Half past three of my life

fireflies

Crystal Lake girl
Sunshine boy
Unruly child
Hair in my eyes

I try
To get by
In an upside world
Where too much order reigns riot and out of sorts.

Crystal Lake girl
Sunshine boy
That’s what I once was
Before too many crimes I didn’t commit

Passed before my eyes
In ecstasies of feathered serpents
And the claw.

Why is it so hard
To just be a child
And enjoy my life
Simple + sweet?

A bite to eat
Sunshine + the dew;
The fireflies come out at noon
To alight my world anew –

I collect in a bell jar
With holes punched at the top
So they won’t die….
They need air to breath
And so do I.

Crystal Lake girl
And moonbeam guys
They flowed over my body
With word so wise

Simple + sweet
Sung to the tune of their heartbeat/
Love + dreams
Happiness wrapped in a leaf

Belief in the new
Belief in our song
That can never go wrong.

I let the fireflies out
Before I go home to eat –
It is half past three
Of my life
And I am coming home to thee.

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The Circle of Peace

converted PNM file

The Circle of Peace
extends in infinite directions,
wherever you look,
whenever you sleep.

It resides in your baby’s cry
and in your lover’s sigh;
It is infinitely wide
and just as high-

Especially when you don’t go looking for it
but rather embrace it
just where you are/
just as you are –

A shining star
of potential peace
about to bloom
and share your infinite fragrance
with the sacred world
of now.

Beam it high,
Beam it low,
Beam it on the breast of winged doves
yet to be born

who still hear your gentle intrusion
upon a messy slope –

Bringing hope
in ways simple and strong
and helping others
move their lives along.

So take a step,
take a gentle and kind step,
to nowhere at all.

Just bend down and
tend to your own
little stars

Beaming bright
in the everyday light
of just as it is
here and now –

Welcome Heaven on Earth
as Earth is in Heaven –
Where stars bloom bright
then cycle away and die;
Where angels sing their silent songs
that no one can hear
but the crazy fools
who hear beyond the walls of the empires,
of cultures narrow and too defined.

Call upon the nothing,
which is just what you are,
and embrace your perennial peace
with a smile on your
ravaged and pockmarked face.

O child
of infinite place
and race.

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Prayer for my Community

          black jade heart ashuelot river pics

PRAYER FOR MY COMMUNITY
Sharing a prayer I wrote for a ceremony that will appear in the 2016 WE ‘Moon Agenda.

Dear community, we come to you
small spirits on a winding path
at the turning of these days,
at the changing of the cycles.

Please open the way for our
small and humble community
to shapeshift into the next
step of planetary evolution,

as we circle here today,
calling upon the spirits
up high and down low,
we ask, pray and beseech

en-lightenment, wisdom,
collective transformation and healing
for fish and fowl, water and land, air and the flower petals;
the trees, grasses, rodents, insects, rocks, pebbles, metals, leaves
and all that moves, breathes, lives and loves.

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I

Thinking

I

I wanted to be other than I

I wanted to be
you
and it
and they

Anything but I
What a terrible I am I!

I wanted to be other than I

I wanted to be
a rainbow
a leaf
aquiet doe nuzzling in the dark

I wanted to be other than I,
anything else but that:
Be a hat
a bat
a ball
the surf
a gentle blade of grass,

anything but I.
Still I am,
as still as ever an I can be.

And in that infinite quietude
that surrounds my brittle shell

I mourn
I mourn
I weep and mourn

for all those Is whom I have yet to know

From:  Ebbo: Offering (Carnelian Press, 2010)

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Bird Songs, Concerts and Healing

I woke up yesterday morning early, just as the summer solstice sun was beginning to shed its fresh light upon the newly emerging day. The head of my bed faces south and along the east wall of the bedroom is a large double window – from which I could see the early sun rays, dappled by the leaves from the surrounding trees. Why, I wondered, how I awoken so early? I felt that something was trying to get my attention, but what?

And then I realized what it was. The birds were singing. It sounded like a multitude of them, each chirping or tweeting or blurting out their special tunes and rhythms….with others joining in by singing their own songs, in their own way.

Nestled in my bed, I marveled at these sounds, which seemed like a concert. In all my life, I had never heard the birds singing so clearly and musically before. It was a tremendous joy to just lie there and listen to them – and I realized it must have been this bird concert that had awaken me from my dreams.

