Deep within the hidden country,
down a road nobody knows,
lined in shades of mystic colors,
violets and indigos,
stands the bridge that spans a distance
wider than the river flows.
Can you read the cryptic marker?
Do you wonder where it goes?

Only audible in stillness
comes the summons, “Take my hand;
we will cross together.” Choices
dance around illusion’s strand.
Quickening, yet not awakened,
shedding scents of La La Land,
on the cusp of Dreamed & Doing,
step into the ampersand.


cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2006

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Out There


Conveyances are personal,
hard-working or diversional.
A Lincoln or a Cadillac
will get you to the store and back,
but if you want to forge ahead
in style, go Yamaha instead.
Get out there.

Beneath a Kawasaki sky,
salute a Harley racing by
and think of riders past who gave
the well-met motorcycle wave,
a lowered left extended hand
that signifies, “I understand.”
We’re out there.

As pavement rises into view
it merges with the air, and you
are borne aloft. On curves and dips,
each heightened sense awakens, slips
the shackles of an earthbound form.
In solitude through sudden storm,
you’re out there.

While consecrated miles unwind
like ribbon, your uncluttered mind
encompasses with mellow ease
three hundred sixty-five degrees
of living. Ride, ride on until
whenever. Why? Because the thrill
is out there.


cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2007



Because of what you do for me,
I’m looking at the mystery
of life and death through cloudless eyes
as waves of gratitude arise
like billows on the sea.

Though once a hollow absentee,
because of what you do for me,
now present and accounted for,
I stand upon an endless shore,
connected to the tide.

All cares are jettisoned aside
to follow you, my friend and guide.
Because of what you do for me,
ineffable serenity
dislodges groundless doubt.

A transformation comes about
as miracles are measured out
with love in limitless degree
because of what you do.  For me
the difference is clear.

And should the shadows reappear,
you’re here to help me face down fear
and lead me home again. My flaws
are minimized to size because
of what you do for me.


cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2011

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Backup Plan


Come along if you’d like and we’ll roam,
but take warning, for I’m the exception
to folks with a sense of direction.
I’ll be lucky to find my way home,
but I’m thinking of sallying forth
with the front of the car facing north
so the south will be always behind.
If my formula’s put to the test,
there’s no option to veer east or west,
but as long as we’re focused, we’ll find
destinations galore on our quest.

So, while I and my passenger guest
are observing the roadway unwind
straight ahead, never stopping to rest
(with our knuckles and bladders compressed)
we will know we’re correctly aligned.
When we reach the Canadian shore,
we’ll reverse the procedure.  Once more
with the car pointing north on its own,
here’s a plan that will lead to perfection
as gears make their backup connection
clear down to the tropical zone.


cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2010


Aunt Crabby Speaks to the Officer


(With apologies to Robert Frost.)

Whose shoes these are I’d like to know,
and whichaway’d that rascal go?
He left a soggy mess behind.
All dressed in black from head to toe,
he’d naught but mischief on his mind.
I saw him peekin’ through the blind
while I was gettin’ into bed.
When you investigate, you’ll find
he lost his sneakers when he fled
and tripped across the sprinkler head.
I watched the water spew and spew.
My garden’s trampled, roses dead —
there’s nothin’ left for you to do.
But if the fool comes sneakin’ through,
tonight, I’ll shoot his socks off too.
Tonight, I’ll shoot his socks off too.


cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2012

Image by hollykl  AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved

Stillness in the Morning Air


Close your eyes and feel the stillness,
stillness in the morning air.
Morning is for soft reflection —
light reflects without the glare.

In the glare of busy hours,
hours spent in toil and grind
grind to dust your mortal fullness,
fully binding bone and mind.

Mind the body. Sleep, awaken
through the wake of days before.
Soon, before today can claim you,
claim it for your heart and soar.

Soar above your active planning,
plans and thoughts aside, inhale
hailing blessings wrought in silence,
silently behind the veil.

Now, availed of inner hearing,
hear the robin, smell the rose.
Rise and face the day replenished.
Plenty clings to twilight’s close.


cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2011

(The form is known as a wreath.) View Discussion

At the Pinnacle


The lifting is assisted by a jump,
so eager is the package to arrive.
He’s landing on the platform with a thump
and smoothly shifting into hyperdrive.

As if to celebrate his two-year span
of time among the mortals, at a height
unprecedented, toddling Mini-Man
ascends the ladder to his launching site.

A sunbeam, filtered through his wispy hair,
cannot begin to match the light that’s dawned
upon his face. How better to prepare
a child for living, earthbound and beyond?

The joy inherent in a playground slide
is not the destination, it’s the ride.


cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2001


At the Clinic


She registered with casual aplomb,
then, with the other patients, took a seat
and, patiently as well, began to thumb
through magazines.  She never missed a beat.

Each jaw went slack; each eyeball turned to stare
in unison. They judged her overripe
for fundamental psychiatric care.
(An illness of the vegetative type.)

Her name is called. (To be pronounced deluded?)
As if she thought it proper to appear
in public thus: a celery stalk protruded
from both her nostrils, carrots from each ear.

Undaunted by this diagnostic plight,
the doctor said: “You’ve not been eating right.”


cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2000


An “If” for Elders


If you can smile when met with “How ya doing?”
and skip the vain recital of your ills;
can feed your body healthy stuff, eschewing
the couch when steps can take the place of pills:

If you can reminisce without digressing,
can listen to a fussy baby squall
and, flinching, still consider it a blessing
to hear and see and taste and feel at all:

If you can watch a younger person flounder
and not usurp responsibility;
if, judging no one, pimp or pulpit-pounder,
you trust the love of God to oversee:

Then disregard the ravages of time
and take a bow, old sage, you’re in your prime.


cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2006

Address to PTSD


As wounded soldiers convalesce
and diagnostic tools progress,
your menace, Post Traumatic Stress,
must be endured.
We’re seeing more and knowing less
on how you’re cured.

For though the body may be whole,
when memories exact their toll
on thinking, you erode the soul
with frozen screams.
Anxiety usurps control
of conscious streams.

O malady of modern days,
you paint a picture that portrays
demolished dreams, a deep malaise
that’s darker than
the radiance of hope ablaze
in heaven’s span.

But, lifting up each terrified,
mistreated child, each battered bride
and broken man to safety’s side
above the storm,
we pray that healing far and wide
becomes the norm.


cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2012

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View discussion on this poem.