Falling Leaves

“Don’t say fall to an old person.”

Falling leaves us vulnerable
in ways we might not choose,
but I am here to testify
that fall enhances views.

I fall in love with others
through honest stories shared
without regard for ego’s lie
that souls must not be bared.

We gather in October,
absorb the river’s peace
and let the healing laughter fly
as worldly noises cease.

Then Spirit’s own agenda
reveals itself in songs
& words & tears to teach us why
each Child of God belongs.

In unity with powers
that fall like autumn leaves
we fertilize the old sod’s cry
for gifts the spring retrieves.

The Universal Oneness
we recognize in all
replenishes its vast supply
of love in leaves that fall.

2019 Mary Boren

View discussion on this poem.

The Road Home

There is more to a word than the spelling,
neither future nor past in its tense,
and the story that grows in the telling
can jump over a pastoral fence
on the drive coming home. It’s compelling
in a deeper than physical sense.

When I think of the love that enfolds me
in the leap of a frolicsome pup
and the arms of a husband who holds me
like an obelisk propping me up,
there’s a presence that softens and molds me
to the shape of serenity’s cup.

From a window, the woodland is sounding
with the hush of an orderly mind.
In a natural rustic surrounding
there is space for the nerves to unwind
from the noise of a world that is pounding
the humanity out of mankind.

So the run-of-the-mill intersection
on the way to our humble abode
masquerades our affluent connection
to a heavenly area code
as it leads to supernal perfection
living large at a bend in the road.



2019 Mary Boren
View discussion.

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.



2019 Mary Boren
View discussion.

One (Redux)

I’ll be your hearth, your welcome home,
your trusted secret-hearer —
unwavering, conditionless,
your witness and your mirror.

This door may stand familiar,
but it’s not the destination.
The journey starts anew with each
repeated affirmation
to mindfully return into
the loving Gift of Presence
from every tempting escapade
that calls us from our essence.

For breathing one another’s air
beyond the realm of reason
where metaphor and matter meld
(if only for a season)
as better half or weaker half
at odds is lunacy.
Commitment in its fullness
summons vibrant unity.

And so I come before you whole
with all my baggage carried
across the threshold, labeled “Ours”,
unpacked … profoundly married.


2018 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Revisiting a 2014 poem originally written in free verse.

The Long View

“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.

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Lord Help Us

Dear Lord, you know me inside out,
and love me — warts and all.
You’re always there to comfort me
and catch me when I fall.

I worship you with all I have,
but sometimes, just the same,
it’s hard to comprehend some acts
committed in your name.

For where is love reflected
in a history that tells
how radical Crusaders slaughtered
countless “infidels”?

Such hatred, even to this day,
is hard to understand,
as churches preach less tolerance
than shown at Disneyland.

Oh please, before I close my fist
to cast a hurtful stone,
impress upon my foolish heart
that judgment’s yours alone.

Protect me from your followers,
the holier-than-thous
who claim the inside track on knowing
what “God’s Will” allows,

As each of us alone must answer
for the things we do
that cause another soul to stumble
on the path to You.


1997 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Photo Source

Radiant Reflection

“My forgiveness is the means by which I become aware of the light of the world in me.” – A Course in Miracles

When a harbinger of horror stalks the hall
and the silent sycophants embrace its call,
if you feel your spirit caving
to the voice of doom enslaving
tattered vestiges of courage,
come and stand behind the children
who believe the world’s worth saving.
See the light.

When custodians of chaos overreach
past the sentinels of liberated speech
and the sun goes undercover
where the creeping shadows hover,
bring an instrument for digging
through the wreckage of illusion.
Hold a lamp for one another.
Free the light.

Though the oracles of anger spread their lies
to the detriment of people they despise,
meet the hate and halt its churning
with the self-assured discerning
of a watcher who has witnessed
the capacity for healing
in a love that’s ever-burning.
Be the light.

For the weary world is longing for the day
when the universal truth goes on display
in its unimagined starkness.
Neither powerless nor sparkless,
each of us can stoke the passion
for our destiny that’s dawning
as divisions born of darkness
flee the light.


2018 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Malevolence Concealed

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Malevolence concealed in shadow waits
for optimal excuse to storm the gates
when every guardian of night has fled
and left no vestige of the light they shed
across the peaceful courtyard love creates.

A solitary candle flame abates
the siege as amity illuminates
the calculating coward that propels
malevolence concealed.

