Poems by Maureen Meshenberg 2016

Maureen MeshenbergMAUREEN KWIAT MESHENBERG is an author and a prolific poet writing about life’s journey from her heart. Her debut book, Seasons of the Soul: Transitions and Shifts of Life was released in November of 2014. She is also published in 2 anthologies, Journey of the Heart: An Anthology of Spiritual Poetry by Women and Where Journeys Meet: The Voice of Women’s Poetry. Her most recent publication was in the anthology, 30 Poems in 30 Days: Writing Prompts and Poems from Tiferet Journal published August 2015. She current has over 3,500 readers on her Facebook Poetry Page Heart’s Calling. Maureen is currently working on her next book The Distance Reached, dealing with her journey with divorce and breast cancer. She currently hosts writing circles for women locally and at retreats using writing as an inner release. She enjoys spending time with her 3 adult children Alexandra, Dylan and Jonah in Oak Park, Illinois.


Poem 30

What Brings Us to Equanimity

life practices on us
what brings us to equanimity
when impermanence shifts
under chairs we’ve
pulled back from moments of time
spilling thoughts that grate
on us
often holds us to endless dreaming
what wraps our souls in tranquility
when an ending spills tears
upon the scars of our hearts
life brings our journeying to memory
the IV pole that squeaks
hesitantly when I am infused
with shifts that I thought would
never end
but they do
what comes with irreptitious movement
creeps in unannounced but takes us
to the breath of still
and aching pause
what brings us through sufferance
of life’s undergoing
but often lifts our laughter to kiss
the sky flooded with a thousand
gleaming stars
at times it cracks the earth of our souls
spilling our sorrows and regrets
in between
we sigh
we cry
we take into the deepness of our being
to the moments that clothe us
with tenacity and forbearance
to move either with endurance
or the sacred still of our breath
we do hold onto sorrow endlessly
because that too ceases to exist
when we fold into the miraculous light of our souls.

Poem 29
We All have a Piece of Heaven Within Us

we all have a piece of heaven within us
it resides in the sky of our souls
birthed of light and love
it holds us to life
it is there to make us whole
it was birthed through the womb of our making
but this treacherous world in its taking
clouds it with relentless blackness
holds it to hate and aching
release the pieces that now consume you
it is never too late to hold into light
it is birthed again and again
in the womb of your rising
it takes flight with the stars
birthed millenniums ago
it redeems our hearts
it floods our souls
a piece of heaven resides in us
we can live with it now everyday
peel back the skins of your belonging
releasing this temple of skins and bones
ashes to star dust
when we leave this walking earth
and burst into forever
breathe out this dying world
and become a part
of heaven’s eternal space

Poem 28
A Quatrain

We had to write about the favorite people we admire coming to visit us from their perspective.

Oriah and Pema Come to Visit

us Canadian women have to stick together
let’s visit Maureen in Chicago
it will be a moment we will truly savor
let’s get on a jet plane and go

we’ll sit by her favorite willow
and labyrinth in the afternoon sun
we’ll write on quilted blankets and sit on soft pillows
we’ll chant and dance, we’ll sing and hum

we will drink sun tea and eat honey cakes
we’ll laugh and share our stories
we’ll share of their spiraling and sometimes their ache
we’ll speak of their lifting glory

she’s finding her lightwork as we have found ours
we will delight in our company together
time will not find us as we fall into hours
though we can’t stay here forever

we’ll cherish this precious moment of time
holding it as a gift to our souls
we will feel at ease and completely sublime
our togetherness making us feel whole

sweet sisters are we and now we say goodbye
we hold each other close to our hearts
time to board to Canada, off we fly
we will be with each in spirit though now apart

Poem 27 What Quietly Stirs Me

“The true artist: draws out all from her heart,
works with delight, makes things calm, with sagacity,”

(English version by Denise Levertov, quoted from “The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction” by Dean Young.)

what quietly stirs me
takes my soul cries and changes
them into words
prolific light
and dark that permeates
from the heart
often tenacious
takes flight from my dreams
through midnight trees
with the wind howl rising in my waking
I must open my soul eyes
I must rise and write
it is often a fire
that speaks of shadow’s journey
of life that quakes beneath
all of us
I am but a vessel that pours
sweet and fragrant water
onto delicate paper
streaming gently with diliberation
with purpose
what is held
in the arms of grace
and cradled by infinite love.