I could feel the sounds pouring through me, through all my orifice-not only my ears. And it felt as if the sounds entered my heart, and then coursed through my bloodstream; they breathed in with the air I inhaled, and went through my lungs, freshening me throughout.
I remembered that sometime, somewhere, a few years ago, an indigenous man had told me that one reason people feel sad and depressed in the cold climates in the winter time is not only because of the lack of sunlight; it is also due to the lack of birds. He had said that birds are companions for humans, and sometimes we do not recognize how profoundly their songs and presence impact us in powerful ways.

That evening, as I was pondering what to write for my monthly column, a flood of possibilities poured through me, but a little voice in my head told me to wait. And as I was doing some gardening (or better put, pulling of so-called weeds) at the front of my house, I heard the loudest bird conversation! In emphatic, staccato exchanges that were sharp and deep in tone, several birds I could not see were clearly communicating. What birds were they? It took me a while to realize that a petite greyish bird perched on the ground and his friends in a nearby bush were the culprits!

This little bird then looked at me, right in the eye, and seemed to loudly say, “Write your article about sound and songs. They are healing.”

And then I remembered, from the faint recesses of my mind, how my son, when he was younger and having some serious behavioral challenges, had gotten some profound healing from the sound healing therapy widely used in Europe and Latin America called “Tomatis.”

From participating in that therapy (undertaken in Chile), I learned much about sound. I learned that the first sense a fetus develops is sound. The ear develops early in human gestation, and a growing fetus hears its mother’s voice, albeit in a special way as it passes through the amniotic liquids.

The Tomatis therapist asked me to record my voice; they had a technique for distorting my voice to make it sound the way my son would have heard it when he was in my womb. Then, they played this back to my son for a sustained period of time. They also had him come to a series of sessions where he listened to specific classical music.
They claimed that doing this can shift brain patterns and often help with so-called ADD and/or learning disabilities. While he still complains about these sessions, I do believe they made a difference.

Which brings me back to bird songs. While the early morning bird concert the other morning was a joy, the truth of it is that even in Keene – which is not a big city – I find it harder and harder to find places of silence where the bird songs can penetrate in full spectrum and one can find the solace in the sound of nature without human additions. My house is nearby a highway, which brings unending noise day and night; the many motorcycles and lawn equipment most weekends blare out intermittently and unexpected times, shattering the quiet; and between construction teams, the downtown alarm that is so loud and strident, and ambulance, police and fire, sustained quiet is almost impossible.

I am resigned to this reality of modern day life, and yet I want to suggest that perhaps one (of many) reasons there such a sharp increase in learning disabilities, depression and despair may be as simple as the fact that we human need quiet to listen to the concerts of the birds on a more regular and sustained basis. Maybe, in a manner of speaking, that is what the Tomatis therapy was trying to accomplish. There is much healing in sound, and in the sounds of nature.

Published in the Monadnock Shopper, July 2015

Adult male
Litchfield Co., CT
June 2006

Adult male Litchfield Co., CT June 2006

Adult male
Litchfield Co., CT
June 2006

 

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The Seventh Path

THE SEVENTH PATH

I walk in ways of wisdom,
My step is quiet and shy;
I walk in the ways of wisdom,
I say not a word to you or I.

I walk along paths of elms and pine,
I walk along trails that wind
To a never-ending side
I can’t surmise.

I walk in the circle of fate,
I walk in the circles of life;
I spiral forward to your past,
I look to the ground where it all resides.

The stars are my constant companions,
The stars are my only guides;
No friends have I on Earth,
I rise above your lies.

I walk in the ways of wisdom,
My step is quiet and shy;
If you listen you might hear
Beneath a moonless sky.

I walk in the ways of wisdom,
My step is quiet and shy;
I walk in the ways of wisdom,
No higher friend have I.

I walk in the ways of wisdom,
You might hear me when you sigh;
I walk in the ways of wisdom,
Along a path laid out for you and I.

Copyright:  “Ebbo”  (Carnelian Press, 2011)

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US-Cuban Educational Exchanges and the Culture of Peace

Sharing a second article I co-authored published in the “Forum on International Education” that examined how US students studying in Cuba helped promote a culture of peace.

I do believe that in gradual ways having exchanges between students and faculty in the two countries helped contribute in some small way to the diplomatic opening finally occurring between the two near neighbors.  Sad it had to take so long, but pleased it finally seems to be happening.

Hopefully, Guantanamo will be the next issue to be resolved between the two nations!

Bond_Koont_Stephenson

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