Part of what poetry does is to give us the world around us seen with a clear eye, without judgement or preconceptions. You are stating just what is, but always with a foot in both worlds, always seeing the mundane in its place in the universal. In “The Earthen Cloak,” I was blessed with the hospitality of a Quaker friend who guided me through a hidden graveyard deep in the woods, where Friends had chosen to be buried under trees and amid rhododendrons, leaving a legacy of their own love of the Earth. (It’s legal to be buried “straight into the ground” in North Carolina, without a casket but often with a shroud.)Continue reading ““O Mystery” and other poems by Annelinde Metzner”
That Old, Old, OLD Story – The Warts and Wisdom of the Ancient
My grandmother Clarine was an incredible human being. I absolutely could not be more proud to be her granddaughter. She started her first teaching position in 1927 at age 17. She met my grandfather in seminary; but despite her clear talent and call, the church apparently felt one minister was enough for the family and refused to ordain her. Undaunted, she famously wrote a one line reply to the bishop: Well, Moses got along fine without it, and Jesus got along fine without it, so I’ll be fine without it, too.Continue reading “That Old, Old, OLD Story – The Warts and Wisdom of the Ancient”
Poem: A Valentine’s Wish, 2023 by Marie Cartier
What if everyone said everyone was their Valentine?
I mean you are walking down the streets telling strangers:
You are adorable.
You are my love.
Well, maybe not, I am thinking of those candy hearts, with the sayings, my favorite Valentine’s candy.
But what if everyone in the world on Valentine’s Day, February 14th,
decided that that the world, the Earth, was their lover?
Squishy hugs and smacking kisses,
and loving her with what she wants.
What if we all decided for twenty-four hours to love everyone
in the way they wanted, in the way they needed?
To respect women?
To say please and thank you and excuse me?
To honor difference and listen to all these voices
who have been silenced?
To give the sweet chocolate of understanding to those
who have been so misunderstood?
To take fifty Happy Meals to downtown L.A. and pass them out to the homeless,
yelling, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”?
Rhiannon by Diane Finkle Perazzo
This poem is dedicated with gratitude to my “Women in the Mabinogi” writing group…
Rhiannon comes to me in my dreams.
She ebbs and flows like the waxing and waning
of the moon.
clop, clop, clop
and then, in a rush of beating wings
leaving a swirl of tiny white petals that spiral like stars.
Inspiration is Always Present by Sara Wright
Continue reading “Inspiration is Always Present by Sara Wright”
I walk with care
a broken foot
bird song –
Return to the Grandmothers and 2 Other Poems by Annelinde Metzner
This past summer, my family and I lovingly carried my brother’s ashes to a favorite spot of his, in the woods at our grandparents’ Catskill farm. My mind was on the simple, beautiful ritual, each of us stating memories and scattering some of the ashes around the tree, and singing a few songs. It had slipped my mind that this tree grew at the entrance of the very meadow where, at age 11, I felt urgently compelled to create a ritual for myself, just at puberty, where I connected with the Grandmothers of the four directions. No one had taught me this, and I am still in wonder at what we carry with us, undoubtedly from prior lives. I feel that this poem was my self initiating myself into the world of the Goddess, and preparing for my own future.
In this poem, the Grandmothers are speaking to me, with a bit of disdain and fond teasing.Continue reading “Return to the Grandmothers and 2 Other Poems by Annelinde Metzner”
Upon Rising: Poems Call Out by Margot Van Sluytman
Moderator’s Note: Margot reads each of her poems aloud. They can be heard through the links in the titles.
“And what then is poetry?” We ask this time and time and time again. And poetry HERself answers. SHE needs no descriptor. Mimetic sagacity spells HER clarity.
Dreams be Fed
I am a body that remembers
The joys of falling into hues of
Brilliant blues and greens.
I am a soul that trades in
Cinnamon and spices.
I am a will that conceives fat
Ebullient Moon as
Golden Goddess. Divine.
SHE who feeds our dreams.