No other coalescence separates
abiding love from hate that cultivates
chaotic storms within the citadels
like unity of purpose that expels
unwanted dispositions and negates
malevolence concealed.


Mary Boren, 2018
View discussion.


The day of your birth is a signal
to pause and reflect on the whys
of a love that parades in full color,
though it dresses sometimes in disguise.

We are bound by reciprocal blessing,
nonchalantly defying the odds
of a Gemini/Scorpio marriage
that survives undercover facades.

It goes deeper than quickening heartbeats
as our chemistry crackles the air,
past the pleasure of running my fingers
through your silvery, lush head of hair.

For through lessons of trial and error,
I’m convinced that I never could be
satisfied with a man whose behavior
was predictably pleasing to me.

I adore your inquisitive nature
and your staunch, unassailable pep
in the wake of the septic infection
that embezzled the spring from your step.

Standing tall as a dowager’s hero,
you are dauntless, determined, and dear
with a spirit of fierce independence
blooming heartily year after year.

Not to mention the fact your persona
is uniquely aware and alert
for a man who, on November Second,
is officially older than dirt!

Happy Birthday, Darlin’

2017 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Heart on a Hill


The valley of their moody discontent
was littered with illusions that became
a monumental momentary glint
that blundered on the battlefield of blame.

Their bickering beget a bitter crop
of grievances for one divided whole,
a couple poised to scale the mountaintop
together, but without a common goal.

But then he tripped and banged the water pail
against his head so hard it made her sick.
Compassion rose within her like a gale
of cleansing air. Disaster did the trick.

So, climbing hand in hand, they claimed their hill
where happiness now reigns for Jack and Jill.


Mary Boren, 2016
View discussion on this poem.

The source of the photo is a mystery. If known to be in violation of copyright, please advise.



You’re as easy as a recipe for jello
running fifty fathoms deep beneath the foam,
an exasperating, independent fellow
as familiar as the road that leads to home.

At the door, anticipation is supplanted
by the telltale disappointment in a dog
when the one for whom he’s waited, pranced and panted
isn’t coming home tonight to lift the fog.

When I reach across the bed and find it empty,
it’s a pressing emptiness that’s amplified
by the silence in the darkness, and I simply
cannot rest until we’re sleeping side by side.

Over breakfast, hovering across the table
in the place of grizzled cheeks and tousled hair
is a multi-headed vacuum on a cable
sucking all the effervescence from the air.

So I’m sending you this telepathic summons:
Get your stuff together, put it in a sack,
hold your ear next to the ground and hear the rumblin’s
of how thoroughly you’re missed. Now hurry back!


2016 Mary Boren
View discussion.



I am your wife, unwavering
                     and welcome home.

This door is not the destination;
      it is the journey
      that begins anew
      with each re-entry
      from rock-strewn paths
      and ecstatic escapades
      that bring us mindfully
      into the Gift of Presence.

You are the air I breathe
in the unrelenting
      Realm of Reason
where metaphor melds
with matter
for I can be neither
better half nor weaker half
      or, for that matter,
           other half
when the fullness of union
suffers no halves.

I stand before you whole
with all my battered luggage
and labeled “Ours.”


2014 Mary Boren
View discussion.



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.



2013 Mary Boren
View discussion.



That gold embossed certificate
entitles you to perks
exclusively for VIP’s,
and this is how it works:
It’s issued on conception
and expires in Never-Ten,
irrevocably binding on
your own parental kin.

The terms are clearly written on
its face in tiny print.
You won’t be held accountable
for time and effort spent
on unrelenting nurture from
your cradle to their graves,
for love is not contingent on
the way a child behaves.

Regardless of intent or act
in any circumstance,
the sum of all transgression is
forgiven in advance.
I used my own exemption as
my parents saw me through
the best and worst and points between.
I’ll do the same for you.



2012 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Voices Clamor

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
voices’ clamor.



2012 Mary Boren
View discussion.

My Hero


for Hal Upchurch, 1918-2008

Be they wise men or foolish, tycoons, dukes, or earls,
paupers or preachers or thieves,
most fathers are worshipped by their little girls,
and in childhood, each daughter believes
that the man she looks up to can do nothing wrong.
She relies on what children should know:
that Daddies are patient and kind, brave and strong …
But, alas, it is not always so.

All too often a little girl’s dreams turn to dust
and her innocent faith starts to crumble
when he’s proven unworthy of absolute trust
and she sees her dad falter and stumble.
But though legions of heroes have fallen, and lined
the long pathway in lonely rejection,
in all of my actions I hope you will find
assurance that you’re the exception.

