Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Seasons of Resurrection, Reconciliation and Spirit Aflame

                              
 Magnolia Opens the Door to Spring

 















Easter is a season when many doors open,
and angels knock on portals well worn.
These ancients are prepared because of their wisdom. 
They have known all their lives the empowering secret—
that every knock on the door is a knock that will change our lives,
as every breath we take in and give out changes the world,
and everything and everyone we learn to love changes our destinies--
for life is change, constant goodbye and hello, constant closing
and opening of doors and minds and eyes, constant desire
and constant learning, constant rest and constant awakening,
alternately and overlapping. And for this, thank God.
   
                 Alla Renée Bozarth 


    Last stanza of “The Birthday Party”  
           The Frequency of Sound
                 Copyright 2012

Links to Alla's single topic blogs: www.blogger.com/profile/07163511991184059081

Today is Cinqo de Mayo and the First Saturday of May, still during Eastertide. I have been thinking about this entry since Easter Sunday, and today simply went searching for poems with themes of Resurrection, and other words came up consistently: salvation, redemption, rebirth. Easter Mysteries. I couldn't find poems about the Great Event in the Garden, but rather the Event of Resurrection was everywhere throughout the poems, in all their collections, intimately and inextricably woven into living and the commonplace experiences of our daily lives.

From those resurrection poems, some below are in still unpublished collections: the first series below in Quartet and the next series in Love's Alchemy. Then one each from Purgatory Papers and My Blessed Misfortunes. There are two from Diamonds in a Stony Field, three from The Frequencies of  Sound and two plus all the poems in the Birthday section from The Frequency of Light. There is one each from the published books, Moving to the Edge of the World, Life is Goodbye/Life is Hello and This is My Body~ Praying for Earth, Prayers from the Heart.


The birth of a human child shines of Easter in The Frequency of Light along with the miraculous beauty of ocean gardens. Images of the flowers, butterflies and tree are from my garden, except for the picture taken at the Chinese Gardens in downtown Portland, the picture I took of the deep burgundy lily which was a gift from Pat and Val Herman when they came to visit, and the two images of an exquisite mauve and gold pearl iris which grows in the garden of my garden-gifted friends Julie Stephens and Butch Hattenburg who live nearby. Julie brought it to me in a glorious bundle with others for a birthday gift a few years ago.

Since May is also the month of my birthday, there is a birthday section near the end of this entry. To find it, scroll down past the snowbears to the rose pictures. The third rose, entirely pink, is captioned "Happy Birthday Every Day!" That's where you'll find poems for a natal feast. After them, there are images of more colorful shells and living sea creatures, with an end poem about the First Apostle, Mary Magdalene, and the miraculous occurrence in Rome during her telling of the resurrection story from her eye witness experience. 

In the Easter Bear Gallery, the Alaskan grizzly bear and polar Easter bear and sea creature images are from the Internet. The Maya Angelou Precious Jewel card is from my birthday last May 15, my friends the beautiful writers Christin Lore Weber's and John Richard Sack's Wisdom House Wedding Day.

Shell art is also from the Internet, by Nature and some decorated by human color play. 
In my personal symbolism, the chambered nautilus has always represented the journey of the soul slowed into its own incarnate form on its spiral path through space, time and matter. It begins as a tiny animal, assigned right away with the work of building its own life structure. It uses the generic template for its species and adds its own history and character as it goes.  Each new chamber must be larger than the one before as the animal grows out of its containers one by one.


Chambered Nautilus animal when it's at home,
and the vacated shall cutaway showing the chambers
and the bony portal through which the soft siphuncle passes
like an umbilicus, connecting all the outgrown chambers
from the smallest original shell to the wide open shell completed.   

Studying the shell I am trying to figure out how this works. Internet resources don't help with this anatomical structure and growth question. Oh, for a mollusk expert to consult!  Presumably, there is no wall in front of it, but as things get tight and it feels the need, it squeezes itself forward and simultaneously builds new walls behind it and thus keeps growing without becoming dangerously cramped. When it encounters external physical obstacles or gets into fights, scar tissue makes it stronger.

It creates and carries with it a delicate soft tissue tube called a siphuncle, a hollow cord that stays connected through all the walls to the core place of origin. Crudely guessing nautilus architectural engineering, it seems to me that when the nautilus senses the need to start a new section it moves forward, leaving a perfectly calculated slightly larger air space behind between its soft body and the rear wall, and first thing, it creates a protective shell skin for the end of its siphuncle. Then it begins to fill in the curving line around it to accommodate its new larger self, building a larger seat to sit on. You can see the small portion of tube-shaped shell protruding from the back of the rear wall of each new chamber. It pumps air through the hollow soft tissue cord, and the pumping gives it momentum to move up or down according to choice and need~ from the dark depths of the ocean floor to sunlight shining through the surface of the sea.

As it matures, its non-suction tentacles function more as sensors than legs, helping the nautilus to swim or walk laterally wherever it wants or needs to go. The large open-walled end chamber houses its long adult life in free movement. It is a primitive and odd looking animal, valiant, artistic and admirable.
As it graduates from all its previous smaller chambers, it carries its original siphuncle with it, going all the way back through its entire life journey to the chamber of its birth, and is thus empowered to move in directions of choice by every part of its whole history, as air {"Ruach" in Hebrew, also translated as Spirit} is pumped in and out through its length according to need. Thus it becomes a teacher for us. Every place we've been, every person we've been, has brought us to where we are now, and where we will be as we continue through time, all the way into the invisible realms of light, which already infuse and are also beyond space, time and matter.

The mysteries of death and resurrection encompass all life, all creation. Nature does it all. As human beings observe and realize this, we create and follow religious traditions which apply the lessons of Nature to the journey of the embodied soul through time. Our religious traditions celebrate and bless the rhythms, tell sacred stories to help us understand our place in them, and create special feasts to help us align ourselves with them, and so grow into our best and true selves.


Death and Resurrection

Death and resurrection
are not sequential.
They live inside each other.

You have to die
to be reborn.
And you have to
do this a thousand
times a second.

Most of it happens
spontaneously.
The rest, we never
get used to.

It takes more
than a lifetime
to learn the dance.

Death and resurrection
are not mother and child.
They are equal lovers
moving in each other’s arms.

They merely keep changing
direction to alternate
who leads.  They never
break their rhythm.

After everyone else has tired and gone home,
they always win the marathon.

                                Alla Renée Bozarth 

Book One: Swinging Over the Edge of the World 
                      ~ Quartet copyright 2012







Easter is a Process

Resurrection is not an unattached event
but fruit within the dying seed,
the dream within the dying flower.

Death means dramatic loss, but it is not Life's opposite.
It is stillness, followed by a leap toward unimaginable new life.
Even now, this is Christ alive, Eastering in our lives.

                  Alla Renée Bozarth

Book Three: The Wild Gardens of God 
         ~ Quartet copyright 2012 







A  Mixed Bouquet from the Wild

Child of the brambles,
a blooming weed or a lacey flower,
a wild iris or rose hidden among the thorns,   
she rose in her power, shining,
she filled the air with her story
of resurrection bloom—
her compassion borne
from the leaf and the thorn.

Roots watered by Grace
grew strong.  And out of them,
hiding in a green corner
of the wild gardens of God,
emerged a life in living color.

Here, slowly unfolding
to match the sunset sky
come fully alive
into view,
coral gypsy dancer
in her purple hues—
the unseen core of a soul.

A mixed bouquet
of pain, courage and bliss,
daughters of this humble
dahlia, I offer to you~

                      Alla Renée Bozarth

  Book Three: The Wild Gardens of God 
                  ~ Quartet copyright 2012





Mary Magdalene, sculpture by Bruce Wolfe


From Mourning into Morning

Just when stark emptiness overtakes us,
no sign left of the Beloved 
through our tears
when we least expect it,
the Impossible appears,
calls us softly by name,
gives us work to do,
demands we do our best.

