Orb of bone and alabaster chants the sky
a cloud or two, paves nickel sea in platinum.
Swift as falcon, night spreads sable feathers
over drifting stars, cloaks tufted mountain from strangers.
Veils our reflections, bringing uneasy dreams.
Sand shifts and settles like an old crone,
then whispers up pebbles on rays of moonbow.
How far must night travel to claim the morning?
Open wings wide enough for sun to dream day?
For light to weave its way through innocent constellations?
And still leave shadows--shaped as fallen aspirations,
disowned dark rivers: of greed, of desire.
Shade for seekers who find their gifts in the silent.
I dream of chili ristras--
soft waxed fruit hanging
wrinkled garnets from each ear,
stems tied like cows going off
to slaughter. Seeds of spice
and slow burning.
Coyote tracks past moonless
caves whose bones carve
memories into granite walls
of winter. The hush of deerskin
moccasin, a hurried love
before slate dawn gives way
to morning's amber skin.
The skeleton of bobcat
who died while waiting
out a storm, who died
Some nights, I hear the ocean weeping
out my window down ti-leafed hill.
Long sighs, followed by sobbing soft
as wind's murmur at the end of summer.
Tears welling up in waves of sorrow
flood tide pools and turtle ponds,
brush shoreline's cheek leaving streaks
of wet sand and sea-licked rock.
When I walk the beach next morning,
the wounded are scattered like soldiers
along water's edge: crabs missing
legs, stones with bullet-sized holes,
clams and mussels with only half a shell.
Among bits of brown and sea green glass
rounded by the pounding of waves, I find
shipwrecks and the power of solitude.
Carol Alena Aronoff, PhD is a psychologist, teacher and writer who co-founded SAGE, a psycho-spiritual program for elders, helped guide a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation center, taught Eastern spirituality and healing practices; imagery, meditation, and women's health at San Francisco State University. She guided Heeling in Nature retreats in Hawaii and the southwest, and had a counseling practice in Marin County for many years. She co-authored "Practical Buddhism: The Kagyu Path" with Ole Nydahl in 1989 and edited five books and four meditation booklets on Tibetan Buddhism. Dr. Aronoff published a textbook: "Compassionate Healing: Eastern Perspectives" in 1992. Her poetry has been published in Comstock Review, Potpourri, Poetic Realm, Poetica, Mindprints, Dream Fantasy International, Beginnings, Hawaii Island Journal, In Our Own Words, Theater of the Mind, Animals in Poetry, From the Web, HeartLodge, Out of Line, Sendero, Buckle&, Iodine, Asphodel, Tiger's Eye, Nomad's Choir, Cyclamens & Swords, The New Verse News and Avocet. She received a prize in the 1999/2000 Common Ground spiritual poetry contest, judged by Jane Hirshfield, and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. She won the Tiger's eye contest on the writing life and has participated a number of times in Braided Lives, a collaboration of artists and poets as well as in SKEA's Art and Nature event, Ekphrasis: Sacred Stories of the Southwest, and (A) Muses Poster Retrospective for the 2014 Taos Fall Arts Festival. She was judge for the 2008 Tiger's Eye Poetry contest. A chapbook of Native American/Hawaiian poems, Cornsilk, was published by Indian Heritage Council in 2004, and her illustrated poetry book, The Nature of Music, was published by Pelican Pond in 2005. An expanded, illustrated Cornsilk waas published in 2006, Her Soup Made the Moon Weep, in 2007 and Blessings from an Unseen World in 2013. Currently, Dr. Aronoff resides in a rural area of Hawaii--working her land, meditating on nature and writing.