Poem · Poetry · Uncategorized

I Miss Your Face

 

At least I can see your eyes –

even though they look sad and tired.

Your shoulders, too, are not the same.

They are rounded.

Perhaps an unnamed shame is weighing you down…

or maybe grief.

There is good reason for grief.

You stand at an awkward distance

as if a cloud of contagion was

surrounding me 

like Pig Pen’s dust.

I feel embarrassed somehow

by the invisible cloud.

I mean you no harm, of course.

Your eyes dodge mine, anyway.

The disconnect between us, 

is strange –

its wordless noise brings 

a haunting isolation.

The masks have swallowed our voices.

I hope one day to see your smile…

Your dependable dimples

could always brighten my day.

But now all I see is the barrier

we all have to wear.

I miss your face.

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, May 2020.

 

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Poem · Poetry · Uncategorized

That Part of Me

 

My heart is working hard these days

with loss and loneliness.

I am an orphan seeking home. 

The grief of moving through the landscape which

is my life

tugs at the ways I have 

stitched myself together.

This waking up is painful –

but as I move forward,

I open my heart to it.

 

It is a time of deepening –

of allowing the mystery to instruct

and show me

the location of my true belonging.

The older I get,

the more acquainted I am

with this type of deep reckoning.

It is familiar terrain and

I have visited it often.

When I look back, I can see this.

But in this moment, 

choosing to be present

feels like valor.

 

I gradually take on the challenge

as little pieces of me mend.

I begin to hear again the 

warm and forgiving invitation.

It calls to me like

a song over the hillside,

sending music to my ears and heart.

I allow this embrace of mystery which

wells up within my very soul.

This is the place which

connects me to the beauty of it all

and the realization of belonging.

I find my way home again

and I learn to dwell in a sweet peace.

I dare to hold everything –

all the precious pain and longing.

Thanksgiving visits me –

I am surprised as it wells up like a wave

and invites me to rest in a beautiful tenderness.

This is Life and Grace

given and received.

They had never left.

 

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2019

“Secret work is being done in us of which we have no inkling.”  John O’Donahue

 

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Poem · Poetry

This Golden Crack

Like a canvas

before the artist’s brush,

we get our markings.

Our unique hues

and textures

create the picture 

of what seems to be true

about us.

But sometimes life is lived

more like a ceramic pot –

one that gets cracked

along the way…

shattered, even –

the mending of which

is complicated work.

It takes the artist’s hands

and keen attention to detail

to put the pieces together,

beautifully.

It is a necessary process.

This breaking,

followed by the recognition of the mess,

enables us to be held

and mended.

When we submit to the

Master’s hands,

and allow for the

hard work to be done,

we are fashioned anew.

Our cracks become golden

and essential. 

We are forever changed, and

we shine with humble strength

from our broken places.

Like the Velveteen Rabbit,

we have been loved into

becoming more real.

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2018

Tea bowl Tea bowl
; Japan; 17th century; Stoneware with clear, crackled glaze, stained by ink; gold lacquer repairs.; H x W: 10.5 x 12.2 cm (4 1/8 x 4 13/16 in); Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Poem · Poetry · Uncategorized

Acquainted With Grief

Somewhere between meeting the new

and releasing the comfortable

there will always be grief.

It is that separation thing

that is oh, so inevitable –

and as predictable as 

melting ice cream.

It is the tug along the way 

that pulls at the heart,

sometimes tearing it painfully –

leaving scars that 

mark the spot.

Nothing lasts –

or so it seems.

It takes a lifetime to figure this out.

Eventually, we learn

that grief is the price of love –

given and received.

I bump into grief every day.

When I see it in another,

its embers are sparked in me 

and the familiar ache of it all

shows up,

reminding me of its 

ready presence,

pouncing on me,

like a mugger on a morning walk.

Grief has an I get it quality

when witnessed in another…

Our earthly existence

comes with loss

woven deeply into its tapestry.

We can see it in each other’s faces –

when we dare to look up.

Loss is the glue 

that connects us

and joins us together. 

Some think God causes this sadness

as if to manipulate us

to devotion

by bringing us to our knees

with heartache.

I disagree.

To me, God is all trust and love

with an unimaginable capacity

for wisdom and compassion –

and is not the cause

of our suffering.

If anything, God gets it –

suffers and grieves with us ,

weeping as we weep.

God knows that the answer

to grief

is the loving embrace –

the one we share with one another,

and the one 

God gives with

Everlasting Arms –

through us.

We are not alone,

ever.

This must be realized.

When it comes to grief,

and life (as it turns out)…

well, we are in it together –

and once we get off the floor,

after extreme loss has arrived,

we can move forward,

side by side,

learning a deepening resilience

together.

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2018

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Poem · Poetry

When I Am Not Writing

 

The babbling brook that

is the stream of life, passes

before me,

its eternal and purposeful movement,

effortlessly dancing –

its whispers inviting me

into the water.

I sit on the shore,

afraid to get wet –

mistaken by the idea

that in staying dry,

I can somehow 

avoid the discomfort and uncertainty

of change –

when in actuality,

I am delaying my

ongoing baptism into Life.

In this moment,

I dip my toe back in.

 

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2018

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Poem · Poetry

Begin With the Ending

 

You have already started your curtain call

and now we show up

with our unpunched tickets in hand.

Meeting you at this point

is like being presented with a gift

that has already been opened –

loved and appreciated for years –

and ready to be tucked away

for safe keeping.

All our hellos

have built in goodbyes to them.

The door to you opens

and begins closing

all at once.

We know this going in.

Time is short

and momentous.

It forces an instant connection

that is felt both ways.

We understand the courage it takes

for you at this point,

to drop your guard so quickly

for a bunch of strangers

who want to help.

And you do.

And we do.

In a way, it is kind of magical.

The delicate intimacy

that comes with sharing your ending

teaches us.

Teaches you to let go

in a meaningful way,

and teaches us what

letting go looks like.

We love this about

being with you.

Thank you for allowing us

to cut in

and share your final dance.

We promise to help you

finish it well.

Please take the lead

and show us your steps.

We will follow you

and share your curtain call.

Copyright© Cynthia Cady Stanton, 2018

dancing at sunset