SHE who teaches us
To tend our fires.
©Margot Van Sluytman
Death By Drowning: A Poem Written the Day After The Supreme Court Overturned Roe v. Wade by Marcia W. Mount Shoop
Today at 10:06am
I found him
only a little bloated
water his deep
Turn the bucket
“How long have you been
in here, friend?”
Turn him over
his final rest
Poison Ivy canopy
Sets off the blue
Woman of the Isle of Women by Annelinde Metzner
Gratitude to the FAR community for welcoming my poems as of April of this year. Various earlier poems have been my way of introducing myself.
My work as a poet and composer has been centered around welcoming the reemergence of the Goddess in all Her forms. So this time I’ve submitted two poems referring to two of the many Goddesses who have influenced my life so profoundly.
Ix Chel is a Mayan Goddess of childbirth, midwifery, medicine and the moon. She has been especially honored and featured in artwork and sculpture on the Isle of Women (Isla Mujeres) in Mexico. She appeared to me in Her aspect as a young woman, the Jaguar Woman. In my mind’s eye, I associated Ix Chel with my beautiful son Peter who passed away in 2004, imagining them living joyously together in the Otherworld. Thanks to Deb Pollard for showing all aspects of the Moon above our heads as we sleep.
My second poem was born on a trip through the just-blooming peach orchards of South Carolina. A vision came to me of the Peach Maidens reaching out over millennia to the young priestesses of ancient Crete, dancing in celebration of each other’s beauty. And also sharing of their truth-telling and hard-earned wisdom.Continue reading “Woman of the Isle of Women by Annelinde Metzner”
“Guns: The Sanctity of Life” by Marie Cartier
What can I say about guns?
I want to be like Gabby Giffords and survive
I want to be Emma Gonzalez and fight back
I want to be
I want to talk about how GUNS are less regulated
than my body
Guns can leave any state and travel to another state
and kill someone
I hate talking about gunsContinue reading ““Guns: The Sanctity of Life” by Marie Cartier”
Three poems by Sara Wright
Spirits of the Forest
In Forest Presence
and needles rustle
if only humans
the forest floor
in a tapestry of threads
millions of miles
by Raven and
OwlContinue reading “Three poems by Sara Wright”
Butterfly Wounding by Sara Wright
past torment endured
at the hands of those
who would harm.
Air is lightened,
cleansed by absence
Slaughter shifts perspective
Despair presses Diamond.
lover in waiting
Tongue seeking.Continue reading “Butterfly Wounding by Sara Wright”
SNAPSHOTS FROM SUMMER by Esther Nelson
I’ve been told that most children in the United States learn to write haiku in third grade. At the very least they learn that haiku is a traditional poetic art form using seventeen syllables divided into lines of 5 – 7 – 5. The idea is to capture a moment in time. The famous Japanese poet/priest, Issa (1763-1828), focused on creating haiku using his love for nature in the process.
I did not grow up in the American school system, so it wasn’t until I took an undergraduate Zen Buddhism course that I learned to appreciate and have fun with creating this particular kind of poetry.
In the following haiku, I try to capture the moment I experienced the natural scene in front of me. Taking a photograph and then writing an accompanying haiku can be a meditative exercise. I keep striving to make that exercise a daily happening.
A Chorus of Need: I Need an Abortion by Marie Cartier
I need an abortion and I can’t get one
Because I don’t have the money to fly somewhere else other than …here
Where I can’t get one
I need an abortion and I can’t get one
Because the kid, or the cells of a maybe kid, were put in here by the guy that raped me and if I have to have it, I will kill myself
I need an abortion and I can’t get one
Because I have four kids already and I can’t feed another one
I need an abortion and I can’t get one
Because it’s my dad’s…did you hear me say that? I have never said that. I have never said what he does to me…and now I have to show everyone… if I can’t get this out of me I will…
I have to get this thing out of me
I need an abortion and I can’t get oneContinue reading “A Chorus of Need: I Need an Abortion by Marie Cartier”
Refuge Bombing – 5 pieces by Sara Wright
In Maine the 4th of July…The bottom line is that women don’t create the chaos and unbearable noise that men do. It comes to a ‘head on the 4th – a time to create misery for all people who are peace loving – just more indication of the breakdown of our culture… I fear that patriarchy may live on until it destroys all we know.