Some call this recovery.
Some call it an Angel's kiss.
Some say it is miraculous.

I call it Easter Morning,
deeper and brighter than
the best surprise
Christ is risen
in our lives!


Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequency of Light 
Copyright 2017

Sculptures of the Risen Christ and Mary Magdalene
by Bruce Wolfe, Mission Santa Barbara. 


Where I Live

there is always
so much Life,
including death,
the dynamic
which transforms
one generation
into the next
ten thousand,
perhaps more—

for always
what we call death
is More Life in forms
we do not yet like
or recognize or
understand,
forms which bring
tears in the memory
of what they were before
when we loved them,
and we want them back
without the suffering,
but their best and happiest
selves—

the cherished and beautiful
soulmate, non-human animal,
mother, sister, friend, brother, father,
grandparents, son, daughter, homes and other
places we’ve loved and loved in, all our beloved,
including the trees that grew up with us
and then continued to raise up our spirits
and teach us ceaselessly each year
about death and what it’s for
and how it works, and always
the again and again miracle
of resurrection, until finally


like Christ they too
ascend out of sight
and back into God,
leaving all they can
of themselves in old treasures

and new forms, sometimes visible 
or audible, and sometimes                                                                                             
demanding faith

in the unheard and unseen
and especially the unknowable
forms they are becoming—
and faith in our future selves
also, in God~

When the world in you
shivers for a moment,
it is them, those you thought
you had lost, still with you,
moving on through you,
loving you and loving through you.

Then, even through tears, breathe joyfully.
Keep loving them. As you move through
your own duties and pleasures and deeply
into your days, invite them to joy,
where they are in the Eternal Now
which includes you also,
in the ephemeral now.

They can be everywhere they want at the same time
because for them, time is no longer an issue.
Don’t be shy. You won’t be keeping them earthbound.
They know how to be and do more than we can imagine,
in and out of many dimensions and places, and with
many loved ones at once, for example. Marvel. Trust.
Praise them.
  

Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequency of Light 
Work in progress, copyright 2017



           
                            Coral Gypsy Dahlia Under the Dawn Redwood Tree


Harley’s Gift


In the body of a horse
there is a bone
at the bottom of the foot
called the coffin bone.
 
It becomes painful and
disfiguring to the spirit
of the horse if it is injured
and then too close to the sole.
 
From inability to run,
the horse may die.

Harley, my neighbor’s
young chocolate brown horse,
was so threatened and afflicted.
Surgery corrected his problem,
opening his life to the future
by giving him more space
between the coffin and his sole.



My old and well-run body is a lovely
and living coffin to its youth.

As life opens the future to me,
something will be seared away
and severed— a sense, perhaps,
of being myself as I’ve known me
all my life.

But for that greater distance
between the coffin and my soul,
all the life that’s left will come
upon me like a springtime torrent
in the abundance of its flow.

       Alla Renée Bozarth

My Blessed Misfortunes © 2014


 




The Human Butterfly Effect

     Everything depends on sensitivity to initial conditions.

                 A first principle of Chaos Theory.



Monday morning and

the melancholy masses

begin their trudge,

worming down

the highways and train tracks

or hitting the tasks

immediate to home,

family or farm.



Meanwhile, a butterfly

moves its wings

in Hong Kong

and a rainstorm begins

in the Amazon.



At the same time,

a genuinely glad

human being

opens a door

and out from its opening

happiness pours—



Imagine what will happen

to the world



from that single

catastrophically

wonderful

event!





Alla Renée Bozarth

The Frequency of Light

© 2015





Easter poems from other years in The Frequency of Light

Another Chance— 
  the Living Day Lights 

Let them reconsider,
those noisy boys, those boisterous girls,
those loud, driven women and (mostly) men
in their rapacious consumption, 
vagrantly, flagrantly wasting
the life force, ignoring
their own forgotten sense
of beauty, their old abandoned
need for serenity, in order to hold
the illusion of being
in charge of everything
for one more day—
one more day lost
on them forever,
missing them,
longing for their return,
and giving them
another chance, perhaps,
tomorrow—

When you awaken
and the day lights
freshly on your hand,
my wish for you,
and the new day
choosing you,
is a tender reception. 

Let Butterflies Dream about Me 

One day once upon a When
I went into the forest
to gather butterflies.
All morning I searched
but they were hidden from me.
Weary, I fell asleep under a cedar tree.
When I awoke I was covered
with fairy-like things.


I opened my eyes
and saw the world
through butterfly wings.

Today I enter the forest
to welcome the Spring.
Among the trillium
and iris, robins sing.
Sunlight wraps me
in delicious fatigue.
I lie down in happy surrender,
hidden by tall and wild grass leaves.
I rest dreamless under
the honest, hard-working trees.
When I awake, I am
covered with wings. 

Lighting of the Paschal Fire 

It was the morning
of Easter Eve.
Danger rode the air. 
Through torrents
of battering rain
my mind was drowning
in despair.

Evening came
with no reprieve. 
Now my body showed
the marks and burns of icy hail.

Mired in the losses
I had come to grieve,
imagination failed
past its immediate pain.

Then a single bolt
of lightning shot up
from the ground.
Beside my foot
the paschal fire
was lit. It spread
into a luminous circle,
and above it formed
a neon night rainbow
that broke
into a many-arced sphere.

All sound beyond thunder
stopped. Spring dew contained
that conflagrational energy
of resurrection within
its moon round source.

But in my body it grew,
containing my rampan
heart and strayed rhythms,
an inner Sinai of fire
without destruction,
an intimate consummation
without an end.

And in that first true light
of a dark spring night,
God was truly borne
back into my little life,
and hope was born again. 


Today’s poem:

Easter Bird    

This odd and rare little bird, a Taoist, no doubt,
all patchwork white and mottled black, shall always be
remembered here as the official Easter Bird.

It began its self-annunciation in early winter, November, perhaps,
appearing to stroll beneath the seed platter one afternoon, then after
the solstice when the first snowfall, in fact the only one, seemed to deposit it
safely on the downy white blanket of ground over the expansive backyard,
rendering the black markings on its wings in dazzling contrast with the white
breast, face and head feathers, and those on its back beneath the crossover fold 
of dark wings~ with two black, alert gleaming eyes, bright shining as stars
if the sky were made of snow.

The bird looked around and said, “I’ll stay here. This shall be my landscape,
my domain, my settlement, my home from now on, even when the white snows 
are gone,” as they were the next day.

So now I am all pupil, learning through his eyes to see the first daffodils
bloom in three varieties, preferring as the bird does the unusual white
flower with peach center version, and then the purple iris caressing my irises
for the first time because I am now living and seeing from behind the lens
of this lovely little bird who owns the place alongside the Great God.

And when the chocolate brown horse appears
in the pasture among the blackberry brambles and knee-high grasses,
I hop on his back and ride him so lightly he does not know I am there,
for I ride on the wings of this bird, who now rises in the fields as lightly
as the Risen Christ walks among flowering weeds in the spring gardens
of Resurrection, again and again for the very first time.  

                                           Alla Renée Bozarth 


The Frequency of Light 
Copyright Easter Sunday 2013.

This is Cameo Dahlia, and her shy daughters.





                                                             


       Lavender Leopard Rhododendron
              Under the Cherry Tree

In the Chinese Gardens

Safe in the gardens
of awakening orchids
ten thousand mountains
meet the clouds.
                                                        
Together they conceive
the flowing.  Many waters
fall into the lap
of honeycombed limestone
from Lake Tai.

