Monday, February 13, 2012

St. Valentine's Eve~Patience, Grace & Openness to Insight

Divine Love is a circle 
whose center is Everywhere 
and whose circumference is nowhere. 

Paraphrase of Plato and Blaise Pascal


Happy Day of All Loving Hearts
The Holographic Nature of the Soul and the Universe/Multiverse Prove that All is One and Linearity is Merely a Convenient Flexible Artifice. The Truth is that We Live in Flow and the external seasons and feasts often do not coincide with their internal counterparts. Calendar events are not merely fixed, external, nailed-down recurring events, but states of mind and spirit that can be observed and celebrated at any time, for Each is Bound to All and spacetime is mostly a matter of micro and macro mirroring.

Scientists long for the discovery of the GUT of the Whole of Creation, the Grand Unifying Theory that they will mistakenly call a law, when by their own reasoning, all they can do is describe reality by metaphor. They've learned that reality itself is not a nailed-down thing, but composed of probability waves, in other words, as-ifs, and in still other words, the approximate language for Truth~ poetry.
Finally realizing the folly of searching for the GUT of it All, they now have a slightly more humble TOE-hold approach, a Theory of Everything based on tiniest strands or strings within the quanta within the proton, neutron or electron of the atom~ One-billionth the size of an atom, a single ribbon or strand wiggles and danceswith countless others inside a quantum inside a particle inside an atom, proportionate to the entire solar system compared to a single one of Earth's trees. 

Meanwhile, the micro and macro worlds enjoy a fulfilling relationship with each other, making up surprise gifts wrapped in ribbons and bows in what might be an eleven or twenty-six dimensional universe as proposed by string theory, where all contradictory and unrelated laws are reconciled by the brilliant Reality Itself, with constant elegant and elaborate exchanges Everywhere, proving the Generous Heart of God. 

A note from a friend today reported that someone at Wisdom Ways in St. Paul last night (when I began to write this entry) offered this Ash Wednesday suggestion:

"Add some glitter to the ashes as a reminder that you are made of stardust!" 

Cosmic Child

    — my bones
    bones of the old
    Red Stars.
                                                                             Alla Renée Bozarth
Stars in Your Bones North Star Press of St. Cloud 1990,  
Water Women (audio) Wisdom House 1990,   
Moving to the Edge of the World  iUniverse 2000,
This is My Body iUniverse 2004

String Symphony

   Repeat the sounding joy~

     Repeat the sounding joy~
        Repeat the sounding joy~

A small lesson
in sacred harmonics,
reconciliation between
drums and violins,
the frets of spacetime
stroked with the bow
of Grace.

A new particle pops up
every hour to wake us—
give us a chance to stretch
our minds and reach for a star.

It’s true, we now know, that a water drop
does not fall into the ocean and dissolve,
but a water drop holds life in its core,
and opens itself to take in all the ocean,
the sky with its visible and invisible stars.

Take your place and right position
for hearing the music of the spheres
as you’ve never heard before—

Notice the colors, and by our limited perception,
the dual particle percussion and wave smooth systems
of the countless stringed instruments inside the multitude
of quanta composing all creatures! Notice how they create
form from nothingness, how a bald empty place in the grass
reveals the true heart of the matter . . .

While the music of the day is valiantly played
as if by a six-handed seraph, a love song from the places inside
a particle of light opens Love’s heart to lowly Earth and high Heaven.

The bow of night slides, rubs, glides, the daylight fingers pluck
the strings across the sounding board or strike the drums,
the warm wood of the violin or cello~
And waves of longing hope containing both chaos and
ever-changing order, both stunning freedom and astounding destiny,
repeat the sounding joy~ {repeat the sounding joy} ~to Infinity!

                 Alla Renée Bozarth

         The Frequency of Light 

                  Copyright 2012 

 Singing School Chorus  

it was the honeymoon of the ocean
and the land where mountains
leaped forward to say I do
and the ring of fire at once
lit up beneath

the sea, where otters lay
on their opulent backs
and sunbathed their bellies
while casually breaking open
a shell of freshness
for breakfast

and the fellow on the beach
was singing to his bride
and strumming his guitar
to which she danced circles
around him, the sand quivering
beneath her toes and seagulls

descended in neat even rows
to listen, transfixed, but when
the groom stopped and the bride
stopped also, the gulls rustled and
squawked their disapproval~

for they had discovered how to make light
come up from the inside of earth
in the same way that it came
out of song

and they did not want it to stop,
not ever, ever
to stop

but to keep on showing through their feet and the sheets of air
around them ~ for they were a chorus themselves and knew
that the secret of life is that we repeat,
repeat, repeat ourselves
but with great or small important variations

through spindrift, fog
                and everything                 


Sea Singer

 “Love trumps hurricane as seatrout 
sing their hearts out” 

       Headline in The Oregonian science pages         

November 18, 2004

When Hurricane Charley came
to Charlotte Harbor fifty miles
south of Sarasota, Florida,
another thing
was happening—

The fish family of croaker and drum
drowned out the sound with their courtship songs.
Sand seatrout raucously purred from dusk into night
in irrepressible romance, while the ocean rocked
its second place background music of wind to them—
Shhh Shhh it crooned, and the fish chorus belted out
its More Life love songs with volume unsurpassed,
both during the storm and for three days thereafter.

And so was proved that sand and sea
are not made of salt and water and glass,
but love, love, love and sweet love again,
that is always life having the first draw on us all,
come hurricane wails or high laughter.

 Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequency of Sound 
copyright 2012


In the Between Seasons, one can feel the vibrant juices trickling out of the spirit, leaving it empty and dry . . . cleaning it out for rest in the still holy darkness, and beyond our imagining and hope's reach, new life and growth.

The strange and familiar glance at each other like concentric circle dancers face to face as they flow along in opposite directions. . . .

What is needed in the Between Times is patience, Grace, and openness to insight.

This is the thirteenth of the second month of the new year.
Thirteen are the moons of the lunar calendar, governing
the observances of ancient cultures and modern poets.
Its numbers are one, indicating solitude and new beginnings,
and three, indicating resolution of movement: beginning, middle, end.
Make them holy. Complete the circuit of action: inhale, exhale,
inhale again . . . seamlessly onward. The number two means
partnership, conflict or balance, or all three commingling,
as in Life.

As the last of Epiphany goes through the calendar door
yielding to Lent coming in, contemplate that while the word epiphany
breaks down into its sources, the Old Greek words for "I shine, I appear" 
(phaino) and "upon" (epi), Lent, which we'll stumble into in a matter
of hours, is the Old English contraction of "lengthening light,"
through lencten, the word for Spring.

Between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, we move
from darkness to revelation of new forms (sprouts and shoots
of plants and baby animals) to more light . . .

 Snowbear love, from Polar Bears International

 Precious is her name!
She and the other goats live with Emily
across the road . . .
 where she grows and paints her beautiful garden
and watches over the goats and gives the newborn animals their names

Nanny Cricket and her twin sons.

 Spring rain at twilight across Coalman Road . . .

My pasture is one of Mouse Baker's three diningrooms

 Brigadoon Camellia blooms in early Spring



Not within alone,
not without alone,
not either/or,
here or there,
but both
within, without,
and all.

The divinely Loving One
lives within you, radiant
in the temple of your heart,
resting at your inner hearth,
your body’s core, and the fire
that flows through your vessels
is divine, and all your vessels
holy, and your openings and closings
also holy.

And the warmth created in your blood
is the same warmth as the golden sun
gives forth, flooding Earth with light and life.
And so the stars are temples also, and all
rivers and seas and tiny, invisible animals
and every plant and tree, also a temple.

And the Loving One wakes and moves,
dreams and dances in the spaces
around each atom, and flies the electric
hoops that give each one its name.

And in each atom’s center is
the Holy One’s bed, and also beyond.

We — you and I and stars and seas — are
fruit of the Holy One’s passion,
our limbs and laughter, light and air
and our darkness, ice and fire — all
longed and loved into being by God’s deep desire.

Within you, within me, lies a godling seed,
fed by our love toward its birthing.
And in that emerging will be great gentleness
and grace — pleasure and yearning delight,
and Creator/Creation in full-filling embrace.
For God is Both and All,
within and beyond,
O! Most Intimate Mystery!
In you and in me,
in the rock and the tree,
and in all the spaces

      Alla Renée Bozarth

      Stars in Your Bones: Emerging
      Signposts on Our Spiritual Journeys
      North Star Press of St. Cloud, 1990; and
      Moving to the Edge of the World
      iUniverse 2000

Whether the fruit of the season is the ability to continue
as we were or the experience of new Holy Aha!, I wish you
the ongoing powers of patience, Grace, and an extension of gratitude
and trust toward the darkness that is commensurate
with a balancing openness to Light . . .

Before entering the season of fasting, lightening, emptying
the cupboards of excesses and all that is stale and going bad
in our lives (in attitude toward reality if not the harsh realities
themselves over which we have no control), in order to become
wide open to new wonders and opportunities for service and
respond to them with all our hearts~ in Thanksgiving for the
holographic nature of all life, seasons and forms, where each
dwells in the heart of the other, and each is in all, I say a last


                                    St. Valentine, Prisoner for Love

Claudius the Second preferred war to love,
and had as many wars going as some men have lovers.
He needed for more lovers to bail out into war—
for war to be hot, love must be cold, or be forfeit,
so he froze both free and binding love out, banned marriage,
turned would-be lovers into unwilling warriors.

One man with some help saved the day
for secret love, Valentine, a priest of Rome.
In small candlelit rooms he whispered
the marriage rite, blessed people who preferred
each other to war, gave his life away to serve
God’s purpose for the human heart.

But the emperor who loved war
and warred against love
found him out, arrested Valentine
and sentenced him to death,
a casualty of human willfulness.

