Shadows and light waving,
in the Great Embrace
caress and tease…
coolness, warmth.
veils of shadow
slick and smooth…
Light casting shafts
into the darker deeps…
Creatures dim and small
securing sustenance
and safety
in the motions
and the shafts and shades…
Sense and sound
baffled just a little
makes for play
pursuit and teasing
in the pleasing
of the Great Embrace…


into the sparkling air…
Arc and soar
surrounded by
The Breath
of Light, of Life, of Bright,
no matter day or night…
Return to the Embrace
the Great Embrace
that holds
and lifts,
surrounds with all
the sounds of
Living Will, Intent, Desire
of creatures great like us
and small
the rough and smooth,
that live and move
within it all…
Dive deep,
into the darkness,
cool, and cold…
and feel the hold
of the Embrace
that presses ever closer
in the greater dark,
the deeper,
deepest blue…
then turn again
and rise
up through the fading
shadow of the depth
that holds,
as a mother
who will not give birth
the to tlife thatmoves
within her
though it’s not her own…
Despite her need,
Burst through her veil
and substance
into the Air!

as high as ever
Life can leap!


Rest upon the calm
the quiet patient
swell and wallow…
The heaving of
the Great Below
is mighty
and yet so slow
and large,
sleeping now,
unchallenged, undistressed
by its sometime battle
with the powers
of the Air–
They both are Life
to us who swim
and breathe
and crave the Light:
Even lying here
upon the quiet Water,
something deep
within the Inner Sea
of me, yearning,
still also delights
in the twinkle
in the far Above
against the darkest
deepest blue
of all the tiny lights.

CL Redding 2007

Body and Soul

Wandering freely joy-filled Light
crossing universes with a notion
Curiosity on wheels, on wings,
on jetpacks, mobile dreams
ever always in merry motion…
Wants to see, wants to know,
no boundaries where the Light can go!

Try it out, try it on, form of solid matter–
Ponderous, preposterous,
time-bound hungering hulk of mass
senses appalling and imperious…
Wants to touch, to feel, to feed
earthbound sack of persistant need!

Love is shattered from a single One
to countless sparks that dance in space
to fragments alone and incomplete
Some in darkness, some in grace, 
thoughts and fancies, fears and dreams
and what is really what it seems…?

And yet, in this distressing dance
is power: to make, to do, to shape;
to nurture Will to Thought to Form
the very power to Create.
And that’s why anyone leaves a star:
to become just what we are.

CL Redding 2009

The Wind

You cannot see the wind.
    It moves the trees,
    pushes clouds across the sky, 
    surges waves across the lake and sea;

You can hear it–
    whispering through the forest,
    whistling ’round windows and chimney pots
    mourning over hollows in the land;

You can witness
    as it tears the world by shreds
    of gossamer and flying signs,
    sends dust spiraling up into a summer sky,
    whips leaves, fallen, racing through an autumn field;
    drives bitter cold and crystals pluming
    off a rocky mountain peak;
    nudges gently nodding budding blossoms 
    in a spring returning…

You can feel it
warm, off the heated land in the chill of night;
cool, defeating sultry summer sweat;
icy blasting driving winter through your coat;
the feel of speed against your face…

Birds aloft, wings laboring, they fly in place;
Horses stand head-low, and close their eyes;
Old people, buffeted, slowly, mindfully walk on…

You cannot see the wind.

    copyright 2010 CLRedding

Under the Night

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies
Yet everywhere
ironic points of light flash out
wherever the just exchange their messages…

Like Auden’s flashing lights
sparking in the darkness
that so often seems
so immense, so overwhelming,
so defeating–
we greet each other 
despite different times
and great distances between,
and know that there is Light
always in the night
and we are not alone
if only we look up
and shine. 

May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair
Show an affirming flame.

WH Auden “September 1, 1939”

The entirety of Auden’s poem, “September 1, 1939” can be found here:

Day Light

push against the lightest misty rain
off to the west,
a rainbow unfolding
to grace the dawning.

strike across the land below the clouds
gilding treetops;
Balloons rise like gems against
a steel-blue lowering sky.
flame upon the sky, rose-gold
upon the rising moon
then fade and leave the sky
to the bright and wandering stars. 