When water recites
the names of poems
to receptive rocks~
Earth puts on
her brightest smile.

Even in the rain
the moon reflects
its happiness
on the face of the lake~

Even in sorrow
gladness seeps through
the wall of despair
from the truth
of the future.

Beauty calls to wisdom
and both are seen
in the branches of the willow,
dancing together~~

Leaf with leaf, and
drawn  into memory
on the stillness of water.

Fear is the murderer
of desire, but love
its resurrection.

Here, the soul forbids
all fear simply
by doing what comes
naturally.

Here all dreams may speak
their mind, all thoughts
may find their voice.

Fragrance of winter flowers,
the peony opens herself
in crimson perfection
to the careful lips
of the poet and scholar,
and wellness re-enters the world.

                  Alla Renée Bozarth

Book Four: The Night Sky that Loves me 
         ~ Quartet copyright 2012


 
                                                       Peony Magic



                            Magnolia Magic



                                                Pink Pearl Rhododendron



Quartet

The person may be the same
But it will always be a different person
And the place may be the same location
But it will always be a different place~~           
In verbs are variations

The rain is singing its soulful ballad—
The music is telling its quartet of stories
In four lovely songs—

She went striding in sun up an autumn hill
She slogged her way up the snow winter hill
She trudged her way up through the glorious mess of a springtime hill
She ambled along the slow road of summer on that dear old hill

Ashes to beauty, she danced her up and down life
On that morning to midnight hill~~
And the stars, the stars were as thick as upward rain

                      Alla Renée Bozarth

   Book Three: The Wild Gardens of God 
              ~ Quartet copyright 2012



        In the Midst of Death We Are in Life

When you are overcome,
when your spirit is in
some kind of foreign
despair,

when too many deaths
have overwhelmed you
at once—

deaths by the thousands
on television and
dozens of local deaths—

the mystery
of deep personal loss
envelops you on this
massive scale
and you have lost yourself
in that great collective
suffering—

Remember that Nature
is larger and knows
how to retrieve her own.

She will not abandon
or forget those who suffer
or die today, or you
or anyone you love.

It’s Nature’s job to put us to work,
to show us how best to contribute,
to assure us of resurrection.

Eventually, it’s Nature’s job to kill us.
God and Nature try to do it in the right time and way.
Pray for Nature to be kind in her choices,
pray we are saved from pain and fear.

Once I, a human being like yourself,
was blessed with a sweetgum tree
in my garden, the High Queen of the yard.
One day she fell in the wind.
Her helpless body filled the lawn.

I knelt at her side and wept,
sobbing shamelessly until I slept
in her leaves and felt them dying
around me.

I tried to nurse her saplings
through winter in my warm house,
but failed.

In spring, the old mother stump I’d left
to nurture the garden sprouted a new tree
of its own, all by itself.  It grew and grew.

After not much time, a taller, stronger,
more evenly rooted and less vulnerable tree
now reigns in the garden, radiant and bold against wind.
Not a daughter tree, but the same tree.

In the midst of death we are in Life.
We grow out of ourselves.
We achieve the becoming,
and we go on.
                                  Alla Renée Bozarth 
Book One: Swinging Over the Edge of the World 
                     ~ Quartet copyright 2012


The Daughter Liquidambar or Sweet Gum Tree











                                               All Creatures Are Essentially Holy

The only difference
between saints and
the rest of us is
that they remember
who we all really are.

The only difference
between sages and
the rest of us is
that they continue
to know and to grow
into their true selves.

                                                     Salvation

Religion
might be
just another
human, merely,
condition,
a way of closing the lid
on God-in-a-box,
an institution
created to care for
our impulse toward
worship and our need
for group validation,
a power base for ego inflation,
another Petri dish
of human pathology,
sadomasochism and  
compulsive control.

It may be easier
for God
to find a ready
heart elsewhere,

in a person’s
solitude
or a lover’s
embrace

or any place
where one person
is serving
another being
with realistic
compassion.

Then salvation
happens.
Between beings
and
being by being,

it is
an act
of life
and love
and renewing
creation.
And whenever
it is received
as purely as
it is given,
it remains open.

It is friendship
with the Mystery.

   Alla Renée Bozarth

   Love's Alchemy
                                 
                                            You are a Love Letter from God

The letter U
is a circle
that’s been
stretched open
and has become
two arms
reaching
toward heaven
to receive
the Godfire
and to hold it
through its own
lifetime,
sometimes
to utter it
outwardly
to others
in blessing,
sometimes
to hold it
within to be
blessed,
both receiving
and giving
the gift
of sheer
openness

The sound
of the letter U
begins a Word
from God that says
acceptance and
becoming: You.
The Untold Story
of your soul yet to be understood.
Receptive,
open,
waiting,
reaching,
self-pouring.

You
create
the rose
and the rising
of the heart—

Rose of God’s Heart,
     risen among us, radiant.

You are opened
in the darkness, a new
word of Christ
in resurrection,
an expectant embrace,
loving and living
the Question—

               You.

    Alla Renée Bozarth

    Love's Alchemy




                                                An Invitation to Resurrection

Consider
the undercurrent.
Keep cutting through
the overt and manifest,
fear-based behavior of mind,
and reach every time
for the heart— if the heart
is as informed and wise
as the truly wise mind.

Listen well
to both.

If mind whispers,
“Danger!” Watch out.
Observe. Discern before
you decide. Mind may speak truth,
or mind may misguide you.
Likewise, the heart.

You may need
to choose your own life
over a hoped-for bond.

If you have been
invited to attend
Easter and you had
other plans,
consider the question.

Are you not yet ready
for resurrection?

    Alla Renée Bozarth

    Love's Alchemy




                                                     Love’s Mysteries

You love
You mourn
You move on

Birth
Death
Rebirth

     Love is equal to Life

       Alla Renée Bozarth

       Love's Alchemy

 
Tender Loving Detachment

Detachment
is gentle
openness
to the Unknowability
of Reality

it is a kind
openness
to the Unknowability
of Everything

a receptive
openness
to the Unknowability
of Everyone

to the Unknowability
of God

and it is
pure love
for all
that is Unknown 

        Alla Renée Bozarth

       Love's Alchemy

                             


                         
                                                           
                                        Noon Revelation

Sitting under the silk tree
I am being haunted
by a hummingbird, a honeybee,
insistently promising me
that the future holds happiness,
despite my defensive resistance
to redemption. I am being blessed
by a fast tango of two white butterflies
acting out the mystery of resurrection
and my inescapable place in it.
The pink feather flowers of the tree
turn brown and fall, fragile, in my lap.
They become powder in my hands.
I sprinkle them like fairy food
on the morning’s bluegreen grass
and they disappear. My morning
awareness is this dry brown flowerdust.
Fresh flowers bloom into more pink feathers
on the bowers of God’s silky green mimosa tree.
I prepare dried brown camellia leaves for afternoon tea.

                         Alla Renée Bozarth
                                  Love’s Alchemy
                                            Copyright 2012

 


 




 
 
Easter Storm                                                                    

Dawn darkness moves slowly over
Easter eggs, hiding in nests under snow~
protecting their secret miracles—
still snowing, then raining,
then hailing the day, resurrection
comes fiercely, a surprise in the wind—
glistening atoms made visible in weather
dance their miracle without regard
to calendar feasts or souls’ expectation.
 


 
                                                            
They show their light in what is,
and what is becomes what was
or will be, post-agony seeds of quiet redemption
or roaring thunder of transfigured pain
into strange new joy. 

