Several years ago
a friend
introduced me to
a book of
death poems.

I read them.
I read every poem
in the book.

Very few
spoke to me;
some were gross,
some were funny,
some were downright
dark and dreary.

A few were profound,
personal, meaningful
and even enlightening.

Most reflected our
cultural denial of death,
or Edgar Allen Poe’s
poetic orgy in the pit.

I have found
writing death poems
to be rather meaningful.

After all,
dying is totally universal
and quite personal
at the same time.

No one gets
to experience
the inside view
of another’s passing.

You may sit near by,
hold my hand,
listen to my breathing,
and my final breath.
You may close my
eyes for the final time
but my moment of death
is mine to experience
and to cherish.

I alone shall
my bardo of becoming.

While you tend
my death certificate
and memorial service
and put my ashes
in their assigned places,

While you go on
with your life,
paying your bills
and driving to work

my soul
will have been
born again
past the mystery of time
and space

into Something
and Somewhere
faith and imagination,
beyond hopes and fears,
beyond all opposites.

I do have a fantasy
about it all.
I fantasize being released
into all time and all space,
no longer a drop of water
finding its way towards
the Ocean
that I now have become.

June 15, 2017
Hal Edwards



There has come a stage
in this man’s timeline
when strength is measured
in other ways.

Once a youthful muscular athlete,
a daredevil, lover, entrepreneur,
workaholic and steadfast helper,
now less compulsive,
a less determined sort,
more flexible,
more grounded in the reality
of limitations and closures,
I observe myself.

And what is strength?
What does potency mean
for one who has “been there,
done that” ten thousand times?

This is my time
to honor the seasons
and times and shifts of Mother Nature.

What do I have to prove?
Where do I need to go?
What remains unlived in my timeline?
What’s on my bucket list?

Perhaps real potency
is the capacity
to be aware,
to be aware of my existence,
to observe with curious joy
what I perceive,
what I observe,
what I feel and experience.

Perhaps real potency
is to be present
to mud and stars,
to listen and learn
and live in this moment,
here and now.

May 18, 2017, Hal Edwards



Christ, the Dream Maker;
Christ, the dream;
Christ the dreamer.
Christ the interpreter;
Christ the Way.

Christ is Tao,
Christ is Chi;
Christ is Buddha,
Christ is Gandhi.
Christ is this;
Christ is that.
Christ is all nothing;
Christ is all fullness.

Christ is me, the hope of glory.
Christ is you, the hope of glory.
Christ is time, the hope of glory.
Christ is space, hope of glory.
Christ is matter, hope of glory
Christ in creation, the hope of glory.
Christ is Existence, the hope of glory.
For me to live is Christ, the hope of glory.

Christ the breath;
Christ the breather.
Christ the journey;
Christ the pilgrim.
Christ the seeker;
Christ the truth.
Christ the pieces,
Christ the Whole.
Christ is dying;
Christ is life.
Christ is
the Mystery.

I am Christ in my spirit;
I am Christ in my being;
I am Christ in my birth;
I am Christ in my becoming;
I am Christ in the flesh;
I am Christ;
It is Christ;
They are Christ.
All creation is Christ.
Christ is Creation’s DNA.
Christ is God ‘s full essence
in all and all.

Christ is our Story;
Christ is our Book of Life.
Christ is our suffering;
Christ is our death;
Christ is our resurrection.
Christ is our falling down;
Christ is our getting up again.
Christ is our coming;
Christ is our going.
Christ is our Alpha;
Christ is our Omega.
Christ is the Eternal Now,
Christ is the finite now.
Christ is God’s totality in me;
Christ is my totality in God.

Hal Edwards



In the alpha
and omega
of every moment
every day
of every week,
every year
of every decade,
every century
of every cosmic millisecond…
keeps The Door open.

In the beginning and
after the ending
of every
marriage and divorce,
birth and death,
sickness and wellness,
abandonment and betrayal,
injustice and catastrophe…
keep The Door open.

Whatever happens,
grace reigns,
grace remains.

Whatever does not happen,
grace maintains,
grace remains.

Whatever comes and goes,
grace sustains,
grace remains.

keep The Door open.

Bundle up every hurt,
every loss,
every confused misunderstanding;
Gather every unhealed grief
and thriving grievance…
Gather all resistances
and resentments,
memories of shame
and blame…
bring them Home,
through The Door,
into perfect Love.

Everything sad,
everything bad,
everything mad…

all yearnings unfulfilled,
all desires unmet;
all dreams swallowed
into ten thousand
darkened sewers
of saddened yesterdays…

every good deed unrecognized,
every unconditional gift rejected,
every unfinished symphony
of exquisite harmony
now abandoned…
Open the door and
bring them home.

every unfinished manuscript;
every prayer unanswered;
every loving attempt thwarted,
every abandoned intention—

These deserted refugees
of humanity…
these faithful fissured features
of a moaning creation…
these are the things
angels and gods
were fashioned to embrace.

All shattered investments,
now embellished by Grace,
at once,
in the twinkling of an eye,
have become
a deep reservoir
of Sacred Joy.

“Where sin abounds,
grace abounds even more.”
Romans 5:20

-Hal Edwards
February 18, 2017



Ah, signs of the seasons
are evident
in our gardens.

are turning brownish black,
about to drop their seeds
for next Spring’s Surprise.

Dahlias, glorious and dazzling,
are also burning and gnarling
in their hallowed impermanence.
Acorn squash,
falling off their umbilical cords,
are ready for the feast table.

Concrete leafy evidence of
Fall’s inevitable surrender
sprinkles our lawn.

