Posts tagged Awakening
November 25, 2012 * Dominique Larntz
We could build a wall, you and I,
and see it fall back into the particles
and pieces that all physical things turn into,
like Legos in earth’s generous toy chest.
You could write a cypher and make it cyber,
wed a hacker and the two of you could spend
your life staring at screens as your bellies quicken to text
and procedures instead of the bend of a baby’s elbow.
I could serve the neighborhood watch each night, my flashlight
joining the neighbor’s flashlight, repeating until the night yields
and the watch has to watch itself, being over-crowded
with people who need to turn the light on themselves.
You and I could amass a pile of nuts like a squirrel
or a pile of anything else that seems valuable now—funny
money that keeps changing forms—when I was young it was
cash and now it is a credit score or an abstract number on a card.
But we know, you and I, that nothing secures us to life,
not even our bodies, because we give them back too,
when destiny points directly to us and tells us it’s time
for the most courageous of human moments.
The only system that works for the human spirit is love,
life’s animating storyteller whose songs keep us fed, who meets
us at every grief and joy equally not as a fragile parent
but as an entire ocean for us to dissolve into as ice.
November 8, 2012 * Dominique Larntz
Be with me without thinking
through what I should do.
Be quiet about your
From your judgments,
icy stalactites and stalagmites arise
where moments ago
breath and water flowed.
I am surrounded by a society of judges
that turn conversations into caves
instead of skies.
People judge because they are
only one step removed
from the subject of their sentences.
Would it be too close
to say you are afraid to look
as vulnerable as I appear?
Be still, create space—
for as ugly as you think I am,
you with your unkind eyebrows
and the knots in your fists,
my heart is filled with love for you
as weak as you perceive that to be
it connects with you like nature
eventually overturns destruction
when you judge her irrelevant.
Dominique Larntz * October 31, 2012
I read in a book my mother gave me
that school children in China
learn to plant trees.
The oldest trees are Redwoods
in or near California,
whose smells and crackles
embolden my memories.
I’d like to be buried in those odors.
So far I’ve only learned to plant things
and I learned it on my own.
I couldn’t go around flinging seeds
just anywhere in this desert,
on this concrete,
in my enthusiasm,
in my greed for growth.
Surely the ground is too bricked,
despite the refrain of moss
and grafting that repeats
in my mind.
What if I had
from the structures
of my world
so that I had no need
to meet someone
from China to ask
if they really learned
to plant a tree
when they were young?
Dominique Larntz * September 2, 2012
A New Habit
I think I did it first:
he asked me if I liked the shelf he finished
And in my mind I said,
are you kidding, it’s fantastic!
In my heart, I sang of the way a shelf
we carve into our lives to set a book upon
was made from a tree that reached as deeply into the dirt
as its branches stretched toward the sun.
He asked me again, a little perturbed this time.
“Do you like the new shelf?”
I shook myself and said aloud, “Yes, yes. I love it.”
I noticed this new habit we have—
assuming we have heard the other respond.
When we were younger and first in love,
we spoke together fast and secretly—so fast
that we would finish the others’ sentence
before listening and laughing in the joy of it.
Now our love life is ecstatic with age
and I can report back in time
that there is nothing more beautiful
than love well lived.
The love well lived requires both sides
to mature, both sides sometimes to be wrong,
a song of sacrifice lived behind the curtain
of deep desires to do something different than
is being done—requires abandoning the place of want
and its unending possibilities—those are ceded
with wonder and awe for the roots and depth
where we have best blossomed instead,
like two bookends slid securely into place
holding up stories on a shelf that will last for a while.
For twenty years, we have said and not said
so many wonderful things to each other; it seems
like sunshine to be around him.
Our relationship sustains this living landscape
and our daily lives are finally slow enough to feel it.
The other day, I asked him a question—
I can’t even remember what it was—
and he didn’t answer,
so I answered yes for him.
When you ask your next question,
only to wait and wait for its answer,
perhaps your spouse or child
or aging parent or God
is so ecstatic with you
they have this sense
you have already heard.
Dominique Larntz * August 13, 2012
Awake now, I crawl out
and open the top drawer
to pull out my underclothes
of helplessness and guilt
and I consider pulling them
over my tender skin.
I can smell what is cooking
delicious and certainly I
should cover up first.
Get dressed, then take
my plate to a quiet place
where no one can see
the depth of this
Dominique Larntz * August 10, 2012
(how do I find myself here again?)
I saw the spirit of the bird rise above the blacktop
as its body took another tire pattern like paper welcoming ink
while I watched cross traffic pour over its broken form.
softer than pavement,
and the things we forge into smooth surfaces
(its final chirp whispered into the eternity of that red light)
is the death that brings
the fortunes of civilizations to tears
no matter how we pave our roads,
if we drive over our birds,
blind our songs,
stifle our softness,
lay tire tracks to our heart’s coherence,
the paved roads lead away
from our true nature.
Dominique Larntz * July 2, 2012
Her body cradles the sorrow
in a canyon so deep
you can’t hear a quarter drop
when you let it go over the edge.