Presidential Quality

I don’t need the nicest person, I want the most able to stop the bleeding and mend the wounds in our domestic and international relationships. I don’t want the Oval Office held hostage to someone’s temper. There have been enough tantrums. I want a president who is an adult, who expresses opinions and position without bloviating or hysterics.

I don’t want a revolution in all our systems, I want restoration of the middle-class and a true leveling of the field, for health care and education and entrepreneurship to be accessible for all who want them. I want options on how we can have these things, because we are not all alike in our goals, priorities, or perspectives.

I want billionaires to be more grateful for the country that made their fortunes possible, and to give back for the country’s well-being, not just their own. I want someone who can help them see this need, or, if they will not, to rewrite the rules they operate by.

I want true separation of religion and government, because combining them has always been disastrous. Religion is for spiritual health, Government is for temporal, material well-being. Religion works by faith and belief; Government works with science and by established physical understandings. Neither one can replace the other, and should never try.

I care about integrity, about willingness to learn, to listen, and to change positions if new information changes situations. I don’t care who’s gay, I don’t care who’s what gender, I don’t care who is of what religious background or skin color.

I want a peace-maker, a mediator, rather than a belligerant who looks for ways to dominate by military strength when other strategies will do what’s needed.

I want to see the Rule of Law and the distinctions of the branches of our government all back in their own boxes. I want the checks and balances restored. I want someone who can take on the thug in the White House, and make him available to civil and criminal law.

 I want a President who will champion the American people, and strive in the best interests of a community that is encouraged to share and create and celebrate their cultural origins. I want a President who is unafraid of the rest of the world. I want a President who is compassionate, who restores this nation as a refuge to people seeking freedom from oppression and fear.

I know these are great dreams, that no one is going to bring all these ideal qualities to the Presidency in the next election. But America has always supposed to have been about having hopes, dreaming dreams and striving to make them realities.


Nature’s idea of justice is ‘natural selection.

So the Delusionary in the White House is willing to go with that. Which makes him pretty much a throw-back to his not-yet-human ancestors. The Rich Come First is the lowest kind of humanity. It is short-sighted, inward-looking, childish. “Good” is all about “Good/comfortable For Me Right Now.” Truth and Reality are obscured by wishful magical-thinking. His greatest delusion is that because he has the use of great sums of money, he is powerful, and because he is powerful, everything is his to command. 

Bullies equate fear with power, they weaponize your fears against you.
Their own lives are all about fear.

Having at the helm someone who has no concept of the long game, of how dominoes are lined up and what happens next, is a catastrophe for not just his own country, but the world, as the rock thrown into this pond will make global waves for years to come. His entire administration is infected with his own delusions about power and money, deliberately put in place to increase the flow of money to his allies and the people he wishes would like him and welcome him into their circles. He has no other priorities beyond his own interest, and so has been, by calculated mismanagement, dismantling all the superstructure and internal structure that holds up his pyramid of privilege.

Life is gonna be different for the next generations. C-19 is a thing, but so are water shortages, frackquakes, intensified storms, extreme heat waves, higher sea levels… situations we can live with, can adapt to, but can’t ignore. It’s crazy, even stupid to pretend otherwise, to not make preparations, to not design solutions we can live with.

Reality is that which, when you ignore it, doesn’t go away.

With forethought and action, the transitions that are coming can be made easier instead of all about panic and reaction. We can start now to move away from threatened shorelines, to design and build housing and infrastructure than can stand up to wild winds and floods.

The selfish, the frightened, the power- and money-hungry, like the poor, will always be with us. They are the children, the beginners in the great school of Life. But we can work towards a better balance between the savage and venal, and the humane. We can strive to be the adults, to take on the mantle of responsibility for those unable to rise to the need, even as we also continue to learn and rise.

True power is in acceptance of responsibility. 

