by Jeanne Denney
Blessed are you who work in the peace fields
making windows to the unseen for the blind to peer out of.
Blessed is the night music that runs in your veins,
and the morning light of your thought.
These are your true companions.
Your teachers will come through passion,
not through the intellects designs for safety and profit.
Can you live with this?
Can you live hugging the walls while passion shakes the earth with joy?
So what is in you under all of this pain?
You are believing in separateness
to keep yourself in place
you have a wealth of riches in the basement vault
but you give away pebbles and grain like an ordinary shopkeeper, to hide
then you are angry when no one treats you like a wealthy person!
You have the idea that if it were known
you would be robbed
then you would be truly poor
But what has ever really been taken?
What have you never been able to reclaim?
Are you grateful for your gifts?
Under this greed is generosity
Under the attempt to be separate
Is the power to unite
Under the false receptivity is the true receptivity
That you may use to help others
Here, now, receive, gestate, birth
Yourself, like a new planet in an old constellation
Burn the skies with yourself!
Sell your wares
This is the sheepish land of barb
everywhere are small wounded animals
creeping around holes into tunnels
they are all they have been able to imagine
in the dusky light they see in, inside this wood
and though they have asked by some silent whistle
or releasing of a descriptive fragrance
for you to come here
(They have asked for your gift!)
it does not mean that you are kindly accepted
it does not mean that you are not feared
You are resisted as more demon than savior
it is not arrogant to say that you are not like them
it is true to say that you are completely like them
It is just that they smell the sun on you and
both hate and love the sun as a mother
who once betrayed them
What this means is only that you will suffer
holding in your hand something you know is needed
holding more trumpet than harp
you will question God for this assignment
you will cry and make choices
you will call this a life
and live this time tell about it
You have landed on the square marked ‘betrayal’.
So be it.
This is the land of human pain
And where there is unprocessed human pain,
there will always be an attempt to torture others.
And these attempts will ever be used for the good of growth.
This is the way of God.
This is the secret jewel in the deepest cavern.
The jewel of your own strength is waiting for you there
just a little further in.
Just a little further in.
There is no guarantee anywhere of sanctity
except as the heart makes it.
There is no guarantee of peace
except as love makes it.
There is no guarantee of anything
save what you make for yourself of your own liberty –
your own craft.
Your own vessel under constant repair
gets you there.
In the end, I found you, not that you were not there. I was looking at the room with my eyes closed. I was asking “What is going on here?” You were there saying, Look, look. I want my eyes, I said. When will I get my sight? And you had me tucked up under the presence of your large green arm and said when you have learned to love your mother, child. When you have learned to love her. A large tear rolled down my cheek. And when you do this, there will be things that you do not want to see. Yes, yes, I agreed. There are things that I don’t want to see. And ears. What I really want are ears. There are things that you really don’t want to hear. Yes. But I especially want ears. And me saying shyly “I want to be a child of God”. And you saying “You are a child of God. You are a child of God. You are a child of God.” And in the end, I was bowing, bowing, bowing forward, and imagining myself touching the skin of the earth as if I had never seen it.
Were you to bless the mouths of saints
And allow the dark thistle
to settle over you like dust
You would find the surprising broom waiting,
left, leaf-littered, and broken
like a sailor’s whistle over the harsh waves
You came like a nymph to be cracked
on these shores just like that
To behold the beloved as it arises in slippers
and strange waistcoats of brevity
Broken things carry such import
and such sorrow
Teaching all the while the morning lessons of song,
they mumble and drag their crushed feet
Were you to summon your sorrows as companions,
they would rise
like an army to be your faithful pointed sword
gentle marauders with rapiers covered in honey
Keep these things with you:
Blade, grass, sea spume and heaven’s song
As you are mixed into the mire of wind
they will whistle their deep suffering
And propel you to the shores of your youth
and your destiny
Waving their flags of surrender.
In searching for the bride, let love be the divining rod.
She awaits you and fear is normal.
Give her your gift with the full passion of your heart.
What else is there to give?
In the time of waiting,
writing your songs of longing is a potent passtime,
not to be avoided.
Become a great lover.
See beauty convulsing the physical,
hear the riot of sound.
Be this kind of audience to the world
and your creative navel will be discovered.
No darkness can withstand
this kind of love
Be a lover
One line poems
Beware of ice palaces built in hearts with chisels.
The doctor cannot be above the illness.
This is the intelligent way out of all firestorms: Sell your fear to the ocean
Listen. Only the voice that calls in the death moment leads out of desert spaces and cataclysm. Listen.
As you would talk with the unborn child, so talk with the dying.
Dear brother, wake up! There is more here than buying and selling. Wake up!
This homing pigeon of my heart takes its natural course to the south.
The possibility of joy and the reality of it moving
and restless to find its owner.
How is it that I came to love with so much longing and so much hatred?
How is it that we arrived broken-hearted to earth and
Finding ourselves with only a pickaxe and a remnant of desire,
Have made this life?
Admire the work of brilliant tenacity in the eyes of your neighbor.
There are no exceptions to this brilliance.
You may as well stop constructing your schemes and your hierarchies
and know the way that this is.
When the cascade of blessings come,
What good is your thimble or your cup?
You take off your clothes and swim
Swallowing as much as you can before meeting land
Where you must walk again.
You want to find joy in this life while you are living?
I have finally found the secret:
A million time a day say thank you to God.
Even in the grocery store lines.
Even when you are paying your bills.
Even when your children wreck your cars
and the tree falls, hitting your house.
A million time a day say thank you to God.
That should do it.
Seek pleasure, enjoyment and rest. There will be time to come in which you will be grateful for this prudent respite. Plenty of time to come for success. And of course we say this partly joking because in our eyes you are already a success. We mean in the worldly way that you seek and that is, still, an illusion.
You are a bit like this dog on the leash. Full of excitement to get somewhere but you know not where. To find something, but you know not what. We try to restrain you, care for you, lead you, love you. We try to teach you how to heel and how to contain your desires and trust that you will be used for higher will even moreso if these skills of discipline are learned. Hard to remember as the other dogs run after their meat and parade their bones, is it not? Yes, dear one, you will be fed. Please notice that your diet is adequate and secure. Do not worry. Trust your master. Center in your heart with thanks that this is the hand that leads you.
Walking on the hot highway without proper shoes
God is walking toward you
Crawling through the damp forest floor on your belly
God’s arm is dangling from the vines
Sitting with the great lamp of fear burning down on you
The great lamp of God is coming from inside
Burning like a cool melancholic harp
Swimming through the diseased bog of this night’s night
God is waiting in the boat with the glowing red sail
In the corridors of ether and howling
God is beating a crazy drum of love to distract you
In the parched grayness of the storm’s wake
God is standing in the corner whistling your name
Through the back alley where the amputated limbs are flung
God is collecting them for your next remembering
In the belly of sin where you have forgotten all longing
God is hovering over you holding a large word on a sign
You have called this name many times, still
God has always been answering
Isn’t it amazing when you consider how many thickets
have been cleared to reach you each day?
You think that this road is so long.
Maybe it isn’t
Maybe it right on the other side of where you are now
like a hound waiting, curled up
against the walls you have made
like a craftsman