Refuge (before bombing)
of phoebe song
a river of stone
blessed by rain….
Beech leaves beckon,
crystal waters soothe
I am part of
all there is…
Powers that harm
live just next door.
Leaning into Presence
Little Red Deer by Sara Wright
At the forest edge
a vision of grace
a few grasses
at my feet
on pine strewn paths
or when I trim
cherry or rose
plucking old thorns.Continue reading “Little Red Deer by Sara Wright”
Three Poems by Annelinde Metzner
To spend time in nature and deeply connect with Her is to allow enough time for Her surprising wisdom and dreamlike insights to open up for me. I call this “Plein Air Poetry.” It’s a joy to wait in nature and see who connects with me on any given day.
These poems come with the gratitude of very early Spring when Her first shoots and flowers, such as the weeping cherry which birds have planted all over my yard, begin to appear like mysterious veils over winter’s greyness.
Greening April 6, 2022
Suddenly I awaken, early April,
and a diaphanous green veil
has draped over the weeping cherries,
the first to bloom with delicate, drooping grace.
A Poem for Our Abortion Rights by Marie Cartier
Fecundity: the ability to produce an abundance of new growth, but also the ability to produce new ideas
And now in the hour of our discontent, we are asked to worry about
fecundity. I suppose we can call it that—have we made enough babies yet?
As a people. A people ruled by patriarchy. No small thing. “A social system in which males dominate and hold primary power.”
Oh my god—am I sick of it? Anyone with a brain is sick of it…I want to think.
But they have brains, right? The afore mentioned patriarchs? Who are
creating this new social system?
A meme goes out on social media—I’m not pro-murder I’m pro-Ellen, thirteen years old and pregnant by her father
I’m pro-Margaret, with five kids and I cannot to afford to feed another
I’m pro-Eliza, pregnant with a baby known to have serious birth defects
I’m pro– you get the idea.Continue reading “A Poem for Our Abortion Rights by Marie Cartier”
Voice-ing the HEaRt: The Sixty-Six Books of the Bible by Margot Van Sluytman
When Reverend Anne Hines of Roncesvalles United Church in Toronto invited me to write a poem for Easter Sunday 2020, I had no idea that this invitation would become a dance with Word via words, that would alter my very own relating and relationship with my métier: poetry. A relationship that began to take me back into reading The Bible in a manner that shone a powerful light on the fact of that book’s capacity to shake, quake, challenge, and enlighten from the place of love, Wisdom, and indeed, inclusivity.
Each Monday I receive three to four words or phrases based on the book around which the Sunday sharing will be grounded. I read the chapter. I read with the HEaRt of womyn’s voice-ing. I read to unearth, to divine, to HEaR what is being invited, and how. The underpinning of my HEaRt’s listening, is the question: how does Godde wish for us to love?Continue reading “Voice-ing the HEaRt: The Sixty-Six Books of the Bible by Margot Van Sluytman”
Resurrection by Sara Wright
This morning the skin of the earth turns white and wild winds howl.
Yesterday, rain, fog and mist lifted the snow into sweet moisture – laden air.
I rest in peace.Continue reading “Resurrection by Sara Wright”
Birch in Spring 2022 by Sara Wright
are fed by
March waters.Continue reading “Birch in Spring 2022 by Sara Wright”
Nettie’s Lament by Christine Irving
Reading Elizabeth Ann Bartlett’s beautiful post inspired me to share the following poem. I wrote it many years ago for my friend Lynette Eldridge to honor her love of the darker shorter days of winter.