Poem 26
Laughing Haiku

hysterical burst
belly laugh tears streaming smile
squinted eyes wrinkle

Poem 25
I Fade into the Atmosphere of Being

what brings me to this rote movement
so methodical
I have fell into this
motion a thousand times before
sometimes weary
after the children
have slipped half asleep
into dreams of starry imagination
I take tired hands
dip them into
hot water
suds lathering
around wrists that reach
for a dish
I in circular motion
remove the remnants of dinner
bringing it to its clean state
I now
in a different frame of mind
reaching mindfulness
I am lulled
by this swirling spiraling
of hand upon plate
almost zen like
I fade into the atmosphere
of being
before you know it
my task is complete
I am complete

Poem 24
What Causes Me to Hang on to Ending?

what causes me
to hang on to
the taking away of familiarity
the fear of what
holds past memories
like apparitions they
appear in my dreaming
in my stirring
when I feel stuck between
what causes me to sink roots
so deep
I cling to dying soil?
earth that does not belong
to me
but only to yesterday’s ache
do I hesitate because of the
comfort of it?
fear gently holds me in stillness
I believe it helps to
forget it all sometimes
leaning into it
just makes me forget who I am
what causes life to shout
and end
and die
and begin again?
even before releasing my last breath
I know I don’t belong
here anymore
let my beginning begin.

Poem 23

Since I wrote a Moon Poem on April 22, I decided to write from a prompt from a writing circle that I host for women. Looking at the photo attached write what it evokes in me.

I Float Above Its Swallowing

still movement
deep waters swell
upon me, I lay

face against wet falling
feeling its capturing within
the depths of me

head held gently
above its tide that tries
to wash me under I

find my breath
lift my being above
my despair, tears like

rain gather at my feet
this place of pause
and still waiting

I gather stones by
the shoreline and
hold them as sacred gems

even when I fear the tide
washing against my body
I cling to what

holds to me reaching
above the storm’s howling cry
I find that even

in still waiting water
I float above
its swallowing

Poem 22
Full Moon That rests upon Midnight

soul that clings
shadows that breathe underneath
shadows dance
push against
the fray of me
what cracks the stone
heavy upon my movement
breaking away from my
it is not that I am afraid
of the dark
but what slips between
and tries to remain
I step forward to expand
and rise
more than attempting flight
but flying above the rage of me
to what waits in the shadows
I whisper
your time here is far less
needed now
I sing to the Full Moon
she rests upon midnight listening
her brightness now lulls me
peels back the old of me
calling to my awakening
come again dear one
no more caving in
watch my bold light
reach in to ignite
the best of me
my feet at the edge of my leaving
not belonging to what cocoons me
in breathlessness
I find my way
to purpose of being
stars gaze upon my returning
singing to the moon
look, she will find her way out
of the dark now.

Day 21
Candle of the Incandescent Flame

candle that melts upon yesterdays
with illuminating resilience
it holds the path of time
with the flame of freeing light
in dungeons and castles
steep stairwells
casting shadows of ghosts
and their stories
that holds the fire of their longing
it brings lighting for
and wishes
breath blows them out
for the years that now pass us
we gather them for desire
this passionate fire
scents and aromatherapy
from comfort to ecstasy
the candle wick burns
for those who hold them
in hands
for bombings
for dying
for peace
I see the days you
held my gaze
candle of the incandescent flame.

Day 20 – A rondel
Tears Glimmer Upon My Eye Lashes

tears glimmer upon my eye lashes
what seeds I now must sow
I fall deep in the river’s flow
I rise deep from the dying ashes

tethered to life’s ribbons and sashes
breaking free, I want to let go
tears glimmer upon my eye lashes
what seeds I now must sow

the din of my thoughts clashes
with the silence I want to know
my dark waits for a healing glow
sweet rain on my cracked soul splashes
tears glimmer upon my eye lashes

Poem 19 Dreaming
Dedicated to my Father and Mother

When I dream you visit me

when I dream you visit me
a space between
I see your healthy face glowing
not as when you were dying
lifeless and thin to death’s waning
you are full of vibrant life

when I dream you come to me
comfort and laugh with me
nothing is cautious or forgotten
in that one instant second
you are alive again with me
in the peculiarity of knowing I am dreaming

when I dream you remind me
you are visiting me because I need you
I in my mortal aching being
restless sleeping still I dream
you believe in me
in my human waiting
you breathe life back into me
in moments, stolen fragments
in my mind
when I dream you visit me.

Poem 18
My Translucent waking from my Acquiescent Rising through my Ethereal, Surreal Deliverance

Prompt- Find six or seven words you like and string them together for a title of a poem and see what you compose from this title.