Am I ready
to salute our voluptuous harvest
and welcome another Cold Hug?

Hal Edwards, Wauconda, September 10, 2015



We are later loves,

yet, right on time;

our years and tears

of experience, loss and

refined trust

have yearned and earned

this shared wonder.

Impossible to comprehend

and always sought

with integrity,

we have been given

open doors.

It is all about

truthseeking and courage,

healing and growing,

living in the now

and walking faithfully

into the Great Unknown.

Soul open to soul,

eyes that invite eternity

into the heartland

of our intimacy,

this sacred and shared space

basks in gratitude.



I spent a week
in Assisi
with Francis
in August 1982,
celebrating his
800th birthday.

Intoxicated by love,
I wandered through the
colorful display of flowers,
trillions of flowers,
every size and shape,
full and scattered
across several hospitable
Umbrian farmlands
this mythic village.

Wine, cheese and
a loaf of fresh Italian bread
in my knapsack, I
followed my intuition,
not knowing where and why, I
got lost and found again
in a veritable wonderland
of “Little Flowers.”

One day I sat at his tomb,
buried inside tons of cement
beneath the Upper Church
where Napoleon stabled
his horses.

Hundreds of prayer candles
blanketed one corner of the
cave-shaped sanctuary.
I sat motionlessness through
numerous masses
celebrated in many
different languages.

His cushioned sandals,
customized by Clare
to protect the stigmata
in his bleeding feet,
and his legendary robe,
a patchwork made from
swatches from poor friends,
were encased nearby.

Legend, history,
myth and meaning
flooded my psyche and soul.

I climbed nearby
Mount Sabasio ,
found my little sanctuary
near his prayer cell
in the dense forest
and read Kazantzakis’

As I encountered a man
who kissed a leper,
transcending his greatest fear;
I felt his living soul
pulsating through my soul,
calling me deeply
into the truth
of myself.

Riveted by his overwhelming
austerity, love and clarity,
a simple image
remains more vivid
than all the others.

I hiked up
Assisi’s pinnacle to
the ageless Roca,
an ancient Roman Fortress,
still commanding it’s
impressive citadel.

I sat for a long time,
meditating, waiting, taking in
the energy of daunting, massive walls
surrounding a Roman catapult.
Suddenly, I was visited
by a total surprise.

A beautiful, perfectly formed
small yellow flower
commanded my entire attention.
Unmistakably powerful
and powerless,
I witnessed a flower strong enough
to grow out of a rock!

That, it became clear to see,
was what Francis was all about.
His gentle simplicity
and conscious powerlessness
inflames all our dark fears
with the fires of Love.

Hal Edwards
May 15, 2015



I receive unto myself
every right and privilege,
every acknowledgement
of my full membership
into this classy club
among my contemporary

Merely a
kindergartner in this
decade of distinction,
I respect countless initiations
that transported me
into this family
of wrinkles,
inner playfulness,
total trust,
compassionate suffering,
genuine humility,
inclusive forgiveness,
and refined gratitude.

I experience at once
a disposition of determination
and a spirit of new awakenings—
observing, claiming
and celebrating
every critical, painful pathway
I have wisely and stupidly

More often now, I observe,
I am realized by my Self
from a deeper consciousness,
in Love’s omnipresent

Not unlike Rumi,
I more often come into that “field
beyond right or wrong,”
where I receive and redeem
everyone and everything
in creation.

Nineteen years ago
I went on a
Vision Quest,
in the Big Bend Desert.
One of several prerequisites
during my preparation time
was to go into the woods,
get totally lost,
enter my Death Lodge
and bid goodbye
to all those who came
into my presence. Continue reading

I Just Have to Sit Down and Write


Today is too lovely,
too filled with Springtime,
to pick weeds.

Let them grow
and let it rain
so their roots
will yield to
my exercising.

I want to make poetry
out of seeds
and weeds,
of plants
and bushes.

I want to join in
the chorus
of birds
and watch the
squirrels swirl
around the feeders.

I want to smell the
lilac and honeysuckle,
hear the mantra sounds
of our zen waterfall.

I want to sit in the
swing and open my
body and soul
to the shining sun.

I want to smile and
weep a bit,
just sitting in the wonder
of it all.

Springtime is all about
the power of
resurrection and
making something
out of nothing,
waiting and watching
as Nature dances and
delivers her mystical bounty.

Making poetry out of
is all about
being still,
just looking around,
smelling the soft fragrance,
waiting until it rains
to pull a few weeds.

-Hal Edwards
May 6, 2015

What? Another Death Poem??


I hear you
loud and clear,
my dear precious friend.
I hear you asking me,

“No! Not another one?
Not another one of your
death poems!
Are you obsessed
or entranced
with dying?”

“Are you
hypnotized by
it all?”

“Why do you insist
on writing so much
about dying?

“What is wrong
with you?

“Why can’t you
just be happy
and look at the
bright side of things
and focus
on being alive?”

I can only
but answer you
by saying,

No, I am not obsessed,
nor do I have any
need or desire to die.

Neither do I choose
to dismiss this
most important
of greatest meaning
and purpose.

I sense an inevitable Surprise of Love
that will come to pass;
I welcome whatever
is to come,
as I value
every opportunity
to be present
here and now.

I choose to be present
to my Soul
in my living
in my dying and living again.

I seek the same grace
and surrender to
the same grace
exhaling and inhaling,
sleeping and awake,
working and playing,
living and dying.

Graduation Day
is worth
preparing for,
writing about,
reflecting upon
as I
smell the flowers
and lick my
chocolate ice cream
(with almonds).

Hal Edwards
April 25, 2015