Falling Apart


Today’s poetry Prompt is to write a Falling Apart poem.

Falling Apart
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

First: Everything begins to work in sync. From within the random chaos,
a pattern emerges, a rhythm, a mutual response between working parts.
Cooperation and tunefulness abound. Order prevails.

Second: Before long, the sameness of the patterns and the rhythms
begins to grate on the inner ear. A background whine hovers
just within earshot. Orderliness begins to thump and thud.

Third: Some of the ordered bits begin to stumble, miss a step,
misfire. Still, the march plods on, and the bumbling is only a hiccup
in the ordered scheme of things. Weariness sets in.

Fourth: A counter-rhythm develops. Syncopation sets in. Suddenly,
a wild dance whirls through the march. Chaos returns with a will.
The order has been subverted, the structure shredded.

Fifth: All sense of order has fallen apart. Randomness reigns.
The beauty of the wild begins to appear–itself–as a sameness.
Colors and sounds and sensations begin to sort themselves.

Sixth: Everything begins to work in sync.

Gratitude List:
1. More wonderful family time together. Nate riffing on the piano. What a musician!  Jon’s delicious lasagna. Uno has to be one of the best family games.
2. Shadows. Secret scenes and messages in the shadows.
3. Watching the boys take on creative projects and take pride in their work.
4. Thanksgiving Break. It wasn’t long enough, but it was wonderful while it lasted.
5. Dark Chocolate: Lemon Pepper Ginger.

May we walk in Beauty!

Exploring the Shadows

2014 January 018
Sun and shadow.

It’s Brigid’s Day.  It’s Candlemas.  Day of the Groundhog.  Day of the Shadow.

The thing about shadows?  They appear most clearly on the brightest days.  Those cloudy and overcast days, when everything is one singular tone–the shadows are hints and mirages only.  But on days when the sun is shining brightly, then the shadows flow and scatter about your feet and down the hill, pooling and puddling like water in the hollows and crevices.  On sparkling days, you can look into the shadows and discern the deep indigo and violet.  The shadow becomes a mirror, another layer of reality overlaid upon the everyday.

Today, I will light my candle in the dark places and watch for the way the light shifts the darkness around me, how it helps to define and shape the darkness, how it gives meaning to the shapes of things as their shadows find them, mirror them, define them.  Today, I will be the groundhog, searching for the shadow that defines and mirrors me, that offers me a new vision of who I am when I am outside the safe burrow of myself and standing in the sunlight.

May your shadow be a reflection of the Truest You.

Gratitude List:
1. Sleep.  I seem to need more of it these days.  And I am sleeping more deeply.
2. Shadows.  Mirrors. Reflections.
3. Indigo. I’ve been meditating on indigo.  I want to do more research on human perception of blues, indigo in particular.  When people began talking about no longer including it in the rainbow line-up, I was really bothered, and was consequently delighted when my 6yo came home from school and told me about Roy G Biv (the I is still in there).
4. Dinner with the dormies last night.
5. Circling the wagons. Joining hands to hold the net.  Casting the lines from person to person to form the web.

May we walk in Beauty!

Look into the Shadow

Today is Brigid’s Eve, one of those halfway days in the year.  Partway between Solstice and Equinox, it’s one of those moments in the year’s turning that gives us a breathing space to pause and take stock.  The light has been growing again for six weeks, and my winter-dulled consciousness is now catching up, now finally noticing the way day begins to spread out wider before me.

Tomorrow morning, amid all the goofiness that surrounds the moment here in Pennsylvania, we will take note of whether a largish rodent will or will not notice her shadow, and we will use that to predict the ending of the winter season.  Six weeks from now is the beginning of May, and no matter which way the shadows fall today, spring will be here by then.

If I take my seat in my comfortable burrow with the groundhogs for the moment and consider what light may arrive at my doorstep by tomorrow morning, I find myself considering what there is within me that may need to be drawn into the light, and what must remain protected in the inky space behind me.  Can I find the courage to look into the aching indigo of my own shadows?

It’s a fine enough question to ask: Will the groundhog see its shadow?  But try to turn it around, and ask yourself: Will I see my own?

Gratitude List:
1.  All that music yesterday.  In the morning–singing, singing.  The String Band in the evening.  Watching the children watch the band.  They loved the song about sandwiches.  So glad Santa finally brought them a banjo or two, but I’m sad that the trade-off was the double bass.
2. Vulnerability.  People who model vulnerability and open-heartedness.
3. Courage.  Couer (old French for heart).  Couer-age.  En-couer-age-ment: Enheartening.
4. Making new friends who seem like old friends.
5. Looking into the teeth of the questions.

Take Courage.  Take Heart.


I dreamed I had wings,
black feathers rising behind me like shadow.
When I opened my eyes,
the lonely earth spread out beneath me;
the old moon was at my back.

Gratitude List:
1. Crows crossing the moon in the morning
2. Mist rising from the Millstream in the afternoon
3. Options
4. Shadows
5. Three Good Things.  I have been carrying some heaviness lately–by my own choice, and with gratitude and great love.  So it was nice in the space of this day to have Three Good Things come my way: a student stopped by to tell me that her father, who had been injured fighting a fire a year ago, is back on the job; another student, adopted as a baby from Russia, stopped by to tell me that he finally received his official citizenship; this evening at the library, I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in a long time.

