“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
The words of Doctor Martin Luther King
hang heavy in the air. Intentions fail
to halt the arc of hatred’s brutal swing.
The centuries of organized oppression
are coming to a climax. You and I
must take a stand for justice. Shy discretion
is not a virtue when the stakes are high.
As hard-won rights are carelessly dismantled
before our eyes, the growing battle zone
erupting in the streets cannot be handled
with slacktivism. None should march alone.
Resisting with a vengeance, beat the drum
and shout in unison, “The time has come!”
Mary Boren, 2017
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
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The source of the photo is a mystery. If known to be in violation of copyright, please advise.
We struck up conversation easily —
custodians with no apparent lack
of common ground. (It seems he has a knack
for working on transmissions.) Suddenly
his focus shifted momentarily.
Three names rang out, three children answered back.
His explanation made my jaw go slack:
“I need to hear their voices — I can’t see.”
He never saw my estimation rise
for one so fit, with miles and years to span,
whose handicap won’t bump him from the race.
I swallowed hard, then slowly raised my eyes —
two gluttons drinking in the scene — to scan
the playground, seeking out my grandson’s face.
Mary Boren, 2001
Unjustly scorned, I fancied self-control
could somehow keep misunderstanding’s reign
from drowning out the music in my soul.
I’d only march along the sunlit lane
and never have to stumble, stoop, or bend.
The lessons in the dense and tangled brush
are difficult — who’d willingly extend
the season of their sorrows? I would rush,
but Father, keep me here until You’re through.
For laughter fades, and all is vanity
that doesn’t help produce a servant who
surrenders everything unselfishly.
It’s not the celebration, it’s the loss
that draws me to the shadow of the Cross.
Mary Boren, 2003
I’d love to travel astrally,
projecting past the sun and moon
into the realm beyond the bounds
of brick and mortar, blood and bone.
When carried on a single thought
aloft, my busy brain would cease
its constant chattering while I
enjoy the panoramic view.
But for the needs of day to day
existence in a mortal shell,
there’s no place I would rather live
than here at home on Planet Earth.
Let not her strength and beauty fade
because we failed to heed her cry.
Mary Boren, 2013
“Go often to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m waiting, fidgeting with doubt, between
your door and the familiar country road
that points the way back home. I felt I owed
an olive branch at last. Beyond the screen,
I see you darkly now — an awkward scene
looms imminent. Where hearts once overflowed
with easy conversation, seeds we sowed
lie dormant in a fathomless ravine.
I never knew the reason. Twenty years
ago, I’d meet you if I had to crawl.
What stifled camaraderie? Illusion?
Perhaps, if puffed resentment disappears,
we’ll stand on common ground. Along the hall
your shadow nears. Reunion or intrusion?
Mary Boren, 2002
I’ve often wished (who hasn’t?) for a chance
to press the rewind button, start again
and choose a different partner for the dance
of fickle youth to play what might have been.
Instead of giving circumstances reign,
I’d tap the hidden track of inner peace
and circumvent the path that leads to pain;
let static fade and harmony increase.
But tempting though it be to theorize
on rearranging compositions past,
each segment is a lesson in disguise
that can’t be altered once the program’s cast.
And focusing on tapes that self-repeat
defines the formula for soul-defeat.
Mary Boren, 2012
Between the posts of now and yet-to-be
exists an air of utter mystery.
The apprehensive ego speculates
its end occurs when there’s no more of me.
Defiantly, it strives to storm the gates
of heaven, railing hard against the fates,
but on a quiet sea untouched by storms,
the soul knows immortality awaits.
For energy is endless — it transforms
in ways we can’t conceive as essence warms
to universal consciousness. Esprit
arises from Creation’s vapor swarms.
Regardless of the how or why, the key
is living in The Now abundantly.
Mary Boren, 2012
Based on the teachings of A Course in Miracles
Behind each errant thought there hangs a thread
of continuity, a knowingness
that’s hidden by an unrelenting fear
of meaningless existence. Only in
suspended judgment can the truth emerge.
When ego is subjected to the light,
illusion evanesces. One by one,
each child of God, awakening, recalls
his rightful heritage of endless love,
for separation never has occurred.
Now, following the thread back to its source,
we see the world for what it is, a screen
projecting unreality, a blip.
The little willingness is all it takes
to conquer thought and matter, time and space.
Mary Boren, 2012
Public Domain Photo
“Sorrows which find no vent in tears will soon make other organs weep.” -Henry Maudsley
It’s utterly humiliating. Why
must I be doomed to blubber like a dunce
at anything that moves me? Never dry
or cool, I’m drowning in the genome pool.
Emotions, down with you! Get dressed, you sluts!
Behave yourselves — stay covered to the neck.
You’re killing my performance, spilling guts,
indecently parading on the deck.
Bewildered, stunned reactions (vacant eyes
and slackened jaws and shuffled shoes) are fraught
with undertones from all who patronize
with pep talk: “Get a grip. You’re overwrought.”
If weepers ruled the planet, we’d allow
a bit of slack for those who don’t know how.
Mary Boren, 2002