Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mystical Place Of Meeting

About a month ago I was sleeping in a tree. My room at the village of Olon along the Pacific coast of Ecuador was built ten feet off the ground around the trunk of a tree that came through the center of the floor and up through the roof. Ocean waves surged toward me and with but a few steps, I could throw myself into them.

At night, with stillness all around, the sea kissing the shore lulled me to sleep.

Land is a barrier for the sea. And the sea is likewise a barrier to land. They contain each other. The two have made poetry since the beginning of life on earth.

Now I find myself at home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA . . . high among mountain ranges, and far from any ocean. The vast sky kisses the earth in silence. At sunset, the drama where the two meet can be spectacular. Just as the ocean called me to leap in and engage, so the drama of sunsets calls me . . . and I go to witness the mystical place of meeting at the most special of moments.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Dancing Feather

A dancer and ballerina met in a dance company and quickly fell in love. When they danced together it was if a grand drama played out between them, captivating everyone who witnessed their mesmerizing performances.

They lived together in a chalet outside of the town where their company kept its theater. Both loved nature and longed to set their sore feet into the soft earth somewhere far off and secluded. Their housekeeper told them of a place she had visited as a child that was forested and where magical birds sang incredible songs from the tree tops. She had dreamed of it later in life and always when she arrived she was a child again.

So the dancer and ballerina set off to find the woods and venture barefoot into its meadows. They rode their horses all morning and into the afternoon. The air was perfect, the horses strong and they so enjoyed each other that time went by without notice.

Suddenly a light breeze came to ruffle them. A beautiful feather flew by, then came back and flew past again. The horses ears perked up. The feather played in the wind just in front of their surprised eyes. "Let's follow it" cried the ballerina. They galloped after the soaring feather into a deep forest. Of a sudden the feather shot up in the air and disappeared.

The two got off their horses, took off their shoes and sank their feet in the cool grass and earth. "It feels magical here." said the dancer. The fresh scent of earth and forest, the sparkling bird songs, the peaceful quiet that had come over the horses—led them into a happy trance.

They sat by a brook to refresh their feet in the gurgling water. Without speaking, the two sat in reverie. At last, the ballerina looked around and did not know where they were. "How are we going to find our way home?" Her companion was lost in dreaming, and did not answer. A bird flew down and landed on a limb nearby. It cocked it's head to see the ballerina, chirped and flew away. The ballerina followed it as it fluttered into the forest and suddenly faces began appearing from each tree trunk. She grabbed her companions arm. "I see faces in the trees!" The dancer had his eyes closed and was smiling. "Yes, I know. They are the ancestors."

Then one of the tree faces spoke. "We are glad that you two have found us. We know your love of life and dance, and that is why we sent the dancing feather to bring you here. You are now refreshed and though you think you are lost, you are not. You have found magic. By one of your horses you will find a small stone box inlaid with pearl and garnet. Open it and you will find a shell. In the shell is oil. Take this oil on your finger and rub it onto the forehead of your horses. They will take you home." With this, the faces disappeared into the forest.

The day had grown long. The ballerina found the tiny inlaid stone box by one of the horses. She opened it and saw a glistening seashell with oil. Dabbing it on her fingers, she rubbed it on the horses forehead. They shook their manes and danced their hooves on the ground, ready to gallop.

 © Steven Boone 2017 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Lost Archives

A forgotten archive appeared recently on my computer. It was simply titled "Poems" and by chance I found it on one of my backup hard drives. It reminds me of the power words have to heal.

When the folder opened, I discovered my writing from around fourteen years ago. My oldest daughter Naomi died in 1999. She opened and transformed my heart during her struggle with cancer. When she passed away I had become a different person.

A couple years later I regularly wrote poetry to convey my intense feelings.

Here is a sampling of verse that I found in the lost archives:

Nostalgia in a Japanese Garden

In the garden
by the pagoda
a breeze rustles bamboo stalks,
stirs wind chimes.
White blossoms fall
into a dark pond.

When you were here, you
walked slowly on
the stone path,
pointed to glistening goldfish.

The moss has grown
greener since then.


Always a step ahead,
You arrived before me

At the gate. I  hear
hummingbird wings!

There must be nectar nearby.
The scent of jasmine—

Is this a perfumed memory,
Or a vivid hallucination?

A falling leaf reminds me
I am alone in the garden.

As the dazzling light fades, 
The air grows cold.

Barred by my beating heart
From an immutable threshold,

I linger, like some poor dog
Awaiting its master.

Gathered in your heart
were all the flowers of creation.

With every breath
the angels came
and tended the garden
until its beauty was so great
the world fell away in shame.

Suddenly a fire of longing
came upon you—its
consuming flame leaping forth . . .

You vanished,
leaving only ashes
mingled with

Broken into One

Along the stream
where we drowned
iris bloom.
(Lovers approach
arm in arm, the sound
of their laughter
mingling with the murmur
of flowing water.)

When we loved, the moon watched
while the scent of pines
dazzled our senses.
Our fierce longing ignited
a flame that sealed our fate.
Throwing ourselves into the water,
we succumbed to the current.
As our bodies dashed
together upon the rocks,
we reached the place
where the ancient songs arise.

(Now embracing,
the lovers listen—
our melody mingles
with the beating
of their hearts.)


Be a falcon
on the wrist of God
excellent in the art
of conquest.

Be a whale
swimming in the primeval ocean
sifting mysteries from
fathomless deep.

Be the wind
soaring above mountains
gathering perfume from the fields,
caressing lovers embracing.

Be a rainbow
that blesses the darkening day
like a necklace of pearls
worn by the bride of the sun.

Be a tree
reaching to heaven
while rooted in one place
a thousand years.

Be a thought
that precedes birth
dancing on the shore of dawn.

Be an emblem
of God’s remembrance
shining light in
deep dark eternity.

 © Steven Boone 2002 -2017 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Conquer Mountains

These days I arise before dawn for breakfast. After the sun touches the horizon, nothing passes my lips until night comes. No food or water. The Baha'i fast occurs from March 2 - 20th annually. This is the 46th year for me of observing it.

I always lose some mental quickness and feel cold more readily. Sensitivity to light, sound, smells etc. increases. I get tired during the day and yet thrive on the changes. My mind might complain but my heart and spirit rejoice. The grace and bounties of God come to refresh and renew my being. I do not need to use my mouth.

Instead of craving food, I crave the experience of sacrifice that brings the reward of Spirit.
In a way, during this period I am entering a prison. I realize I am at a disadvantage physically. But also know what I gain, and that imprisonment is temporary. When the fast ends, I have become so accustomed to renunciation during the day that when I see a water fountain, my first response is abstinence. Then I realize I am free, and the enjoyment is heightened. Same with eating. . . it becomes special again.

Meanwhile, I am stronger internally and feel I can conquer mountains.