Inside the slammer, the guard’s own daughter
was allowed to visit Valentine each day.
On the day of his murder he left a note for her,
in which he simply wrote, “Love~~ your Valentine”

No match for the wicked,
love’s victor became exalted
over death, over war.
The captive priest of love
continued through the end,
and now beyond, to celebrate
being enthralled not to fear and hate,
but to the conquest that comes
in absolute surrender,
gives up gladly reason, approval of family, form
and all, for Love’s own service, God’s own gift,
for the fullness of Life and More.
       Alla Renée Bozarth
Purgatory Papers c. 2012
and Postcards from Paradise c. 2012

This is a true recent story reported in my newspaper last week.
I looked up St. Laurence O'Toole and was touched by his life.
I hope that whoever has the saint's heart in reality will treat it kindly . . .

Who Stole the Saint’s Heart?

The amputated heart
of St. Laurence O’Toole
had been on display
in a cage behind iron bars
in the Dublin Cathedral
for eight hundred years
when someone broke in one night
and stole it

the lonely heart was kept
separate from the rest
of its body in a heart-shaped box
made of wood, fashioned to capture
the hearts of those who might pay
to adore it

perhaps the burdened saint himself
commissioned some mystical human thief
to bring tools to cut through the bars
and steal back his sad and crumbling
innermost flesh, give it a decent burial
in some lovely, lonely place beneath
an oak tree of Ireland, let it take its place
at last in the economy of holy creation
and free his memory forever
from its unnatural prison

perhaps that brave symbol of Ireland’s heroes
wearied of being gawked at by ghoulish admirers
and for so many centuries besieged
by the million desperate prayers
that would overwhelm any human heart,
alive or dead, if not the Heart of God 

            Alla Renée Bozarth

Words Fail, and Still . . .

My friend in prison who reads
The New York Times daily
sends me articles about the arts
and the obituaries of inspiring
men and women which,
not allowed scissors,
he carefully tears.

They come out of my mailbox
like shaky angels, frayed at the edges
from their rough ride with humans.
He sends me editorial pearls from prison,
and stories that make it possible for me to know—

How in 1951 Emanuel Litvinoff, an English-born Jewish philosopher poet,
son of poor Russian immigrants, performed lines from his critique
of T. S. Eliot’s anti-Semitic poetry at a prestigious reading
at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London—

How his poem referred to a Nazi newspaper and then invoked Shakespeare
and the Polish River Vistula as he read his indictment of post-Holocaust poetry
that spoke disrespectfully of God’s children on any branch of the tree of life.  

And led by Stephen Spender who denounced him
for insulting Eliot, the British version of pandemonium
broke out with the literati jeering, “Hear, hear!”

But one man who’d arrived just before Litvinoff’s poem began
and quietly sat down in the back of the room was clearly heard
when he muttered, “It’s a good poem. It’s a very good poem.”
The dissenting voice was T. S. Eliot’s.

Emanual Litvinoff died
60 years later at 96.

In 1996 the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to a gentle Polish poet
named Wislawa Szymborska [Vee-swahv'-ah  Shimm-bor'skah].
A reflective recluse by nature and calling, the attention brought on
devastated and silenced her for a very long time.

Her contemplative activism through poems
quietly woke up the world by addressing
the inadequacies of ideology and describing
human suffering and social indifference
and the uncomfortable similarities between
good but damaged people and evil people—
with only 200 poems published in the slender books
she’d released at the time of the prize and a lifetime’s work
of less than 400 when, at 88, she recently died . . .

And finally the very-much-alive-at-85 W. S. Merwin telling an interviewer
how strange and hard it was to tear himself away from his home
in a tangle of ancient vegetation in Hawaii to become the nation’s
Poet Laureate for a twelve month term last year . . .

It was in this same excellent interview that he talked about
the impossibility of being able to put into words what poets keep
attempting to put into words—

How the things that only poems can say
can never be confined or bent into words,
but neither can we, with our human merely being, stop trying,
forcing or begging language to express the inexpressible,
so great is the need of the human soul to voice its vision,
desperation, countercultural hope and relentless thanksgiving.

Merwin recited from A Child’s Garden of Verses
and the language was beautiful beyond bearing
so that it flowed in and past the borders of a person,
flooding over the banks of the eyes—  he recited Dylan Thomas
who wrote that after the first death there is no other . . .
knowing this already at 25.

And Merwin said that he no longer used punctuation in poems
because the poem shouldn’t be nailed down, but allowed to breathe
and have its being freely, like all truly wild things,
which alone are truly free.

I can long to express what something or someone means to me—
to receive such gifts from a friend in prison, for instance—
but the words would fail.

I can yearn to translate the music of rain
like streams of violin music playing itself through liquid wind,
but only the rain can speak its own meaning and play its own music.

A devoted artist at some point
can only stand helpless before holiness.

Being verbal animals we still struggle to say
something, if only to ourselves . . . but at best
what comes forth is the body’s leaping, or the poem of stillness,
or a single sound— and only by desperation or accident, actual words—
the sacred dance or stammering hymn of our own holy making.

I can only come near, stand within
a sanctuary’s entrance way and bow to the altar,
and tell you how sorry I am this is so (or perhaps not even tell you that)
because it is simply impossible to write or say what the body
holds in the secret folds of its silent molecules where wisdom dwells,
a mute hermit among the cells.

                         Alla Renée Bozarth
                 The Frequencies of Sound
                          Copyright 2012

Ruthin Castle, Wales, May 1985

A Pearl of a Story

All art is autobiographical;
  the pearl is the oyster's autobiography.
          Frederico Fellini

The Creator loves a really good mystery,
which is why She started
telling herself the story of us.
Every word makes Her wonder
what we’ll do next.

The Universe and each atom in it are pearls in the life of God,
the poet who practices making something of value
from loneliness or pain, and sometimes
is irritated into the creation of beauty
as an alternative to madness.

We become born, grow into our own
place in the world, take our small chosen
or accidental places in history, learn
to recover daily from its misery
by falling in love with all manner of mystery—
by simply being willing to do our best
when things are beyond our control,
as well as when they are not.

We follow the unforeseen sudden emergencies
of births and deaths and opportunities,
dive in to meet them without time to consider alternatives,
and there, in the bomb shelter of the day, in the airplane
surrounded by lightning, in the restaurant where all the food
spills into our laps during an earthquake disrupting
our orderly lives— our hand touches a stranger’s hand,
or a friend’s who’s become a stranger in the darkness
and whose alluring mystery we experience again for the first time.

Or our lives change when we open the door
to a fine coffee store, step inside and become drawn
ever forward toward the irresistible grace and smile
of the person who offers us a sample of the perfect blend.
We keep falling in love with life, and so are invited  
or tricked into seeing it all through.

Without thinking too much, we move
into the magnetic necessity of wonder and desire,
find a new but familiar form of the great mystery that keeps us alive,
the immersion in bliss that keeps moving the story forward.

We keep discovering us out of the muddle and grime,
the lonely frenzy of every day, and we keep moving on
toward the miraculous, the unknown, the yet to be spoken
next chapter of the whole story.

       Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequencies of Sound 
           Copyright 2012

                                 The Subject was Kisses ~

Third Degree Kisses  

These lips. I am talking
about these lips now telling this story.
Forget romance right now.

I’m talking about new lips,
the lips of a child adoring
and being adored~~ discovering
the magic of kisses as connected
with laughter and people one loves,
innocent infant kisses.

When my father was an old man
he told me that my lips were
historical by three degrees.
Puzzled, I said, Go on.

When he was seventeen
he couldn’t breathe in Olympia.
The Pacific gods threw him out,
sent him south to a drier place.
He sheltered from sea air
in inland San Antonio.

The Texas belles came out to chime
one summer night where he was staying,
in the home of an old southern judge
and his younger wife, a genteel lady, poet
and painter who sketched scenes of history.

My young father was invited
to a Grand Cotillion
in the mansion ballroom.

The occasion was a celebration
of the one-hundredth birthday
of the Grand Dame of the city,
an elegant lady not a day past 18
in her mind, and still a great dancer.

The time came for the official dance
which the guest of honor would lead,
and of all the men present, the Lady chose
my father, by then a manly nineteen,
the bright new poet in town.

She said, “You are the youngest person here.
I shall dance with the future.”
And they danced into the next century,
all the way to a new millennium,
once around the floor for each decade
till then~~ six times.

When he had escorted her
back to her throne for the evening,
he gallantly bowed in the style of true
southern gentlemen, and kissed her hand.

A twinkle in her eye, she grinned
and gripped his arms with joy,
then pulled his head down to her face
and kissed him, firm and quick, on the lips.

Eyes wide, he looked in hers and listened,
for she held up her finger in a pay attention gesture.

“Young man,” she said. “When I was just your age,
I danced for my debut in this very room.
I chose a young officer to dance with that night.
His name was Robert E. Lee. Before evening’s end,
he escorted me onto the terrace for a breath of sweet air
and a glass of champagne. I tasted it from his own lips,
still moist with the bubbly when he kissed me,
just out there. Now you have been kissed
by the lips which kissed Robert E. Lee.”

And I, as an infant, was given the legacy.
These lips speaking now were kissed by the lips that were
kissed by the lips that were kissed by the lips of Robert E. Lee.

Alla Renée Bozarth ~ The Frequency of Light ~ Copyright 2012

My garden, Rosa Mystica, May 2007

                                                      “Do You Live Alone?”

Think of it!
Inside the walls
and joints of my house
are trillions of creatures,
some so small the ant and mouse
and solitary bee seem giants —
not to mention those who cuddle
close for warmth and crumbs
outside — thousands of species
of birds and insects,
rabbits, moles, creepy-crawlers
of all sorts, the neighbors’
cats and dogs and cows and geese
and sheep and horses.

