(in response to Lord Byron’s “Remembrance“)

I, too, have felt devoid of hope
while trapped within the narrow scope
of vigilance between the dreams.
When pessimism runs amok,
it’s difficult to stop and pluck
a thread of reason through the seams
that bind the soul’s imaginings.

But past the point of “All is Lost”
exists a realm where Fear is crossed
with Love, and there resemblance ends.
Forgotten soon, life’s petty woes
reveal themselves as beggar’s clothes
unfit to touch the royal skins
of you and me and all our friends.


2013 Mary Boren
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All is Well

Before the firmament was hung
as backdrop for the galaxies,
the spirit of creation stirred
and murmured, “All is well.”

Behind a white primordial screen,
the painter of the universe
was mixing colors, shades of light,
and smiling. All is well.

Between the oceans’ ebbs and flows,
the peaks and valleys, rocks and grass,
a changeless matrix is revealed
as proof that all is well.

Beyond the fundamental set,
the king of choreography
assigns the species to their marks
with purpose. All is well.

Because the players blink and fade
like stars in love’s connecting ring,
eternity’s a running show.
Forever, all is well.



2013 Mary Boren
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Thank You

If life was like a scoreboard
and we each received a mark
for kindling in a rookie
an inherent human spark,
the names beside the numbers
would be cycled down in lieu
of one who gives so freely
from the reservoir of you.

Regardless of my showing,
still your total would be more —
my only consolation
is that no one’s keeping score.
So, seeing I could never
reach the top of such a chart,
I’m simply saying thank you
from the bottom of my heart.



1995 Mary Boren
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Monday Morning

I love you, Thomas Edison,
and all the saints before
or since who helped to bring
electric current to my door.

I’ve often yearned for simpler times.
Excuse me, I was wrong;
I’m very glad I wasn’t born
before you came along.

How quickly I forget when things
proceed without a hitch.
Hereafter, I will bless your name
each time I flip a switch.

I promise I will never fail
again to stop and think
each time I turn the tap to run
hot water in the sink.

When fiddling with the thermostat
or opening the freezer,
I’ll contemplate with gratitude
my lovely life of leisure.

Tomorrow when I wake up in
an air conditioned room,
I’ll say a silent thank you
for the wattage I consume.

I’ll ponder your invention
every day and every night,
and all the wonders you inspired
by turning on the light.

I’d like to send this accolade
by email with a shout
to everyone I know, but … damn …
the power just blinked out.



1996 Mary Boren
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On the River

On the river, life is sweet;
love abounds and time’s a trickle.
Occupants of one petite
recreational vehicle—
newlyweds and puppy, Ted
treasure days and nights together;
share a table, porch and bed
by the river.

In the morning, songbirds call,
eagles soar, and squirrels scurry.
“Easy,” says the waterfall:
“All is well, no need to hurry.
Here beneath the cottonwood,
touch the realm that knows forever.”
Peace of mind is understood
on the river.

On a lazy afternoon
from a hammock swayed by breezes,
our extended honeymoon
sets the schedule. If it pleases,
go canoeing from the park,
laughing, feeling not so clever
overturned at ten ’til dark
in the river.

After supper, by the fire,
ears attuned to night so thick it’s
teeming with the heart’s desire,
hooting owl and chirping crickets
underscore the dreamy mood.
Loving is a shared endeavor,
with a prayer of gratitude
for the river.



2006 Mary Boren
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Lessons Learned in the Dark


I. Surrender

“What doesn’t kill you strengthens you.”
Perhaps, for those whose goal
is tyranny, pain’s wielded like a sword.
But, on a gentler parallel,
it binds me to the whole,
exposing all my weakness. Pain’s a cord.

I seek, instead, experience
that empties all I am
(assuming, first, the Self is mine to yield)
into the flowing Mystery
that breaks this human dam
of fear and spills across the open field.

If I, in passing circumstance,
can catch the cresting flow
of consummate compassion, may I give
the trapped debris that barred me from
the current to the foe …
for only in surrender can I live.

II. Forgiveness

I won the battle; lost the war.
You’re not my enemy.
At last, I wonder what has been attained,
and how much love was squandered in
the time it took to see
Fear’s alter ego, Arrogance, restrained.

What is it that entitles me
to fancy I can judge
another’s heart? I don’t know where it’s been,
or how the blanket wrapped around
that soul got stained with sludge,
or what’s been siphoned out or ladled in.

For hollow is the victory
where fractured dreams occurred —
those clanking bones that muster to defend
the id. They quell the music of
an understanding word
that might repair the rift and save the friend.

III. Gratitude

“In everything, give thanks.” It’s not
a sugar-coated bite
of Pollyanna platitude. For me,
it keeps the heart attentive to
those blessings wrapped in light
the universe bestows abundantly.

But what about adversity —
the unrelenting sigh
of disappointments, illnesses, and tears?
A butterfly emerging from
its chrysalis would die
but for the struggle. Workouts bridle fears.

So, mindful in expressing praise,
rejoicing in each thing
synonymous with good, I must include
unanswered prayer, the harbinger
of transformation’s sting.
It’s unconditional, this gratitude.



2003-5 Mary Boren
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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.



2011 Mary Boren
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A Hand Up

A cattle trailer stops, my scooter swerves …
but not enough. Within a blink, my wrist
is shattered, zapping tendons, muscles, nerves
and ligaments—equipment sorely missed.
A hundred years ago, there would have been
two choices: cut it off or let it dangle,
a shriveled, lifeless paw. Now, skillful men
and women have the know-how to untangle
a royal mess. Through microsurgery,
the bones are reconstructed. Months and days
of exercise, massage and therapy
work wonders, proving optimism pays.

They gave a hand. I raise it as a sign
of readiness to serve. It’s God’s, not mine.



2009 Mary Boren
View discussion.