There’s a corner in the basement
where nocturnal creatures spawn
mortal fear that renders optimism sparkless,
but the balance born of nature
in the crucible of dawn
is reserved for those who waited through the darkness.
Human history is littered
with unspeakable events
that would justify eternal condemnation
but a nucleus of dreamers
rising up to love’s defense
can emerge from any faithless generation.
As the curtain falls on freedom
through the apprehensive night,
may a unifying spirit find us banded
with rejuvenated purpose.
Let it lead us to the light
where impossibility is countermanded.
2021 Mary Boren
Shades of Twenty-Twenty vision
lie beneath abandoned cities
packed with disregarded lessons
of the centuries before.
Finally the veil has lifted,
there’s a purpose in tomorrow
and the memories are fading
from the year that brought the war.
Looking forward to commencement,
parties, proms, and lazy summer
leading into jobs or college,
we were only seventeen.
Some of us were undecided,
some had mapped a certain future
in the pattern of their parents.
Others saw behind the screen.
Since we entered kindergarten
we’d been tested, used, and herded
for political agendas
on the nation’s shrinking stage
so it wasn’t unexpected
when democracy imploded
in a world already reeling
from the chaos of the age.
Virus after virus followed,
claiming half the population.
News from other countries filtered
slowly through the riot zone
’til the power grid was severed.
While democracy imploded
we were scrabbling for survival.
Now we live on wits alone.
Here I stand, the single remnant
from a family of seven,
flanked by unified companions
whose intention can increase
coexistence with the planet.
Taking only what is needed,
with the help of one another
we will make a lasting peace.
2020 Mary Boren
A fading dream’s elusive silhouettes
dance softly on my window shade at dawn
to remnants of a half-remembered song
as if to nudge awake what time resets.
So down a labyrinthine corridor
I chase the animated shadow’s tail
with pure intentionality, yet fail
to reinvent the guise it wore before.
You say the pragmatist within me knows
its visage drips with jewel-studded strands
parading on the stage with sick demands,
but I reject the path that poser goes.
For January brings a reckoning
in rituals to renovate the soul.
With White Stone Meditation / Burning Bowl
the decade waits, its promise beckoning.
2020 Mary Boren
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Unanswerable questions plague the minds
of all who yearn for justice in the world.
Why must the battle rage relentlessly?
How can it be we never seem to learn
from all the brokenness and suffering
humanity inflicts upon itself?
Will any of us live to see the day
when sanity prevails across the globe?
But earthly eyes are not equipped to view
the picture from the timelessness of space.
Our singular assignment in this realm
of fitful dreams is training to connect
with love in all its forms. If Gandhi could
experience and witness all he did,
yet cling to the belief the universe
is ultimately kind, I’ll do no less.
2018 Mary Boren
View discussion on this poem.
(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.
Mary Boren, 2013
Public Domain Image
When Hope has nowhere else to go
through withering attacks,
she gathers strength from roots below
to rise between the cracks.
When Patience, buffeted by wind
is prone to pull up stakes,
he finds the buried grace to bend
before the auger breaks.
When Courage has forgotten more
than cowards ever knew,
it taps a hidden reservoir
to see the battle through.
Forgiveness, waiting in the wings,
unshackled from the past,
is summoning the peace he brings
when amity is cast.
And Love, in all her glory, holds
the power to dispel
alarm. Within her apron folds
we know that all is well.
Mary Boren, 2013
Voices clamor for an ear
open to the faintest note of
pessimism, doubt or fear
harboring a secret motive
poised to drive the spirit down.
Hope’s the nail and hate’s the hammer.
Songs of love alone will drown
Mary Boren, 2012
A tentative relationship
lies ribboned, sliced in pieces.
With each destructive, callous clip,
the agony increases.
Tomorrow will undoubtedly
find raging storms subsided,
but, for today, what’s left of me
feels conquered, twice-divided.
As waves of raw emotion crest
and anger wells within me,
engulfed in seeming nothingness,
assurance flickers dimly.
While in the desert of despair,
I’ll cease redundant weeping;
my soul, impervious to wear,
is safe in heaven’s keeping.
Mary Boren, 2003