For a Sunrise Child
Who are you child?
Who do you follow?
What do you know?
You’re not on drugs, are you?
What’s your anxiety?
I know it seems
nobody’s doing anything
to love your world,
the constant devaluing,
the compulsive materialism.
It seems all around.
There’s no coherence,
There’s this feeling
of so much suffering,
local or worldwide.
Nurture your mind,
Nurture your heart,
Nurture your soul.
BE WHO YOU ARE,
and I Love You.
RICHARD EVAN MACKAY
I pledge allegiance to the Earth
And all its sacred parts,
Its water, land, and living things
And all its human hearts.
I pledge allegiance to all life
And promise I shall care
To love and share all its gifts
With people everywhere.
I’ve worked night shift at a care center, and I’ve watched the slow advent of dawn in the morning before anyone was awake and before the sun had arisen. It’s quite an awesome and I want to say other worldly process to contemplate. Walking at my favorite pond this evening, I had the opportunity to show up just as the process of sunset was occurring. The temperature was just right and there was a slight evening wind blowing across the water. As I’ve stated before, the colors here are amazing and actually were shifting while the sun was going down behind the trees.
When I began my walk, the sun was just above the tree tops and bright. As I stopped to sit down on a bench, the sun went behind the trees and the light, the colors, and the reflections on the pond began to slowly shift. What I was experiencing is difficult to put this into words. I think we imagine this change from day to night as being an abrupt kind of thing. What I witnessed took about 45 minutes, and then lights began coming on in the city. On the pond, the wind caused wave patterns which changed as the temperature of evening changed. The colors and reflections on the water of the trees and the picnic house also changed to gradually darker colors of brown, shadow, and greenish black from the trees.
All of this and more was how I witnessed this everyday event in nature. As I stayed contemplating the process, what struck me most was how gradual the changes were occurring. As I said, it was not an abrupt process. The gradual process was occurring to my eyes in the changing colors, the wave patterns on the water, the changing temperature, and the changing of the wind.
RICHARD EVAN MACKAY
I come into the lodge,
seeing the reflection
in one of the glass panes
of the front door.
This stranger coming toward me,
looking at me,
looking like me.
Who are you?
Well, I know right away.
This is my reflection,
a part of me,
like a shadow
that seeks my attention,
that wants expression,
that wants exploration –
like a stranger
mirrored in this doorway.
On Education for a Planet
Some brief notes on my perspective.
Let’s create a GROUNDED COMPREHENSIVE EDUCATION PROGRAM IN OUR SCHOOLS with music, art, creative writing, and a balanced physical education program without overemphasis on competitive sports.
If I’m the EXPLORER TYPE of individual then I need heavy emphasis of math and science (left brain stuff). If I’m the STEWARDSHIP TYPE, which we sorely need on the planet, I need the arts, the natural sciences, language development, communication, and other things the explorer types shun.
What are your thoughts on this?
The distinction between poetry and prose
“Valery…..said that prose was walking, poetry dancing. Indeed, the original 2 terms prosus and versus meant, respectively, “going straight forth” and “returning,” and that distinction does point up the tendency of poetry to incremental repetition, variation, and treatment of different themes in a single form.
The snow is melting, now, on this Christmas morning,
revealing of the dormant Earth below.
We gather ‘round our tree of many colors,
Exchanging gifts and all the love we can show.
The sun is showing again above the mountain
Even in this darkest time of year.
The miracle of the light comes celebrating
The time to share the gifts will always be here.
We gather celebrating of life’s miracle
We gather celebrating the virgin birth,
And sing our songs for love of baby Jesus,
Can you sing some prayers for love of Mother Earth?
Now, Santa has gone back to his home in the North Pole,
leaving a song and gifts for all of us to see.
Gone with all his sleigh and magical reindeer
All the gifts for you and for me.
And Spring is only now
A far away fantasy,
A place waiting for
All our dreams to grow,
Knowing that the energy here is biding,
We celebrate this chrysalis morning glow.
Richard Evan MacKay
**This song came as an inspiration during the Christmas season when I happened to be feeling sad and lonely, ruminating about the recent transition of my mother that year.
Stories of me
and stories of you
Stories of red
and stories of blue
Some a little fictitious,
Some of them all true.
Stories of wisdom
Stories of learning.
Stories of darkness
and stories of yearning.
Times full of Mystery
not knowing what to do.
Stories of me,
and stories of you.
Stories of danger
and stories of risk
Searching our memories
So deep and rich.
Stories with music
where harmony reined
Stories of feeling good
Stories of pain.
Stories of growing
and then of digression.
These are our lives
All wanting expression.
The plaque explained that Van Gogh would go daily and sit by a fountain in the middle of town, his Thoughtful Spot, to sketch people as they walked by.
I looked back at his paintings around the room with new appreciation. He had the ability to paint like Rembrandt, but that was not the art that poured from his soul.
Each day he sat in his Thoughtful Spot watching people, sketched hands, and dreamed. Then he returned to his studio and chose to fill the canvas with extravagant beauty.
All writers need a Thoughtful Spot to sit, ponder, and soak in the world around us.
Why am I inspired to write poetry? Why choose this particular genre and media? That’s a good question when poetry often requires some intent listening or reading over in order to get what the poet is saying. My poems may not just be saying something directly. Maybe some get it right away; others may not.
Poetry for me has been something that flowed easily as I write, usually arising from an experience, a feeling state, or maybe an image that occurred to my imagination, trying to put it into words, images, metaphors to hopefully connect to another.
My poetry is more about this experience and using the poetic form and image to convey this as best I can. It’s a deepening and unfoldment of perspective. It’s communicating the mystery, depth, and spirit of life rather than giving a factual interpretation or a prose like account of experience. This deepening of reality is about walking in beauty as the Native Americans understand it. It’s about dancing with language rather than walking straightway with it.
I prefer to write in free verse, which often takes me to a place deeper and more insightful than where I was when starting the poem. The poem, I think, unfolds of its own accord. I try to stay non-judgmental. The reader or listener can make up their own mind to connect or not. Though I would enjoy feedback or commentary, I know I don’t control what others may or may not resonate with in my writings. I just want to express the feelings and the images – and that’s a good feeling in itself – I let go of any expectations.
Comments: What kind of poetry appeals to you?
Favorite poet? Favorite poem?