    Alla Renée Bozarth
My Blessed Misfortunes
      Copyright 2012


                                 
                                                        Salvation Rondo

                                                  Out here among the sweet confusions
                                                  of spring, overcome by scents
                                                  of warm dark honey, Christmas cedars
                                                  and hot fresh raspberry jam—
                                                  no one right-minded could imagine
                                                  self-provoked guilt or shame, when Nature
                                                  pours its perfumes over every creature equally.
                                                  Innocent or not, undeserved beauty 
                                                  comes anyway,
                                                  comes bountifully, and finally 
                                                  even the truly guilty
                                                  are cleansed and saved by the sensual mercy
                                                  of God in all living color, green 
                                                  and budding forms 
                                                  and no one is exempt from Grace 
                                                  or Resurrection.
  

The Spirit of Compassion

Spirit Sister of the Stars,
She rides the firelight body
of Easter bear among the dimensions,
her wound-windows open to Heaven and Earth—

She draws Divine Compassion
from the opening portal of Grace,
backed by the Creator, the Great Mother Bear,
Whose longing loved us into being—

From the diamond center of prayer
in creative communion She regards
all mortal beings in their need,
binds all the broken-hearted
sparks and shards of God
that so bravely move
through time and space,
bearing them Infinite Love.
                    
                          Alla Renée Bozarth   
                  Diamonds in a Stony Field
                               Copyright 2012 

  
 
. . . I found this very personal story poem among 
my searches for Easter themes and hesitated to add it
here, but then thought, why not? Resurrection is the most
personal of experiences . . . and the most real, an
everyday commonplace shared by all, a thing to celebrate
intimately right where we live and with whom we love. 
And death shall not diminish it.


Phil’s Love of Leather

    Alla Renée Bozarth  from The Frequencies of  Sound ~ Copyright 2012.

  
Today I went into the archival vault of my closet and found the perfect dress
to wear tomorrow for my birthday party at the Black Rabbit Restaurant
with friends, Constance and Carol.

The sticking material placed on the hanger by the dry cleaners had
disintegrated completely, but the dress was perfect. Flowing black crepe 
with an elegant ankle flare at the side seams and an overlay of transparent
chiffon, pink rose clusters with leaves. After fifteen years since last wearing, 
all it needed was ironing. Also, I pulled out the black suede pumps so elegantly
designed, an antique gold wreath at the toe with a shiny black stone.

And what earrings? Antique gold to integrate with the shoes?
No, my face needs more brightness. The bright brass dangling sagaris!
They dance when I move and talk, and twirl when I laugh.
But they need to be polished. Brass polishing is hard. 
It takes muscles and time. 

While I’m at it, I’ll polish these other brass things that have bothered me—
A plate stand spattered with hard water spots that have tarnished,
from boiling water being poured nearby for coffee or tea.
And Papa’s chiming clock on the bookcase.

Carrying the clock to the kitchen I realize I’ve never before polished it.
I remember how the clock maker who worked on it for a year had wanted
to buy it and offered me a good price, but I refused saying, “Would you sell
a clock that had belonged to your father and was all you had left of him?”

Brass polishing is a meditative job. I see now why altar guild ladies
emphasize the spiritual practice of polishing brass candlesticks 
and Gospel stands, and with what love they polish the wood railing and pews.
Suddenly I see my husband at the altar of St. George’s Church, 
leading worship on Easter Eve~ first, light the Paschal Fire 
in darkness at the back of the church in a brass bowl, 
touching his candle to the fire to light the paschal candle, 
then beginning the long, solemn procession up the center aisle, 
leading the chant sung antiphonally, first on low notes, then 
progressively higher, “Light of Christ!” and the congregational response 
on the same notes, “Thanks be to God!” All of the candles were lit 
from the paschal fire, stopping at each pew so that the worshipers
on the ends could step out and dip his or her wick into the paschal candle,
then light the candle of the next person in his or her pew and passing 
the flame this way until everyone present was holding the Light of Christ ~
Thanks be to God!
After all the Scripture readings had been voiced beginning with the Story
of Creation and ending with the Burial of Christ, everything was illuminated
and the music began, the movement hastened, the Full Eucharist began,
and the Gospel reading brought us to the empty tomb at dawn.

All day on Holy Saturday, after the altar had been stripped following
the Last Supper and foot washing service on Holy Thursday, the ladies, and
by then, also gentlemen of the altar guild worked hard to prepare everything—
cleaning, polishing, renewing, pressing hard on tarnish as I am now.
How handsome and satisfied with life and all that was holy Phil was
on the Holy Day of Days, standing taller than ever at the altar
with arms uplifted in welcome, praise and thanksgiving.

The heavy gold, white and red vestments hung well on his tall slender body.
He twinkled all over with the glory of God, a man fully alive.

In those last years he wore the purple leather jacket I’d given him
for Christmas on high holy days, his personal celebratory vestment,
and he wore his best black leather dress shoes under his formal vestments
instead of the cowboy boots he was known for.

I remember how lovingly Phil would undertake his own polishing ritual, 
bringing out the multitude of leather boots and shoes of all sorts from 
the floor of his double closet, how he caressed and smelled the leather 
before he’d begin to work on each pair, how excited he was to go into 
a leather store and stand at the door, close his eyes and inhale appreciatively 
before going in to browse.

After over a quarter century of being without him, I do these small rituals
3of thankful reverence, and delight in the sensual beauties of creation for him,
aware with him of the life exchange between creatures, wood that is the body
of trees, the cows and other animals whose lovely skin continues to cover
the bodies of human animals after the original owner’s spirit has left its bones.
This is Divine Home Economics: nothing is wasted.

I’ve kept Phil’s purple jacket. It is a muted, masculine color,
elegantly cut as everything he chose and he himself was.

From time to time, I open the closet, stroke the leather arms,
lay my chin against its soft cool skin and inhale it with thanks
for the animal who once made and lived in it,
and for the man who later wore it.

Recently, a friend asked me playfully, “How’d you get to be so adorable?”
I answered her quite seriously, “I married Phil. He rubbed off on me,
and I know I rubbed off positively on him somehow as well, because
he said so. . . . But from where I live, he gave me more than I could ever give.
If I’m adorable, it’s because he helped me become a real person.

“He gave me the big push for all the years of our life together
that turned me into my best self. Everyday, Phil is right here.
Hug me, there’s a big angel man spirit hugging you back,
right along with the small me that you feel and see.
Love makes everyone adorable.” 





                                                         The Easter Bear Gallery















  
  
   


                                                             
                                                       Bear Wisdom

The Great Bearheart
secret for accomplishing
the impossible
on a regular basis
and as often as needed—

   Growling
      Grit
         Grace and
            Gratitude

and a compassion so huge
it includes yourself.
      
                                                                 Alla Renée Bozarth
 
                                                     Love’s Alchemy Copyright 2012.


 
                                                  Easter Bear

Eyes of iridescent bornite
unlike your boreal amber-eyed
kin, your blue-fire gaze
is boundless. You come from
indigo ice caverns below sound.
You learn to sing with the whales.

High priest of the Mother,
you stand alone and at sea,
swim for your life or communion
supper, wed the species
you eat.

White Bear vested in light,
paschal beast, ancestor, living
theaphony of Grace, Her power
past might radiates in your
agony:  alone!

You cry as eerie loons
or gigantic snow owls cry at night —
watery, freezing sounds.
Your voice reverberates over Earth.
In your being, do you still bear
the primal loneliness of God?

           Alla Renée Bozarth  
         
                                                     Moving to the Edge of the World 
                                                    iUniverse 2000


                                                   Snowbear Sunset Vespers




                                                           The Easter Bear at Prayer
 

 
Bear’s Twilight Prayer

Just now, among the nuthatches
and crows, I went out to pray.
Among the wildflowers with small deer
and their mothers I prayed.