In my dream-like wondering
I held the pause of time
it also held me hostage for a moment
words that fell from their lips
as I came to my acquiescent rising
words that became surreal and
translucent at the same time
uttering cancer under their
stiff breath as they have uttered
a thousand times before
my soul wanted ethereal deliverance
from that room with needles, screens,
and prodding
as if I was an object
instead of a woman
filled with passion, dreams and love.

Poem 17
nine rhyming couplets

Live My Life Out Loud

what stirs and holds my soul to light
takes me from the shadows of my night

I step back from the tips of waves
when diving in fully is what I crave

how life comes and brings me to belonging
my heart trembles and yearns with deepest longing

if I fall what will bring me to my holy rise
I water my soul with the tears from my eyes

life, it breaks, it bends, it crashes and stings
life, it laughs, it dances, it loves and sings

I no longer can bury my so heart deep
I no longer can remain unheard and fast asleep

I am my own song, my poetry on pages unread
I write my story of the path I have tread

what captures me and calls me, often I refrain
but I live this life once to begin again

birth to death and death to new birth
live my life out loud upon this earth

Poem 16

Prompt…go to your bookshelf and count over 9 books, open the book up to page 9. Now find the 9th sentence on the page.
Now, begin a poem with that sentence and let your poem not exceed 9 line.
Book:Women Who Run With Wolves
Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
By Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D
Page 9, Line 9:

“lost their way, all who need a learning, all those who have a”
story to tell, one that bleeds from the souls of our grandmothers-
what howls through the ancestral wind,
and follows our deepest dreams-
brings us to our found place,
a place of sacred belonging-
when wisdom comes we open our hearts,
what is whispered around the fire-
breathes through the journey of our soul path.

Poem 15

I took a different spin with this prompt. If I could have a conversation with my favorite poet it would be with Mary Oliver.
I decided that our conversation will consist of quotes from our poetry.

Quotes from Mary Oliver’s poems are from:
” Why I Wake Up Early”, “The Summer Day”, “Wild Geese” , “The Journey” , “Thirst”, and “When Death Comes”.

Quotes from my poems some published some are not are from:
“Eyes that Whisper to Daybreak”, “I Touch the Breathing Sky”, “Life in its Transparency”, “Born of Stars” , ” The Garden of My Soul” and “Rise with Life”

Conversation with Mary Oliver

Mary: Hello sun in my face, hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields. Watch how I start the day in happiness and kindness.

Maureen: Morning drinks me in, pours me into a river of sunshine
while I lay weightless between melancholy and bliss.

Mary: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Maureen: Under the hush of my breath, I will stoke the embers upon my path burning, because we press our steps here but once.

Mary: Tell me about despair, yours and I will tell you mine.

Maureen: If the veils are lifted, in the nakedness of love revealing, we are like air, like wind that moves between the moments that dance with us.

Mary: Little by Little as you left the voices behind, the stars began to burn through sheets of clouds.

Maureen: Let the heavens breathe life into your being, dying in the ashes of your past are the ruins what held you.

Mary: Someone once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too was a gift.

Maureen: Rose to thorn, rain to storm and sand desert flower, I have the power to look with eyes tenderly. What wounds me, heals me.

Mary: When it’s over, I want to say: “All my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bride’s groom taking the world into my arms.”

Maureen: I rise to dying, in ending,dissolving, dissipating into the atmosphere into the galaxy of life, birthing into forever.

Poem 14

I am trying to read the form of longing
And see a wind with the sun inside it
-Tim Lilburm

longing that glides with a thousand
cherry blossom petals
that hold the sky without hesitation
to see movement of change as a gift
a longing to look up when
the moon cradles night
with spherical beauty
stars that cling to black
and dance on shadows
of whispering dreams
longing for a tender kiss
under the midnight sky
longing that is never abandoned
even when you feel abandoned
when your bones and body ache
from not understanding why
this earthly body
has an expiration date
only to understand
through infinite wisdom
that my soul will capture
the radiant sun
when I become

Poem 13
Prayer of Discontent

worn like she was god-like
barren black and white dress
her only respite
was her vigilance of abuse
sometimes subtle often spiteful
her emotional regurgitation upon us
her bitterness and regrets
did she find her way of life
so despicable to take it out on innocent children?
we who believed that women
who wore the barren black and white dress
were angels of God
she was sacrilegious
and religious in her belief
which had nothing to do with faith
or God
or love
thriving upon her rituals
to practice contemptuous
acts of merciless fear
not only in her words
but wacks across the hands
with rulers
or a swift kick in the shins
with her laced shiny black boots
hopefully knocking religion in us
this woman in her barren black and white dress
hatred streamed through her veins
hollowed her out as she
carried out acts of deviant gesture
she did not want to be there
we did not want to be there
when I was a teenager standing in
my family kitchen
my mother told me this
woman in her barren black and white dress
had died
I replied, “May she rot in hell!”
my mother gasped
when I explained why
her eyes held grief
of wanting to turn back time
to stop this prayer of discontent
to stop
this woman in her barren black and white dress
what she had spewed upon me.