May we walk in Beauty!

Green Shadows

Sometimes you start to write a poem, and an interesting structure emerges, and so so go on and formalize it and make your own structure.  What emerged here was a 2/8/8/3 syllable-count poem.  These really busy summer days when the farm is ramping up, but the feeling of the world is slow and lazy and dreamy, something about the structure of this appealed to my sense of being caught behind a veil, stuck in a conflict where something in me wants to live in a quiet instinctual place while the world is bustling about me.

The song
of the house finch is green, and the
way the sunlight dapples the wall
in shadow.

Green is
the soul of the field mouse, and the
way that the brook meanders through
the meadow.

The heart
of this morning is green, and the
morning breezes that eddy in
the hollow.


I realize that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are crunchy for many people, for many reasons.  If this is the case for you, I wish you comfort and solace, a chance to look quietly at the attendant pain, and good strong breath to carry you through.    Much love.

Gratitude List:
1. For my father, for the way he so gracefully blends reason and wisdom and compassion.
2. For Jon Weaver-Kreider, and his gentle spirit.
3. For books and stories, myths and fables
4. For work, preparations, and planning (opening day on the farm is this week!)
5. For that green sun peaking over the hill.

May we walk in Beauty!

Winter Balances

A quick little poem.
I am of two minds about winter.

One moment:
Enough, I say!  Enough
of the suffocating darkness,
of the cold that drives me
into my bed, a-quiver.
Enough of the river
frozen halfway to stone.
Enough of the bone-chilling
mind-numbing ache of it.

Then, sun on the snow,
a-sparkle, a-dazzle,
glinting ferociously:
Here is your light!
Bathe in it, draw it in,
into your marrow,
carry it deep in your heart,
in the depths, in the shadows.

Gratitude List:
1.  The way the winter sun sparkles through the bathroom window at Radiance and hits the Mary Oliver poem about summer.
2.  Talking it over
3.  The gift of vulnerability.  I want to be always strong, strong like you.  And then you open your heart and show me: “Here is the way.  Here are the places that are fearful to look upon.”  I have so much to learn.
4.  Healing energy like that bright winter sun, shimmering all around.
5.  Assessing and tweaking

May we walk in Beauty.


I just noticed that there is a face in the shadow of the tree on the barn at the top of my blog page.  Just a little to the left of center.  Hmm.  Don’t forget–tomorrow’s poem is a list poem–perhaps a gratitude?

Gratitude List:
1.  Opportunities to practice the work I have committed to, even when it’s hard.
2.  Good music.
3.  Abundance.   Lavish love, overflowing hope.  Yes, even when I sit near or in the shadows.
4.  Children’s literature
5.  Process.  Step by Step.  Just because I/we want to be There at sometime in the future doesn’t mean we have to jump there today.
May we walk in beauty.

Where Do I Draw the Line?

I had intended to make this playful and fun, but a heaviness overtook me as I began to reflect.  Perhaps I’ll try the silly side of this another day.

That lying line,
that lion,
that roars and rumbles rudely.

Color inside it or outside,
where shall we draw it?

When does the sweet secret
turn sourly to self-deception,
the slow slide of truth
across that watery line to lie?

This, says the heart, is mine,
this private line,
this inner realm I rule.
It is my right.

Indeed.  And yet,
integrity bleeds outward
from secret worlds,
the safest closets
and deep-down caves.

When does my secret cease
to protect us in its quiet case?
When does it enter that twisted space,
the reflection that belies reality?

Oh, give the heart its privacy
within indigo shadows,
but don’t mistake reflection
for the truth.



Tomorrow’s poem, courtesy of my friend Brad Lehman, is to write a poem of phone prompts.  (I think he originally suggested that I translate them into or out of Spanish.  Um.  No.)  Something about the experience (frustration?) of finding your way through phone recordings.  Join me?  Press one for the poem of the day.  Beep.


Gratitude List:

1.  Getting the white shower curtain white again
2.  Cantaloupe smoothies
3.  Folk tales
4.  Hands to hold in the darkness
5.  Beeswax crayons

May we walk in beauty.

2013 January 005


Through the Same Door

Day 29 Poem-A-Day Prompt: Write a Birth Poem.

We all came in through the same door.
The young ones just beginning to learn
what their bodies can do,
the new crones bidding the blood farewell.

And all those rounding bellies.
There were more of them than any of the others.

I sensed the wolf the moment I walked in the door.
I almost looked around to see her,
before I realized the shadow was my own.

Of course.

I stepped across the carpet
carefully toward the desk,
past the pair who sat together
with heads bowed in wonder
over the full bowl of her womb,
willing them not to look at me
lest they sense the blood on me,
lest some contagion contaminate
their innocent joy,
lest the wolf turn her face their way.

Me, I had walked this way before
with my strange and dark companion,
carrying my empty bowl.
I was only there for confirmation
this time.   I knew what I had come to hear,
knew how to follow this particular path of grief.

Walking out again, afterward,
the fresh-faced ones were still there,
and the wolf and I again took pains
not to taint them with our shadow.

We left by the same door
and closed it quietly behind us.