If you lay down and quit you would not be denied
a reprieve for a much-deserved rest.
I would bring you a pillow and sit by your side,
even then I would not love you less.
But I know you’ll go on and continue the race
’til your life has completed its course,
upholding the standard of courage and grace,
firmly mounted upon your white horse.

You’re a pillar of strength for your children and wife —
God forbid we should take you for granted.
I have known I was loved every day of my life;
In my heart lies the truth that you planted.
Your unselfishness springs from a bottomless well
for the family you’ve nurtured and fed
and, if we couldn’t speak, countless others could tell
how they’ve warmed in the light that you shed.

When reviewing the blessings I’m thankful are mine,
as so often I’m privileged to do,
from the group photograph, among faces that shine
in the foreground’s the image of you.
For your health and contentment I offer a prayer
with my love and a hope that is fervent,
until God calls you home and He welcomes you there
with a loving, “Well done, faithful servant.”



1991 Mary Boren
View discussion.

God’s Within You

God’s within you here and now,
omnipresent host in-filling
to the measure you allow;
undiluted love is spilling
over every vein and pore,
intertwined with bone and sinew.
Emanating from the core,
God’s within you.



2012 Mary Boren
View discussion.


He had curly brown hair
and a wooden leg.
I was tall and straight,
untouched by adversity.
We were seven.

Children called him Paulio
without a whiff of malice,
lining up for the novelty
of knocking wood —
playing knick-knack on one small knee.

I called him Paul
and carried his books,
always setting my pace to his.

We mapped music together
after school,
priming piano keys
with chocolate crowns
raided from Mama’s secret stash.
Chip for note, one for each.
Gobble – plink – giggle,
giggle – gobble – plink …

In the half-dappled shade of time,
instrumental memories
blink and fade like fireflies,
as moments relived
run the full scale of emotion.

Unflappable Paul —
boundless blue eyes, crooked grin.
Every feature lingers
in clear  focus —
each scene replays
to the tune of tenderness.

One muddy afternoon
I saw him fall in the ditch.
and ran to him … crying.
The woman driving by
saw only that he was down
and I was up.

She screeched to the curb,
blasting, lambasting me
through an open window
with her closed mind.

Push him?
I would have carried Paul
through flying bullets
on bloody feet.

My shoulders drooped all the way home,
but not from the weight of his books.



2011 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Doubly Blessed


The Maker etched a mark on each of us 
and set our strides together on the path, 
allowing us to skirt the frivolous.
It isn’t difficult to do the math.

Each forward foot consists of twenty toes.
Two voices ring in unison, the song
of service and surrender — love that glows
through shadows on a road four shoulders strong.

The symmetry of body, mind, and soul
compels our beating hearts to synchronize.
When quintessential oneness is the goal,
its promise is fulfilled before we rise.

Consensus hurdles independent views,
and merging trails are smoother trod by twos.


cc-by-nc-nd 2006 Mary Boren
View discussion.

To My Soul


My soul, innate divinity —
the spark of God that lives in me,
connecting one with all the universe,
your light can penetrate the veil
and shine where hateful thoughts assail
the finite realm, and easily disperse
the darkness of mortality.

With two or three in easy reach,
you leap to meet yourself in each,
reminding what we didn’t know we knew.
As seat of peace and love and joy,
you magnify the best, deploy
the rest, and fill the spaces through and through
without a single breath of speech.

When ego gains a head of steam
and plots to keep me in the dream
of nothingness, you hold my fear at bay
until the balance is restored.
You are my wings, my rock, my cord;
without you, I would be a chunk of clay
instead of holiness supreme.



2010 Mary Boren
View Discussion

Caveat Emptor

I remember the moment a package was brought
and the words the delivery man said.
Though he carried the treasure I’d eagerly sought,
his advice went way over my head.

“Sorry lady,” he said, “but I’m only consigned
to deliver it into your care.
Now it’s fit for the purpose for which it’s designed
and, with maintenance, won’t need repair.”

“But as for the way it will work, don’t ask me,
for that isn’t my job to explain.
You received what you ordered, but no guarantee
that it won’t give you cause to complain.”

So of course I accepted the package “as is”
for I wouldn’t have thought to do other,
not knowing that only experience gives
true claim to the title of Mother.

I would wager no woman who’s ever been blessed
with a heart full of love for a child
was completely prepared for the ultimate test
of going beyond the last mile.