With injured trees and moles
and gray rabbits I prayed.

With purple kale and white cosmos
holding still under first stars
in the sapphire sky I prayed.

With red leaves of liquid amber
and the fallen leaves of golden walnut
I prayed.  With the beautiful corpses
of summer I prayed.  With waking coyote
and motors of cars returning
weary humans to their evening homes
I prayed.  With Great Mystery I yearned
for their well-being, I yearned
for their happiness.

An old bear crying in the wilderness,
furry prophet manged among the wildflowers,
bare patches of pink skin shining golden
in the gloaming light, blending in
with the last brave roses in bud,
and thorny as their tired brown branches.
Here I kneel and roll and sleep.
And breathing in the crisp air
of crimson autumn, I pray for Creation.
I pray for Creator.  And my prayer
is naming Them by my own secret names
of gratefulness.  My prayer is holding their own
true sacred names in silent empty space.
My prayer is enjoying their company.
My prayer is being glad to be one of them.

   Alla Renée Bozarth
Book Four: The Night Sky that Loves me 
~ Quartet copyright 2012


                                              Cosmos with Sunflower
   Easter Bear in Fields of Purple

In the Name of the Bee & the Bear & the Butterfly

In the beginning, Bee.
Bee of fertility, blessing of flowers,
high priest of pollination.
Bee of My Lady’s dreaming,
dressing her eyes, ears, lips, and feet
with golden honey, feeding her
with goddess food for holy milking.

Bee, Bee, lighting on her lotus hands,
kissing her lovely toes with your silken lashes,
leaving streaks of bronze and gold,
powder on your feet from her blue mantle.
Bee, beloved pet, Angel Bee, beckoner,
messenger, bestower, wonder
of the Mother of God.

O Bee, holy Bee:
be with us and feed us
with high-potent sweetness
and when we grow dead
sting us alive.

In the beginning also, the Bear.
Great Mother Bear birthing us
in your own image, you teach us
the bearness of life, unbearable
breathtaking bearness of you.
We, in your likeness, learn to survive,
learn to suckle in your furry bosom,
learn to choose within the forest
food to make us grow, growling and humming,
into the fullness of your stature;
learn to labor hard, to fight when needed,
to care for and be cared for,
to rest deep and play well
with you and one another —
    we your children,
    we your fierce and foolish
    tender cubs.

Bear, Bear, you give us teeth and claws
and make us strong with your vigor,
watch over us desiring our self-sufficiency
in healthy measure~

    Bear, I lose my way~
    Bear, I fall entangled~
    Bear, I feel afraid~

Food you give me of your self,
milk of your honey-feeding body,
berries colored of your blood. 
Not only do I drink and chew —
Often, with the teeth you gave me,
     I bite you, God.
                                                                                         
O Bear, Great Bear, make us your pride and joy.

And of the Butterfly.
Born of life’s ending,
promised from the beginning.
All the age-old cocooning,
all the enduring of unendurable happenings,
through long beginnings and endless middle
of our worm-shaped selves:
the unborn butterfly clinging to the bark,
an ugly small worm of a thing made tight,
having no way of knowing, no way of telling
from the tree or sky hope of any change to come.

But by simply being
a good and faithful worm
allowing itself to die
surprise! breaks forth
the strangest bird
from its soft, odd-shaped egg,
from graygreen into gold,
orange, yellow, blue, vermilion,
amazing lightness and freedom
with singing wings most Christly,
slipping so lightly and so largely
into the membrane of our souls
through crevices only God can know,
filling all the soft cocoon stretching
spaces of our human hearts.

Butterfly, brave Butterfly,
down the wormlike days
of all our discouragement,
give us the courage to open,
to turn into the unimaginable,
take color, unfold, make music and fly!

         Alla Renée Bozarth
                                                                      
Life is Goodbye/Life is Hello: Grieving Well through All Kinds of Loss,
revised edition, Hazelden 1988, and This is My Body~ Praying for Earth,
Prayers from the Heart~ iUniverse 2004.




Novel Means Something New

Humanity lives in its words.
A human being loves to vocalize,
enjoys the sound of voices, deep,
rich, melodic, lyrical voices through which
the soul is heard, and the clear, complex or muddled
mind also.

Having created a Divine Person in our own image,
we long mostly to hear the voice of God, to be told
we are loved, to be named and called by name.
The most beautiful sound to any human being
is his or her name spoken by a beloved other’s cherishing voice.
By such a voice, even an unlovely name becomes beautiful.

In the garden of resurrection, Mary, whose name means Bitter,
was roused from the sounds of her weeping only when
she heard the Beloved speaking her name.
She heard herself made sweet by his Word,
and her worlds were reborn.

Even a silent person depends on words for thinking.
Every poet knows the power of the Word to create a world.
Every mystic senses being a character brought to life, made of many 
stories in a dramatic novel authored by God with the single Word, BE . . .
the reverberating Word through which be becomes a dynamic 
BECOMING, complex, many-dimensioned, conflicting, contradicting~
the whole paradox of reality, seen and unseen, loved and unloved,
given its chance to make something astonishing out of itself,
as astonishing as kindness in a crazy, frightened world.

    Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequencies of Sound
      Copyright 2012

I found this line in the same poetry
collection, The Frequencies of Sound,
at the end of  "A Message to BrianWilson."
It fits Christ in the Easter garden and Phil, too,
on Earth in past tense and from Heaven in the present,
and it speaks of the cry of the newborn child following:
 
You sang down heaven and gave us the sound of resurrection.

For a Father at the Door of New Life

          for Tom, Lea and Winter Rose

The door of Life swung wide
and beyond it the darkness quivered,
but did not call your name.
Instead, from Eternity, a gift came
forth into your lives . . .

In the heart of your winter
an early Easter shimmered,
and Dawn brought forth
from the depths of Night a child,
the daughter of you, flower of Love
and Faith and Promised Resurrection, 
to raise your spirits to high heaven—

In the heart of winter, a rose was born.
In the heart of you, All Springtime bloomed.

       Alla Renée Bozarth

The Frequencies of  Light
      Copyright 2012
                                                 Happy Birthday Every Day!

I was born on May 15, a Thursday and the Feast of the Ascension, which is
a moveable feast 40 days after the Feast of the Resurrection and ten days before the Feast of Pentecost. I learned from my mother, who was born in 1909 under the Julian Calendar in Russia, that one should take full advantage of an opportunity to celebrate one's birthday as often as possible. Mama celebrated both her Gregorian Calendar birthday and her Julian Calendar birthday thirteen days later. I celebrate May 15 on whatever day it falls, and also my Ascension Day birthday. Of course, on years when they coincide, I only celebrate once, but then I keep the whole natal season going for the full nine months which it took to make me, with a three month fast at the end to work up a good appetite for the next round of celebration.


                                           Birth is a Movable Feast

“White is the worst,”
said the midwife.
“Blue and purple are bad
but white means a long time
without oxygen.”

I was taken up by alien hands
on Ascension Day, May 15, 1947:
I was denied the long descent
down the birth canal, the first
necessary transit.

Picked like an onion
coiled in the womb
at a time not mine.

No cry. No natural struggle
to be born.
I believe I should have liked
to sleep a bit longer and would
have leapt up singing
later in the day.
So. This primal loss,
the grief of a lifetime.
The quest: to be born.

Again and again I struggle
to finish the fear, to swim
into the future, to remember
how it’s supposed to be done.
Give me my birthright!
Every day is a happy birthday,
deathday, something-new-to-discover
day. Don’t do it for me!
It’s my fight, my rite.
In poems, in love, in work:
I will be midwife and mother,
will be the beloved other, urging.

