Dendrites 

You don't know. 
how could you? 

that beautiful 
mind dendrites 
twist to endure 
even the harshest 
of environments 
that this is survival 
that this is adaptation 
that what you 
call insanity 
is actually a reasonable response 
to unreasonable circumstance

Erosion 

The years wear hard
a subtle shaping
of winded word and salt tear
on the stone artifacts of time and memory. 
I watch the tired sweep of your crafted hands 
Even as your eyes pool before me. 
I watch and want to draw for you 
the intricacy of need that 
has brought us to this moment. 
I want to remind you 
how light loves 
the resolve exposed within 
the lean lines of your denuded smile 
I want to show you that 
your tenderness is carried 
ever in the beauty of your unique silhouette 
curved perfectly against a dreamer’s sky 

Take heart dear one 
The world will wear away 
all crumbling artifice of past 
What remains will gracefully, 
quietly 
defy dissolution.

My Grandmother 

The shadows lengthen quickly 
On the last day with my grandmother 
I want to remember every detail 
How she likes her tea weak 
The subtle bite of the Dutch cheese 
Always found in her 
Just adequately stocked fridge 
The quietudes of space that ripple between us 
The way light holds sound still beneath the waves 
I know these details will fade 
Just as her attachment to life fades 
I can see her staring out into the distance 
Becoming less and less of this world 
Bowing out of this flow 
Misty-eyed moving to a place I can't yet see 
And still, the jasmine blooms outside her door 
Sweet perfume lingering for a moment 
Before sighing away.

Night drift 

night descends 
dark stripping 
innuendos of day 
revealing debris 
of every little #hurt 

I try to float 
on the eventide 
churning still 
until the small voice 
of my son finds me 

together we 
lash our solitudes 
hands fastened 
and drift beneath 
breath counted stars

Gunshot 

he residue remains 
gunshot particles of 
every word wound 
and relational bullet 
taken and given 
in time's magazine 
of pastlove 
i want to wash it 
from the recoiled beats 
of your bruised heart 
wipe you clean 
even as i know 
it remains 
an invisible telling 

instead 
i tenderly wait 
watch 
as each marked cell 
slowly 
silently 
sloughs away

Prayer 

Take my hand love 
take it and hold tight 
for we are both here 
cornered by the snarling rage 
that is your depression 
Take my hand 
and let the subtle pressure 
of my squeezing presence 
be enough 
to know I am here 
to know you are not alone 
in this cage 
made of molded pain 

Take my heart love 
take it and heal yourself 
for we are both here 
wounded by the lashing legacy 
that is relational war 
Take my heart 
and let the soft constancy 
of my singing blood 
be enough 
to know I am here 
to know you are loved 
in the fullness 
of your complexity 

Take my breath love 
take it and fill yourself 
for we are both here 
failed by the fumbling inadequacy 
that is my words 
take my breath 
and let the quiet buoyancy 
of my whispered stillness 
be enough 
to know I am here 
to know you are heard 
in the depth 
of my sea 

My love 
you matter 
to the hands that 
trace your name 
you matter 
to the heart that 
pulses your name 
you matter 
to the breath 
that calls your name 
home.

Home 

My love, you are my home 
Key fitted perfectly 
to unlock 
the safety of belonging 

You are my home 
Enfolding space I come 
to disrobe myself 
of pretense 
of emotional distance 
of defense 
to stand in the smallness 
of my vulnerability 

You are my home 
Sturdy shelter crafted 
by a language of trust 
that sees 
that hears 
that breathes 
my story back into my compass song 
when I am lost 

You are my home 
Place of returning 
a constancy that holds 
against circumstance 
against time 
against attrition 
against the wounds the world cuts 
upon my fragile skin 

My love, you are home 
so know 
no matter how far 
the footfalls of day lead 
I will always return 
to the warm hearth 
of your heart home.

