The Lotus Blossom

“Although I may seem fickle, my heart is always faithful; as slowly through the mud, the lotus grows.” Basho

Preceding the following poem, this quote has never left my memory since I first saw it ten years ago. Much later, I used my home desktop publisher to frame it. It matches perfectly with a gorgeous black ink rendering of a mermaid with a fully-open lotus blossom atop her head, which lingers just barely above the silent depths of a pond.

These words from the infamous Japanese poet Matsuo Basho (17th c.) reflect infinite layers of compassion for the Self and the flawed yet determined path of a human experiencing his spirituality. As soon as I read them, I felt redemption for my own personal journey through many relationships, and saw them for what they were: physical representations of seeking the Divine.

That is what we are always doing, in everything we do, think, or say; however flawed, we are all attempting to know our True Selves through the various dances of human beingness. Of course, once we realize this, many of us begin to observe our lives, our thoughts and behaviors, more consciously, with the intention of releasing our self-created dramas and breathing in the freedom of living from the heart: the heart of “The Lotus Blossom.”

“Although I may seem fickle, my heart is always faithful;
as slowly through the mud, the lotus grows.” Basho

 

 The Lotus Blossom

 

In another dream…

I told off the owner, the tailored one;
how chagrined she seemed
how delicate…
she trotted on heels to hide from the crowd.
I yelled to the shadows, look, look what she’s done
they are so young
too young for lace and wings and winsome eyes
too damn young

I kept shouting so sure so clear
Not like other dreams
No weak attempts to stand strong and face
the stranger I’d become
Someone had to say it, shout it
even through the algae covered mud,
mud that hides but then reveals…
oh, so slowly, it reveals
the lotus leaf and bud

After that, the lotus blossom
never touches mud again;
she floats on dreams,
on a mirror that sheens,
on Serenity’s surface
that ripples only when broken
by illusion’s thoughts
believed,
spoken.

(C) 2013 Lady Diane Randall

Poem as Postscript to “What is Creativity?”

You may have read today’s earlier post, including a copy of my response to the above question posed by Talent Flush. I then felt the urge to post at least one poem that expresses my feelings about writing. This poem, Poetry, My Love, was originally published in 2005, in my book entitled, She of the Dreaming Sky, by Pearl’s Book ’em Publisher. However, two events caused the flame of this work to die down to a slow ember: One, the publisher was, at the time, changing direction in her efforts as both artist and inspiration. To whit: We sold about 35 copies, mostly to my mother and sister, plus a few friends. But whew, when I received that contract, oh… I cried. The fourteen-year-old inside me cried; a real publishing contract! At any rate, the other was the onset of my life-changing ms experience, which had been increasing its outward presence in me more and more by the time of publication. A few years later, my publisher graciously released me from the contract and returned all rights to me.

Therefore, I am pleased to present one poem that came from the inner depths of my ever-abiding love for poetry; in particular, the mystical experience of writing poetry:

POETRY, MY LOVE

She is Poetry
She is Truth
She is Love

Who else but Poetry leaves me
yearning at the page like a newly-kissed lover,
offering up my passionate pen
in return for her caress
behind my eyes
behind my lips
along my arms, my hands, my fingertips,
inside my heart?

Who else but Poetry entices me with the
language of ecstasy?
Who leads me into the liquid night of mystery?

She is Poetry
She is Truth
She is Love

She offers me a sky full of words
spilling out of a crystalline bowl,
drowning me in divine simplicity
until I become just a speck of light myself,
floating in the vastness of her womb,
waiting to be born.

Lady Diane Randall
(C) 2013

From She of the Dreaming Sky, by Diane C. Randall
Originally published in 2005
by Pearl’s Book ’em Publisher

ISBN: 0-9740520-9-4
Library of Congress: 2005907841
All rights remanded to the author, 2008

The Bride (My Entry to The Modern Faye Magazine)

Hello, fellow bloggers, poets, butterfly watchers (just saw one come up to my window!), et al! I feel happy that I accomplished a short-term goal of submitting a poem to The Modern Faye Magazine’s Annual Poetry Contest. I was introduced to LaFaye Art Studios/The Modern Faye Magazine through…WordPress, of course! They “liked” one of my poems. This year’s theme or guideline was to write a poem corresponding to a piece of very fine artwork. Used to be, I could cook up a poem based on art, a tarot card, or even a leaf falling outside, with no problem. For some reason, this took a little more effort. Perhaps it’s because I don’t write new poetry as easily or as often as I used to (although NaPoWriMo in April jolted me out of my comfort zone!). Believe me, I miss the old days when I just had to write a new poem, a few scribbles – anything. But, I digress. Just feeling a little wistful, I guess. 

