Wabi-Sabi Waits

The wearer who would camouflage herself
behind a superficial face will muster
resistance from the dreaded  bottom shelf
when flawless, creamy skin has lost its luster.

Strategic bits of plastic might extend
her fleeting fifteen minutes’ worth of glory
as frivolous embellishments transcend
the chance for character to tell the story.

She shuns the wrinkles; sages see the grooves
created in the crucible of patience
as surface grinding gracefully removes
the residue of youthful limitations.

For only in the artistry of lines
can wabi-sabi polish its designs.

2022 Mary Boren
View Discussion


Independent /
Off the rails /
Absent-minded /
Twice-told tales /

Leaky plumbing /
Creaky knees /
Toenail fungus /
Cottage cheese /

Diabetic /
Lows and highs /
Medications /
Exercise /

Pertinacious /
Battle scarred /
Scooter wheelies
In the yard /

Hard of hearing /
Booming voice /
No pretenses /
Still my choice /

Hunky hubby /
Silver-haired /
Dauntless spirit /
Love unspared /

2022 Mary Boren
View Discussion

In Due Time

(with apologies to George Bernard Shaw and Robert Herrick)

You tell us youth is wasted on the young,
that we must gather rosebuds while we may
lest fragile opportunities be flung
like flotsam on the canvas of decay.

With body toned, thick hair and creamy skin
commanding adulation from the masses
the pattern of predominance will spin
its own cocoon around the rugged passes.

But I submit the opposite is true.
It’s adolescent angst that stands in need
of energy to busily pursue
agendas misdirected to succeed.

For only at an age when pride is purged
can artificial values be submerged.

2021 Mary Boren
View Discussion

A Figurative Analysis

The secret of peacock politeness
is keeping appearances plumed.
No horse ever entered the Preakness
without being properly groomed.

One’s laundry is judged by its whiteness
plus points for a three-cornered fold.
When windows are sparkling and streakless,
the housekeeper’s virtue’s extolled.

Affluence? The public will rate this
as, morally speaking, germane
and celebrate human uniqueness
according to obvious gain.


A manifestation of greatness
akin to a solar eclipse
is proof of a dieter’s weakness.
It’s written all over her hips.

1999 Mary Boren
View Discussion

Conversation with my Foot

I’ve been woefully blind to the role of your sole
as the lowest component of human anatomy,
seldom supported by more than a glance
from the loftier regions of purposeful vision,
I’m telling you now that your sisters, two hands
are in earnest applauding your dauntless progression.
A step at a time with the body attached,
you’re the first into friendly or hostile surrounds.

Well, if I had a voice I’d be prone to rebel
at the top of my lungs to a load disproportioned
in size to its tread.  If my eyebrows could arch,
then the floor might reflect an imperious mug.
But I’m fully conditioned to carry the burden
while others above me are doing their part
in maneuvering life, and my sole is content
with assurance that inches can never compete.


2013 Mary Boren
View discussion.


I had my fifteen minutes when
my skin was smooth and creamy
and once or twice as I walked in
heads turned around to see me.

The dimples flashing on my cheek
are thigh-bound now.  My tresses
are grey and thin, my waist is thick,
my features unimpressive.

Invisible though I may be
to those who prize the surface,
my worth resides inside of me
beyond the realm where earth is.



2012 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Seams to Me

My skin’s an old recycled flour sack:
a would-be calico that barely rates
as simple unbleached muslin; basted, slack,
and hung where pocket lint accumulates.

My mind is made of seven yards of denim.
Utilitarian, these rugged genes
can take a lot of needlin’ with me in ’em,
and durably expand beyond their means.

My spirit is a bolt of silk—no cloth
more intricately patterned, finely spun.
Sometimes I am the worm, sometimes the moth.
I ravel when I’m cut, but seldom run.

Though seamingly my id’s all tuck and nip,
it’s written: “As ye sew, so shall ye rip.”



2001 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Image courtesy of Bee Creative (Visit blog for more creative repurposing ideas.)



I have fulfilled my purpose
when I cease to wonder …

Why am I here?
Am I doing this right?
What does tomorrow hold?

… when I can sit in stillness
and lose all sense of self in …

the song of a wren,
the rustle of leaves,
and the colors of sunrise.

I have reached the fullest expression
of human experience
when I can …

fix nothing,
forgive everyone,
and let go of everything.

I have not been suspended in a body
to learn, grow, excel, repent, or conquer.
My sole purpose in this incarnation is simply …

to wake up.



2011 Mary Boren
View Discussion

Face It

Old wisdom says our faces are a gift
until we’re thirty, then we each become
the author of our own. To shift and lift
by artificial means appeals to some,
but as for me, I’ll go au naturel.
The story that’s unfolding on my mug
is published line by line in runes that spell
long-overdue contentment, with a shrug
of bittersweet remorse for punctuation.
Each burst of joy and melancholy sigh
converge in symmetry on my creation
for all to see. It’s written on the fly.



2003 Mary Boren
View discussion.

On the Head

I marvel at the creativity
employed in the design of you and me.
With brows for furrowing and cheeks for smiling,
or turning twice, we’re perfectly beguiling.

With eyes in front instead of looking back
we see the signs ahead, and soon the track
unfolds. The goal’s the walk/the destination,
not frequent stops for self-congratulation.

A neck that only swivels side to side
allows for easy friendships, but a guide
cannot rely on headwork to complete
a task involving heart and hands and feet.

With noses pointing up or out of joint
we’d never catch the scent or learn to point
a follower to higher, safer ground.
The noggin’s packed with purpose, pound for pound.

The master stroke, it seems to me, is ears
outnumbering the mouth. It thus appears
the maker spun the cloth and wove the threads
for listening. (Who needs more talking heads?)



2006 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Categorized as All Poems Tagged

Use and Care Manual

If my body is a temple
for the Spirit of the Lord,
who’s responsible for keeping
every window, tile and board
in presentable condition,
as befitting royalty?
I’m that nonchalant custodian
entrusted with a key.

The deposit has been covered
with a waiver for the rent.
Grace secured for me a mansion;
I’ve disguised it in a tent.
Curtains sewn from silk and velvet
hang like tattered calico.
Lick-and-promise doesn’t cut it
in the faded afterglow.

It’s a partnership arrangement.
No decision is coerced
from an occupant who doesn’t
choose to serve the Owner first.
But the maintenance is easy
when the basics are obeyed:
His to flood the place with Heaven’s light,
and mine to raise the shade.


2002 Mary Boren
View discussion.