poem: the deepest throes of late winter

poem: the deepest throes of late winter

here in the deepest throes
of late winter
freezing fog
chilling to the bones

the coming snow and ice
our familiarity
with time and space

then last thawing
the earth cold,
wet, muddy,
the sun in Pisces arrives

soon the vernal equinox
ushering Spring’s arrival,
flowers bloom in verdant, vernal fields
under budding trees; the mad, March hares

and now in some dark
corner of the Lenten heart,
repenting falsity of self,
resurrecting New Life

the fruit of the vine
ripening in the warmth,
new wine in new skins
affirming Life Divine

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 13, 2021

photo: The Muck and the Mire, unattributed

poem: ode to our nation on inauguration day 2021


poem: ode to our nation on inauguration day 2021

today our nation
inaugurates our 46th.
president and vice president
Joe and Kamala
who feel like family
Papa and Auntie

after the past four years
of a president and his administration
bullying its’ citizens
undermining our rights
eroding our democracy
empowering domestic terrorist
cutting off world allies
causing death and confusion in a pandemic
and leading an insurrection
we citizens of good conscience
find some relief and optimism again

fellow Americans
let us come together
in confession, repentance, and reconciliation
healing one another and our nation
that we will finally do the hard work
of forming a more perfect union together

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
January 20, 2021
Inauguration Day

Photo credits: Vox, AP, AFP

Reflection: the (w)holly name of the Beloved

Reflection: the (w)holly name of the Beloved

Christmastide 2020

When we personally face the Universal Cosmic Christ

at the nativity and at the foot of the cross, we are faced with two authentic choices: surrender or resist.

Are we seeing the embodiment of Supreme Love or a threat to our worldly way of life?

To whom or what are we loyal?

To whom or what do we surrender?

The powerful and the rich are filled with fear and trembling at the nativity and the cross, and the least of us sing Hallelujah!

There is no serving two masters, a life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. Our life is shaped by the end for which we live.

Note: The Universal Cosmic Christ, by whatever name and tradition, is the embodiment of radical grace and radical love among us and to which we are born, long for, suffer, are resurrected, and live everlasting. Although I use Christian symbolism here, many religious, spiritual, and native traditions embody these truths. And in the mystical traditions, this relationship between the lover and their Beloved is often portrayed as the passionate love between two lovers. The attached music video ‘Surrender’ by Natalie Taylor is a lovely example of this mystical lover/Beloved passion and surrender.
My reflection above reflects the teachings and writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Thomas Merton, and Richard Rohr who have heavily influenced my spiritual journey as mentor’s.
Love, Grace, Surrender,
Love, Grace, Surrender,

Love, Grace, Surrender….

click on music video link below

poem: winter equinox 4:01 a.m. northern hemisphere

poem: winter equinox 4:01 a.m.
northern hemisphere

shortest day
longest night
first winter’s day
at our door

cold, wet fog
blanketing all

nothing astir
all in its burrow
save the winter hare
and snowy owl
in stillness

season’s visions
stars in the east
the light of the world
the fire of the spirit
Universal Cosmic Christ

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
December 21, 2020

image courtesy of Lowell Observatory

(reader’s note: Jupiter and Saturn
will form rare “Christmas Star” on
winter solstice. On December 21, 2020,
Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer
in Earth’s night sky than they have
since 1226 A.D.)

poem: faith in the crucible of here and now

poem: faith in the crucible of here and now

and what of faith
solely dependent on doctrinal words,
acculturated beliefs,
and religious merit

it is deceptive
and dangerous

one’s faith authentically forms
in the practice of here and now
grounded in your experience

the truth authentically revealed in you
and lived by you

practice, little truth seeker, practice
through thought, word, and deed
practice and know the truth
in the crucible of here and now

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
December 19, 2020

image of William Blake’s Orc*

(reader’s note: the last stanza is from my
poem ‘Practice and Know the Truth’ also
available on my poetry blog; * Blake’s Orc
is a complicated mythical figure of both
good and evil much like humans in their
false self and True Self as sinners and

Reflection: summa vitae meae, scio te ipsum

Reflection: summa vitae meae, scio te ipsum
Preface: I was deeply moved to write the following brief account summarizing the sum of my life’s purpose and expression and endeavors to know my self, which I must humbly preface with a poem from Mechthild of Magdeburg, a medieval mystic:
“Of all that God has shown me
I can speak just the smallest word,
Not more than a honey bee
Takes on her foot
From an overspilling jar.”
And so I begin. From my earliest childhood memories, before I understood their connotation and significance, and certainly since I was old enough to read and write, I have spent a lifetime endeavoring to understand and experience the truth of dreams, visions, creativity, religious experience, and spiritual traditions and practices.
Having studied the world religions and a plethora of spiritual traditions, read a library full of religious and spiritual literature, practiced numerous spiritual practices, spent years in intensive self inquiry, participated in the life of the Lutheran church, and endeavored to express it all creatively,
certainly I see this as the primary purpose and expression of my life (summan vitae meae) to this point and continuing forward. All else flows from this source.
And what of this life’s purpose and its expression? It has gifted me with some of the greatest stories ever told from the beginning of time, the great spiritual and religious literature and art of the ages, life transforming spiritual practices for mind, body, and spirit, an awareness and consciousness of that which creates, wounds, heals, sustains, and makes us whole, the shadows of self and the truth of Self, and the authenticity of mutual relationships and true belonging together in community.
From my earliest memories until now as a septuagenarian, I have come to know there is no greater purpose in life than to know our own true Self (scio te ipsum) wholly body, mind, and spirit and to enter fully into the mutuality of relationships and life together in authentic community walking one another home always.
Beloved, until we know ourselves, we cannot help ourself, or anyone else.
Khrisnamurti said, “When I understand myself, I understand you, and out of that understanding comes love.”
Ram Dass said, “Be here now.”
Gary Zukav wrote, we “may learn through the fear and doubt of our personality or through the courage and wisdom of the soul. The choice is ours to make.”
da, da, da
damyata, datta, dayadhvam
shanti, shanti, shanti


quote: “Let us not substitute sentimentality for a true, authentic, mutual, mature relationship with the divine….”