But I also suspect almost anyone could
successfully hurdle obstructions
and rise to the challenge of good parenthood . . .
if children just came with instructions.



1996 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Rainy Night

When darkness falls, we snuggle tight
and listen to the rooftop song,
as if our stillness might prolong
the aura of a rainy night.

It rises to its fullest height
and serenades a sleeping throng
when darkness falls.  We snuggle tight
and listen to the rooftop song.

With peace abundant, struggles slight,
endowed contentment reigns; no wrong
can penetrate.  Our love is strong
because, in slowly fading light,
when darkness falls, we snuggle tight.



2011 Mary Boren
View discussion.


On this, a wet November morning made
for extra mattress time with skin-on-skin,
a-cuddle in the alcove where I laid
my graying head last night, the girl within
is fully reawakened. Down the glass
roll glimpses of the gauzy realm where wrong
cannot exist. In whispers, angels pass.
My heart rejoins the universal song
to feed the well from which all blessings flow.
Staccato raindrops on the metal roof
crescendo, fade to pianissimo—
a symphony for two, sufficient proof
that heaven is at hand. It’s ten to nine,
and Ever-After-Happily is mine.



2004 Mary Boren
View discussion.

The Way You Are

In midst of my apology
you smiled and reached a hand to me
and said, “I love you just the way you are. “
That unexpected, simple gift
to give my heart a needed lift
was warm as toast (and fuzzier by far).

So now I want to turn around
and give the world the joy I’ve found
in loving me as well as them and you.
It doesn’t cost a penny more
to factor kindness in the score
and give the benefit of doubt when due.

No punishment can more constrict
a soul than what we self-inflict.
I’ve yet to meet a person without flaws.
A gaffe’s an opportunity
to learn, and then it’s history.
Forgive and love oneself because, because.

I’m what I am — no more, no less;
sometimes a saint, sometimes a mess —
like every rider on this carousel.
If anyone takes pleasure from
accepting me the way I come,
I’ll take the gift … and wish the others well.



1997 Mary Boren
View Discussion

When I Grow Up

When I was an embryo, wrinkled and wet,
God knew I would need all the help I could get.
In His infinite wisdom, He knew you would be
the world’s only mother who’d put up with me.

As you proudly bedecked me in ruffles and curls,
I took it for granted that all little girls
had a mother as tender and loving as you
and that someday I’d grow up to be like that too.

If I’d paid more attention when you spoke the truth
I might have been spared the mistakes of my youth,
but I lived through the foolish decisions I made
by having a mother who trusted and prayed.

There are many enigmas I’ve wondered about,
but one thing I’ve never had reason to doubt:
Whether I ever found fortune or fame,
I knew that my Mama would love me the same.

At times when my strength has been put to the test,
I’ve wished for your patience, so simply expressed
in my own little girl’s declaration of fact:
“When I smile at Grandma, she always smiles back!”

But now that I’m older, I’ve grown more reflective,
viewing the world through a softer perspective;
peaceful in having my heart reconciled
with the values you taught me when I was a child.

I know there are heights I can never attain,
but one aspiration will always remain:
As I seek to interpret my role in life’s drama,
I still want to grow up to be like my Mama.

Reminders of you give me cause to rejoice —
you’re my mother by birth and my best friend by choice.
If my heart’s deepest longing should ever come true,
my children will love me the way I love you.



1991 Mary Boren
View discussion.

The Global Rule

Maybe if I had a billion dollars
I could oversee a massive mission,
blitzing through the deserts, hills, and hollers,
rounding up the poor folks. Good nutrition,
clothing, shelter, basic education,
birth control and medical attention
ought to be enough to bring a nation
out of fiscal failure, not to mention
perk up productivity. However,
what if there was no such thing as money?
How would altruism flourish? Never
underestimate two hands. It’s funny
seeing focus shifting when the labor
asked of me is simply love my neighbor.



2005 Mary Boren
View discussion.

In Training

Wearing only his happy-dog face,
running circles all over the place,
he was off like a shot
when he busted the knot
on his leash. … Now a creature flits by
with a flutter that catches his eye,
so he skips over me
with exuberant glee
to engage in a butterfly chase.

But I feign an expression that’s stern
and I pounce coming into a turn
with the fugitive pup,
quickly scooping him up
in my arms, a fortuitous catch.
As I give him a vigorous scratch
on his freckledy pink
little belly, I think
that we both have some lessons to learn.

