

If we stay inside
too long
protected
eclipsing
draw of icy moon
we begin to feel
tug at seams
of outfits
that no longer fully fit.

Seated in the balance
of longing
in two directions
wrap the cloak
into unknown night.
Go now,
remembering
there is no other place
to be.

Pause,
see the path is downward.
Not forward or back,
but deeper
into settledness of self
revealing
new mysteries
at each twist.

The refuge is here
within
a deep spring inside and out
always complete in cycles
of life and Earth
which also includes each departure.


A poem about impermanence.

Photo: CocoaParisienne on Pixabay

Everything is impermanent —
each body
life
thought,
like shifting
sands
in wind
reaching
only to find
each thing
already changed.

This too shall pass.
In this fleeting truth:
find presence,
be in love
with what unfolds
now,
even when difficult.
There is no staying
same.

Integrate
all sides
remembering
life is light
and shadow,
diving into both
understand each
as essential
for other to exist.
Here,
in this ever-changing place
beyond
and between
uncover
the brightest jewels.


A poem in the wake of tragedy.

Photo: Deborah McNamara (Boulder, Colorado; Site of the 3/22/21 mass shooting)

In grief:
Take as long
a road
as you need,
mingling with
heartbreaking
holy darkness
giving space
to each chasm
calling for tending.

When emerging,
coming up for breath
hold firm in keeping
light
alive and well,
find ways to live brightness
and love
in wake
of unimaginable heartlessness.

Do not succumb to pressure
to let go too soon,
but rather integrate:
a broken heart
held fast
in present moment,
shored up
on inner resources
to weather these storms.

Enter these hearts of darkness,
move through.
Travel with homage
through this portal,
still recognizing
abundant beauty
being offered up
in countless ways.
This seeing: a lifeboat
on which to cross the world.


A poem on following our internal boundaries, and considering what lies beyond.

Photo: JPlenio, Pixabay

What does it mean to drink
from a deeper well?
Travel downwards in place
while also reaching
toward each horizon.
Listen with careful attention
to what calls
beyond the familiar,
the parts knocking
to travel beyond.

When considering
range of vision
in oneself
(and out)
follow the boundary
just to the edge.
Come to know those places
calling to go farther
and encompass more.

Pause now,
in this wideness
receiving each moment
like elixir.
Here, drink deep
and go deeper still
for there is always more.


A poem on traveling beyond the gate of intellect to the realm of heart.

Image: JPlenio on Pixabay

Love:
Quiet, wordless
showing us how to dance
even among shadows
letting words dissolve,
like wisps of cloud
at dusk’s perfect moment
of disappearance into night.

Love beckons us
to know
(full bodily)
the infinite wonder
beyond the gate of intellect,
calling us to travel farther
to the realm of the Heart
and find out what it means to be in Love,
not in conviction,
but wonder —
heart and body open and breathless,
like the orgasm just passed,
still lingering
in breath and fingertips,
giving birth
to the next great understanding


When confronting the need for discipline with our kids, we can look to spiritual traditions and teachings for inspiration.

Photo: Ben Kerckx on Pixabay

“You can’t teach anyone anything without love, and without being happy with them.” ~ Adi Da Samraj, Spiritual Teacher, Writer, and Artist

As our children get older, the challenges of parenting morph beyond coping with sleep deprivation or figuring out how to navigate the 24-hour needs cycle. We are thrown into a world of questions such as what to do when one of the kids is acting out, or how to deal with conflicts on the playground. And what about when rules are broken? …


A poem on being present to receive life’s gifts, as well as let them go.

Photo: Inspired Images on Pixabay

Sometimes life bestows a gift,
emerging mysteriously
from unknown origins.
Some are brief,
fleeting,
unexpected —
like wisps of song
through crack of open window.
Others:
made for the long road
to carry for a lifetime.

Whatever is true,
be there to receive
what is offered.
Participate.
Don’t ask why or how
or wonder about an end.

When this offering returns
to the source
from where it came,
let it go
gracefully.
No grasping.
Only cup your hands
in a gesture
of receiving
then letting go:
a gentle setting sail
back into the ether
of all things
beautiful.

Deborah McNamara

Sustainability & Climate Activist. Yoga Teacher. Author, Invitation of Motherhood: Uncovering the Spiritual Lessons of Parenting. More: www.debmcnamara.com

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