Veggie soup

peeling this sweet potato
i can smell the earth
i close my eyes and smile
then cry —

when did i get so removed
from the soil, the land
from simplicity —
the family garden
in grade school
my bare feet on warm dirt
i was so happy
there were carrots
and worms
and life
was carefree —

i finish making soup
do the chores
the day was busy
i am tired —
the nights
when there is time
enough leftover
to snuggle into bed
a little early & read
and i can keep
my eyes open
long enough for it —
this is heaven
simple, free, happy
heaven

—Terri Guillemets

Life is eternal — not ours but its

I am diseased
with civilization —
I rot, ripped
apart from the land —

The lightning in my soul
and thunder in my veins
will never be enough
if I can’t be rocked
by a real rumble so fierce
it realigns me to the core
actual flashes so bright
that I become the night —

I am a speck of dust
invented by the earth
and skies —
born of the stars
but living
because of the soil —

If we run from the
truth of our existence
we become a lie —
our lives so covered
with the hard plastic
shell of fakeness
that the realness
suffocates —
we cannot breathe
our lungs are dying
without the trees —

Our souls are dying —
our flesh needs
to feel the world
on our knees
with our naked feet
face first in the dirt —
wade and splash
and submerge
ourselves in water
that is alive
not sterilized, not sanitized
not dead of being nothing —

Forests and sunbeams
true breaths of silence
long to envelop us
but we run into the
nearest retail store —
an anesthetic, expensive
layer of hell
we pay dearly for —

Run! run across
the fields
for no reason
but that you
feel like running —
hear the birds
not [f*@%¡ng] airplanes —
our dollar bills are
so much less valuable
than leaves, no matter
how high we count —

The fire in our hearts
the fireplace that warms us
the wildfire that burns —
necessary flames —
the extinguished
world is naught —
sparks are how
we survive —

We all have a story — or several
but the once upon a time
the happily ever after
and everything in between
is food, water, shelter, freedom
it’s the only plot there is —
gourmet coffee, magazines
knick-knacks, cars, tv
all just disposable words —

Anger is nothing — just air
hunger’s a hole in the plot
ideas are space —
the birds that fly
over us are smarter
than every single one of us —
the waters that are deep
and the streams and the rills
all have a different story of life
but all turn to rain in the end
they give green to the hills
and blue to the sky
and red to our beating hearts
and the yellow sun glistens
each ripple and wave —

To read a book
in the sun
is glorious
but to read
ourselves and the sky
in a sunset is
the fiery light
of life itself —

The ocean at night
waves pounding
against our hearts
sounding ancient beats
spraying the meaning
of life against our shores —
the universal dream
of all our sleep —

Seagulls fly
past my heart
squawking the passage
of time in harsh tones
with smooth soaring wings —

If Time is trying
not to be found
he is excellent
and terrible at it —
the days hide him so well —
in our faces he is buried
but not concealed
he marks his territory
as any wolf would —
barking his orders
obedient not even to death —

Birds peck out snacks
from patches of crystalline snow —
the music of pure white clouds
fills the sky with sun-lined notes
drifting into beauty so vast
the blue never ends —

Snow-capped mountains
have something to say
melting ice to water —
a trickling story
of patience and life —

We stand atop
mother earth
raise our arms
in victory
at every breath
at every beat —
we are alive
in all our being
but just for now
with not a thought
of next or last
before or after —
we barely know
anything else —

Storms on storms
surging, raging
electricity, thunder
primal, essential
unstoppable
fierce! calling
all our cells
to attention —
roaring, wailing
unabashedly smashing —
the first ingredient
of calm —

Life is about trying
not to get hurt
and it’s risking
ourselves to hurt —
we need a measure of pain —

Wildfire and deluge
kill and be killed
eat and be eaten —
blink and it’s over too soon —

Water cuts rock and
nature makes glass —
but the earth
it does not shatter —

Some lives are
roaring river
deep blue ocean
bubbling streams —
and some fade
into a dry patch
of nothing —

We scream
with our voices
or our pain
our bodies scream
in disease
our emotions scream
in tears, in fists, in love —
and if we don’t scream
we explode —
scalding steam
needs a vent —

Fangs and bites
we bleed
snapping jowls
fierce sharp howls —
guilt, pain, anger, fear —
tears flow
like blood
emotions tear
like flesh —

The sweetness of life
the bitter —
we taste it on birth
on death
we taste it in
every breath —
one can live not
without the other —
the taste of life
is wild
like freedom
spicy and raw
honey and sting
it tastes of fresh air
of danger and time —
I breathe it into my lungs
with each meandering breeze —

Wild horses run
for nothing but freedom
striking beauty
with every hoof
across the golden plains —
the simple beauty of
flowing manes
undulating with motion —
the dance of movement
wilding and free
is no mystery
to any breed —
but you and I
cannot run like that
or, maybe we just don’t —

We must go
into the wild
to discover
our own wilderness —

We are all
just hitching a ride
on the wind —
but when we grip
we fall apart
we hold on to
everything too tight —
say no, say yes
flow, run, dance
close your eyes
let go and fly —

Fallen, dropped
wounded, healed —
we fall into the raging
river of life
and are swept away
or survive —

Sooner or later
later comes too soon —
we gray out
colors fade
the great adventure
is ending
but many little ones
live on —
it’s bumps and
sliding from here
with loose rocks
dust and bruised butts
hoping to land gently
in the abyss —

—Terri Guillemets

Old soil, new green

My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass.

—Terri Guillemets

P.S.  Thank you to The Reader’s Digest Association for publishing this quotation in Quotable Quotes: All New Wit & Wisdom from the Greatest Minds of Our Time and to Richard Sollazzo, M.D. for quoting it in Balance Your Health: Combining Conventional and Natural Medicine. —tg, 2013

Asana

Mountain pose is an affirmation. You can conquer anything with your natural boldness and resolute strength. Only you can reach the peak of your success.

Warrior pose battles inner weakness and wins focus. You see that there is no war within you. You’re on your own side, and you are your own strength.

Tree pose grows confidence. It grounds. It roots us to this world.

Chair pose is a defiance of spirit, showing how high you can reach even when you’re forced down.

All unimportant matters drop off you in ragdoll pose. Very few things are genuinely important. The Truth sways before you.

Corpse pose restores life. Dead parts of your being fall away — the ghosts are released.

—Terri Guillemets