Sunday, April 9, 2017

Poetry: Providence

Untitled

PROVIDENCE

I spent a year
inside steepled walls
with a weary flock
and their flood of
private thoughts
we prayed out loud
with a vague dread
our pain tucked in
our sins neatly pressed

But my feet
were restless
in the pews
my mouth couldn't taste
the peace there
my throat hurt
from choking
on the points
of the church spires

I found God instead
outside the four walls
beneath a roof of oaks
in a chapel of trees
reading each verse
in the veins
of the leaves, in
the mushroomed earth
trampled by my feet

Truth in the cells
of each fallen treasure
on the floor of the woods
with its holiness of color
There I can pray
and gently surrender
to the source inside
that turns my poems tender
in a sacred rhythm
my soul, not I,
remembers.

© Sherri Brannon 2017

"Were I in churchless solitudes remaining,
Far from all voice of teachers and divines,
My soul would find, in flowers of God’s ordaining,
Priests, sermons, shrines."
~Glen Ridge, 1863

My church is in nature. Worshiping within four walls never resonated with me...I tried it, believe me. It didn't fit for me personally. My best learning, the most sacred kind, happens in nature. I walk in the trees and the limits of my mind loosen, the heart of it all reveals itself a little bit more with each veined leaf, with each branch - ragged or full - reaching for the light, for something higher. My biggest epiphanies, my closest talks with God, happen amidst the trees and flowers.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Poetry: Heart to Heart

Falling star

HEART TO HEART

Night makes an entrance
saying hello, bowing low
like a cosmic gentleman
listening to my words
as I pour my heart out
in the white-starred silence:
This sad earth of ours
is falling apart
all the people
in our troubled towns
with their angry mouths
have forgotten they're made
from long dead stars
all this mess of life
that strains itself
through cynical hearts
bitter thrones
spirits struck down
choked off, falling hard
and it shows
stardust hearts
have turned themselves off
burned themselves out
it's hard to share
my feathery thoughts
with stony hearts
and it's not in me
to put my fists up and fight
with these bird wrists of mine
this story book mind that
always looks to the skies
that wants to love softly
and fly
I plead with the night:
please help us to
sort it all out in time
and out of the blue
the sky answers in kind
sending me a tender sign
tossing down a falling star
a celestial offering
from its own carbon heart
to mine.

© Sherri Brannon 2017

A falling star is absolutely magical...I saw one recently and my heart overflowed. A split second of a miracle for my eyes only, or maybe not. Did anyone else at that exact moment happen to be looking up at the sky right when it happened? If so, we were supremely lucky to have shared that moment together. Separately, but together.

The state of the world...the ugliness we're showing to each other...the vast separation...it weighs heavily on me these days. Almost all of my poetry is about this subject right now. I like how this poem runs together in a big jumble, just like my stream-of-thought when I'm standing alone looking up at the stars.

Note: PLEASE, no politics if you comment. I am so burnt out by it all. Just this morning I saw these words by a photographer named Tim Kemple, and he said it perfectly: "These days it seems like there are endless platforms to shout your opinions from. That's good, and important, but if everyone is shouting then is anyone listening?" To see more of his photos (and brilliant writing), check him out on Instagram. I became an instant follower.

My photo started out as a daylight photo I took in Hilton Head a month or so ago - I put it through several apps and it began to look like a night photo. I thought it would be a great photo to support my poem.

Grace is always present. You imagine it as something high in the sky, far away, something that has to descend. It is really inside you, in your heart. When the mind rests in its source, grace rushes forth, sprouting as from a spring within you. ~Ramana Maharshi