Then inside are
the heavenly hosts
who welcome me to my table,
and earth angels in food and flower,
so open to intimacy and even union
with eye, nose, hand, lips,
organs, words, dreams and poems.

Besides these, all
human colleagues
represented by each object:
the artists, laborers, crafters,
ancestors and friends behind
the presence of every beautiful
or useful or meaningful object

And the forest of trees
that live on as furniture,
picture frames, and the very
structure that is home.
I share my tree house
with millions of unmet mates

Mealtime meditation
brings in even more, transient
guests — those myriad beings
who have been part of my food’s
journey here.

I neither live alone nor eat alone.
Sometimes I need to step outside
to taste a moment of relative
solitude, and even then
it’s an illusion:  the stars are
as with me and alive
as the sleeping bugs in the ground
beneath my feet.

I can stretch in any direction
and bless it, knowing a companion
is there within touch.
And because I know that every bush
is a burning bush,
I ask the roses not to burn my lips
when I bend to kiss them.

       Alla Renée Bozarth
       The Book of Bliss
         iUniverse 2000 

What I Gave Up for Lent

For years now, ever since the body started falling apart,
I’ve decided to give up Lent for Lent. Now it’s officially permanent.
No more trudging through the days of Lengthening Light in deprivation.
Spring cleaning, yes. But the rest is ongoing~~ the attentive prayer,
the study, the sharing, the service to others and self-amending.

There isn’t much time left here,
just time enough to live it up.
It’s time to get the hell out of purgatory
and start some serious practicing for paradise.

                          Alla Renée Bozarth
                         Purgatory Papers
                           copyright 2012

Your Dog Did What?

It’s Valentine’s Day and— the door bell rings.
I’m not ready for human interaction. Still busy
at the computer. This project dislikes interruptions.

I answer the door.
It’s my neighbor Cody
and Princess, his dog.
Princess is a big six year old puppy.
The second I pushed out the screen door
she ducked her head inside it for a kiss,
grinning all over, lips to tail.
Her human stayed in the background 
until she decided to visit the trees
in the front yard. Then Cody
extended a Dove Chocolate Rose
wrapped in red foil on a long stem,
and shyly held up a small white paper bag.

“Rhonda {his wife}was up at Joe’s Donuts yesterday
for coffee and brought me one of these along with the rose,
so I thought I’d go up today and get another one and a rose
for my wife and some for the girls {his daughters} and you.

“It was really, really, good.
I’m telling you, Joe’s has been around
for fifty years and it deserves all the praise
people give it. Your doughnut was all nice
and fluffy when I bought it, really good
chocolate with vanilla frosting . . . Only thing is,
my dog sat on it. She had to come along
to apologize.”

Cody was right. It was a little squished,
but deliciously crisp around the edges and the inside
was still pretty fluffy. I figure, it being safe in the bag
and all, and Princess not getting her teeth in it,
Cody put it on the car seat and she just . . .
well, sat on it. Bless her heart is all I can say.
That doughnut was one fine thing and made my day.               

          Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequencies of Sound c. 2012


Serving Creation

Pick up your pen or brush, computer
or clay, click on your tools of trade—
create the only world you can almost control—
paint with fire, write with laser, compose with spirit,
embody with true voice, choose your depth and color,
call up tones of your own combination—
it is the one place, no matter how disturbing or lovely,
where you do not need to hide your alternate selves,
where their visions and voices can be expressed in true freedom,
and will want, therefore, to be at their best—
and where you yourself can find relief,
if you need to, from terrible circumstances, unhappy bonds
or absent self— or, better, by Grace, where you can express
thanks and delight, pray for peace, pour your wisdom,
questions and joy without apology, restraint or fear—
hoping, too, to find safe harbor
in some simpatico stranger’s ear, eye, hands
or mind, fill acoustic space with something beautiful
and true, or to rest in sacred trust
on some kindred person’s gifting
table, wall, or protecting shelf
and pray blessings through every room.

       Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequency of Light
         Copyright 2012

Available as a card or wall hanging size at

  Sermon on the Service of a Flea

Whenever one of us hurts a child,
an animal of another species such as
an elephant or feral cat or a dog, a horse
or a bird— or a majestic vegetable such as
a venerable yew or an ancient bristlecone pine tree,
a dandelion or an unwanted thistle—
we are harming the most vulnerable
part of God.

It’s easy to be kind to God in puppies
and kittens and human infants,
in loved ones when they are being lovable,
but to be kind to the less savory appearances
of Great Mystery is not so easy—  as when
we crush fifty aphids or fleas between
a finger and thumb until their green blood
is sticky and wet on our skin, in order to protect
the rose we love whose life they are drinking away—
or the grimy kid who grabbed the old lady’s purse
and took off running after he knocked her down,
or the lion killing another mother’s child—
that is another thing.

These are creatures, along with mosquitoes
and thorny nettles and so-called weeds, among
the thug-martyrs of Nature, for they confront us
with conflict and give us an outlet to protest in rage
and perplexity against the annoyingly incomprehensible
complexities of Mystery, and to keep on
acknowledging Its nastier aspects, even in ourselves.

The Mystical Body of Christ means that the Creator became infinitely vulnerable
by manifesting in the life-and-death dialectic of space-time creativity.
In matter, God suffers. God suffers because we do, the Great Mother suffers
with and in Her offspring, every one. . . . Flesh of Her Spirit, all.
And the suffering is not what She meant at all,
but a somehow necessary side-effect of being alive.

It’s the sort of thing one wants to send Her back to the laboratory for,
to keep working on matters of pain and grief and violence and the food chain,
 until She discovers how to make free will and the chaos involved
in creative process less horrid in their destructive phases.

Meanwhile, here we all are.
Here She is within and around us, Everywhere.
All of us suffering together and some of us trying to help
not make it worse for ourselves and each other, but better.

And the stress of trying to figure it out,
what we can do, what we cannot,
gives us new compassion
for the Love Stress of God.

   Alla Renée Bozarth 
     Love’s Alchemy, c. 2012


Can Suffering Hurt the Soul?

I wrote this about eleven years ago (in 2003) for a friend [Thea] whose world had blown up . . . again. She asked me one day if physical and emotional suffering could hurt the soul. Thinking of the Eternal Soul, the Godseed that holds steady like the kernel in the deepest core that keeps its light whole no matter the turmoil and anguish around it, my first response was No. The Soul of souls is safe in unbroken union with God. While the Divine  Compassion registers all suffering in creation and quivers with it, It remains Whole in the great God Heart where all is well at last, and the part of us that is There remains safe, no matter what. Meanwhile, however, the layers of experience around that often inaccessible core soul as we perceive our own lives and selves to exist from day to day do suffer, are vulnerable, may feel shredded and worse than shredded from time to time. The outer human layers of soul we sometimes call Psyche do indeed suffer horrifically, as the body which we might consider the outermost layer of our beings suffers. The Godseed soul quivers with the Divine Compassion that gave birth to it. Everything around it may fall apart, even irreparably in temporal terms, but deep, deep inside we are in God, forever safe, forever our true and luminous selves, eternally whole.


There is no virtue in suffering.

This is no meaning or wisdom in suffering.

Suffering is hateful. Love of suffering is insane.

If meaning comes, or if virtue or wisdom come,

it is because the one who suffers makes it

through increased compassion for the suffering self

and all others who suffer, which is everyone that lives,

including the weeds and the stars.

To love those who suffer is what we all do,

for all the living do suffer, and even the light

breaks to make color.

To bear witness to the suffering

of someone we love can be harder

than suffering ourselves.

We hate it that loved ones or strangers suffer.

We hate it that we suffer.

We love those we love, and every hour we’re alive

we still have time to love ourselves.

Our own suffering (and the suffering of bearing witness)

can be so relentless that we become intolerant of all suffering.

We want to overcome it, like an allergy one develops

from overexposure to something. But we may not be able to.

We may be stuck with intolerance of it as we are stuck with the suffering.


Then the only thing to do is sing

whenever we come up for air.

Or dance even when we can’t walk,

with our hands in the air, fingers

doing the cha cha or waltz with each other.

This is prayer.

Even in unconsciousness,

we can dream of a universe where

there is no suffering

and evil is outlawed

in the sense that it is outside

the laws of nature and has never

existed. Right now while we’re here,

we don’t care if it’s a little boring there.

Boring might be restful for a few minutes~

and then we’ll wake up anyway.

It can be enough. All there is

can be enough for one more day

of sunrise and a rainbow.

We’ll know when the day comes that

we’ve had enough, and enough of suffering

is always too much.

Suffering can hurt the soul,

at least its outer layers.

They can bleed clear through.

Things are stolen from the soul

by too much suffering.

Things missing remain missing.

What we needed there is gone,

and we need to put on emotional prostheses

to do what we need to do, to think

and feel our way through.

We need poetry, music and art, we need nature

and friends and meaningful work and to serve others.

We need to study, learn and discover, and so move beyond

ourselves and the suffering, for pain has no meaning,

but what we make of it means everything.

We need to focus on something that takes us

outside of ourselves and the pain,

that absorbs our spirits and minds

and whatever our bodies can bring.

But there may be bad days, days so consuming

they swallow us whole, and, whelmed over, we can’t

get a hold of ourselves or hold ourselves in.

We wail. We rant. We weep. We scream.

Others try to calm us. They can’t. It passes.

Another day will be different. Another time will be better.

We may look another suffering person in the eyes again,

for a second, and not go to pieces or turn away. We may not.

There are simply times when the soul is too sore to put on its prostheses.

Those days, let angels who still have mercy to give visit us,

and give us everything they have.               

                   Alla Renée Bozarth ~

Learning to Dance in Limbo and Purgatory Papers

Negative Alchemy

When pain is inevitable,
regular, relentless and long,
as in a Dakota winter
or chronic illness,
a creature may come
to over-adapt.

