To be, so unlike another
Discomfited in a room where I
have never been nor will ever be.
No lace. No flowers. Unrecognizable
to myself. Yet bending
to sit in your imagined chair
by your particular window.
Mountain witness, sea air.
A series of paintings in red and blue by Hokusai.
How much useless effort I have spent
climbing into that chair.
Or marching against the wind
of your breath, not floating in it.
I accept at last my discomfiture
with myself, with you; never mind,
and run alone through slats of sun
with cavorting birds who are anything
but silent. Free to say that I want to love
myself the way I want you to love me:
Under song. In and out of tree-stripe
shadows, one limb after another.
As far as the sun’s eye sees along
a flat land where orange hawkweeds
swell in the random mist of spider laces.
In the morning. In the morning.
Woman and Cloud
From her propped hospital bed
the old woman who nearly died
a few days ago now talks and
talks, while a continental drift of cloud
passes over the hospital and suburbs.
They are each unaware of the other,
the sheeted woman and the gray cloud;
both snowcapped, and round at the edges;
both moving in the minimal float
that seems a physical impossibility
when gravid with so much fluid;
there is much winter to come, and harshly;
they hold it up like a woman’s flounces.
A stone rests
A stone rests.
Water rushes over it like spirit.
Laughter and tears.
Look at it again now and see
what this movement
means to the stone.
If you can’t see it
If you can’t hear it
If you can’t smell it
If you still don’t know
what the movement means
to the stone
then ask the water to rush
until you are moving
at the same speed
as the stone.
Ruth Mowry grew up in a Baptist preacher’s home and always wondered if there might not be a deeper spiritual calling than the religious teachings surrounding her. In the middle of her own family life with her husband and two children she returned to university to complete her undergraduate degree in English, and discovered poetry writing. This exploration coincided with departure from church, and it was through that separation and writing that the spiritual work began afresh, so maybe it is not surprising that writing has become her spiritual practice.
Today much of her writing launches from the rural Michigan setting where she lives with her husband, finding in nature a replenishing life source for the spiritual journey. Ruth’s poems have been published in a few print and online journals. She blogs at washed stones.