Reflection and histories


We who are water know
familial communion with
pond and river
lake and ocean
and we abide and communicate
by way of ripple and reflection
warmed by amniotic held
flotation – raised from
which our primal gasp and
cry signalled alpha and omega
of incarnate gradation – and
sight of mothered Wisdom
and taste of liquid nutrition
alongside growth spurt’s

Yes: our infancy born from
someone else’s depths never
leaves us – we are forever
embraced by it and so return
to reflection and histories
and promise as though to the
breast – and in gazing into
layered depths see at the
same time the light of height
yes: we who are water know
familial communion with
pond and river
lake and ocean
and we abide through all


Inner light

the walk

A walk

My eyes already touch the sunny hill,
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has its inner light, even from a distance —

and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on,
answering our own wave …
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Robert Bly

With an entire ocean separating us, I watched a traumatised woman, already suffering the effects of advanced Alzheimer’s, being rescued from chest high water in Houston this morning. The pathos well nigh overwhelmed me. And that was only the first of the day’s news that seemed to suggest, again, that the world has gone mad. There was so much more to follow. One simply doesn’t know what to think or say.

And yet inner light, even from a distance persuades me, even when unable to find words, to stay positive. To hear that it’s not true that everything’s gone to pot. To notice the tenacity and the goodness that resides deep in the heart of humanity and comes to the fore when needed. By grace at work in somebody the elderly lady was rescued and that ought to be held close to our hearts as encouragement for everybody.

May the people of Texas – and the afflicted and the fearful of the world wheresoever they may be – speedily find again a sunny hill.



Within and without

photo skimpton007 at pixabay

for EAK, grand-daughter

Why does this infant smile –
rosy cheek set glad
and gentle on the

Wind! – I hear you say.
Ah, yes, of course, yet
still I would venture

that this curled lip
and bright light behind
closed eyes is further

to synaptic growth
and the way a child’s
mind begins here to

within and without
the grace of human



river | sonja langford | photo at Snapwire


I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

John O’Donohue
Conamara Blues

You’re like the hymnal on two legs! – a schoolfriend told me long ago. It’s a lovely thing that having loved poetry for a long, long time, a flow of perpetual encouragement and inspiration lives deep in heart and soul.

I’ve lost count of the number I’ve known of wonderful elderly people, and sick people – my own dear Dad presently among these – who, though sometimes unable to remember what they want or had for breakfast, can recite dozens of poems, psalms and songs. At his prompting Dad and I sang Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins, in the hospital earlier this week. That singing – and that message – will stay with me for the rest of my days.

… All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares.
Although you can’t see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares

Though her words are simple and few
Listen, listen, she’s calling to you …

The late, great, John O’Donohue speaks to me for weeks on end sometimes. One of the joys of my life is meditation, shared with a worldwide community – some of whom, myself included, are in the habit of sharing a line or two of reasons for gratitude, or hopes for growth, with one another. Time and again the image of a river is expressed, together with surprise, unfolding, and real attempts to live life fluently.

Oh Dad! You’ve known a thing or two about Wisdom:

Though her words are simple and few
Listen, listen, she’s calling to you …

Thank you: for being so … fluent.



Teddies and tango

Photo at Pixabay

Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death

Albert Einstein

I observe children’s faces as they learn. Something new makes them smile or cry every day. Healthy children grow into a fuller experience of life by a menu of delight on the one hand and boundary setting pain on the other.

I see learning in adult faces too, in mirrors, in tango and computer coding classes, and in hospital appointments. The mix is the same for everyone. Something new makes us smile or cry – or somewhere in between – morning, noon and night.

And thus, from birth to death, we grow.