Pain is taken to such excess that it turns,
by negative alchemy, into pleasure.

The golden rose of good health or good weather
becomes the bitter root of an orgy of grief,
and stardust morphs into lead,
black hole heavy, dense and dead.

This is not the same as martyrdom.
It is a true masochism, the miscreant outcome
of spiritual bewilderment over one’s place
and power in the events of creation.

It is the turning into power the facts of powerlessness,
a perverse decision to return the harsh grip
with an embrace, and to enjoy the abuses of existence.

It is a terrible choice, and soon choice becomes compulsion.
It is preference of the shocking crucifix over the empty cross,
that emblem suggesting that one look elsewhere for the Living Christ.

One prefers the bloody, decaying and dead,
from overexposure and lack of escape.

One is drawn to the habit of suffering over the risk of resurrection,
like those prisoners of war who refuse to leave
the liberated camp, and return to refuge
in their familiar and comforting darkness.

One creates security from misery
if nothing else remains, and then,
in exhaustion, one clings to it,
mistrusting of respite and change.
Conversely, those whose lives are one pleasure
after another can become numb from excess,
and what was meant to give joy brings unhappiness,
as too much pleasure turns into pain.

Too many apples eaten from the orchard.
Too much wine at the table.
Too many kisses and the body begs to heal
its worn lips. Too much elegant food
and the spirit bores from beauty and longs
for the refreshing mediocrity of something
inferior but untaxing, different and new, or
whatever one’s favorite comfort food was in childhood.

It is what we are inclined to do—
turn things into their opposite,
and then become habituated.

Therefore, the wisdom of ending something
before it falls over the threshold from enough to too much—
go home from the party before one is too tired—
for the moment, leave the Beloved’s arms before
one is too filled and no longer feels the astonishing joy
of being loving and loved.

Leave something to look forward to
come the next morning or night.

With sustained gratitude, keep longing alive for the very beings
and things you cherish the most and hold near,
lest your heart turn weary of bliss, and warmth go tepid and cold.

And let pain move on through
and out of you— or detach from it
in peaceful co-existence—
before you give up
and decide to marry it.

You have better things to do.

               Alla Renée Bozarth
       Purgatory Papers c. 2012
Crossing the Red Sea Bed

A bed isn’t made until
it’s been hand-blessed
by a human~~ beautiful
and smooth, the first act
of the day upon waking,
done by a woman, a man,
or a child, asserting,
I am here. Let it begin.

With this act, a person
makes the border crossing
between dark dreams
and daylight, overcomes
the paralyzing encasement
of sleep and rises from
the unconscious
into refreshed powers
and possibilities
of transformative action.

Each movement brings more
harmony where chaos and turmoil had been,
With every stroke and tug, the maker becomes
more awake and aware.

Making a bed is an act of hope in endurance.
The person performing this primary work
affirms the power of visibly positive action,
asserts a faith in the future in creating an inviting
and welcoming place for rest at work’s end.

First work of the day becomes a ritual
of increasing consciousness.
The person awakens.
Imagine the sea-bed being made,
the women, the men and the children
smoothing the waters and blessing
the sheets of seaweed and sand
with their workers’ feet,
plumping the earth as they danced
and ran, rising out of the stunned and perpetual daze
of slavery to redeem their old lusty freedom.

Imagine the family of three who led them,
Miriam with her brothers Moses and Aaron,
running as later David, the shepherd, the future-king poet,
would lead their descendants, running with the Ark of the Holy,
shouting Hosannas, daring to lay undying hands on high heaven~~
Emanuel, God-with-Them, that portion of earthly paradise
soon to be promised.

Queen and Child, Daughter of Mystery,
Miriam the Prophet, Woman Clothed with the Sun
and Sister of Stellar Grace she was that day,
for a body of water had stood and bowed to her,
had parted itself to make room for her passage,
give safety to the procession of Israel,
those who wrestle with God and prevail—
Miriam, Leader of People, Singer of Victory.

Imagine how she gathered them all in her dance,
wearing her crimson and garnet dress with long purple fringe,
silver and golden bells sewn into the hem and the seams, vestments worn
in memory of her by high priests for a thousand years.

She passed through the veil, the curtain, the wall,
she stepped into the sacred place of the Holy of Holies,
she gave music to a covenant of freedom, she lifted her voice
and shouted in poetic song, with cymbals and loud tambourines.

Priestess and Queen, Miriam, Mother of Hope, Poet of Praise,
she danced with her people, she led their spirits that day.

                        Alla Renée Bozarth
               The Frequency of Light c.2012

                                              Bodhisattva Meditation

Color is the suffering of light.
          — Goethe

All ground is holy and every 
bush, could we but see it, 
a burning bush. C. S. Lewis

Are you tired, Friend?
So tired you have forgotten
nearly every automatic habit
that tells you who you are
and how to move from one moment
to the next? Forgotten
how you write your name
or hold your comb or spoon?
Forgotten how to use a pen
or play your musical instrument?
How did this happen!

You let your life pour out of you
without taking time to refuel.
We forget how the body changes
and has new needs each day.
In a moment of exhaustion
you became even more overly responsible
and failed at the simplest thing.

In weakness we forget mercy.
Gently, now – make merciful revisions
of everything — your shopping list,
your daily chores, even the pleasures
which have sadly become a burden to you.

Make more room.

Take more time.

Don’t vacate your own home or your garden~
vacate the world from your schedule!
Give it back to itself and take back your life
with interest from this tremendous investment.
Be satisfied with your work and move on.

Learn new rhythms. Take your own time.
Take all you want. Take decades. Take a day.

Pace yourself lovingly.

Practice the efficacy of effortlessness.

Draw to you only what you love
and truly need, like a diamond magnet.

Feel how holy the Mother Earthbody is
through your slowed-down soles.

See the countless soulflames flare out
from every being you now meet.

Do you see how these strangers now
coming to you quietly are soulkin?

Breathe again!

Are you broken?
Very well, then.
Become once more
the light you are,
generous, a gift to all
in living color —

Shine forth
in rainbow blessing
through love’s shattering
prism, love’s listening
tears. In love, you never know
the difference between compassionate
sorrow and bliss. Intimate
with each other, pain leads
through love to growth
and new reverence for the mystery.

Then, whether through
service or bliss, let love
restore you.

There is the service of receiving
as well as the bliss of giving,
and the service of giving
as well as the bliss of receiving.
Finally, it does not matter
which comes when, only that you
have known it all.

So love gathers itself together
into a single radiance again,
and the maddening joy of being human
becomes part of the white fire of God.

            Alla Renée Bozarth
           The Book of Bliss 
              iUniverse 2000

Broom Wars in Bethlehem             

You think the Arabs and Jews
are the only people fighting for turf
in the Holy Land?

Why leave out the Christians?
Aren’t they also human beings?
Where there are humans
there will be power struggles
and turf wars.

Even if there is only one human,
sooner or later, a fight will start.
Ego will try to crush superego
and have its way, then id will come up
and wipe out everyone.

But as long as there are two humans,
the mind won’t have to go after itself.
It can beat up the other person.

Didn’t the Holy One (Blessed Be He?)
tell Adam and Eve to dominate everything?
Well, that’s the translation anyway.
Top creature has rights, and God (or someone)
said that humans are here to dominate and
use everyone else, even each other if they can,
and everyone and everything else is here
to serve and please the new species.
I ask you, does that make sense?
What kind of a nutter creator
would allow that? No, it was
the person telling the story,
period. And translators didn’t help.

All three People of the Book
go by the Book when it tells them
they are at the top of the hierarchy of creatures,
but they still want the chance to prove food chain supremacy.
What’s their most recent display?

In the Holy Land today all is calm for the moment between Arabs and Jews.
The Christmas pilgrims have cleared out of Manger Square and left
the Church of the Nativity a mess. Dust, sand, mud, gum wrappers, used 
Kleenex, you name it. Cleanup means trouble.

Even though the Orthodox Christians won’t be coming until
their Christmas Eve (which is Western Rite Epiphany), 
everybody else did enough damage.

The situation is ripe for the local clergy to start acting up.
They all get out their brooms, priests and monks, all men.
They start sweeping. In less than two minutes an Armenian sweeps over
the arguable invisible line that marks the borders between Armenia and Rome 
on the stone floor. First it’s a verbal warning. Then a loud defensive call,
then the shouting begins and dozens of men in black— Latins, Russians, 
Greeks, Armenians are clobbering each other with their respective brooms.
A hockey fight breaks out among holy men brawling again.

This happens all the time. Over at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
it’s worse. If any nuns are around they try to break up the brawling brooms
and separate the boys, but pretty soon, they’re yelling too, first at the idiot men 
who’ve completely lost dignity, then at each other as territoriality overtakes everyone.

The rule is that anyone who cleans or repairs a portion
of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem or
the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem owns
that part of it. You can see how the problem arises.
After the stress of the crowds, the caretakers need a release
and a turf war is bound to break out. A custodial moment
is just the occasion.

Back in Bethlehem dozens of fools for Christ
have forgotten all about Christ and are trying
to kill each other, but local authorities intervene.

The Israeli Army shows up to pull them apart and restore order.
Good. Just in time for Palestinian musicians to come forth with Peace
and serenade the masses with a Christmas Concert of Beethoven, Mozart, 
Tchaikovsky and Gabriel Fauré. It was beautiful. The musicians were superb.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
The liberal Israeli evening newspaper Haaretz featured a story 
about the event in praise of the gift of music while cautioning readers 
not to forget that there was no peace while denizens of Palestine and 
citizens of Israel were still fighting one another, and walls wrapped up 
holy places in stone and turned towns into prisons, in a land where 
Palestinians and Orthodox Jews both throw stones at secular-owned Israeli
buses carrying international peace-keeping passengers on Jewish Shabbat, 
for different reasons and from different directions.