I will strike, shout, inhale
all life in one swallow,
will sneeze eyeswide, let out
the full blast of delight
in at last achieving delivery.

My hands, blood-covered
in their eager love, croon on:
it’s never too late to be born.

       Alla Renée Bozarth
The Book of Bliss iUniverse 2000
This Mortal Marriage iUniverse 2003
This is My Body iUniverse 2004
                                                     


An Everyday Birthfeast  Blessing
for Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit

May the dawn light of the East enlighten
your intellect

May the noon light of the South illuminate
your passion

May the soul fire of the West strengthen
your aspirations

May the night light of the North star-bless
your inspiration



 










 
       

 At sixty among the roses and thorns

A Perfect Day

Look— it’s a perfect day!
A day that puts a soft smile on your face
that refuses to go away through the hours,
a smile that tells others you are thinking
of a beautiful secret, and it is no secret, but the day. . . .
A day to inhale down to your toes,
watch the play of light, how the leaves
all dance with their shadows on the grass,
how your long body stretches ahead of you
as you walk on the road.

Open all the windows of your house,
the house of your body, the house of your soul.
Let in the extraordinary air, its clean scent,
the smells of cut grass, the light of morning
and evening and all the between, the music
of birds and other animals chattering
in their own languages, everyone speaking
in their own special tongues praise for the day.

Let your houses absorb these treasures,
make them part of their walls,
so that all through summer, all through winter,
autumn and spring, on days too hot or too cold
or too wet or too windy to open up everything,
the walls will release the scent and the sound
and the light and colors of this perfect day
and give them to you all over again.



Happy Birthday!

See that your wisdom keeps up with your wrinkles.
Like them, it defies smoothing over.
Better to have it throughout. Strive, fight, sleep for it,
be lazy and an outlaw for it, even when you are young,
for age is no marker of maturity.

Years aside, how old are you really this year?
Hint: In wisdom time, newborn and ancient are the same age
as you are when you do the deepest, highest, bravest, most loving act
of word or deed of your whole life, and you do it so unselfconsciously
that you don’t even know you are being wonderful to the eye and ear of God!
Toddling toward someone who will learn love from you
or teetering at the end in dependency in the arms
of someone who has forgiven you and whom you have forgiven—­
these are the prayerentheses of your life’s unique spin of wisdom.

If you get going with your wisdom spin
you won’t have to wait for the end
to have your happy birthday in heaven.
You will be giving heaven a chance
to have a party for you every day
of your life that you’re present to,
and really paying attention.
That’s when you’ll realize that,
even in hard times, you’re being
showered with gifts of Grace,
and subtle voices are singing
your song for you, 
glad that you're still being born.         
 Life is Your Birthday Extension

It might rain or snow on your birthday.
It might freeze or scorch on your birthday.
There might be a tornado on your birthday.
People you want around could leave town on your birthday.
Crazy things could happen on your birthday.
Someone special, even you, could forget your birthday.
Then, Oops! what a boo boo!

Because birthdays are times to remember
everything about being here—

That it is a miracle
That it is a blessing
That it is a gift
That it is a Sacred Trust
That it is a responsibility
That it is something to celebrate and share
That it is fragile
That it is so, so fragile
That it is temporary
That it lasts only a lifetime
That a lifetime is for having the time of your life
That a lifetime is always over in a second

Therefore— just to make sure,
keep your birthday for a season.
Have a glorious long birthfeast
in which to remember these things
consistently and to live by them
passionately and every day.

Celebrate with the world.
You do not have to tell the world
why you are celebrating.­
Just celebrate, and let the world
celebrate itself as well,
by catching the stardust gold
from the comet's tail of your birth.

You catch the gold of others also,
and they will not understand but know
their birthday has happened all over again
any day of the year that you come around.

I used to begin my birth feast celebration
the night before, like Christmas Eve or Passover.
Then I kept a liturgical octave, again like Passover,
for those who couldn't be with me
on the day itself and who were missed.
This wasn't long enough for many of my loved ones.

Now I stretch it out until the last gift has come,
counting on the best procrastinator
to extend my birth season to nine months,
the time it took to hatch me,
with a three month fast my last
ceremonial gift of the year,
giving me time to work up a righteous hunger
before my next birth feast season begins.


    On my 65th birthday . . . I'm learning

How to Grow Old

Live it up now.
For heaven's sake,
be yourself.
Practice self-care shamelessly,
and at the same time
increase in your reverence
for the fragility of others.

I said out loud to the Holy One,
“I don't know how to be old!
Is it the same as being young?”
And deep in my marrow I knew—
it is the same, for in both instances, I am who I am.

So I shall go out
in full glory as truly
the person I'm turning into.

And when old angels speak to me
they tell me—

Conserve energy
while giving yourself fully
to every moment of passion and joy.

Spare no affection for those near you
and dear to your heart.
Enjoy to the full what you like,
and love to the full all you love.

Don't let yourself wash out or dry out or fade.
Array yourself as one on the verge of true heaven,
in living color and true elegance,
and lift the spirit of the world with you.

Do what you love to do.
Be what you love to be.
Even with limited powers,
find secret powers to enliven you.

After a stroke of lightning comes life—
come new forms breathing out of the cosmic soup—
the stroke of luck and genius that is creation
and the stroke of luck and genius that is you.

Your intelligence will help you,
your best desires lead you.

You've always been you in the same way—
Improvise, and let it come naturally.
                      
The look—
   or, learning to see what the clouds see

I don’t like
the look
of old.

No getting
around it.
Nobody
told me how
I would feel
slowly, involuntarily
being surrendered
to gravity
by the full weight
of time.

Here it is.
It looks
terribly
tired.

That poor woman
trapped in the mirror,
a dry thing in a watery,
changing place, staring at me
with mild horror
on her face,
folding down
over her life
like an old sheet
that wrinkles
comfortably
in the same places
no matter
how intensely
one tries
to iron them
out.

“I want my body back!”
I cry and fuss and whine
privately. No use.
She’s not coming home
anymore.

She’s moved into another
dimension, lives in another
city half beneath the grass,
bit by bit hauling parts of her life
down there for her next home.

The household is pleasant,
she says. Restful.
She hangs her pictures
on the deep roots of trees.

Think of spring fever,
that peaceful disease.
You could enjoy it
in the sun and shade of your life,
or lie down and stretch out your arms
on the surface of change
as if you were being nailed
to a cross.

O Beautiful Young Person
of thirty or forty or fifty, would you like
to dance with me
in the mercy of moonlight?

These arms are open for you, for the history
you have seen and made and will see and make.
They want to bless you with the fullness
of all that is good from the past,
to brush the debris of your elders
from off your shoulders and give you a chance
to carry your own life well, from your head
down your uncrumbling spine to the soles
you will raise and have raised throughout your own time.

Yes, there’s enough of me left
to raise my own astonishing bones
from the ground of my life
and demand my own piece of sky,
the place where the clouds part
as I pass, touching them,
telling them I am older
and wiser and happier
than they will ever be,
though they are newly alive
and helping Earth beings to thrive—
and thanking them
for looking at me
with such innocence,
such welcome, such joy,
and in spite of everything
about the ways I look and do not like,
teaching me to love them, with such love.
                     
       Alla Renée Bozarth
The Frequency of Light
      Copyright 2012



           White Water                           


White water rushes down forcefully from high glaciers, forming treacherous streams and rivers where many deaths occur, for even experienced and strong navigators and swimmers wearing full torso life jackets can be capsized from their boats, and once in the near-freezing and turbulent water, go under and be churned against sharp rocks into oblivion in seconds. Only balance, experience, keen perception, strength and skill give a person a fighting chance.                      