She’s been saying it’s fine
for you spin words of delusion
that swaddle her up to her throat
like a spider’s web.
Her body can’t heal any more
unless she follows the path
of rest and peace and joy,
taking every nap she desires.
Her nerves need a bath of love
and the culture is a river polluted
by overstimulation, by addicts
rushing to destruction.
Her cells weep in blood, the only
language they have, calling for life
to be lived, enjoyed, cherished,
preserved, flowed, balanced, loved.
Dominique Larntz * June 7, 2012
I was walking down steep dirt in the desert
with the same hurt hip that visits daily
in my forties, and each next step became
the uncertain place that pain makes
its bed frame since the accident.
For a few steps, I relied exclusively on the right,
placing my left only momentarily where I knew
its sole would not slide amongst altitude’s tiny granules,
and landed gracelessly with several hard gaits on its companion.
There’s a shooting pain in this sort of imbalance
that no poem can soothe, because it is outside the words
and inside the music of movement in the space
surrounding what I call myself and my body.
I stopped moving halfway down that hill
and I started to meditate instead of hike.
I took my eyes from the bottom of the crest
and focused on the rock right in front of me.
I changed my mind’s calculation
from counting the steps to get to my car
to noticing that I am in this step.
I told my left hip, I am here for you now.
I sustained a simple, humble change
of awareness in each step,
and the pain dissolved quickly
in an unexpected surprise.
Surprise because I was just
trying to finish the walk without falling down
and I had no eyes for easy steps
where each side supported the other.
Wherever else uncertain,
I am sure to take this walk again,
and I may not always find such easy relief,
but I can dig my heel firmly into faith
in the restoration of balance
over an uneasy terrain.
(With kudos to Thich Nhat Hanh For his Walking Meditation which inspired my walking meditation today.)
Dominique Larntz * April 2, 2012
By now we glimpse blossoming colors
opening into the sweet morning air.
May you delight in their dazzling array–
even in this desert, while the dew
sticks to your shoes as you walk from
your front door to your car door,
if those are the only moments you have
to observe them today.
May you rejoice as Winter’s dormancy transitions to renewal.
May you love as the flower opens–
fully, sun-facing, extending trust.
Time again for rebirth, fragrance, eggs, and colors.
May Spring enter your life wholly.
Dominique Larntz * February 10, 2012
I love to listen to the morning–
the rush of thoughts in my mind
like a tide that builds quick footsteps
and then quiets into silence
in the shower.
Then the coffee grinder
along with the bird that shouldn’t be
here just after Candlemas.
I wouldn’t expect him until Spring.
Dominique Larntz * January 31, 2012 * “Love Letters To My Body”
Simple Book Binding
Holes are made in the spine.
Push the point through
the outside of the fold
in the center hole
and then pull it inside through
to the top and count
the number of times
you have dreamed
of riding in a car with no driver
or of protecting others
from a mad killer on the loose.
Next tighten the thread
and pull the needle
through the center hole again.
Now push it into the bottom
and note the waking moments
when you screamed at a child
too near an electrical outlet
instead of picking her up
or covering up the plug;
or when you dated a boy
just to go to a spa and get
a 2-hour hot stone massage
knowing you didn’t like him.
Pull the thread back to the center
and knot the two ends together.
This is the simplest way
to bind a book.
Dominique Larntz * January 9 * “Love Letters To My Body”
There is so much I can’t do today
that I am reminded
to think small
and then to think even
I remember being eight years old
in elementary school.
The teacher polled us
on what we wanted to be
when we grew up.
I said I wanted to be president.
That stands as one of my brightest
as a child.
While I would have
voted for me,
it was obvious
even the teacher
at such a desire
and would not
have cast a ballot
While my campaign
I still find myself
of the avenue-of-where-I-think-I-should-go
and the boulevard-of-the-way-I-was-made
thinking I can re-route the-avenue-
to be anything other than
a traffic circle
bringing me again
to the same,
gentle, right turn.
An exuberant day
can make any future appear possible
and it’s easy to forget that to manifest
a career takes twenty-to-forty years.
Life also brings days like today–you
can call it depression, low energy, tired.
And I wonder how I can be
of service in my life
and in the world on such a day,
when I feel I am no good
for doing anything.
And it takes me a long time–until 3 PM–to
even be able to formulate that question.
Almost before the question is finished,
life has offered three lousy drivers
in oversized vehicles.
Each encounter necessitated
that I slow down
in order to avoid collisions.
I cry a little because I realize those drivers
will never see that I saved their lives.
They will probably never know
the mistakes they made.
I am humbled by my small destiny
on my neighborhood roads today,
and the invisibility of it.
I look into the heart of my eyes
and I wonder how many times
in the future I will be able to see
the same humble moments in others.
I wonder how many times
I will be able to see the deftness
and joy that others have felt
as they have traversed this planet,
making the world a better place
in a thousand quiet, transparent acts.
I may be slow to see
and to appreciate
and the smaller still
delights the pathways
of our lives,
but my eyes are
in the neighborhood.