Similarly, a decade ago in northern India the Sikh Golden Temple
(center of a religion founded to be a reconciling bridge between
Moslems and Hindus by standing against religious discrimination
and all forms of prejudice and oppression) was attacked and under
a long siege by both Moslems and Hindus.

I still remember the Holy Land Christmas story I read forty years ago
in The Chicago Tribune. It reported a tragedy. A donkey was tethered 
in Manger Square. Someone had painted a sign and draped it over
the donkey’s back. On one side the sign said “Jew,” and on
the other side it said “Arab.”

The donkey was dead in an hour.
The sign was riddled with holes on both sides.
It was impossible to know which bullet had killed her.

She may have been a nursing mother.
What would have become of her orphaned child?

Around the corner on a small side street behind Manger Square
there is a modest shrine called The Milk Grotto.
It commemorates the Nursing Madonna.

The Blessed Mother feeds her infant the gift of life.
He, too, will be killed before his fortieth birthday.
The land is holy but its history is marked by unholy wars
and all who live there are in hell.
It’s always something. But no matter what it is, the mothers feed their newborn 
children and tears flow from their bodies with milk as they pray,
“Live long and in peace, my child. Live long and create peace,
and be safe. Be happy, my child. . . . My child.”                 

               Alla Renée Bozarth
              The Frequencies of Sound c. 2012
              and Purgatory Papers c. 2012

Venus by Day

Isaac went out to converse in the field . . . Gen. 24:63

To converse with God
it is sometimes necessary,
in the middle of a mundane day,
to go out into a field
of perception beyond
oneself and the small
world of even great
human endeavor,
to look up at the afternoon
sky and be soothed by clouds,
blessed by rain— 
or on a clear day to see
with the sensitive vision
of our ancestors, ever
attentive, ever receptive—
to see so sharply and deeply
into our true blue relationship
with the infinite heavens
that lovely Venus sparkles
in the eyes like a tiny green daystar,
indicating more presence and color,
more body and affinity in Creation than we
imagined, guiding us onward, humbly and yes,
from the bottom of our soles,
with love and gratitude.

 Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequencies of Sound
Copyright 2012

What Does Christ Mean?

One who has been anointed with oil
or chrismated, from chrism, which means oil.
Oil? Yes. Since ancient times people were blessed
with holy oil before taking on a burden of leadership,
to help them as a symbolic reminder to their senses,
so that they would remember with confidence that
with each new responsibility, Grace to meet it would come,
and Grace like precious oils imparting needed qualities
would help them more easily slide through, around
and between the obligations and obstacles
which awaited them.

And it would soothe their stress points
and heal their wounds.

Oil is an elemental part of rites of initiation.
The prophet Samuel was called by the Holy One
to anoint the tribal chieftain Saul to become
the first monarch of Israel. Monarchs of Europe
are still anointed with blessed oil at their coronations.

Oil comforts and heals, and it is assumed that leaders will suffer.
Ordinary people seek anointing to ease and heal their aches and pains.
They go to massage therapists to bless their ravaged bodies from the stresses
of so-called normal life. They apply creams and unguents to their sore feet, hands,
necks and shoulders, or add oil to their baths for their all-overs and everywheres.

Sometimes their bodies are anointed just before their deaths
to prepare them for return to their elements~ fire, water or earth,
as the breath goes or has gone clean out of them.

Oil heals, cleans, comforts, soothes,
and sometimes prepares the body for burial..
Women took oil of myrrh to anoint the presumed dead
body of Yeshua after his execution by crucifixion.

Sometimes babies are anointed at baptism
as if to prepare them to take on the burdens of mortal life.
What does it mean, this oil, this chrism?
It means preparation and ease of passage.
It provides energy to be alert, to perceive
and discern accurately, and interact wisely.
It offers both energy and calm, and it heals.

It prepares the body to stay in or to return to health.
When it is scented, it prepares the senses to return to joy.

When it is heated by lamps and kept warm it makes
the surrounding air a fragrant atmosphere. It opens the senses.
It is used to relax the body for making love so that lovers can
blissfully slide together as one in the dance of life.
Oil is used in cooking delicious foods,
to prevent their burning, to even their browning,
to give weight or lightness as nourishing recipes require.

White matter is composed of solid oil, the myelin sheath
coating around the long shaft axon of an animal’s nerves.
It conducts transmissions which allow the nerves of the brain’s
body to be well and talk to each other. Oil enables neurons to send
their synaptic messages smoothly across chasms through channels
that conduct electric impulses away from the main body of nerve
to the actively connecting dendrites as they stretch out their fingers
to contact each other, at tens of billions of connections a second.

Why is Yeshua described as anointed?
For all these reasons and more.
Perhaps in memory of the manner of his
unjust death and strange form of leadership.
Perhaps as a wish that wounds to his psyche
as well as his body could be soothed and healed,
wounds inflicted before his execution, when he begged
to be spared but was not, when he sweat blood from dread
in the garden, when he was jeered at by Roman thugs and
called mean names as they whipped and beat him, as they
stripped him and gambled to decide who would get his clothing—
wounds of demeaning, demoralizing, debasing, as real as the wounds
on his back and brow where they pressed down a mock crown of thorns.
Wounds caused by contempt and malice for no reason at all.
His body was merely a whipping post that bled. 
Like all creatures, he was vulnerable to traumatic and horrible things.
Like all creatures, he was in need of balm. Balm for the spirit,
balm for the body, balm for the soul, balm for the journey
back into eternity.

From birth we all are in need.
Oil helps. Oil delivers nutrients
for growth and medicines for healing.

Oil strengthens. But more than anything,
oil creates smooth passage— passage for healing
hands, passage through tight places, passage
to what is inside a tightly closed place.

From the start of our separate incarnations, Oil of Spirit is needed
to ignite the Divine Spark we are and inherit.

When used symbolically, of all these things, oil provides awareness—
awareness that all creation has intrinsic dignity and is royal by nature,
even when it is disintegrating toward new integrity in other forms.

The Queen or King of great or small, of many or one,
will need easement of passage through crises upon crises,
and the grace of smooth bearing to carry burden upon burden,
as will a mother or father, as will the child passing through the stages
of growth to adulthood, as will the adult moving from role to role,
carrying responsibilities peculiar to each phase and stage.

In life as in courtship there are times of rough wooing
when we think we will decline further engagement,
but a scented oil may clear the mind for creative
intelligence to provide the means to respond and
remain in the dance anyway.

Finally, like all matter, oil is perishable.
When it’s time to leave the hard worker body behind,
allow it to relax through to its bones and lie down on a bed
or the ground and begin to break down and make its contribution
to new forms of creation, some quality of spirit or energy works like oil,
helping the soul to slide clean out the dear body and go back into God.

For these reasons, every part of creation that achieves its integrity
through hardship can be called a Christ, one who is in need of anointing,
and will surely have it in unexpected ways, as from merciful angels, those
who comfort our weakness and grief, who minister to our strength and
ease our victories with more grace than we ever imagined,
or knew we would need. 

Alla Renée Bozarth  
Love's Alchemy
Copyright 2012

Macht Schoen

In my family I was called Baby after my Grandma,
who was called Baby all her life until she died.
Even her youngest son my father called her Baby
when he was also getting old. In her case it made sense
because she was the youngest of four children whose Papa died
when she was six months old. Time stops when a parent dies.

In my case it makes sense because I am both the oldest and youngest child,
and there are no lost in-between middle children in my family. Only me.
For variety, my mother also called me Ange, for Angel, and sometimes
Hungie, to combine Honey with Angel.

My mother said these names with a tender Russian accent,
and even if we’d been fighting, when that happened I’d melt
and break into all-out tenderness toward her.

I would stroke her cheeks and say, “Macht schoen,
macht schoen,” which means “makes beautiful” in German. 
My passionate mother loved passionate and poetic languages.

As I write this down for the first time ever, I am nearly three years older 
than she ever was. I am old enough to review my life and pay attention 
to how I feel about all the missed opportunities for integrity and grace, 
wishing I had done and said those moments differently.

I am old enough to be concerned that when she was ill, when she asked me
if she was dying  and I took the path that wouldn’t kill me for hearing it aloud, 
the path of least trembling and no commitment except to tenderness 
and answered, “I don’t know,” and then sitting beside her for all
the five days in hospital before she died,
I wonder now if I was tender.

I don't remember touching her,
but giving her room to move out of her body,
yet so many feel the need to hold onto their loved one—
I only remember touching her when I anointed her
in Last Rites that last night. 
Then I stayed until the nurse I’d hired arrived and introduced Mama to her 
and said, “She will stay with you for a few hours while I go home to sleep, 
so you won’t be alone~ and I’ll be back in the morning.”

And she spoke for the first time since she’d drifted into a coma the day before 
and said, “I’m not alone, God is with me,” to let me know that she knew
it was so, and that she was no longer afraid, which was a great gift,
for it meant that she was all right—

I am suddenly and for the first time thinking about it
and feeling increasingly concerned that grief made me too stupid
to do the obvious thing, to stroke her cheeks and say, “Macht schoen,
macht schoen,” because it always soothed her so much.

Even when I was only three and did this, 
her face would become relaxed and beautiful in my hands—
and I am hoping that forty years of time have merely faded
the fact from memory and I did, in actuality, do exactly that. 

To be sure, I vow that my first words to her in Heaven— 
when with my hands of light and beautiful radiance 
I will stroke her face of light and beautiful radiance—  
my first words will be Macht schoen, Mama, macht schoen.             

          Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequencies of Sound c. 2012


Nothing Has Meaning

           Sometimes nothing has more meaning than something.