As a devotee of the Divine Feminine, I have received many gifts that have enhanced and enriched heart, mind and soul. The greatest of these is the friendship of women. I became friends with Nettie during the hours-long drives we made together once a month for nine months from Nevada City, CA to Santa Cruz, CA to prepare for a Vision Quest in the Mojave Desert. Our journeys began in January, in the early morning dark of the short days following winter solstice.Continue reading “Nettie’s Lament by Christine Irving”
Heart Vibration: Biblical Poetry by Janet MaiKa’i Rudolph
My inspiration for biblical verses this month comes from the lovely and soulful translations of Rabbi Yael Levy in her book Journey through the Wilderness (subtitled: A Mindfulness Approach to the Ancient Jewish Practice of Counting the Omer). She has given me permission to quote her translations (thank you!). I use 2 of her verses in this blogpost.
One of her translations aspects I found most fascinating is that of YHVH (LORD in the bible). She uses Mystery. I have used Mother/Father Creator, and more lately, Vibration.Being. I love her usage. It taps into the magic that YHVH is the ultimate Mystery of all creation. These beautiful translations are meaningful, differing, yet connected aspects of the holy name. These prism-like views come together to make an even more exquisite truth.
For today’s blogpost my main focus is on several verses from Psalm 119. It is poetry which talks about the heart and chesed, or in English, lovingkindness.Continue reading “Heart Vibration: Biblical Poetry by Janet MaiKa’i Rudolph”
Rainbow Goddess by Sara Wright
Winged Iris flew over earth and sea.
Rainbows luminesced in her wake.
Messenger from the clouds,
she gathered up the rain,Continue reading “Rainbow Goddess by Sara Wright”
Biblical Poetry, Continued by Janet Maika’i Rudolph
This is the 4th in a series of work I have been doing to translate passages of the bible into poetry that strips out the patriarchal overlays. You can read the previous ones here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
In this installment I have picked out some passages I really like but that I feel their power and beauty have been deeply hidden. I seek to reveal those hidden wisdoms.
To review; my usage of the 2 main names of divinity:
YHVH or LORD, I translate as Vibration.Being
EL or god, I translate as All-Potential Powers.
I discuss my reasons for these translations in my prior posts referenced above.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,
and that it was pleasant to the eyes,
and a tree to be desired to make one wise,
she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat,
and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
KJV (King James Version)
and the woman saw that the function of the tree
is for nourishment and that he is yearning to the eyes
and the tree was a craving to make calculations
and she took from his produce and she ate
and she gave also to the man with her and he ate
Benner Mechanical Translation[i]
When the woman saw the tree, she recognized herself
She recognized and remembered beauty and wisdom
She took its seeds within her in knowing wholeness
She gifted its seeds to her husband in knowing wholeness
MPV (Mystic Pagan Version – my own translations)
Note for Genesis 3:6 – the word for “food” in the KJV version of this passage is “maakal” (Strong’s 3978). The word used for to eat is “akal” (Strong’s 398). Both are built on the root word “kl” which means complete or whole and traditionally refers to how food or nourishment makes us whole.[ii] I would add that in the context of spirit, it is that essence or element that we fill ourselves with to achieve a sense of wholeness.
Even by the God of thy father,
who shall help thee;
and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that lieth under,
blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
from the mighty one of your father,
he will help you,
and with Shaddai [my breasts] he will respect you,
presents of the sky from upon
the presents of the deep sea stretching our underneath
presents of the breasts and bowels.
The All-Potential Powers of your ancestors
Who watches compassionately over you
With nourishment from the dripping milk of the cosmos
And blessings from the misty cauldrons of the goddess Tiamat
Blessings of the breast, and the loving womb
Notes on Genesis 49:25: this passage had to have been a very old pre-biblical blessing. We don’t often see blessings that are clearly given by female divinity figures, or in this case, a divinity that has breasts and womb. Even in the conservative, male-centric King James Version the blessing is of the breast and the womb. The word for breasts is “shad.” To take this theme a step further, the phrase El Shaddai or Shaddai appears 48 times in the Bible. In English, El Shaddai is usually translated as “God Almighty” and Shaddai as “Almighty.” Sometimes they are translated as “God, the One of the Mountain.”[iii] Both are almost always referred to in scholarly discussions with the pronoun “he.”
