About Dismantling Grief

“Dismantling Grief is never a straightforward thing. Start
with a handful of earth, scattered over the wrapped
body lowered into the ground.” 
from Dismantling Grief  by Zeina Hashem Beck

a handful of dirt
not enough to bury you
nor enough for grief

—Paul Causey


is there anything?

there is life

there is life
that comes with audacity
making the smallest part
a thing to submerge the mind and heart 
with unreasonable wonder and joy
and too, there are acts within this life
that burn through souls and flesh 
and bone and blood with horror 
determined and justified
that out-screams any dialogue of peace and justice

and yes 
there is darkness 
that lighting of lamps
can shape to just be shadows
and there is light that’s best known 
by the nuance of gloom

each moment accepted 
has an option 
to ease attachment
that makes chaos almost sweet
with less attention 
to grooming memories 
to live as changeless certainties

and here’s the thing

not each moment will be a nourishment
but each can advocate for wonder
for a life like a river
that’s moved by its own way of being.

—ed sancious

May We Exist

How often do we see?
How often do we see ourselves?
How often are selves inclined to be seen? 

Is certainty only face to face?

The body tries to say all, 
yet it barely offers what it can.
Wholeness, by design, 
hinges on the lyrics of the heart.

Syncing breath with being.
Embracing ancestors in the blood.

We are birthed inert, yet bonded,
by ordinary miracles 
and manageable necessities.
Being human – being perfectly imperfect.
Being mindful,
learning there is that watershed moment
which is a drop, 
which is a stream, 
which is the wave
that washes away illusion
that without the mud
there will be a lotus.

—ed sancious

Christmas Cactus

I left you alone.
Two weeks without water.
When I came back I thought your limbs drooped heavy 
because: flowers.
Some already sticky, rotted fruit, 
others waiting to burst forth into the sun.
I considered giving you away, as easily as you’d been given to me.
You are a cactus, you don’t need water.
If your withered greens fall off in places it’s because you are a cactus.
You don’t need water.
You don’t need love.
You don’t need attention.

Alone at home, I doused you in a bath of tap,
set you outside 
to listen to the insects hum
to feel the warmth of the day’s last rays of sun. 
When chill descended, I brought you in, 
considered dinner:
lion’s mane mushroom rips, garlic smashed, asparagus singed.

When it was done, I turned to find your limbs raised up.
It was probably just a little bit.
But you looked a ballerina, revived and ready to dance

Forgive me, little teacher.
I didn’t love you, I didn’t tend to you.
But you still did the work of bursting forth with flowers.
Forgive how quick I dismiss. 
Forgive how little I look around 
to catch your beauty, most profound.

—Emily Romano

Blue Sky

a blue sky
stretching out before us
wisps of clouds
along the distant horizon

Mt. Tam in the background
my Mt Fuji
the Golden gate bridge
magnificently across the Bay 

my little dog Noodle
sits close and shivers 
together we look from
our mountain bench 
inspired by the panorama 
Noodle frightened
by the vastness    

—Bruce Linton

while the world was on fire

while the world was on fire   
I watched carefully 
as the low sugar 
strawberry jam 
spread across the 
thinly sliced  
sourdough batard bread, 
the smell of the
the Arabian coffee 
was intoxicating,  
our small dog "Noodle" 
chewed on her bone relentlessly,  
Carolyn did her concert in C Minor 
as she unloaded the dishwasher,
our bird clock chimed 10am with the Owl hooting, 
the rain had stopped
outside our open door to the garden 
Japanese maples rested for winter

—Bruce Linton