Teresa of Calcutta was born Agnes, daughter of Albanian parents,
in Macedonia in 1910. After her death at the age of 87, it came out
that for most of her life, Mother Teresa had no sense of the presence of God.

Her father was murdered when she was seven, her family ruined,
the descent into poverty softened for Agnes by the Irish missionary nuns
who taught her. She felt inspired as a young woman to follow
their Christ-like example of unconditional love for all.
Her first assignment as a convent teacher was in Calcutta.  

On September 10, 1946, while she was riding on a train
in that city of the poor, she heard the Christ speak to her directly
in these words, “Come be my light.” She was buoyed by a deep
and active intimacy with Christ, Who conversed with her often in prayer.

Then, like a woman or child whose husband or father had suddenly
fallen into a dark, inaccessible place, she knew only inconsolable grief
at the greatest possible loss. To know intimately the love
of the Source of all Life and then to feel completely alone—
it was the drama of her childhood replayed in cosmic proportion.

Yet this bereavement did not stop her orphaned heart from faithfully doing
the work asked of her with the poorest of the poor, the rejected and dejected 
people in the slums of Calcutta, India, and later, the world.

To know the One you love only by the degree of pain you feel in bereavement
is a communion of bitter irony. The Divine Disappearance mystified
the holy woman until she died. 

Only for five weeks in 1958 did she know relief~
After the death of Pius XII, she prayed to him for confirmation 
that God was pleased with her work. Her plea fulfilled, she knew 
five weeks of joy before the descending darkness came again 
and lasted to the end.

Yet, there was a day twelve years before, among her first months in Calcutta, 
when she saw a woman dying in the street and sat with her and stroked
her head until she left her body~~ that day was the turning point.

She knew then what she must do to serve: Give shelter, respect
and unconditional love to the unwanted, the unloved, the abandoned,
and give them a kind and clean place to die in peace. She was one of them.
She knew what it meant to be an outcast of society, marked by tragedy, unmoored.

Like the orthopedist who hangs a picture of himself at seven
on his office wall, his arm in a cast, smiling with his doctor beside him,
the tiny cast itself mounted on the wall, Teresa, whose name means reaper,
reaped the harvest of her childhood tragedy by caring for others
as tenderly as she had been cared for. On the cross she saw her Beloved
murdered as her father had been, and without sensing them near,
her compassion expanded to include them as well.

Astrophysicists recently made the huge discovery of an enormous Nothingness
in the heart of the constellation Eridanus, near the foot of Orion.
Their attention first drawn by a cold spot in space, they looked further
into the profound darkness, and discovered an expanse within sight
of our own vision on Earth, an emptiness unlike any other.
It is not a black hole, which contains infinitely dense matter,
but a true void in the universe where Nothing is at all.
The breadth of its absence state is six billion trillion miles wide,
or a billion light years. No stars. No planets. No cosmic dust.
No dark energy. No dark matter. Only Nothingness. No-thingness.

Like the effective nothingness that is in a placebo,
like the potency of the mathematical zero,
the empty space in a Chinese painting, where everything happens,
the silence in a room whose walls are made of prayer,
the absence of light in some forms of blindness, the void in the mind
with total amnesia, the void in the soul bereft of its Light~~
Nothing is everywhere~

There are now university courses on Nothing.
It is the newest place to explore with the collective mind.
It may be the most charged place of Grace, beyond imagination.
It was written about by the mystics~ the mountain hermits, 
the desert saints, the dervishes responding to Sacred Nothingness 
with their divine circle dance.

“Be My Light,” asks the Christ. The weary Christ. The heartbroken Christ.
“Be My Light and I will rest in you, for now and always, We Are One.”
Nothing is the place from which radiates all possibility.
It is the resting place of God.

           Alla Renée Bozarth

 The Frequency of Light, c. 2012

When Everything Seems to Be 
Falling Apart, that is when 
the Holy One is reshaping things
just out of sight, according to 
the secret plans of Heaven 
for our greatest good. . . .

And a word on the buried treasure searches 
and discoveries of deep Spring Cleaning:

Private Archeology

Writers love books.
Writers who make books
own hundreds and hundreds of books
to each one that they themselves write.

A writer’s house can get so full
of books, books everywhere
in all the rooms and closets,
under all the beds, even in the guest room,
in case a visiting writer wants to sleep over—
books that aren’t cook books inside the kitchen cupboards—
books holding up the legs of the bathtub— not that they’re unloved,
but in case of flood they’ll let the bathtub float, and the sleeping
writer will awaken to a gently inspiring rocking motion,
look down and see, first thing, a book to let her know
that she’d better get out and dry off and rescue those wet pages
and read them while at it, and get busy with a book of her own.

If you ask a writer to loan you a book,
and you mean a specific book, forget it.
You are asking a sculptor to turn archeologist.
As a natural species, they’re simply not equipped for the job.
Of course, this gives grief and endless frustration
to the writer who lives in the mess, loving these books,
and now completely unable to find any given one.
Reading becomes a matter of sheer and usually
accidental discovery.

Deliberate search would involve dismantling a lifetime
of architectural work, creating such a marvelous house
that is now made mostly of books. Pulling out one or two
from crucial structural places without paying attention
could bring on disaster, bend the joists in the ceiling,
destroy the whole delicate thing, now so well-adjusted
to being a house made of pictures and words.

So when a writer doesn’t feel like writing but can’t let go
of the feel of paper and the sight and smell of ink,
it means a huge risk. The writer starts in, with ladder and knee pads
alternately, flashlight in hand, reading glasses of all strengths strewn
about at random for easy reach in all the rooms and on all surfaces.

Presently, the writer learns to identify books stashed three rows deep
on the bottom shelves, and layers laid horizontally over them.
The quest becomes a thing of touch and intuition— a long reach of the arm,
and the book begged for to Psyche blindly, easily presents itself to the hand,
recognized by the feel of the cover— linen or paper, glossy or textured,
and the size of the jewel box itself— and success yields a thrill
of joy that moves up to the writer’s shoulder and leads
to a leap in the air and a yelp, worthy of any archeologist
who opens the door to a Pharaoh’s tomb
and senses golden art within reach.

For writers live on gold mines.
The books in their homes hold
more treasure than any land digger
could find in a thousand excavations.

The writer’s search work is easier,
in the dark to be sure, but aided
by a luminous sense of words so deep
that when the writer’s body begins to move
without apparent reason in any room or direction,
the clear scent of success gives its own added momentum.

Not long, then, to the moment when the hand
or, sometimes by accident, the foot makes contact
with a rich vein, and the book pulled out becomes
the start of something big in the history
of private treasure hunting.

The writer may be momentarily confused,
feeling such zeal as only discovery can bring,
so that instead of settling in with the found thing,
the search is just beginning.

For what the writer really seeks is a route,
a pathway, an accidental lead to true gold—
anything now that will illuminate the hidden trove
of that source vein, that can yield the next book
from some still secret alcove in the writer’s mind,
the bubbling, gurgling, gleaming mother lode. 

                   Alla Renée Bozarth
            Diamonds in a Stony Field
                    Copyright 2012


Create Joy                  

     The pain passes, but the beauty remains.
              Renoir to Matisse

Suppose you have a chronic affliction.
{Who doesn’t?} Suppose it distracts you
from your life and you don’t want it
in your life. You want to say, I am more
than this misery, I am more than this body.

Go ahead, then. Live through the pain but
create around it, create so much that is beautiful
and wonderful and marvelous, so much that is
meaningful and helpful to others and also to you,
create so that the pain will not have a chance
to tempt you. It will not be able to get a word or a groan in
long enough or deep enough to deceive you
into giving it your identity. Instead, you will be
what you create. And you will always be
what you create. And what you create will be
for those you love, for the strangers who will meet you
long after your pain has died forever with your recycled body,
and they will find your clear, radiantly healthy spirit,
and they will say, Thanks. This is lovely. This is just what I needed.

Even if you are unable to create with your hands,
create awareness with your mind, create insight,
create peace with your spirit by letting it be drawn out
and beyond the window pane into the fields and sky, the marketplace,
the festivals, across the oceans, to other planets and between the stars.

Remember the world that needs more love and love it,
love individual beings where you find them,
move your mind out into it and travel through it
with tender eyes and an appetite for everything marvelous.

Let the pain melt away with your mind’s love
in the form of self-transcending compassion,
even when you cannot smile or speak or think.

In your deep meditation that happens by intention below the pain,
will your burdens to become blessings, like compost in the earth,
like sooted snow in late winter, yielding to the sun.

One inner word is all it takes, as simple as, “Here,” or
“Help,” between breaths. It will be done.
You will have made your pain into something more,
a connection that keeps alive your bond with all living beings.
And from below, their own soul roots will quiver
with a feeling of having been strengthened and blessed.

You will have been part of everything, still contributing,
reverberating that one intention throughout time and space
beyond your own body, mind and mortal life. 

And that will be your forever joy.
Even after there will be no more human beings to experience your spirit,
it will be part of the Song of the Universe to infinity,
part of the Holy One forever.

                 Alla Renée Bozarth
     Learning to Dance in Limbo  c. 2012
     and Purgatory Papers c. 2012

History of a Water Goblet

By candlelight or at the breakfast table
regard the water glass in your hand,
see how it fills with light, its stem
with color—

Consider that once it was a mountain,
perhaps the sacred mountain
at the center of the universe, for every
atom is an egg at the center of a world.

This mountain in its great antiquity began
to shed its skin, down through the layers
and eons, its many skins. Sometimes volcanoes
would erupt pyroclastic rocks from their deep core—
boulders and stones, thunder eggs flew forth and
geodes broke open on the way down or while cooling

These thunder eggs, boulders and stones in their turn crumbled,
and the crumbs crumbled, and around rivers and lakes,
around streams and the seven global oceans . . .
sandy beaches formed, and in this way mountains found that
they were able to feel the caress of waters for whom they had
once longed from great distance, for water and earth are ever attracted,
will always need and desire one another—

Millions of years passed and the sands refined further
until the mountains felt like silk velvet beneath the feet
of walking creatures, beneath the bellies of those who crawled.

