In The Garden of The Heart

“A fractal is a way of seeing infinity”-Benoit Mandelbrot

In The Garden of the Heart

by Carmen H Gray

I heard the soft sound of those delicate chimes

And suddenly I was there

Those warm springtimes

Walking, walking in my garden fair

The rosemary sticky with its scent

The artemesia silvery and light

No plant I touched was discontent

The proud lavender, standing upright

In that garden, was I there?

Were those days carefree before?

I wondered that as I lay here

Time is a revolving door

Nature’s fractals I have seen

In that garden where I stepped

The leaves outstretched and deeply green

A lovely place where I have wept

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Through The Glass

“So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me.”-from Through A Glass, Darkly  by Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

 

Through The Glass

by Carmen H Gray

Wisdom doesn’t happen from being wise

It is not a matter of age

Or time or experiences

You become acquainted with it

Or, rather, it acquaints itself with you

Surreptitiously

In foolish moments of absurdity

Scattered in the wreckage and suffering

As you step beyond the darkness

And see through the glass again

Swan Song To My Old Self

Swan Song To My Old Self

by Carmen H Gray

Silenced, I

Tried to keep up

But could not fly

Named and defined

By the periphery

Left me lost and blind

You led me to see

Glimpses of

A new reality

In the still water

Where I saw

My son and daughter

And all of the faces

Extensions of me

And all of the places

I would find

A song issuing forth

Leaving my old self behind

Irrepressible

Irrepressible

by Carmen H Gray

Pushed and pressed

Myself compressed

But you will find

My sweet suppleness

Will meet that sullenness

With fluidity

Another version

Of my heart’s subversion

Rising, rising

Like doughy bread

Irrepressibly tread

The Drift of Things

“Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?”

– from Reluctance, by Robert Frost

The Drift of Things

by Carmen H Gray

When a dream has been realized

Or a story has concluded

When the mission has been crystallized

The end cannot be precluded

It can be fought

It can be conscripted

It can be wrought

It can be restricted

Or, like light that finds

Its way into those dark corners

It can be allowed to shine

The drift of things, moving forward

Deeds and Words

"Down the beginning of plants
And animals and birds,
Water and Light, the earth and sky,
Is cast before you move,
And all your deeds and words,
Each truth, each lie,
Die in unjudging love."
-from This Side of Truth, by Dylan Thomas

Deeds and Words
by Carmen H Gray

Victorious victim
Oh, you win!  You win!
The suffering, the pain
The sympathy you gain
From a warped world
And the fabrications hurled
Creator of your own story
You place your heart in purgatory
A holding place
Unfixed in space
Until a symphony of songbirds
Relinquishes your deeds and words

Mariposa Monarca

Mariposa Monarca

by Carmen H Gray

Monarch larva go through five instars between molting.  Each time, after molting, the new skin is vulnerable, with little protection, eventually hardening until the caterpillar again becomes too large for its skin and it molts again.  This is the period of greatest growth in its lifetime.  After the fifth instar, the pupal stage begins, changing at this time into its mature state. At this final state of being, a monarch butterfly will only live 2-5 weeks, with the exception of the 4th generation adults, which will start in Canada and migrate over 2,000 miles south to Mexico.  The survivors of this specific group will live the longest: 8-9 months.

These facts from my lesson in my classroom recently were the thoughts swimming in my mind today at the courthouse.  I had spent a few days in summer at the law library, where I had drawn together the paperwork for the next chapter in my life. Free advice from attorneys and thousands of law books were there to help guide me through the litigious verbage.

I looked around the courtroom this fall morning. There were a the handful of people present: an elegant African woman with her thick hair piled atop her head, a humble woman in jeans and a tee-shirt, and a couple.  The African woman’s case was called first. She was from Ghana and had been living as a single mother since 2011 with her daughter. The husband had left and was living back in Ghana.  She was at last being granted her divorce from him. Her attorney helped her understand the convoluted language.  Off she went after the hearing, a proud and strong single woman.

Next, the jeans and tee-shirt woman was called forward.  She was respresenting her case, like I would be doing.  The judge granted her the divorce and off she went, a new woman with a new name.

I had conferred with the volunteer attorney when I first arrived to ensure my documents were in proper order and signatures were in place.  It had been a painful process.  The leaver and the left both grieve in their own ways the ending of a relationship.  Most people take a side with one or the other, depending on their own personal experiences.  It is a human thing to do.  No one sees everything, no one knows everything, yet people naturally take sides.  Among the myriad lessons learned during this past year, practicing non-judgement is probably the one which will stay with me the longest.

I watched as the wife of the couple teared up, I handed her some kleenex and said a little prayer in my head for her-that she would find comfort and release in her situation, however and whatever it was.  As they walked off to consult with the same attorney who had looked over my paperwork, the judge called me forward.  She had kind eyes.  I was sworn in and she asked me the same questions as the women before me.  When she said the names of my children, my heart lept and a smile opened up on my face. Just hearing their names lit me up and the judge smiled at that reaction.  After all, this was an official place of endings, tears, heartache, failures, letting go.  She wished me, my children and my ex-husband the best of luck.

What is failure?  Failure is disentegration, breakdown.  It is an essential aspect of living, molting, changing, evolving.  And off she went.