July 28, 2010

Sometimes I am a swan
Elegant and floating through the world
Bobbing above the waters of life’s mishaps
Serene and Peaceful,
Beautiful and Pure.

Sometimes I am a goddess.

A goddess of the sea
Standing naked at the shore
Hair tangling in play across my shoulders
Gaze soft as I overlook my kingdom
With resting beauty
Complete in the salt spray.

A goddess of the earth
Filled with the damp pungent scent
Of the soil and the trees
And the faint fresh sweetness
Of the delicate flowers
I am untamed and primal
Radiating a wild beauty to the wilderness,
My praise to the Mother Earth.

Sometimes I am a doe
Having drawn myself back
Into sweetness and innocence
Delicateness and sensitivity
Shying from the outside world
And its abrasiveness.

And always, I am myself
Shining on and on
Blindingly brilliant
In the center of this gem
Shining out through each face,
Each side of this gemstone
A separate being
Yet one and the same.


Two nights ago, I sat above the edge of the sea on a wall of boulders eight feet up in the air.  The wind screamed, ripping at the rose bushes and crabgrass behind me, and wave after wave reared and crashed below in torment before being sucked back out into its successor, clawing the sand and pebbles back with it.  All of my surroundings turned alive with raging emotion.  In my mind, I knew I had two old friends snug and warm indoors no more than four yards away, speaking to each other on the strings of their guitars, creating a marvelous conversation of entwined feelings and words without words, but their music was swallowed by the wind and the waves.  So close to them, emotionally and physically, yet so far from where they were and what they were in that moment, I took a deep breath of the frigid salty air as it whipped around me and filled myself with this darkness and aliveness.  Sucking in its breath, I became one with the storm around me, yet I sat in stillness in the center of it all as it ripped and raged around me.  Together but separate.  Together AND separate.  At one with my surroundings yet at one within myself.

At last.
It’s been a lifetime.

The waiter gently
Strokes your crown
As the red wine
Rises in your cheeks
And the soup spoon
Warm and heavy
Slides from your hand.

The guitarist in the corner
Strums a song
You wrote
In your childhood.

As you settle
Into your water’s arms
The diners smile in chorus
The busboy blows you a kiss.

JoAnn Balingit is a sorceress with words.  She creates beautiful, beautiful poetry and I am blessed to have had her work introduced to me through her son, an equally talented artist of images through paints and pens.

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