Then in our time, this most recent split second in the short hour of life
on the clock of geologic time, the mind of human beings began
to think of possibilities. Imagination said, in not so much of an Ask
as an Is, “What if a solid gray mountain could become as transparent as air?
What if a person could look through a stone mountain?” and in response 
to the wonder, someone gathered some sand into enormous shell buckets and
took them where the hottest fires that stone ovens could hold burned blue,
and the sand was mixed with other elements, some the same as exist 
in our own animal bodies but in varied proportions and blends, and mountains
that were volcanoes felt the familiar fires upon their grains of time and silk,
and they melted for joy . . .

At the right moments and heats, human artists kept the liquid mountain
moving around and around a long pole, watching as it changed shapes and
colors, pulling them from fire when they attained their new beauty.

And from this beautiful immense gray mountain upon which 
light and color danced and changed from moment to moment 
throughout its millions of years, and which now is the exquisitely 
delicate goblet you hold in your hand, its form as smooth as skin and 
clear as the pure water it holds, the billion broken photons of light in each
molecule now come together to reveal the true colors of everything— 
and you see first how fragile a great stone mountain can be, the mountain
covered with snow and harboring fire in its belly, the mountain which so often
opens the door of death to its climbers and pilgrims, the mountain where
liturgical processions around steaming rocks and dangerous crevasses have
progressed through the night to celebrate triumphant  weddings performed
at dawn, and entire wedding parties have danced on the summit, the couple
conducting their wedding night all day  after a breakfast feast 
down in the timberline chalet, and then you see how one thing 
always becomes another, and then another and another, and
nothing on Earth or anywhere remains as it begins, but is always beginning
something new, even while it is still ending as something older . . . 
and in each phase of its existence, the largest or the smallest thing 
experiences a beauty unique to that time of its being,
unrepeatable, and even as we hold it and regard it, it changes, it continues
to change in our hands, in our eyes, even in our dreams . . .
as we ourselves are ceaselessly changed, only to become something or
someone else, both ancestor and descendant of many creatures whom 
we now already love,  or soon shall learn to love, or cannot by any means
imagine but shall nevertheless love  . . . 
yes, nevertheless love

      Alla Renée Bozarth
Diamonds in a Stony Field c. 2012
My Passion for Art c. 2012

The Compass Rose

  All creatures suffer. Even the roses suffer.

  All you have to do is observe them to see it.

If you want to learn com-passion

so that you feel with other beings and

your own soul without judging, exploiting,

dramatizing or attempting to control, but simply

to learn how to pour the light of heaven

into the wounds of time and space—

study the rose.

Learn the breath-giving beauty of a soul~

as the warm fleshy rose that lives and pulses

in the heart of time and a human being~

or in the essential body of another animal

or tree, or in a single cloud floating past your field of vision~

or perhaps in the heart of the storm, should dark clouds gather

and blow down thunderous breath over Earth~ or the heart

of a river or the great mother ocean, whose water-blue rose

welcomes the swimmer.

Learn its rhythms and moods, both calm and aroused—

the rose in a storm or basking in sunlight from rain.

Learn to discern between agony and ecstasy,

those extreme expressionists, those mirror twins.

Learn the rhythms and colors of implosive despair

and explosive anger and how they differ

from sorrow and joy.

Study the swirling shapes and the bundling coils,

the opening wings or self-containment of the rose—  

and know your own heart also. Observe the thorns,

how with age, they increase and thicken.

To learn the compass points of compassion,

carefully follow the changes in each petal, leaf, branch and thorn

of several different kinds of roses throughout their separate seasonal life spans.

Learn each one’s vulnerability,

each one’s rhythms of movement toward Grace

from green bud to full bloom to browning petals, drying twigs,

pocked and curling leaves, through every assault of disease

and devouring invasion, all the way through to the bare branch,

old root falling-away, final losses of itself.

After traveling the east, south, west and true north completion

of the cycle of the rose, only the central core gift is left—

the life-laden rose hips with their potent nutrients, delicately

wrapped in rose-colored fibers that heal the body as tea,  and feed the songs of the birds to perfection.
October 5, sixth day

October 7, with Japanese maple

and silk mimosa's last gifts before sleep

First flowers of July . . . 

and last flowers of now, 

with seed pods for next summer~

and the dahlia's flashy beauty and beauty in shadows
This will be your lesson in compassion.

It will become your compass through life.

It will be the garment worn by your mind.

It will be the breath of your love song

to all suffering Creation.

             Alla Renée Bozarth

The Wild Gardens of God in Quartet
Copyright 2012

"Compass Rose" with dolphins and flowers above are from the Home page, "We Are Welcomed Here by Nature and Grace."

River Music

I hear the under-
current hum,
throbbing of here,
this air, tree, planet
and sky, but dimly,
unclearly, as I
hear the river
five hundred feet
below and out of sight
through the trees
on my neighbors’ property.

It is this
this almost of everything,
that drives me
to keep trying
to find that perfect way
of seeing and showing,
hearing and telling,
and so, I write.

I write about the usual
right and wrong things
in human life—
family and friends
and erotic bonds
and unrequited
love—that one-way
road to nowhere
and sometimes
back again.

It is all the same thing,
knowing them by heart,
that underlying almost
song so hard to hear,
and all the words
in the world can’t
find it though they
keep on humming along.

Finally, imperceptibly
(again!) the frustration
becomes the music

and one wonders
what thwarted the river
so many times to help it
sound so beautiful
in its long determined
journey to the open
arms of the sea.

  Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequencies of Sound c. 2012

And a little bit on gold-making~


First the one that got away,
lost to you like a fleeing dream
or the interweaving lines
of a musical fugue half‑remembered —
­the nearly perfect hypnopompic poem
that refused to wait for your full
awakening — then the day, tinged
with vague bereavement and bewilderment —
­how can one go back there
to the luminous realms
of waking

when neither the world nor sleep
has any real claims on the vagrant soul?
Pray before sleep, humbly, for the gift
to return.

Remember your life:
it is the clay pot
you shape for years
and finally you feel
it is right, and then
it shatters in your hand
when you hold it out
for the world to touch,
and then the world takes it
in its myriad pieces,
broken and ash‑ridden,
meaning God takes you
in those great hands
and you and your life
are mended with glue
of gold and given back
to yourself, and then
you know you can wait
for the broken dream
of your life poem
to come to you again
in any form it wants,

and you will take it,
hold it, bless it with tears
of pure gratefulness,
and see what vision
it gives you
and hear what cry
it calls out for you
from its many cracks
and openings, from
its willing wounds
where beauty is born
and the lost light
comes to you
all over again.

       My Favorite Alchemy or
       What to Do With the Wounds

Every day the world
throws forks at me
(it wants to
eat me up!) —
I try to catch them
but I can’t keep up.
Some of them hit me.
Come, plant flowers
in all those fork holes
and turn me into a garden!

         How Alchemy Works

Distilled over fire
for a long, long time,
finally the true essence
of a thing remains,
and from this emerge
the elements of soul- 
­making, twofold:
from fire comes
the luminous air
that gives understanding
by these means — the watery
Elixir of Life that is
Compassion and heals,
the earthy Philosopher’s Stone
that is the Wisdom that turns
all dross into gold.

It is so simple
it could be written
on the inside of your hand
for a reminder.
It could be written
on a pearl.

        Making Gold
Take one star‑fed life.
Add the immense weight
of lead and a drop
of toxic mercury
to read the soul’s
These are the givens.
Forget looking for them.

Now apply the unspeakable
pressure of truth
and the red heat
of your passion.
Before the end,
you’ll come to
pure gold.

                                                      Garden of the Unsung Kaddish

In the heart there is a garden
where everything has been young
                                                             for a thousand years.
There secret poems hide themselves
in rabbit warrens and roots
of evergreen trees. They wait
for someone... to sing their melodies,
chants that will awaken dreamers
from the vines and cause an enchantment
to lift from their eyes.

Then finally everything will be allowed
to grow old and die, and so everything
at last will really have lived,
including the true wild songs
of the heart, and all the unfulfilled
longings of the souls of creatures
will be given their Great Amen,
acknowledged and honored and so
put to rest. Then at last
all the unaddressed injustices
can be absorbed by the universe

   Alla Renée Bozarth
This Mortal Marriage:
Poems of Love, Lament and Praise
iUniverse 2003

      Unsolvable Things

If you feel your life
needs solving, try
three methods—
absolve all that is
unresolved in the past—
yourself and others—
dissolve all that is
absolved and its residue—
resolve anything that remains
conflicted or incomplete,
by what means occur to you
in dreams or while in
the shower or walking
in the rain.

If these do not work,
then live with the mystery
as originally planned.

There will surely be,
as surely as tomorrow,
a way through or around

Pray for protection, then,
from your own hesitation,
so that you do not miss
the moment of Grace
when it comes to you,
and pray also to be delivered
from your own aggression,
so that you do not kill
this fragile, vincible Grace
when it floats over to you
like a pearl on seafoam.

Then simply keep moving.
Stay alive by moving along
the rhythms of rest and
discovery, and be brave
in any event.

Every choice you make
holds its own secret
for redemption.

