Still

featured in the poetry forum August 6, 2015  :: 0 comments

You better be still. You better be still, still as your mother tried to teach you, way back in a time you don’t remember. All the animal motions, divine and volcanic, will get you only so far.

Roller coasters, a hard, wind-whipped rain, your sports car approaching a curve at ninety—I would never make light of these grand fulfillments. They have their place, but you better be still, learn to sit as you see people wait for a train or a bus, not with resignation, but with a mind at rest, at peace, in the place of the timeless flower.

Whatever you are running from–be it time, be it death, be it the grief of a broken heart, or the suffering that rides with life, learn to be still like a cat waiting at the door. Gather patience like moonlight on a cloudless night, and study the familiars nearby, say a chair or a table, say a sunlit windowsill or books lined up on a shelf.

Know that they come to offer help, wordless like the great beautiful paintings in a museum, in touch with the timeless we carry in our body and mind.

editors note:

It comes when we aren’t seeking, when we cease stressing; it comes… – mh clay

White Angel

March 19, 2015  :: 0 comments

Well, I’d say I’ve done fairly well in this hardball game of life we all come to naked and crying. I’ve got two great grown kids—Sarah and Mark—who seem sane and happy, I’ve got my loving wife Mary of thirty years, I’ve got my two story home in suburban north Dallas, and a job with Grace Insurance that I’ve long …

The Service Suicides

featured in the poetry forum January 25, 2015  :: 0 comments

The American soldier suicides from the Afghan and Iraqi wars have gathered on the porch of the former president’s house in a wealthy neighborhood of Dallas.

They are shades, mostly invisible. The secret service guards are trained to spot what is tangible. The shades wait patiently most of the cool October day until the twilight comes. Finally one steps forward and rings the doorbell.

The shades of suicide do not have the best eyesight, and so when a man answers the door in the late light, they assume it’s the former president.

“Sir,” the shade spokesman says, “may I address you as the Indians do, as the great father?”

The man at the door seems to nod and the shade continues. “We are here, your loyal soldiers now passed, to put your troubled heart at ease, great father. We know that terrible nightmares must haunt you daily over the innocents killed in your two wars. We can’t speak for all, but we–the soldier suicides of your wars–have come to say we have forgiven you, and our families, which have suffered so, will someday in the future, forgive you. Go forward, great father, and live in joy and peace.”

The suicides then leave the porch and float away into the star-filled heavens. Up and up they go, the thousands, like smoke rising from a fire. The man–a butler–walks down to the curb to check the mail. He smiles a little, noticing the flurry of October leaves spin off the wide lawn.

editors note:

Great fathers are oblivious to what their butlers know; service men to service man. – mh