Poem 12
I touch the Hem of Morning

I touch the hem of
morning with prayer
she sings of Spring and

stitches along the edges
of my soul tulips
sway with yellow and red

I fold into sacred
waters that cascade like
a waterfall through my waiting

heart that asks what takes
away the ordinary ache of living
is dancing life’s song

whimsical and melancholy
with its calling
I collapse in the impermanence of me

I touch the dim of
eve with prayer where
dreams are now carried
away by angels.

Poem 11

the inhalation of breath
catches me
on the exhale of new life

Poem Number 10
The Tree of Life

the tree of life ascends
through me
roots intertwined through
the depths of me
the unveiling wondering of branches
leaning with pleasure
through the earth of my spring
its hallowed ground
sanctifies me
celestial transcending I rise
because my soul trembles holy
at the rapturous movement
upon the bedrock that reaches
deep into the estuary
from the rivulets that pour
through the thirst of me
I settle not for winter’s ache
to hold me back
my arms slant and bend
reach and ascend
to the magnifying life in me
to hold me not just in living
but growing and thriving
expanding into its pushing through
past my own existing
ever interweaving with the roots
born before me
in infinite love and grace.

Poem # 9 “You know all the Secrets of This Earthly Sphere”

You know all the Secrets of This Earthly Sphere
Omar Khayyan

“You know all the secrets of this earthly sphere
Why then remain a prey to empty fear
you cannot bend things to your will, but yet
cheer up for the few moments you are here!”

what interweaves between translucent space
what pulls the threads that ties us together
connects us all to the Universe’s call
we at times split at the seams
but we always find our journey’s bidding
I’ve held the child of a thousand years
we’ve wept the tears of years before us
the Divine One has spoken to us in our dreams
we all have dreamt and thought why we are here
“you know all the secrets of this earthly sphere”

oh yes at one time we thought it was flat
from its edges we would fall off into oblivion
the masters of stars knew better instead
we crashed the skies with rockets so high
constellations and planets that held our sight
In the quiet of forests we can see so clear
we’re in awe of its beauty, it flows through our being
with all of soul waking, seeking and stirring
why do we quake when death is near
“why then remain a prey to empty fear”

life comes upon us with rising and falling
the ashes turn our fire into our stories
we bleed them on pages and bring them to song
we become stronger and weaker and stronger again
an unending spiral that leaves us feeling abandoned
yet we land on our feet without any regrets
life is not a battle we have to conquer through
we find our laughter and our good times too
what is held in our hearts what treasures we collect
“you cannot bend things to your will, but yet”

life catches our breath when we feel breathless
we pause in our sacred soul for hope
we like the seasons die and are born again
we take each other’s hand and let compassion claim us
darkness may come and shadow our light
close your eyes and let the seconds come clear
for out from now is when we find our flight
our glimmer shines brighter than the galaxies so high
feel your heart reach for the love that is near
“cheer up for the few moments you are here!”

Poem 8
Looking through my Window of lastingness

looking through my window of
holding onto the physical forever
as if it existed
time elapsed between sips
of my Lipton tea
Kitchen window shelved the seasons
as winter’s releasing
gave opening to the
cherry apple blossom tree
I glanced at my life
with sorrow and prayer
always there
working hard
making the best for my family
but in all my wondering
did I slip behind my thoughts
holding onto truths that
would make it all better?
rosary and Hail Marys
did not save my son from a
forty years of addiction to heroin
by me keeping distance from
conversation by what
I thought I was expressing in love
was it codependency
hot meals
hugs and smiles
only to become spilt tears upon my pillow at night
if I took the time to talk
with my daughters about breast cancer
would they have been more cautious
if I let go of my matriarchal holding
generations of old ways
find room for a different kind of living
would I hold the quiet man, my husband
more tenderly,
in thought
in conversation
in not hiding my fears
or perhaps I waited until my last breath
I know my family knew I loved them
with the best that I can give
when winter’s chill
took my life into its gripping cold
of January
I know the window of my memories
will be held in their hearts
of me drinking tea
I hope they think of me.