Therapy 

You come to me 
with tears in your heart 
holes and rips in the shape 
of all the orphaned stories 
that are lost to you 
a song that is scratched 
in a skipping loop 
jumbled poetics 
searching for their meaning 

Your eyes ask 
if I can sit in suffering 
not just any suffering 
your suffering 
your personal battle wounds 
raw and bleeding 
if I can hear your pain 
without flinching 
without running 
if your despair 
is as safe with me 
as your joy 

you say you feel small 
unworthy of your own integrity 
of your shine 

my dear one, I see you 
in all your disjoint beauty 
in all the ways your pieces fit 
even the ones that have not yet 
found their way home 
You are so much more 
than a catalog of experiences 
You are a piece of art 
as complex as you are moving 
unique and powerful 
in the courage 
of your vulnerability 

I will sit with you 
as you heal from within 
for I am not an answer 
but a bound space 
holding your unsafe truths secure 
I am not an answer 
but a question 
patiently opening your locked doors 
I am not an answer 
but a mirror 
reflecting your story, witnessing your pain 
I am not an end, merely the means 
With eyes that see you 
With ears that hear you 
With a heart that weaves 
all your wayward pieces 
into a cohesive whole. 

#healing

Masquerade 

Your invitation didn't note
that masks were required

when I joined your
October masquerade
I came naked face
tender hands
as we fluid bonded
within the musical strains
of our mutual pleasure

and when, beneath
the soft snowfall
of November's ballroom,
our eyes danced
as you kissed me still
I thought the catch of your breath
revealed a beginning
rather than obscuring an ending

see, I only had eyes for you
I didn't know this
was less a date
and more a party
animal themed
within the savagery 
of social niceties.

so when you donned
your magpie plumage
plucked from the
epiphanies of summer
I couldn't see that 
your corvid gaze
was looking through
the kindred spirit
of my teal-winged eyes
parading postures
before the empty room
all my held space
afforded you.

I didn't hear
that masked owl
in the shadows
preying quietly with
taloned words
and the contortion of
turned head retrospect,
a romantic kind of danger.

for you see
owls kill magpies
and every true magpie knows
there is safety in numbers
in mobbing threats
through built tribe trust.
I long ago inked her
long-tailed clan
upon my back
to have my back.

still, my thin skin
is no mask,
my magic doesn't come
from costumed defense.
It has always been
humbly present
in my close kin connections,
the way I unmask myself.

imagine then, how small
how vulnerable I felt
as you unveiled
the hidden world
of your masquerade
while I stood
in the center of
all the lavish word finery
an unadorned fool.

after all
every magpie knows
one is for sorrow

Neverland 

they find me
these broken boy men
wounded
by the isolationist culture
that created them

they sit before me
bleeding
their words, trauma, and light
(but never their tears)
into the chalice of my understanding

my mother instinct
has always been strong
the space of my holding
soft. vast.
Wendy in the never (ending) land
of lost stories and souls

they think I am safe
I am. and I am not
for my mother love 
slowly dissolves 
the dissociative magic of stasis
gently coaxing infectious pain
to the surface
to be felt. heard. healed.

this is my gift
and my curse
the creation of safe space
for unsafe self-truths

each time after
as I drive home
alone
all the unshed tears
from the eyes of their
desensitized PTSD
spill from mine
a transference counter
to the complex lonely needs
of my grown up heart

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Upcoming

Previous events

Mar12

Shades of the Living Light The music of Hidegard von Bingen

Yoga MCC, 2028b 33rd Ave. SW., Calgary, Alberta

THE MUSIC & VISIONS  OF
HILDEGARD VON BINGEN
 

Shades of the Living Light

The music of Hidegard von Bingen

March 12, 2016 7:00-9:30pm

$30+ gst

Vanessa Cardui - voice, guitar

Sora - voice, piano

Dorothy Bishop - cello

Trudy Hipwell - percussion

Prashant - bansuri, guitars

"The beauty and depth of theme found in Hildegard’s theology, philosophy, cosmology and medicine can all be found condensed in her music as in a jewel."

$30

Sands of Time Exhibit

Essentia, 1113 Kensington Rd. N.W., Calgary, AB

We would love to invite you to the Sands of Time Opening Reception where you will be able to view Liba's incredible peices of art, while contemplating time. Sora will also be singing Celtic melodies that are sure to put you in awe!Liba Labik is a local visual artist who explores in her latest work time and its impact on life. She is using mainly oil, encaustic and mixed media in her work.During Liba's Opening Reception for "The Sands of Time," Sora will be singing. Sora is a World/Celtic singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose soaring voice and poetic lyrics have garnered her international acclaim. *30% of each art piece sold in January at Essentia will go to the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society.For more information, please visit: http://www.myessentia.com/locations/calgary/

Free

Annual Candlelight Shindig

The Lantern Community Church, 1401 10th Ave SE, Calgary, AB

A Christmas story interspersed with holiday music.

Free