OCTOGENARIAN POTENCY

OCTOGENARIAN POTENCY

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

CHRIST

CHRIST AND DREAMS
Christ, the Dream Maker;
Christ, the dream;
Christ the dreamer.
Christ the interpreter;
Christ the Way.

CHRIST IS TAO
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, HOPE OF GLORY
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 MYSTERY
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.

CHRIST IN ME
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;
WE ALL ARE 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 AND HISTORY
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.

4/1/2017
Wauconda
Hal Edwards

GRACE, THE OPEN DOOR

GRACE, THE OPEN DOOR

In the alpha
and omega
of every moment
every day
of every week,
every year
of every decade,
every century
of every cosmic millisecond…
Grace
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.

So
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
Wauconda
February 18, 2017

SIGNS OF THE SEASONS

SIGNS OF THE SEASONS

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

Cornflowers
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

LATER LOVES

LATER LOVES

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.

ONE LITTLE YELLOW FLOWER

ONE LITTLE YELLOW FLOWER

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
surrounding
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’
Francis.

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
Wauconda

OCTOGENARIAN

OCTOGENARIAN

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

Merely a
kindergartner in this
decade of distinction,
I respect countless initiations
that transported me
into this family
of wrinkles,
wisdom,
inner playfulness,
total trust,
compassionate suffering,
genuine humility,
inclusive forgiveness,
respectfulness
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
co-created.

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

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

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
survival,
making something
out of nothing,
waiting and watching
as Nature dances and
delivers her mystical bounty.

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

-Hal Edwards
Wauconda
May 6, 2015

What? Another Death Poem??

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
moment
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
and
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).

Wauconda
Hal Edwards
April 25, 2015

Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm and Disneyworld, Grandpa Story 12

Grandpa Story 12

DISNEYLAND, KNOTTS BERRY FARM AND DISNEYWORLD

Ed Turpin was his name. He was a dedicated, loyal, introverted church trustee at St. Mark’s Methodist Church who fixed our broken parsonage toilet more than once. Every day, in the wee hours of the morning after the last parent and child had left, he swept the parking lots in Disneyland with his huge industrial sweeper. So, guess what? Back in those days we had paper tickets, A, B, C…all the way to J. A was for the Matterhorn ride, and J was for bumper cars and Tea Cup rides!! Ed salvaged tickets strewn around the parking lot, and he gave us a big bunch once or twice every year. Needless to say, there were many more J-tickets left on the parking lot than A’s!!

We lived in Buena Park at the time, in the 60’s, close enough to hear the train whistle at Knotts Berry Farm, and less than five miles from world-famous Disneyland.

Disneyland opened its doors in July of 1955. Six thousand people received special tickets to this gala opening. Unfortunately, twenty-two thousand additional people came with counterfeit tickets. The next day, open to the public, it cost $1.00 to get inside. The plumbing didn’t work; it was a very hot summer day. Women’s high heels sunk in the new asphalt. Thanks to his contracts with movies and TV, Disney made enough money to finance and complete his first dream park. The rest is history.

I remember vividly, December of 1966, when Walt Disney died. Flags flew at half-mast. Tears flowed. One man who shared stories and gave us songs about a duck and a mouse disappeared overnight. Even today at this keyboard little warm tears still hold that moment in memory. And yet, as I walked along Main Street last week and watched the fascinated faces of little children and happy parents, I knew that the soul and vision of that one man was still very much alive…spilling over on all of us.

Living in Southern California was like living in a perpetual vacationland. Countless tandem rides with our young children to and from Knotts Berry Farm, always including the country store with cherry liquorish; plus climbing rocks along the seashore at Laguna Beach; Tinker Bell, Tiki Tiki Room, and Mickey Mouse; sitting among the swallows at San Juan Capistrano Mission; fishing for albacore in the Pacific, visiting Universal Studios in Hollywood, snowball fights two hours up in the mountains, visits to San Diego Zoo and picking deliciously fresh oranges off the trees in Don and Jean Dornan’s orchard. And there were individuals whose lives deeply influenced us.

Continue reading