Poem 7
She Breathes through the Sky

she breathes through the sky
with ancient stories
my passage through
the dim whispers of time
dark in my unknowing
fire in my becoming
I gather petals
by the still water
written with words of
wisdom and writhing
I’ve poured onto the pages
of my deliverance
what brings me to my returning point
anxiously waiting for movement
for I ache with desire
to reach further than before
the thresholds that wait for me to cross
I holding words like arrows
with my bow held high
towards the New Moon raven black sky
like intentions that glimmer
like stars passing through me
telling the story of me
of you
of the moon
piercing the past
and releasing the upheaval
what swells and breaks open
and falls like water
to the dried cracked places
of the earth of me
I’ve spilt a thousand tears
there before
but now as the ash becomes
fertile with life
I will dance with bloom
I will rise with howl
I will find myself more
that what I was
to my becoming
my beginning
my being.

Poem 6
Unseen Melody

vesuvius movement
unseen melody
insidious synchronicity
it has its own hidden rhythm
behind the clanging symbols
that crash against my
deafening ears
its subtle snake like
flute whisperings
catches the sky in me
as it opens with disdain
drums pound against
the deep fever of time
the symphony motions to
the conductor
the finale is a treacherous one
it dips between the notes
of rage and healing
creating a melodious gesture
of hope
the curtain falls
only those who knows this piece
are the only ones who applaud

Poem 5

she holds the sacred
of the heart
her winding curves
with undulated movement
inviting and echoing
ancient truths
many have tread upon her
with lithe
silent steps
following her sacred geometry
finding solace
in remembrance and releasing
the stories that
through the mortal coil
of her emerging
dirt and stone
belonging to earth’s gyral calling
circular and infinite
beginning and ending
ascending and descending
deep into your opening
many hearing the voice of God
the songs of angels
causing us to reflect
to the rapturing of our souls

Poem 4 prose poem
Broken Home

What pours from an empty cup of time, sipping from the pleasures of living. It seems to slip between my thoughts and dreams creating fragmented memories that piece together my belonging here. Toys scatter upon the floor of childhood. I spent my time worrying about cleanliness instead of my children creating fantasies spinning in their heads. Allowing them to run and hold pieces of life that spun laughter from make believe. I gather trinkets now, what must be kept, tossed or given away. What remains precious slips between my mind’s eye and glancing at what was. Boxes fill the garage with what once belonged to us. They remain silent in waiting, yesterday’s moments scattered and worn out. This house was once our home but now it splinters away from us into distant wondering.
Where will be home for us now?

Poem #3 Sanctuary

not made up
of mortar and stone
nor flesh and bone
opening doors
its own symmetry
easing between soul and thought
not earth
but ethereal
in the falling
into forever
holds radiant light
of being
not belonging to
or body
or sheltering
other than
the womb of my soul
filled with passion
higher than
what the universe
can contain
I remain

Poem #2 Black leans into Red

when night meets
the horizon setting
black leans into red
holds the day
with silent catching
time waits for them
to drift into each other’s holding
the colors wait
in the in between space
for one to fade away
and the other to
grasp the sky
with fearless darkness
I hold them both
with sacred waiting
as East meets West
as they reach to touch
each other’s tethering
to the movement of this world

Poem #1 What are the Odds

what are the odds
spoken promises and dreams
life it screams
cracking at the seams
divorce rips through me
taking my one from me
what are the odds.

what are the odds
twenty years pass
three children breathe through me
still catching my breath
stories spill upon the mind that races
as time traces what was
what are the odds.

what are the odds
rainbows and wishes
chances with answers
I end up with cancer
one in every five
hey I’m still alive
what are the odds.

what are the odds
life splits open
as your mind reaches
for your heart
words spill from my soul
like tears that rain upon my being
poetry my releasing
what are the odds.

what are the odds
life just happens
it shouts and then whispers
causes my heart to skip a beat
flip a coin make choices to meet
my journey’s reach
as I rise through my mistakes
what are the odds.

what are the odds
that I mindfully accept
hand to heart
earth to stone
sigh to groan
breath to life to death
pay bills
drink wine
walk the path of instinct
find a reason
collect my life
find my purpose
what are the odds.

what are the odds
that the odds favor love
taking pause and laughing
friendships that hold me
as their tribe for life
words that fall away from me
oh how I do cling to these odds
that somehow found and rescued me
what are the odds.