I have put the following two passages together because they speak to the same theme. One is a Psalm and the other a Proverb. I really like them because they both speak to the condition of our hearts. As some of you know I am an alaka’i of Aloha International. That is a spiritual guide of Huna or Hawaiian Adventure Shamanism. I love the lessons of Huna which foremost and foundationally remind us to keep a loving and open heart. Aloha not only means hello and good-bye, it means “the breath [ha] we all share,” and it means LOVE. Picture this, the Hawaiian people greet and part from each other which a statement of connection and love. The first principle of Huna is “the world is what you think it is.” The lesson behind this is that what is in our hearts will shape our experiences and ultimately our world. I believe that this is the lesson behind these biblical passages. (I have also included the New International Version for Proverb 4:23 because I think it is particularly beautiful.)
Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Cherish thyself in harmony with Vibration.Being
And gifts will be returned as per the radiance of thy heart.
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
Above all else, guard your heart,
For everything you do flows from it.
(New International Version)
Treasure your heart in lovingkindness,
For it is the wellspring of your life.
[ii] Benner, Lexicon; 146-147.
[iii] The Jewish Study Bible; 37.
Janet Maika’i Rudolph. “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE QUEST.” I have walked the spirit path for over 25 years traveling to sacred sites around the world including Israel to do an Ulpan (Hebrew language studies while working on a Kibbutz), Eleusis and Delphi in Greece, Avebury and Glastonbury in England, Brodgar in Scotland, Machu Picchu in Peru, Teotihuacan in Mexico, and Giza in Egypt. Within these travels, I have participated in numerous shamanic rites and rituals, attended a mystery school based on the ancient Greek model, and studied with shamans around the world. I am twice initiated. The first as a shaman practitioner of a pathway known as Divine Humanity. The second ordination in 2016 was as an Alaka’i (a Hawaiian spiritual guide with Aloha International). I have written three books: When Moses Was a Shaman, When Eve Was a Goddess, (now available in Spanish, Cuando Eva era una Diosa), and One Gods. In Ardor and Adventure, Janet.now available in Spanish. Cuando Eva era una Diosa
C.G. Jung and the Heroine’s Journey by Sally Abbott
I was intrigued by the discussions of Jung and Jungian motifs, such as the sacred marriage, that sprang up in response to Mary Sharratt’s wonderful post “The Via Feminina: Revisioning the Heroine’s Journey,” partly based on Maureen Murdock’s book. Carol Christ pointed out the problematical nature of the whole notion of the sacred marriage, relying as it does on our stereotypes of the masculine and feminine.
Sara Wright reported that her sense of the dangers of Jungian thought led her to change her profession; she had once been a Jungian analyst. Barbara McHugh put forward a well-thought out and articulate version of the Heroine’s Journey, corrected for sexist thought.Continue reading “C.G. Jung and the Heroine’s Journey by Sally Abbott”
Fragments of Beauty by Natalie Weaver
Can I empathize with your feeling,
your interest in this?
Be sound, my heart that feels
the beat of yours as my own.
I would like to be human one day.
Let my prayer be not please,
for, I fear I have been
an ungrateful guest,
sojourning pilgrim, refugee.
