In the Cave of Our Ancestors

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Upon our broken land, Ancestors,
we ask for your return
that we may be the hollow bones
to bear and tender your healing.
May we walk in beauty upon our land.
May we walk in beauty upon our land.
May we walk, again, in beauty.

 

 

 

In the Cave of Our Ancestors, collage, by Lex Leonard

In Your Light

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When I look at you
delicate unfolding
there is more, always more
a breath of flight
alights unseen until
I exhaust what I only
choose to see

You unfurl not in
beauty as I would define
not in softness but
in strength until I move to
see more deeply
beyond what I think
You are there, also

In wind I
watch you bend
air passes over me
through me
fills me with grace
until all I can do
is bend myself
to the ground
in reverence

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From Your hand 
sky to dust
air to earth
rain to sea
Your face passes by
each moment
an invitation to be
held in delirium
if I choose
intoxication
over pride

May I
launder my soul
in Your clemency

May I
rush into Your arms
cowardliness relieved
of its stand

May I
be the Joy that is me
Your gift passionately
entrusted

.
.
.

Author’s Note:

Je suis epuise.

Before this line came across my Face Book page from Huffington Post earlier in the day I wrote:


 “I am exhausted. The killing, the violence, vicious and unsympathetic politicians, lost souls who don’t know how to love themselves so they wound others – I must step away from this or drown in the mire. We must move forward in love – love all – even the vicious. It’s the only way out of this. There is no separation. We are all One. Until we put down our own wants and needs and demands to have it our way, we won’t see that we must release into the unknown with trust and love the beautiful souls we are so we can see that Light in others. There is no other way. Put down fear, hatred, condemnation, anger, the smugness we Americans seem to think is our right. There is nothing to “win”, no need to be the “best” or “right” or  “number one.” Be love and sweetness even when people say you are crazy. You aren’t. You are simply following the root command – love one another. Period. And your ripple will join others. And the world will change.”

Until we truly see the beauty in the world and know, really know and understand, that it is within us, we will continue to harm others as we walk through our day. From small quips, to manipulating others, to killing someone because they don’t believe what we believe, the world will continue to turn this way.

Instead, look deeply inside yourself. Blow away the smoke. Spirit awaits you. Forget the books, the mentors, the words, words, words, words. Put down the study. Still yourself. Listen to your Heartbeat. It’s the same one inside ALL of us. Do no harm to yourself, and you will not be able to harm others.

Amen.

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smoke
choreographed by MATS EK
performed by SYLVIE GUILLEM e NIKLAS EK

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Archeology

 

Join me at JOURNEY/lex, a weekly pondering of poetry, mystics, and the world.

 

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1.

It is a madness where I dwell
deep within myself,
a place where some say
heresy resides.

It is the archeology of me
wherein the Echo of the
Universe dances.

2.

I do not turn You aside
or hinder as Creation yawns
a grand breath each dawn,
unfurls into every corner.

I come to You an empty vessel,
a mosaic of broken pieces
composed from night’s release.

Your golden hue haloes
a new beginning.

I am yours in this every day
spring, your beloved,
as You are mine.

 

You can read more at JOURNEY/lex.

New-Eyed Lent

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I began my Lenten journey much earlier than I realized.

Christmas night we saw a full moon, a rare occurrence. A new beginning. A new life born to us once again. I am finding comfort and wisdom in our Holy One’s creation, the moon. Her cycles are a connection to nature at its most ancient. She is constant in the way of gentle guidance, not a nagging pedagogue.

Through January I experienced many losses, those stepping through the veil into a new cosmic Life.

As Luna cycled large to small and back once more, I am able to take comfort in her faithfulness, a presence holding me firm. She is a reminder of our cycles.

And so I am at Lent, seeing it with new eyes.

A dark moon greeted us two days before Ash Wednesday. The dark moon cannot be seen, our shadow covering her. Hiding Sun’s light. Giving me the peace and still of darkness. Allowing time to not see clearly. Being blind so I can listen.

I made some drastic changes to my life, releasing a love and a passion for now, knowing a different path is needed. Listening, I realize that I must rest and hear yet more deeply.

So I returned to a place of silence to begin once again.

In the dark of night beneath a cross hung high above an altar, I entered my daily meditation. A light shown brightly on Him, the rest of the sanctuary and myself in blackness. When I opened my eyes, I again asked the haunting question, “Why?” This image? What is it that I am being asked to understand?

I know it is not about Him “dying for my sins.”  That was a past life. It just doesn’t make sense any longer on so many different levels.

Last year I explored Magdalene. I wrote a monologue based mostly on the Gospel of John. I walked her path and listened to her voice.  I came to understand the “Why?” but only partially.

I came to understand that we are deeply loved, but we just don’t get it.

Each and every one of us, each and every creature, each and every thing made, is a vessel containing our Holy One’s grace and love and being to be given away freely. There is no bottom to this gift. We won’t run out. We truly are the hands and feet and eyes and minds of God on earth in the cosmos. But we just don’t get it.

So Jesus God, came to show us that we are so loved, so powerful in what we do, that He became a person, just like you and me. He was a man who walked on this earth, loved, cried, and also needed help understanding. The Syrophonecian Woman was a teacher, as many others He would encounter who would inform his life.

We are Wisdom.

It is within each of us. So much so, Jesus also learned from us.

Jesus came to us to help us see what we can do as people, how to look into each other’s eyes and see Spirit in ourselves. Care for all the things on earth, because everything is made of stardust, our Cosmic Source. There is no disappearing or loss, just transformation.

Then why did Jesus have to die?