                                                                               Alla Renée Bozarth
                                                                               Love’s Alchemy
                                                                               Copyright 2012

Dancing in the Ruins

in the underground
of the mind there is
an oracle, there is
a honey hive, there is
a way to consult the divine

and also in the high places of the mind
there is a lovely sacred mountain, where eagles  
and angels converse above fire, earth and snow

reminiscent of both the temple under the earth
of the Great Mother Goddess at Malta and  
the mountain summit seer of Delphi singing
Her wisdom in the gibberish of all languages
spoken together, defying sequence and history

what happens to the life of one who, from young to old age,
frequently visits these extreme, holy above and below places—
and they are not places of mood, but of Wisdom and Grace—
is that nothing stops the flow between Earth and Heaven,
the mind and the eternal

and the body wears down to the ruins
of thin skin over soft flesh and bones—
where once it was a fresh garden, it’s become
a salvage dump with hidden treasures that wait for those
who know where to look— and as it always must,
the dance goes on without interruption, from feet to fingers,
the dance redefines and revises positions and rules and simply goes on
      Alla Renée Bozarth                              
My Blessed Misfortunes
        Copyright 2012

                                                     Dancing the Labyrinth

There is a way
to begin —
meaningful movement
is the child of stillness.

See where you are. 
You do not have to be
anywhere else
or better
than you are.

Feel the Grace
of the Earth and God
through your soles. 

This is the pathway
of soul.

And it is
a constant

Let your feet find the ways
to Oneness and lead
your dancing heart.

It is play.

The way allows
wings and those
who lumber.

The way allows
the bleeding
and broken as well
as the fit and strong. 

You may be feeble
and frightened or
you may feel

Either way
your inner angel
will be the one
to carry you.

The way is black
and white and also
living colors —
all suggesting

It is paper.
It is words.

It is silence
and snow.

The way is

from the mountain’s

It is desert floor
and water.

It is body
and spirit.

The way is

It is the soul’s
and the body’s

It is the cleansing
of the mind’s eye.

Simply begin.

At the center
you will find
your truest self
and your birthplace
at the heart of the rose. 

In the phoenix nest
at the center
you will die and
be touched by fire.

When you return
we will know you
truly for the first time. 

We will welcome news
you bring from home. 

Food you bring
will ready us to follow. 

Songs you sing
will call us into Mystery.

The only reason
for going into
the open heart
of the labyrinth

is to let your heart 
break open

so that you can hear
the first cry
of creation
when God birthed
the universe,
and you can
large enough
to respond,

let your whole
life unfurl

in all
its magnificence
and purity,

and cry back
to the Holy One

with the beauty
that will rise
within you.

       Alla Renée Bozarth

    Accidental Wisdom
         iUniverse 2003

Tomorrow is not certain for the individual incarnate being that lives and dies, but tomorrow holds for the Universe ~  now thought to be an oscillating body, endlessly born, growing, collapsing, reborn, growing, collapsing, reborn . . . and for the Souls freed beyond mortality and reborn into Oneness, all of these things are taken care of in the way that is best for them and for All . . .

Part Two~    



“Never mind. The self is the least of it.
    Let our scars fall in love.”  Galway Kinnell

Astrologers say that a person’s sun
can be intercepted at his or her birth.
The outcome is a difficult life.
Things blocked, thwarted, overlooked,

If only we human beings could remember
how long things take, the river that took
two billion years to carry those wind surfers
out on the wake today, the two million year old
mountain that sits on a mother mountain
fifteen million years old, that rests on a range
of mountains seventy-five million years deep
into the Earth.

I wish, but then, how futile.
If onlys never resolve.
I want to have been unthwarted,
unblocked when we first touched lips, 
unstopped by the law as we were,
the bored policeman at three in the morning
with nothing better to do than shine his light
in our faces to blind us and tell us to move on
so he could feel how powerful he was, interrupting
a couple of adults about to discover
the texture of each other’s souls.

Surely there were kinder ways for Fate
to have stopped us. It’s clear we had to be stopped,
and perhaps only something as drastic
as ridiculous humiliation could have done it.

Still, I wish that forty years ago had been
a fulfilling of sorts, without damage to anyone,
turned out well before we parted, instead of leaving
a bitter taste in our spirits.

But I wish so many things, to unhurt everyone,
mostly to start over a sentence,
make the words come out connected
to thought and sense and right perception.

I must practice like a monk the detachment
from outcome, the blessing of loss,
gratitude for the fact that we were
full of something wonderful, and though
we were fated, it seems, from discovering
that treasure in each other’s arms, we both gave
ourselves magnificently to the world.

Today is the four-hundred-something anniversary
of the burning of Jeanne d’Arc. She is the only person
to have been martyred by the Church for heresy
and then declared a saint. Does life do it deliberately,
allow such tragic miscarriages? Or are there so many
accidents that even God wishes they never had happened
or could be undone . . .

Whatever there was between us
was burned a little, but not killed,
and could be realized only in some
parallel universe or heaven.

Perhaps in less than four-hundred-some
years it will accidentally draw us together again
behind our own backs, when we have become
two beings made of light and wind, and we will feel
a certain touch of unfulfilled promise,
and turn, and let our scars fall in love.
            Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequencies of Sound c. 2012

Falling in Love

It begins
with the eyes,
or the voice—
a look, a spark—
something evokes
a warmth,
a sweetness
in the chest—
the tone
of skin
or voice,
the fragrance
of hair—a certain
graceful way
of moving—
but this is
not love.

Then you speak,
and the stories
begin to amaze,
arouse, delight
you, and
takes hold as
a vibration
of recognition
your minds.
But this
is not love.

Then the proximity
of time and lives
brings you brushing
softly around and
against each other’s
aura in the normal
course of things,
and affection
finds you
in each other’s
energy fields,
and you feel
the heat
of your bodies
the shared smile or glance,
the occasional hug
in greeting
or farewell,
perhaps a light
touch of lips
on cheek or hand
or lips.
This is nearly love,
but not yet.

Then, one moment
when you are not
looking for it,
you suddenly
bring your eyes
around to meet
the eyes of this
brave and wonderful
being before you,
and you find
you are in
the presence
of God,

by a miracle

to move forward
and step off
the known world
with another
exactly like
and impossibly
unlike yourself,
and it happens
to both of you,
and you are
in love.

       Alla Renée Bozarth
Falling in Love with Fire, c. 2012

Eros in Memory~ A Love Poem
Published below with holiday images in thanksgiving 
for the Valentine's Day long ago when my husband and I
were guests at a brunch and Thea our host wrapped up her delicious 
and artful frosted valentine sugar cookies and gave them to us 
with a gentle but clear warning: "These are made of ingredients 
known, when combined, to have a strong aphrodisiac effect."
Later that evening we were hungry and opened our sweet gifts . . .
and proved how very right she was! 

Constellations of the Heart 

                     Images below are from Win Wenders' 1987 film, Wings of Desire ~
                           I paused the digital recording and took these pictures 
                                          from my television screen. 

Blue Moonlight in Winter

From inside the dark winter night house, wrapped in a comforter,
I stand at the long windows, my body dissolving into ecstatic happiness
at the beauty of full moonlight casting naked limbs of the crab apple tree
in long, muscular shadows onto low rolling mounds of blue snow—
these vertical branches now obliquely laid upon the horizontal landscape,
my eyes could be January ghost eyes, but they are not, they are alive as breath, 
and my soul moves through silence with their bare dance pose of solitude.
This is a secret we share, this tree and I and the snow and the moon
at three in the morning.

The scene is one I remember seeing each winter full moon
for the ten years we lived there— I, looking from that window onto
the sequestered backyard, I alone, while my husband was sleeping.
And though the last time it happened was twenty-six years ago this winter,
when I was 38 and my sleeping lover was a year younger, on this nearly-January 
rainy and windy night over a thousand miles from there in the house of my 
widowhood and elder years, it unfolds before me now with sensory immediacy 
as if it were right here— the full kinesthetic memory.

Then and Now are one, and my body is the body of Then.
But while I am in this timeless moment of anamnesis— a moment
which happens for the first time without end whenever it comes to mind— 
with it comes a scene of fifteen years earlier than then.

We have just made love and I am lying naked on my 22 year old studious 
husband’s bed while he is dressed to go out and sitting at my feet with an open 
book in his lap. It is the book I found yesterday while on another domestic dig
in the bookcase— finding the ancient history text of Hebrew letters and 
lessons from our student days. He, younger than I, was still learning the words 
and their presumed classical pronunciations, articulating them aloud, rounding 
his mouth and clicking his tongue or letting the sounds roll over it fluently
like cream washing down berries . . .

He was practicing parts of the body and when he came to my foot, his voice 
became rich as a cello, the bow adoring the strings as it slid purposefully 
across them and back again— רגלrégel, he said. I will remember this word 
forever, he said, lifting my right foot to his lips and kissing the vamp and then 
the arch underneath— רגל because my Beloved’s foot is regal, he said.
           Alla Renée Bozarth 

Winterfire~ The Rebirth of Love Poems c. 2012
and Diamonds in a Stony Field c. 2012 

Valentine and labyrinth symbol images are from the Internet, as is the picture of the dolphins. The cone nebula galaxy image is from the Hubble space camera. Magical raindrops are from The Hidden Beauty of Pollination video by Louie Schwartzberg and his image art collection: 

The "Bearing Gifts" card is by Will Bullas. The Holy Bear Icon is by English artist Isabelle Brent, inspired by medieval manuscript illuminations. The misty image of the Columbia River and Gorge after "River Song" was taken by my friend John Jarman. The garden and angels at the table images were taken by me, as were the animal images except for the dolphins and polar bears from I also took the picture of little Emily (when she was much younger than now) across Coalman Road, who names, loves and takes care of the goats.  The horse lives in my pasture and his own next door, and the cows are my neighbors across the road the next pasture over from Emily's friends'. The picture of me in Wales was taken by my husband Phil Bozarth-Campbell, and the picture of me on my 60th birthday with my roses was taken by my friend and neighbor, Susan Lind-Kanne.




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