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Swan Songs

you know this to be true:

someday we will say goodbye
to everything and everyone
we have ever known

in fact
such beautiful Swan Songs happen
a thousand times a day

the exhalation
the expiration
the ebbing back
a heart expanding

but know this too:
goodbye is simply
a matter of perspective

and there is always the One
on the other side
saying hello

~ jennifer sundeen, august 2014

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Divine Mother

a man once offered
to reveal to me
the Divine Mother
said he could summon Her
to appear before me
as pure radiance manifest

he had learned this from his Guru
in India
in the ashram
and now the teachings of his teacher
must surely be shared
for the mere cost of $108

i appreciate the offer
i gently said
but from the moment
i open my eyes each morning
and see the trees greeting me outside my window
and hear the birds awaken at dawn

and throughout the day
as I exchange pleasantries
with the nice girl behind the coffee counter
hear the belly laugh of the toddler in aisle two
notice the adoring gaze of the lady walking her retriever
and her old dog’s joy as he rolls in the grass beneath him

and later
watching the shy deer eating the greenery
smelling the fallen leaves blanketing the earth
listening to the flute notes at the river’s edge
and the dancing rain making puddles in my driveway
as i return home

and each evening
when supper simmers
and my daughters play
and the night owl calls
and the stars delight
She is with me

in all things
in all moments
in all of creation
i see the Mother
and She is tenderly smiling and sweetly singing
and holding me in Her loving embrace

to find Her
i said
is easy
one need only open
the eyes of one’s heart
and truly see

the man stepped over
to the edge of the window
and peeked outside
as if afraid
She might really be there
after all

~ jennifer sundeen, november 2013

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Not Yet

a few moons ago
the stars tried to call me home
it was suppertime
and day had at last tucked beneath
his heavy black quilt

they sang out for me to join them
in their nightly feasting and dancing
i felt the gentle tug of temptation
and my heart took pause
for my ancient soul remembered the exaltation
of exploding into starlight
and the soaring freedom that comes
when form once again
dissolves into the formless

but i had not yet finished
this dear human waltz
there were more steps that needed learning
more spinning remained on my wheel
more colors and scents that needed discovering
indeed i still had not tasted
so much of Earth’s sweet abundance

so i rooted my feet deeply
and as dawn broke
the dried oak leaves shimmied in delight
and the dark pond smiled with knowing mystery
and the chickadees trilled their approval
and the crabapples blushed with joy
and the sun kissed my grateful mouth

and though i held the berries of bittersweet
the cold wind reminded me of the joy of Aliveness
whispering for me to play here as long as i could
for the stars would always be there waiting
and when the time was just right
they had a radiant sky dance
that they could not wait to show me


~ jennifer sundeen

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Answers

go ahead
ask the Universe
for what it is you really want

She will most likely grant it
so be sure to be specific
or it might not look quite as you imagined

Her answer will arrive
in the dancing leaves of the oak
in the knowing whisper of the rushes

in the lone feather of the hawk
in the opossum’s cautious stare
in the coyote’s chattering howl

in the snake coiled on the wooded path
in the proud flight of the great blue heron
in the glorious silence of the setting autumn sun

in fact She’s singing to you even now
can you hear Her?
or have you forgotten your heart has ears?

~ jennifer sundeen, september 2013

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Now

your greatest joy lies
where Now is born
inside of thought
underneath an ocean
of worry and fear
but to find it
you must merge with what Is
let the waves of being wash over you
let the current of life carry you

allow yourself to be breathed
become the noise
and the music
stand at the very place
where laughter and grief meet
jump into the center of the heartbeat
let a kiss devour you
let sunlight dissolve you

in each living moment
let your whole being become the moment
until you reach that place
where your inner and outer worlds
are no longer distinguishable
the center of the center
a space so expansive
a freedom so profound
a soul wide open

so that even when Chaos knocks sharply on your door
and insists on staying the night
and the sun flares its fiery tongues
and the planets spin in retrograde
you
dearest friend
you will be the one
dancing and singing
with the silent stillness
of pure joyous
Presence

~ jennifer sundeen, november 2013

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Earth Music

this one thing i know:

i am not long for this world
none of us are
these luminous Selves 
who dwell in dancing houses
of freckled skin and thinning hair
we are simply the in-breath
of this great breathing universe
and soon exhaled
a sweet contraction
before the expansive release

and this i know too:

today
the april wind walks beside me
and River is singing Her rapture of Springtime
and the yellow ribbon snakes
the beavers
the robins
the chickadees
the mourning doves
the shagbark hickory
the swaying aspen
the puddles of afternoon light
have all come to listen

i cannot imagine having missed
this divine earth music
the honeyed song of Now
because i was too busy worrying
because i was too busy planning
because i was too busy accomplishing
because i was afraid

~ jennifer sundeen, april 2014