“Only the suffering God can help.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In Bonhoeffer’s words, I came to understand that God understands our struggles. And Our Infinite Love cannot leave us because we are Oned. Yes, we will suffer but Spirit is here within us. Only we don’t always realize it, or help others find it through their pain and suffering and hate and fear.

Earth dies every year to remind us life is a struggle. Luna cycles from darkness to full light to remind us Light is always here, even if we can’t see it. Everyone and every creature dies and moves through the veil into cosmic Oneness. We are constantly transformed.

Lent is no longer a time for me to put on sackcloth, suffer, moan, and ask forgiveness.

Lent is a new beginning slushing through the melting ice that creates such a great muddiness, that sloppy rich earth from which new life will sprout.

I walk this Lent in darkness and stillness
to hear my Loved One’s voice.

I remember the times I didn’t look long enough
to see Spirit in each being, person and animal,
I meet. Or care for the living earth
or cobbled stuff that fills this physical plane.

I move to accept myself absolutely
for my past ignorance and rejoice
in the beauty and love I share from Within.

I remember the root command,
love one another.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Lexanne

A grateful heart to Eileen Terry and her gift of
*Thomas More, Original Self, Living with Paradox and Originality
to inform my prayer.

 

The Gift – David Nevue

Diana Butler Bass
Grounded
Finding God In the World
A Spiritual Revolution

A Podcast with Rob Bell

 

Music

 

 

 

“music despite everything”

 

when she died they showed
us her photo, just in case
we didn’t remember

crooked pigtails atop her head
not quite even, and never bows

a scratchy voice through a crooked smile
shouted down the hall

feet tromped crashing
her entrance into quiet study rooms

her laugh, oh, her boisterous belly laugh
that only sings in memory

 

“music despite everything”

 

the batter’s up
the crack and soar
the roar
no longer plays through our house

an empty chair
two ball caps side by side
one for yard work, one for dress
no longer a head to wear them

Girlie, don’t forget to…
I always was, will always be his girlie

 

“music despite everything”

 

silent snownight
coyote chortle
morning bird song
seasons pass as I rise,
my God and my all

“music despite everything”

.

.

.

Author’s Note:

Today was a deep breath in a week that needed a cleansing.

Stephanie Dunlap led a group of us at A Church of the Holy Family,  in a safe and powerful writing retreat. Thank you so very much, Stephanie.

Through quick writes and sharing we grew through the morning, freeing our voices, and sharing our stories.

The prompt that spoke to me – music despite everything –  was from a line in A Brief for the Defense, a poem by Jack Gilbert.

I am continually grateful to have opportunities that gently lead me to explore my life through writing. And today I found a place to include my mantram from St. Francis of Assisi’s prayer – My God and my all.

With much heartfelt peace for this day of wonder,

Lexanne

 

P.S.

We ended with another prompt that caught my heart. Write a letter to God.

Holy One,

I give to you all I am
that which has always
been Yours

I surrender
to the dark unknown
and open my
heart

I place my hand
in Your open palm,
I need no other

With reverence for all,
beings who talk and sing,
crawlers and fliers,
swimmers and those
who simply are

I trust,
no longer forging my way,
in gratitude
I rest, I rest, I rest in You

 

 

A Prayer for Paris

Today is the day, the moment, the now,
12243580_10206976435363662_5343385536768881250_nextinguish the flame of fear.

Smother embers of hatred beneath
steps taken in compassion.

Let smoke of bitterness rise,
dissipate into wide ocean sky.

May clemency shine through us to
quell the bleakness of terror.

May our hands join to bear our Oneness.

May our voices lift above the madness
to sing a song of accord.

Guide us to be strong in You.
Amen. Amen. Amen.

.

.

.

Author’s Note:

For more about the poem and photo, please visit my page: Journey/lex.

Unfolding, An Advent Meditation

Announcing the publication of my new book of poetry and prayers.BookCoverImage

I know it is a bit early to announce. But if you would like to share this with your community, below is a sample page.

 

Tuesday
For Our Earth
Luke 21: 25-28


Breathe

Unfolding
The earth declares your Wonder,
winds roaring over plains,
snows laden heavy on our land,
waters in contempt of their barriers.

It is in your delicate disclosure
I still myself to hear
the bleat of the infant voice,
the One who will bear us home to you.

Selah
Nature moves with force, but also in whispers. Can you make time today to slow down and notice the world around you to allow yourself to enjoy a bit of nature?

Mantram
Immerse me in your promise.            

Blessing
In praise of sleeping roots wintering
underground, may I take time to rest.
In praise of darkened nights,
may I find peace enough to slumber.
In praise of water icebound,
may I make time for transformation.                                          


Breathe

Unfolding is a daily devotional for the season of Advent. Beginning with the first Sunday in Advent, Lexanne Leonard brings a gentleness to the days through her offering of scripture, poetry, and prayer, ending on Christmas morning. It is a breath and pause to reconnect with the Divine in these busy days of Advent.

Each meditation was written through lectio divina from the lectionary readings for each Sunday of Advent, Cycle C. Every day a piece of the Sunday scripture is expressed through poetry, prayer, and reflection. Also, each day of the week is dedicated to bringing to the forefront compassionate concerns for our world.

Through Lexanne’s own practice of Passage Meditation, she presents a “mantram,” a short phrase, for each week. It can be said throughout the day to bring one back to the present and to draw strength from the scripture passages, poems, and prayers offered in the daily meditation.

“Here, within her words is the rhythm we all may be seeking. Instead of clamor, there is quiet. Rather than over spending in order to give, there is the offering of gift which no money can buy. We will not faint under the pressure to get things checked off a list, but instead simplicity is called upon with bible, candle, silence, and reflection.” – Scott Jenkins, Director, Celtic Way

It is now available at Amazon.com or your local independent bookseller.