All this life, all will be,
a lesson in how to say
These sides are not sharp antagonisms
that bring to points their points of view
but a pond’s surface under moonlight,
swirling like mercury, beneath which minnows,
fluid, do their works of harmonious disruption.
a city made of music
a city made of dreams
a city made of gardens
a city on a stream
oh, frontier Romana
who passes through the east
this is where my heart was cast
and carried out to deep
Darling, do you know me
Darling, do you see?
this is where I want you
where I long to be
how I yearn to see you
ruddied by the cool
Why were not you by me
then? then before I knew
yet, I trusted have you
trusted I could seek
now and wish to strew my ash
across the Blackest Sea
here to be uncluttered
here un’cumbered flesh
here our single soul to spread
and all the rest dispersed
I have come to you across the distance of years
That you might be redeemed in me
And know covenant by the measure of my love
I will comb your hair and bathe your soul
I will anoint you with my blood
I will mold and fire and decorate
The world beneath your feet
And I will dance until it is done
And broken into sleep
Natalie Kertes Weaver, Ph.D., is Chair and Professor of Religious Studies at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio. Natalie’s academic books include: Marriage and Family: A Christian Theological Foundation (Anselm, 2009); Christian Thought and Practice: A Primer (Anselm, 2012); and The Theology of Suffering and Death: An Introduction for Caregivers (Routledge, 2013). Natalie’s most recent book is Made in the Image of God: Intersex and the Revisioning of Theological Anthropology (Wipf & Stock, 2014). Natalie has also authored two art books: Interior Design: Rooms of a Half-Life and Baby’s First Latin. Natalie’s areas of interest and expertise include: feminist theology; theology of suffering; theology of the family; religion and violence; and (inter)sex and theology. Natalie is a married mother of two sons, Valentine and Nathan. For pleasure, Natalie studies classical Hebrew, poetry, piano, and voice.
Archy and Mehitabel by Barbara Ardinger
Archy the Cockroach and Mehitabel the Cat were introduced to the world in 1916 by Don Marquis, a columnist for the New York Evening Sun. Marquis was more than a mere columnist; he was a social commentator and satirist admired by nearly every famous writer of the first quarter of the 20th century. Franklin P. Adams, for example, said Marquis was “far closer to Mark Twain than anybody I know” (see note).
As the story goes, Marquis said he came into his office one morning to find a big cockroach jumping about on his typewriter keys. The cockroach kept climbing up the metal frame and hurling itself headfirst onto a key, one slow letter after another. He couldn’t use the shift lock (except one time when he hit it accidentally and produced an entire uppercase column), so his writing is lowercase. After about an hour, Marquis reported, the cockroach fell to the floor, exhausted after typing just one page. He never could manage punctuation, and he also had trouble with the carriage return—how many of us remember how those old typewriters worked?—but he somehow hit it every time. (My grandfather had an old typewriter like this. The keys were very stiff. I felt like my little fingers were gonna break when I tried to type.)
In his previous life, Archy was a free verse poet. As he explains to Marquis,
expression is the need of my soul
i was once a vers libre bard
but i died and my soul went into the body of a cockroach
it has given me a new outlook upon life
i see things from the under side now
Imagine. A Relationship. by Karen Leslie Hernandez
Double, double… rhymes are trouble by Katie M. Deaver
I never considered myself one of those people who gets really “into” Halloween. But, as one might expect having an eight year old, especially an eight year old who celebrates her birthday shortly before the holiday, has made me much more in tune with the excitement and preparation which surrounds Halloween.
One of the traditions that I do very much enjoy is watching Halloween movies like Hocus Pocus and Double, Double, Toil and Trouble and, new to us last year, drinking warm mulled wine after coming home from a chilly (and this year possibly snowy!) night of Trick or Treating.
In my work as a church musician Halloween is book-ended by the celebration of Reformation and All Saints Day, so it tends to be a fairly busy time for my work schedule. As a result this is often the time of year that I reconsider my self-care and centering routines in the hopes of somehow preparing myself for the coming holiday season and the end of the year. This year, as I checked in on my current practices I realized that I haven’t been reading as much poetry as I used to when I was in grad school. As a result I have been trying to get back in the habit of reading some poetry a few times each week to help center myself. As luck would have it the last few weeks have found me stumbling upon poetry with connections to the Halloween season. I want to share with you a portion of two seasonal poems that I have encountered and are sticking with me.
Continue reading “Double, double… rhymes are trouble by Katie M. Deaver”