art, beauty, hope, living, moments, mystics, nature, time


Art and Poetry by Carmen H Gray


The clouds opened up in October

Fay beings in my garden

All of the old souls summoned from the cold, misty northlands

Landing hither and thither

On that one flower that overshadows me

It grew from seed, you never know what will happen

When you send seeds forth

Into their future states of being

One might become

The one that surpasses you

To stand in that hushed intermission

Of fluttering souls

All Soul’s ShadowSelves

On a steady path south

To a mountain where I have lingered in this lifetime

hope, letting go, living

Parallel Lines

parallel lines

by Carmen H Gray


I saw those lines

running across your

soft arms

arms that had formed inside my womb

arms I bathed

arms that glistened in the summer sun

arms that were cut and poked and prodded, too

I gently placed aloe on those lines

and whispered prayers to each of them

”let the pain leave” I said

and only beauty reside here

Hope paralleled

within a tiny freckle found

Between those lines





hope, letting go



by Carmen H Gray

Tender darkness with tendrils

That reach deep into the aching

Kissing our self-pity, rocking our illnesses

So sweet and comfortable in our cocoons

Tender silence from broken parts

Of mauled noises that struck our ears

Leaving us thrashing about

But you have to be still to hear the softness again

Tender wounds that weep with pus

But are covered ever and anon

Does it hurt more to extricate the poison?

Is tender just a state of mind?

Like a word that can be changed

With one letter

Tinder sparks that spread

Cauterizing the damage

Ushering in light, passion, heat, sound

Opening up to a new





“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens”-Khalil Gibran


by Carmen H Gray

When, at the end of a day

You have given all that you could

And still, there are fires at play

Remember to feel it as your should

And cry and let it drift away

Remember that all things great and good

Can be formed like clay

Or sculpted from that piece of wood

That was once the weapon in the fray

If you step back from where you stood

And allow yourself to bravely stray

To see the Beauty from the pain withstood

cancer, letting go


“Instead of resisting any emotion, the best way to dispel it is to enter it fully, embrace it and see through your resistance.” -Deepak Chopra


by Carmen H Gray

Who am I to speak of kindness and love?

I held everyone else’s anger

And thought that I, being so kind

Would transform the danger

Of the negativity that trailed behind

But, lo, I am just a fallible woman

I am nothing great or good

My heart is not some grand cushion

On which all sharp objects could

Softly land

Instead I absorbed it deeply


It did not stay tucked nice and neatly

It snuck out in the most unusual ways

So very unexpectedly

In and out of days

It spilled excessively

Until I told it

Yes, anger, I embrace you

Your darkness that transmits

The necessary pain imbued

I have given you your time

To shine

I am just a fallible woman

And you can now go on


Letting Go

A Letter To The House

by Carmen H Gray

Thank you for providing a blank slate at first for us.  The yard was dead and ugly. The inside was dreary and dark.  We transformed your stagnant state into rich colors of children’s laughter, joyful gatherings of family and friends, a place to watch my children grow and change.

I remember the trampoline in the backyard, the one my son helped me claim from a Craigslist ad one hot and sweaty summer. The same trampoline when it magically snowed one winter became a plate of white. I foolishly let my children jump on it (slip and slide on the ice, more likely) while wearing costumes I had stitched together for them.

I remember laughter, tears, fights, painting rooms, garage sales, tiling the porch and single-handedly reconstructing the dead space of the front yard into a living and breathing garden of verdant beauty. The sage blooming purple flowers before the rains, the fragrant rosemary and lavender I planted near the porch so visitors would inhale beauty upon entering our home.  Rock roses creeping everywhere.  One summer of giant, colorful zinnias that looked like lollipops in a fairy land.  The silvery artemesia expanding everywhere and inspiring me one summer to drink absinthe. Every fall, watching the brightness fade and die by winter. Every spring, it coming back to life by May’s end.

I remember children’s parties, the tireless preparations, the cleaning, the laughter and the tears, again. I remember hamsters, gerbils and cats and dogs and fights over owning pets and giving them all the care and time they needed. I remember the last years of my college cats’ lives-Wolfie and Layla-were spent mostly at the house across the street, with the sweet, elderly neighbor who was suffering from dementia and enjoyed their company.

I remember the emptiness at the end of it all. Coldness, sadness, loneliness.  And pain.  Lots and lots of pain. Tears. Broken things. Suffocating silence.

I remember you with all of the layers of love, house.  I remember you guarding it all.  And I thank you for that chapter in my life.  The joy and the sorrow.  Living life.

I release you today.  Because all things are just that.  And life is nothing but change, evolution, fluidity, the infinite transformation of energy.


The Lightness In You


The Lightness In You

by Carmen H Gray

Out of the darknesses

Under the scruff and froth

Beyond the bounds of heartlessness

Bursts a sanctified and transcendental light

It was always there

Waiting patiently outside of your line of sight

For the greatest depths in this life

Are not experienced

In the luxurious lack of strife

But by the beauty in the breakdown

Your lightness draws out from the night

A most brilliant, phosphorescent crown




“When you cease to exist, then who will you blame?”-Bob Dylan


by Carmen H Gray

Turn, turn, turn

Me around my whereabouts

I am dizzy from the spinning

I am just as confounded

As the next person

Here in this convoluted space

Where anger is the easiest


Underneath the throbbing

Is the underbelly

Of  resilient tenderness

That you guard

As if it were the frailest spot

When it is where the truth originates

Where you are repulsed

I will still find beauty

I will ascend

In spite of it all


Full of Grace

“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final”-Rainer Maria Rilke

Full of Grace

by Carmen H Gray

In your darkest hours

I have whispered in my mind

The words of a prayer from my childhood

Vestiges that stayed with me

From that patriarchal system

Because She is the Absolute Nurturer

 The Mother Energy with whom

My heart beats

Because I could not

Physically wrap my arms around your beauty

Nor keep the demons at bay

Nor take your anguish away



"The rest of us watch from beyond the fence
as the woman moves with her jagged stride
into her pain as if into a slow race."-Margaret Atwood

by Carmen H Gray

I heard a crack in the giant ship
That held us through the turbulent waters
Every cell inside me wanted to claim
The sticky sweetness of delicious blame
There is no end to the darkness
Only moments of respite 
Like the glints of sunlight on the darkest water
Like witnessing evolution in my son and my daughter
Life is a series of moments of graceful suspension
From the thorns, the suffocation, the stumbling
Like the unassuming fools that we are 
We find ourselves cast into places
Into unforeseen situations and faces
Some of us want nothing more 
Than to point and blame what surrounds us
Some of us want only to bear the burden 
And yet there remains a way out of the dueling pain
Forgiveness is golden