Later on, I examine my lap
where the cherubim gently enwrap
him in innocent glow
from his ear to his toe
and I pray: “Help me teach him to heel
for his safety, but don’t let me steal
an iota of joy
from this baby-like boy
drifting into his afternoon nap.”



2006 Mary Boren
View discussion.

Categorized as All Poems Tagged



It isn’t on the map; it can’t be found
with compass, reached on foot, by plane or car.
It isn’t ruled by force; it isn’t bound
by walls. The vision opens where you are.

Irenica, the unpolluted land
beyond the dream is calling day and night,
“Come home, beloved child. The distance spanned
is Nothing. I’m within you — seek The Light.”

Her beacon gently whispers of a choice
to live where neither greed nor fears hold sway
as love unmasks confusion, stills the voice
of hatred. Sisters, brothers, it’s The Way.

A consciousness surpassing one alone
exists beyond the realm of flesh and bone.



2007 Mary Boren
View Discussion



God bless your boundless energy; your moves;
the grooves you hollow in my heart; the way
you say the most outrageous thing, and then
you grin, as if the unrepentant word
occurred unplanned. Half renegade, half fawn;
no pawn for the invasive round of knocks
that locks a less progressive man into
inhuman bitterness, you choose instead
unfettered paths of joy, forgiveness, grace.

In facing raw intractability,
I see you calmly staring down its fear
in spirit form, untangled from a mind
defined by circumstance. As love endures,
your gifts are mine to harvest; mine are yours.



2004 Mary Boren
View discussion.


In the aftermath of an upheaval
such as not seen before in my life,
I was thinking, “No no, don’t believe I’ll
ever want to be anyone’s wife.

There’s a lot to be said for the freedom
of abiding in solitude’s glow,
and commitments (for any who need ’em)
are as fleeting as tracks in the snow. “

As the sages have said, “Send the heavens
into spasms of riotous mirth
by announcing your plans.” Laughter leavens
self-delusion like nothing on earth.

He appeared on a soft summer flurry
like a popsicle placed in my paw
by an angel alerting me, “Hurry!
Better lick it before it can thaw.”

Now the miracle he is creating
as my witness, my mirror, my guide
is unceasingly regenerating
in the heart of this fortunate bride.



2007 Mary Boren
View discussion.

The Way My Daddy Said My Name

The way my daddy said my name
with an eloquent timbre roll
and eyes reflecting love that came
from the depths of his gentle soul
is lodged forever in my cache
of ineffable memories
that turn the years to golden ash
and deliver me to my knees.

I’ll never hear another sound
that will swaddle me in protection
where peace and warmth and light abound
in a cradle of sweet inflection
until it’s time to fold my tent
for a ride to a distant shore.
I’ll follow where my daddy went
and he’ll murmur my name once more.



2010  Mary Boren
View Discussion

Beyond the Veil

Beyond the mist, a veil adorned a bride
whose brimming eyes were mirrors of her pride
in him.  Reflection from a golden band
could not outshine the future that was planned
together; they were wholly unified.

Because he was an anchor, rock, and guide
who cherished her, she’d happily abide
within his shadow on a sunlit strand
beyond the misty vale.

Their bond was never tested or denied
for sixty-seven years, and when he died,
her life was over too, its spark unfanned.
In language age-old lovers understand,
he whispers to her from the other side,
beyond the mystic veil.



2010 Mary Boren
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Healing Tears

I caught the fragile essence of a rose
that floated from the pinnacle of pain
and wafted through my senses. In the deep
encrusted caverns of my heart, I felt
an indescribable, compelling rush
of joy—unfettered, boundless joy—and as
it bubbled to the surface seeking out
the path of least resistance to the light,
I clung to earth, awash in healing tears.

It comes and goes, but always leaves a gift:
Love’s fragrance clings to all the rose has touched.



2002  Mary Boren
View discussion.



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
View discussion.


I stand indicted, vilified, convicted
on fabricated evidence entwined
with figments of scenarios depicted
as gospel in the cauldron of your mind.

“I hate you” metamorphs into “Don’t leave”
in seven seconds flat, and back around.
A roller coaster ride without reprieve,
chaotic sand becomes the common ground.

And following the trail of devastation
along the tracks of torn relationships
that hinge on black-and-white evaluation,
the cargo’s tossed each time the balance tips.

But even through the worst you say and do,
I never will renounce my love for you.



2013 Mary Boren
View discussion.