From the Rocking Chair

For us old broads and geezers: We remember a time when the Gun War was not the norm, when evenings were lit by sunsets to dazzle eyes and hearts, not by the tiny flickers of vigil/protest candles clustering in the streets, when tears blur the lights and hearts are broken. We are still shocked by violence, never taking it for granted. We remember times of quiet, of contemplation, of attention free of cell phones, of constant connection, interruption, demand… We remember when conversations were spoken instead of typed, and when the rudiments of grammar, spelling, and punctuation were known and applied when we did indulge in the sensory gratification of the actual writing of an actual letter… We remember and sometimes miss things the Millennials have never known, really known, were ever a thing. And that’s why they think we are crazy: irrelevent out of step, out of the flow. They know only the rapids of life, never the quiet, meandering flow or the peace of the river moving along straight and quiet.

You foolish children, we are not crazy old broads and geezers: We are your Elders, and we know things. We don’t know your things, maybe, but we know things you will be needing as you make your way to this same old place, things you don’t yet imagine you need to know. We have the stories of where you began, where you came from. We have the memories of when we were not afraid of the things you fear now: We had other things to fear, but we also have the memories of surviving those things, out-lasting them, of out-lasting the fear. We remember when leaders led, and when law-makers compromised and knew something of respect for each other and for us whom they serve. We know values and beauties that are not of your world, not lately, not for a while, and maybe not for some time to come.

So, here we sit in our rockers in the shade, and we knit sweaters you will be embarrassed to wear, and we hold the wealth of our worlds, and we wait for the young who are wise enough to come and ask, to be quiet, to listen…

July 2016

Suffer the little children…

I’ve just watched something currently available on Amazon Prime:
THE WINDERMERE CHILDREN, and its companion documentary : THE WINDERMERE CHILDREN: IN THEIR OWN WORDS. The first is a dramatized account, the second is a documentary produced around the elderly survivors of the Nazi camps, who shared the Windermere experience.

In 1945, 300 children and youths who had recently been liberated from the Nazi extermination camps were brought to an estate on Lake Windermere in the Lakes District of England. They were brought to begin their recovery from the terrible conditions of their imprisonment. They had four months to make what healing they could.

Now, to our national disgrace, there are camps where immigrant children seized from their parents are being held in squalid, vicious and punishing conditions. Even when freed, some will never find their families again. Some will have no place to go. Some–most, it is safe and sad to say–will suffer PTSD and Complex PTSD the rest of their lives. But there is also hope for them, once they are liberated, because not all the world is cruel, mean-spirited, and insane with selfishness, and many will care about and contribute to their recovery. 

I encourage the watching of this, especially the young people who have no idea of the horror of the Nazi regime in Germany. The educational system in the US has terribly failed our children, to leave them so ignorant of history, so programmed by myths and obfuscations to believe in our national rightness, goodness and integrity. That’s what a lot of the fury in the US is about now, as we realize how cheated we’ve been by our own Authorities.

I likewise encourage you to take a hard and truthful look at how children are affected by political and social attitudes and assumptions in your nation. Take a long look at what kind of people are being molded into the adults of 10-20 years from now. Is ignorance, complacency and/or apathy the modern day foot-binding of your society’s children, the crippling of your society’s future? Would you have your own children treated in such ways?


I have and remember the best dreams that come just before waking. 

This morning, I dreamed of planting a spiralling grove of ginkgo trees… starting at the center and spiralling outwards, adding a new sapling every year. I got to thinking how far apart they should go to have room to grow, though eventually, to grow side by side so close, they’d make a wall around a center. In the center, there would be a pond, spring-fed, and a place to sit in comfort. 

It would all be set in a low place among hills, protected from winds and lightnings. It would be a work of lifetimes, ever growing outward… From a distance, it would appear perhaps, a low mountain in the midst of the surrounding land.

Next time I sit to meditate, I will close my eyes, and go there.

I’ll walk the ginkgo spiral, however long it is,
leaving behind the commotion

and complaining of the world at large,
replacing uproar with the rustle of the leaves
stirred by warm and easy breezes,
and smell the dusty scent of the leaves…

At the center, finally, after however long a walk I need,
the ginkgos growing taller, closer pace by pace,
first a fence, then finally at the center a wall…
I will hear the gently moving waters in the pool…
feel the warmth of the air as I sit quietly,
and listen to the birds in the trees… no doubt doves!
And every now and then, a tui’s peculiar bubbling call… 

What would be your own quiet inner place? How does it feel? What scents and sounds are in it?