The shade that covers the window
quivers with warmth and luminosity now~
demanding that you open your eyes and your mind.

Wake up to the empty easel
of the new day~
A hand gives it a tug and up it flies.

The easel becomes a small window in a mural
that extends endlessly in every direction,
completely encircling you.

Blink and colors appear,
shapes of mountains and rivers,
textures of forests, open spaces of green
dotted with wildflowers~

They may be buildings and faces,
people wearing colorful skirts and shirts
and pants and dresses, they may be gardens
and forests and farms where hard work is done.

Stretch and all around and between them,
even right through them, the white water current of life
holds it together and constantly changes the picture, pulls you in.

Through the day and into the night, always the colors, always the water.
You will never be able to keep up, having to attend so carefully
to one small part at a time, while always the water is sweeping you along~

Relentlessly, an intense current from depths of power
and a wave of desire from the future ~~
sweep you forward, compel you on.

Pace yourself well, then. Leave room for the unknown.
Participate without being scattered. Learn the flow.
Enjoy the ride. Surrender. You do not have to be in charge.

            Alla Renée Bozarth                      
Diamonds in a Stony Field  c. 2012
With three friends in Ireland this summer— Thea in the south on the Dingle Peninsula where Europe reaches farther West than anywhere else, and Terri and Jack visiting the magical places from Dublin on up to Yeats country under Ben Bulben and sending pictures of flowers and ruins and stories of sacred woods— by osmosis I've been filled with fairy dust. Here's the form of it, a mix of the hardships of digging potatoes from rockbound earth for a living (but potato blossoms are lovely! take a look at them in Google Images)~ and the separate life of imagination to make it bearable, especially when desperate with the poverty, famine and disease that brought so many of our ancestors here to America~ with help from watery, green woodsy places, and ancient ruins for a shade and shelter in inclement weather of landscape or soul:

 
My Beautiful Ruins ~
    and why the Irish needed fairyland, religion and poetry

in my ruins I would have smooth, polished petrified wood
at the corners of prayer benches, for lovers to brace themselves
to keep from falling on stone—

there would be a potato field growing right through the edges
and earth lovers early in spring would harvest their beautiful
lavender, pink and white blossoms with their golden centers
poking up through the middle of night, the whole flower
still luminous, pulsating like starlight

and later the fruit of the flower, hidden under earth,
when discovered and brought up by rough but triumphant hands
and given to heat would taste delicious, mashed with milk and salt, with
fennel and butter and cream, and served with rose red tomatoes and legumes
and thyme, with wild greens and fresh salmon or trout from the stream—
and around my ruins there would be a stand of oak that had been there
for a thousand years, and behind the gnarly trees would be a sacred wood
that belonged to this holy place, or rather, the place belonged to the mossy
forest, its waterfalls and ferns— and for music and incense, to pilgrims’ paths
between turquoise lakes from where the rich living streams were born~

and all the ruins would remain fresh as spring morning,
even in winter and rain, full of birdsong and open to all~

but to humans, only once in awhile and a few at a time, between whom
there would be such empathic understanding that they scarcely would speak,
but touch and commune with their hands and their eyes~ 
and preferably the ruins would welcome solitary poets
who would not desecrate the place
with willful plans for tomorrow~

but make a drink from the sunlight and stars
of today and tonight, forever today and tonight~
where dreamers are welcomed but no reckless drunks are allowed~
and now I have told you the secret of all wise souls and all holy places
under sun and cloud

                                      Alla Renée Bozarth
                             My Blessed Misfortunes c. 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
    Columbia River GorgeWaterfalls: 
Sheppard's Dell Falls with fairy tree and wildflowers 
Sheppard's Dell Bridge
and Wahkeena Falls streaming down 
in zigzag ribbons on stone, 
creating white water over rock



  Interdependence Day





















Eternal Light of Peace Memorial dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt 
in the company of over1800 surviving veterans of the Civil War on July 3, 1938, 
the 75th anniversary of the bloodiest day of the Battle of Gettysburg
commemorating the 1913 re-enactment and reconciliation ceremony on 
Cemetery Hill on the living green fields of Pennsylvania. 

May this light's meaning and intent heal the spirits of the dead whose screams 
still echo on these fields, and may the living be moved to reconcile differences 
with mutually unselfish honesty, good will and reason.

Independence and Reconciliation Celebration, July 4, 2012

It began with heartbreaking remembrance, the acrid smell of canon fire
still in the air after half a century, the exhausted climb up Cemetery Hill
still felt in their muscles—They had returned, veterans from both sides,
North and South, to re-enact their movements on the last of those 
bloody three days of the Battle of Gettysburg. 

In the final Southern charge of the war~
12,500 Confederate soldiers led by General George Pickett 
went straight up that hill and into the line of fire by Union troops 
waiting behind a stone wall.

Pickett lost half his men.
Of the 160,000 Americans
on both sides, 51,000 or more
died in those three days
of the Battle of Gettysburg
in our Civil War.

On July 3,1913, the 50th anniversary of Pickett’s Charge,
50,000 surviving veterans traveled to the same place in Pennsylvania,
the youngest among them at 61 and the eldest purported to be 112.

The commemoration ended with Confederate veterans 
walking the path they’d taken up Cemetery Hill 
to the stone wall where Union veterans were waiting 
to shake their hands and embrace them.

In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt met with nearly 2,000 still living
veterans for the battle’s 75th anniversary. Their average age was 94.
The President dedicated the Eternal Light Peace Memorial 
to commemorate that most truly civil reunion 
and reconciliation embrace of 1913.

Today its flame can be seen from a distance of twenty miles.
On the front of the memorial are the words carved in stone,
“Peace Eternal in a Nation United.”

Though we are in another fractious election year,
through all our fears and differences, may it be so.
May civility rule with compassion and reason 
in creating new paths to peace. 

On the hundredth anniversary next year, 
may the way ahead be brighter.
May we keep holy the day.

Alla Renée Bozarth             
Diamonds in a Stony Field
Copyright 2012


The spirit of a dead soldier 
is led into Paradise by an angel. 
Living waters wash the horrors of war 
from his soul and refresh his spirit 
for his journey through healing light.















Interdependence Day Celebration

I sit in quiet regard
in the garden swing,
eyes over hours drifting
among creature kin,
see them here—

An afternoon ant’s effort
to take home a feast
for the clan— fur-clad
yellow-striped honeybee,
immensely ten times her size,
leaving his outgrown body
a spirit gift to earth diners now—

Iridescent green hummingbirds
fighting over twenty-five wild
yellow irises— plenty, plenty
for the tiny two of them!

Bright green dragonfly napping
on a bowl of yellow rose petals;
yellow sunlight dancing
in clear water, sunbeams bathing
in gold pools of water,
down petrified wood and rose
quartz ledges, down the fountain’s
rocky pyramid mountain; and
brightest yet canary yellow
goldfinch friends climbing
under cascades of the sun-and-water
partners to partake in their pleasure,
drink in the light and take flight
like new birds just born.

There isn’t time to tell you more—
I am assigned to be their angel this evening
and put out fresh sunflower seeds for supper.
They have fed me all day with their music
and colors— it is the least I can do for them.