I do want to write about “editing” poetry. With this submission, I felt the need to edit, and I was right. Made some good changes. But that begs these questions: Am I editing my work, or merely changing it? Where is the stopping point for editing? There are no answers to these questions. They come upon us as we are writing. They come up again when we decide to post or publish.

I had a difficult time of it in April, because I do feel some editing, or at least a review of the material, can be very helpful, especially a few days’ post-draft. I edit as I type; I re-type, reformat, highlight and delete (or move!) stanzas.

In the end, it’s all subjective. Just like life. Everyone’s perception is going to be different. Somehow the “good” (or “great?”) poets have learned a few basics along the way, and the rest is up to the soul of the writer, and the audience he or she attracts due to our innate universal harmonic connections. With that, I present:

 

The Bride

 

the day, perfect: sapphire sky
white windswept tresses
caressing eternity

the Bride
seeks refuge in the garden
her private retreat shadowed
by dark tresses, blue hydrangea;
she recalls Grandmother’s perfume

that’s the moment it shows

but only to this artist painting
this poet musing
no passing guest to witness
but, just now,
sullen eyes betray
Grandmother’s regret as her own

neither child nor innocent
as she was a day or lifetime ago
she just needs a moment

then back to Groom and reception

eyes sapphire bright

she goes

 

 

Lady Diane Randall (C)

Another Mother’s Day Poem-Holy Mother

This is the poem I was thinking of posting for Mother’s Day but could not find in my folder… well, the faeries, pixies, and such LOVE to have fun with me, especially if at the end, I am reminded to be humble. Herewith a poem with similar feeling to the blog and poem I posted earlier… but then again, deeper, stronger… This poem actually comes from an image I could “see” in a Persian rug I had for several years. I loved having this rug by my bed, for nighttime and waking reminders of Her presence:

Holy Mother

Oh, holy Mother…
strong and strange to my seeing,
my hearing, my loving, my being

strong and strange
to the fears that hide behind my heart
who claim I am bound to their illusions
with chains I bought, blind and unaware

Oh, holy Mother
hold me in your strange and perfect gaze
speak to me of loving, of being
in your heart’s dreambeat I feel within

hold me, holy Mother
hold me even when I flinch
cry
try to push away… hold me

hold me, holy Mother
hold me and the children
who struggle within me
whose cries and pain I’ve called my own

hold us all, holy Mother
hold us strong and firm as you pour Truth
into our eyes, our hearts, outworn memories;
and do not let us go

until we release fears guilt pain
until we cry the tears of all we have lost
into the soil that you till and swirl
for the new seeds we will sow

until we melt into your flowering love
reborn in you, as you, holy Mother
as mother, daughter, sister to all…
as the Infinite Love That Is

 

Lady Diane Randall

First-Born Child

Hello, dear readers and fellow poets, writers, mystics, all! Well, there are only three days (counting today) left in April so I felt a great desire to write a new poem! Wow, you have inspired me and motivated me to keep going. You have confirmed to me that I can still write fresh, new poetry, instead of just working on older pieces. Sometimes I work and work on them just to prime the pump. That does help when the creative process has to step aside because my energy bank account is low. As I’ve said before, I have folders of poems to offer and will go through them after April, National Poetry Writing Month. But now, I know that I will continue to write new poems, mining the ever-renewable resource of language for that glint of a phrase, and the fire in my heart to type it, work it, publish and share it! I have other plans for my blog, secret plans (because I don’t know how to do them yet!), someday, soon to be revealed.

This piece is, well, where did it come from? Not a movie or an incident, just from my ever-healing subconscious mind and my love of words. It’s like dreams, or tarot cards, or any symbolic event that leads one to the truth within. With that, I present:

FIRST-BORN CHILD

I kept my cool under the fire
the fire that begat
the first-born child of the world

I watched
and I knew
that child would need more love
than we ever thought we had to give

that child would be fire and stone
tossed in the middle of the ocean
lost in the subconscious
of all her descendants to come

that child would be a stone
far too heavy to carry
but she would carry herself forward
oh yes, she would be the stone

buried in my heart
the one that burns red and white hot
the one that became
lost in my subconscious

and I must let her go
I must throw her into the ocean
and watch her thrash new lands
into being

cooling and steaming
and birthing
new lands for her children…

and never look back
never despair
never doubt or worry;

for this is the first-born child,
the fire and the hope
for all our descendants to come.

