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

 

Image by Mitchell Toy

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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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Leader

"Namaste" by Thom Ricks

If you can set your biases aside
to champion what’s compassionate and just,
and value every member of your tribe
as if you’d given birth to each of us;
awakening to true community,
not rushing into battle unprepared,
but seeking out a path to unity
when sleepers’ predatory fangs are bared,
and forging through the darkness to the source
of light, replenishing your spirit when
the mantle sags, thus modeling the course
of energy infused with wisdom, then…

I’ll follow you with every nerve and bone
to places I’m afraid to go alone.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2017

 

Painting by Thom Ricks

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On a Gusty Day in December

Atop a ladder, Jack, with hair askew
and frownful countenance, leaned in to fend
away resistance. Wrestling with the wind
to hang the Christmas baubles, temper too
acquired momentum. As his banner flew,
three letters pirouetted out to bend
around his backside, shining end to end.
A passer quipped, “Does JOY live there with you?”

I wonder, does it show that she has earned
a front-room space with me? A cozy bed
among the other beds, a comfy chair,
a plate — so little asked, so much returned.
In peaceful co-existence, Anger, Dread
and Sorrow hold their tongues when Joy is there.

 

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2001

 

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Pride and Privilege

“Don’t tear that statue down! It represents
my heritage.” The Civil War still rages.
Although it ended, losers ever since
have sabotaged the bleak and bloody pages
of history. The altered facts we swallowed
have been exposed to light and judged a ruse
to whitewash the atrocities that followed.

The symbols we so carelessly confuse
with patriotic zeal across the board
from founding days are neither right nor good —
they’re remnants of a past to be abhorred
by those “endowed” with three-fifths personhood.

And liberty is just an empty word
until each citizen is seen and heard.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2017

 

Photo source and more info on the history of confederate statues

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