And for the Three Treasures—
The Way, the Wild and Friends—
I thank you.
                                                                    
  Alla Renée Bozarth
  The Book of Bliss
      iUniverse 2000
   




                                                  A Season of Spirit 


                                           A Murmuration of Starlings                

I have seen, heard and understood the crisp, often argumentative 
language of science that takes place among a consternation of crows,
but there is nothing on Earth as thrilling as the great spectacle of ten thousand
or half a million starling suddenly appearing from nowhere and forming
the most magnificent dances in complex, intricate choreographies~

flying stars, these earthborn birds named after them,
they whoosh in like a slow wide lightning flash, equally startling,
winging their way above water toward heaven~
yet so in love with time and life they always land somewhere,
filling tall trees, my neighbors' Deodar (Darling of God) true cedar,
the tall red cedars, the thick pines in my pasture, then the  spontaneous 
choral concerts of conversation, perhaps working out their next air acrobatics
and power dances— then another sudden Whoosh and they begin the next
tour de force arabesque—layered thick and banking, then rolling again
and again in waves of precision and grace, then melding smoothly 
into black funnels that mimic tornadoes— 
as if protecting against the real thing with a colossal,
“I’m here ” declaration— then swooping elegantly into
celebratory and triumphant spirals evoking pure joy—
they move as a single being ~ the murmur of it, the wings!

five minutes of forevering,
of open-mouthed, scarcely breathing,
total body wonder, while the Spirited Gift continues
and the collective consciousness of their single body
scouts, scopes, spontaneously plans, confirms and performs
the great dance toward sleep for a roosting site—

this sublime murmuration of starlings,
their iridescence of wings glittering
in sunlight, strobing through clouds . . .

then as suddenly and strangely as they arrived,
they disappear through an unseen door in the sky
for the quantum dive of a laser beam landing  
into a safe night near the river—
 
and only the angelic salutation befits them—
Glory to God in the Highest,
    Peace and Goodwill to All Beings—

                   Alla Renée Bozarth
        The Frequencies of Sound




                                    

www.youtube.com/embed/88UVJpQGi88 

thecleversheep.blogspot.com/2011/11/lesson-in-murmuration.html
 


Sea Galaxy
 
    for Dr. Sylvia Earle, age 77, Ambassador to the Ocean~
   who has come to be called "Her Royal Deepness" by her colleagues

pearl divers aim for wet white fire,
gather iridescence into their arms,
ascend—

others born to depth
dive deep and longer,
passionately seeking
source level—

to understand and care for the ocean,
the lead scientist visits the bottom of the sea to meet
ancient creatures new to her and learn from them,
inhabitants of the blue heart of Earth~~
her heart rises to vibrations
of radiant essence below—

bright ambassador traveling down
and down and down, dancing
in spiral balance for aim
careful not to rush
the sacred deepening . . .

until sea waters pull her
into divine luminescence,
realms of unknown beings . . .

where her fingers suddenly touch a body
of six feet long spiraling bamboo coral—

and to her joy her touch is met with
dancing rings of blue fire—

touch above, electric blue rings spiral upward,
touch below, they spiral down, touch above and below,
rings of blue lightning dance up and down in bubbling 
delight together, shooting blues stars, orgiastic in deep water—

the scientist plays in their blessing embrace
at levels of heat from undersea volcanoes
in the Pacific Ring of Fire that would blind or kill
at lesser depths, yet creatures who live there are
more alive than mere humanity, and her humanity
is more alive there also—

below dense darkness they meet at explorers’ end—
their bodies landing to light in light,
a secret access flame to resurrection—

star swimmers who have gone past the depth
where light can penetrate,
astronauts of the bathosphere—

they delve through dark matter
and after eons find themselves
in angels’ nests of poetry and sea stars—

woven of moving lightning,
from them arise deep mournful songs 
that haunt our salty air—

then starfish somersault to where such strange creatures
shyly show themselves to visiting explorers,
human sailors in a deep sea galaxy—

when they rise without words,
shining from the journey,
and return to normal ground
where we await them,
they carry new depth within them—

eagerly, unable to wait to tell us,
they come into our arms
bearing purple, viridian and blue flowers
of luminous wisdom, and we open our ears,
our eyes, our minds and our hearts to receive them~

       Alla Renée Bozarth

The Frequencies of Light
      Copyright 2012
        

           

 Solitary Witness—  In Memory of Her

    Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, 
    what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.   Matthew 26:13    

Mary, of the fishing town of Migdal or Magdala, prospered in Galilee,
yet she suffered— perhaps those seven devils known by everyone besieged
in the talons of depression— anger, futility, sadness, fatigue, physical distress,
flatness of spirit and no sense of access to the core self or soul.

Then she met Someone, a rabbi, scholar 
and carpenter who had friends 
in the fishing  profession.
He recognized and acknowledged
who she really was—

You are a great heart, a generous and loving soul,
a born leader, brilliant and brave, and you have 
the gift of a wise and independent spirit needed 
for the work  that we do.

Then he invited her to join them.

She may have been that generous woman who anointed
his feet with precious ointment, and perhaps from envy
was rebuked for wastefulness by other disciples. Jesus said,
“Who else among you has shown such courage and love?”
and promised that she would be remembered for it,
calling her prophet indeed by defending her with
the recognition that she was preparing his body for burial.

Though she bore the envy of men who craved first position,
she embraced the honor of being chosen the one closest to
his heart, first among equals, apostle to the apostles, heartbroken
and solitary witness to Christ’s resurrection, entrusted companion.

This liberated woman was known by God to be the one strong enough
to leave the Beloved, in order to fulfill his desire that she tell this
astonishing truth to the others, whether they believed it or not,
and to call them out of hiding and move them to attend.

Later she was driven away by lesser powers across the Mediterranean Sea, 
shipwrecked by storm and her own destiny, and came to the French port
of Marseilles, then some time after that went to Italy.

The Gospel reached across the sea through her well-seasoned voice.
Making her way to Rome to confront the tyrant there, she preached
to Tiberius Caesar, telling him about Yeshua’s birth, life, unjust death
and resurrection, holding an egg in her hand to illustrate the miracles
of birth and rebirth.

The emperor interrupted her, scoffing dismissively, saying
“A person could no more rise up from the dead back into life
than that egg in your hand could turn red,” whereupon, it did,
followed by his astonished and egg-shaped face.

Led by her strong hearted compassion and divine inspiration,
for many years of her ministry Mary served and healed those
who were sick in body or soul in southern France, taught
and preached to all who would receive her without prejudice.

At last, her perceptive work among others done,
she came to fulfill a deeper calling of solitude
to the creative contemplative life.

Mary Magdalene retired to the home prepared for her by angels,
and lived her last thirty years alone and unknown in forests of Provence.

Where else for such a woman to prepare for heaven
than in the company of angels and harmonious
natural neighbors, and in the South of France?

To this day French bakers honor her holy presence in their own homeland
by creating the sweet delicate pastry named Madeleine, made with butter,
sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and wheat, the taste of honey, the color of gold—
and, in memory of her deliverance to them by storm, they are
borne from the bakers’ fire in the shape of a seashell.

                                                  







   

www.petesweets.com

Poem by Alla Renée Bozarth 
in Purgatory Papers, copyright 2013


In the top image of the sculpture of Mary Magdalene responding to the sound of her name in a familiar voice, she is looking up at the Risen Christ, the exhaustion of grief in her face and her eyes puffy after weeping for sorrow at the disappearance of his body~ on top of his brutal death. She can be visited in an Easter Garden arrangement that includes the virile and muscular figure of Yeshua/Jesus at Mission Santa Barbara. Next to them in another niche is an arrangement of Saint Francis and St. Clare, looking just as natural and strong. The sculptor of this masterpiece and the other magnificent works is the artist, Bruce Wolfe. Seashell pictures are from Google Images.

The icon of Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles, was written by Franciscan Tertiary Brother Robert Lentz. Read what he says about the saint and this work here, where reproductions can also be ordered: https://www.trinitystores.com/store/art-image/st-mary-magdalene-2

The Risen Body of Christ is the Whole of Creation in Bloom~ 
                                           Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen Indeed! 


Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! 

 

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