Lady Diane Randall

Warrior’s Breath

Hello, dear Bloggers and WordPress lovers! You know, I’ve mentioned before that I have ms – multiple sclerosis – so why does the urge to write come late at night, just when I’m ready to sleep? Sleep, sleep, beautiful sleep… Ah, well, I know why it comes. Because it’s been waiting to come, waiting while I watch tv, have “cereal time!” with Sadie, my dog who learned to beg for it once she figured out the timing- she’s a smart one, and fat, too! (Sorry, animal purists, I try not to give her too much…co-dependency and all that…) Anyway, being in therapy as I am and glad of it, too, I’ve learned to pay attention to my feelings. It’s hard to NOT pay attention when they grab you from  inside of your chest and a rolling train of ugly thoughts crashes through your mind. That’s what happened after I watched Powwow Highway; everything gets quiet, then the inner action begins and the BEST thing for me to do is write a poem. Even if I have no idea what the feelings are about, just start writing and all will be revealed. By the way, even though Powwow Highway is a Native American story, the term “warrior” is the same in any culture, any religion, time or season… It is the Spiritual Warrior of which I write, the one in me that I Am.

Warrior’s Breath

I wish I’d known how to do this
when she was born
I bore those pains
like a cat that’s been too long in the wild
I screamed a primal fear – not
a cowering fear – no,
a fear that makes one dangerous
a primal fear
a deep angry fear but a fear,
nonetheless,
and that’s what’s done the most damage.

I wish I’d known it’s alright to feel, sure
it’s alright to fear
until you decide you can’t stand it anymore
can’t stand to be controlled
from the inside
like a puppet – no wonder we all feel so isolated
so unworthy so unreal – I can’t
seem to cure it send it out to be transformed
into something worth
believing in
I wish I’d known it’s alright to feel sure

I watched you wrap yourself around my heart
tonight – reeled me in just when I wanted
to relax
to ignore the fact that you are not one to be
ignored.
And I felt your grip, the one that always comes
tight! in the heart chakra
tight! in the chest, closing off my breath
and I sat with you this time
you climbed into my mind
oh yeah,

roiling and coiling
one urgent story
after another not pretty ones either
and after a while I start to think
I might get a revelation
or I might start believing you
and that’s not good
but just like that birth
that moment cannot stay; nothing ever does
and so – this time – I sat while it all
walked through me, waiting…

and then, I pushed back
I breathed, man, I breathed hard…
I pushed my ribs out and breathed
a warrior’s breath
release! my breathing was easy
release! my chest was relaxed

and the Beloved’s gateway opened
to the truest Love I’ve ever known
and multitudes of thought left sweet silence
in their wake
just like that baby so beautiful fear couldn’t stay.

Everyone thinks it’s impossible until it happens to them.

Lady Diane Randall

Authentic, Like Me

No story – well, there’s always a story! But tonight I just thought of National Poetry Writing Month and this is what came out, thank the gods of creativity and whoever was brilliant and kind enough to put WordPress into being!

Authentic, Like Me

One point over the line of demarcation
between myself and “clinical depression”
they say
it’s all in my head
they don’t understand
it’s not my head that’s the problem – I don’t
listen to it anymore — It just keeps churning over
the same old pictures and words
like some Hollywood movies that claim to be “new.”
How many are lifted right off the reels

of old classics
of the first celluloid flammable films…
and books, ha! They forget
that some of us still remember
books, luscious and dusty but still
as new to my mind as to the author
who penned it by quill or pencil, by manual which
begat electric, electric that begat “selectric”
with its pounding, whirling ball of
letters, numbers, symbols, and signs.

They forget that we remember the old, old tomes,
volumes of poems, covered in linen or leather –
so, when we see the “new” movies,
hear the newest songs
and read the latest pre-fabricated plots
designed to make obsolete
the sublime joy
of thumbing through
the delicate parchment pages
of an authentic dictionary –

well, I just wonder
how a one-sheet questionnaire
knows anything of my mind
my heart
or the words I have yet to reveal,
words that are real, unique – authentic,
like me
like the Muse who inspires
and Spirit who sends the lines
spiraling down my spine

just waiting, waiting for me to type
write sing dance depression be damned
slam them into being?

Postscript: Thank you, magic banyan tree,
my favorite of the three,
for the gift of a Ticonderoga #2 pencil
you left for me (yellow, of course,
and sharpened, almost new)
years after I’d written a poem
or two
or twenty pages of
streaming sobbing laughing lines
while sitting between your roots;

years
after sitting on the ground
was no longer an option.
But you and your sisters knew this:
authentic, earnest, soul-digging words,
like me,
like trees,
like magic,
will never ever give up
and never, ever die.

Lady Diane Randall