Fasting for Lent

I’ve pledged to stifle negativity
for forty days. In striving not to judge
another for the treatment given me,
I’ll dodge the bait to whine or hold a grudge.

It shouldn’t be a challenge to achieve
an altered state of transcendental bliss
if I can find the secret to deceive
emotion with a promise and a kiss.

But Ego has a credo of its own:
“Don’t give an inch in sowing discontent.”
Perception hangs as heavy as a stone
between the poles of stuck and free ascent.

With thirty days to go, I’m half inclined
to chuck it all and speak my monkey mind.


2020 Mary Boren
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Halt, Who Goes There?

I see you coming, melancholy mood,
descending like a demon eighteen-wheeler
from out of nowhere racing to occlude
my passage through perception’s truth-concealer.

I’m drifting in bewildering terrain,
white-knuckled now, my eyes are turning glassy.
As wretched shocks dislodge me from my lane,
I can’t escape the damage to my chassis.

With wanderlust careening off the road,
it takes a heap of strength to hold the center.
The labored engine threatens to explode
before my awe-struck psyche starts to splinter.

But wait—I have a built-in safety pillow—
I’ll stomp the brakes and let the airbags billow!


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2020 Mary Boren
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Sustenance

Before she’s drawn a second breath or viewed
her mother’s face, a newborn seeks the breast.
No special training’s needed, there’s no test
for measuring a baby’s aptitude
or mother’s love. The cycle is renewed
as fed becomes the feeder, doubly blessed
with strength. Instinctively, we all ingest
the substance packed in life-sustaining food.

So why should care and feeding of the soul
be shrouded in enigma? Through the worst
imponderable doubts, our Living Guide
extends a standing offer: “Here’s a bowl
of hearty stew for free.” And with a burst
of sight, the inner cynic’s pacified.



o0o

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  2000 Mary Boren

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Of Two Minds

A brain cannot absorb more than its mass.
I tell myself it helps to let it drain
in seeking to achieve a higher plane.  
How often, wearing blinders, do we  pass
the Buddha Image in a blade of grass
or shun the light beyond the windowpane
for fear its pull will render us insane?
My will is steel, my spirit tempered glass.

Yet there are times the mind will not be barred
from grappling with enigma.  Nonchalance
won’t turn the key to wisdom or prepare
the soul for nourishment.  Without regard
for tethered cognizance, my psyche wants
to conquer obfuscation in the air.



o0o

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  2002 Mary Boren

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Choose Love

“We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The lifeblood of the planet is in peril
of swift extinction by exsanguination
from injuries inflicted by the feral
barbarians attacking its foundation. 

Physicians for society have proffered
a proven remedy through mass injection
of Zenicillin. Hordes, instead, have coffered
an arsenal of hate to breed infection.

But deep within the body, organisms
are gathering in overwhelming numbers
to spread the needle’s healing for our schisms,
awakening compassion where it slumbers.

The power of love is dazzling when it stirs.
Don’t flee before the miracle occurs.

o0o

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  2019 Mary Boren

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Descartes Before Dehorse

The mistress cracks a psychic whip, and he,
a blinder-fitted plodding workhorse bound
by honor, hopes to find a patch of ground
that won’t give way beneath his hoof. To be
or not to be, his sole identity
derives from someone leading him around
in circles, heaping judgment pound for pound
with unequivocating certainty.

He’d never think of putting up a fight,
for every time he jumps, she lifts the bar
to keep his motivation locked up tight,
convinced that it can never venture far
from her own brand of patent black-and-white
philosophy, “I think, therefore you are.”

 

cc-by-nc-nd  2001 Mary Boren

 

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The Preacher’s in the Parlor

I’m hidin’ in the barn. They’re droppin’ in
at suppertime and Papa’s lookin’ green.
Ol’ Skeeter’s broke his leash and fled the scene.
Deliver us from bible-thumpin’ kin!

Aunt Smerka Lott’s a vision: beehive hair
and buttoned up plumb shut from chin to sole
‘cep one long finger waggin’ through a hole
waist-high. (I wouldn’ guess what’s under there.)

Now Mama comes and drags me by the neck
into the parlor. Uncle Filler Buster
is warmin’ up to toss his well-worn cluster
of pearls before us pigs. Oh Holy Heck!

I pray, “Dear Lord, please hurry. They deserve
to be called home.” God’s workin’ up the nerve.

 

 

cc-by-nc-nd  2003 Mary Boren

 

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Job Security

 

Adaptable, dependable, designed
explicitly to fill a threaded slot,
you serve, content to be yourself. You’re not
a bolt, but when some nut gets in a bind,
you’ll spiral in if qualified. Maligned
and snickered-at behind your back? So what?
Opinions turn you neither cold nor hot —
that’s not the way your character’s defined.

For whether long or short or fat or thin,
or backing out or boldly pressing through,
the key is in the willingness to spin
according to the job one’s called to do.
Humanity could learn a lesson in
the perseverance of a lowly screw.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  2003 Mary Boren

 

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The Disappearance of Limits

“Somewhere in the cosmos, perhaps, intelligent life may be watching these lights of ours aware of what they mean… or do our lights wander a lifeless cosmos, unseen beacons announcing that here on our rock, the universe discovered its existence?” – Stephen Hawking

The mental giant in a metal chair
resided in a multi-layered sphere
beyond our grasp, as we who simply stare
into the heavens, wondering if here
is all there is. He brought the world a gift
enfolded in a cryptic paradigm,
unwrapped in subtle stages for a shift
in scientific thought on space and time.

The message of the multiverse is veiled
in gossamer and lace, with calico
and pleated velvet drapes that have assailed
our curiosity, but this I know:
Illusion born of suffering absconds
when consciousness is freed from mortal bonds.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  2018 Mary Boren

 

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To the Song of the Cosmos

Your melody’s transporting me away
to sunrise in a candy-coated land
where no one suffers at another’s hand.
You offer me serenity to stay.
I’m tethered to the protoplasmic clay
you fashioned from the void. I’ve always planned
to hitch a ride back home. You understand
my murmurings in spite of what I pray.

But I’ll decline the invitation while
my fellow travelers are left to grieve,
for who would sing your words if I should leave?
I’ve given them the only things I had
to share, a simple sonnet and a smile.
I’ll catch you on the flipflop. Don’t be sad.

 

 

 

cc-by-nc-nd  2018 Mary Boren

 

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