how to eat your shadow

•April 27, 2018 • 2 Comments

Inner landscapes are inscrutable
when we lose ourselves
and hunger for what we cannot have.
But our suffering is not eternal.

Approach spiritual banquets with humilty.

Burn incense, chant softly,
breath deeply, reflect often.

After the grief, after the weeping,
wait for the dawn.
Walk to the shore of the great River.
Submit yourself to what you can’t control.

Kneel on one knee and then the other.
Be patient, allow the pain to subside.

Palms together, lean forward
touch your head to the earth.
Close your eyes.
Feel the teeming mystery
which pulses beneath you.

Plant yourself, seed-like, you will not die.
Like a sapling, these unmetabolized shadows
will become food for new life.

Surrender your old wounds. Taste the earth.
Make a final meal of your sorrow.

Understand with surety what until now
you knew only in seperation.
Light always holds darkness within itself
a womb of secret knowledge,
a kin reflection open to those who seek.

Allow it to gently cradle you
in your gestation. Trust it’s presence.

Light and darkness are inseperable
marinated in the alchemical vessel of the heart.

April 20, 2018
c. m. brooks

spinning true

•April 20, 2018 • Leave a Comment

A million acts of goodness
count for something.

Each morning
the sky opens
full of color.

Children laughing and
playing in innocence.

Our deep capacity
for compassion and love.

I will remember these
as the last moon rises
finally feeling
the world spinning true.

February 6, 2018
c.m. brooks

old enough to be my father

•April 17, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I can’t even recall how many times
I’ve been asked if I was his daughter.

After so many years now
I’ve lost count.

The years didn’t matter to me
though to other people they did.

Standing on the Lake Geneva beach,
July of 1981, late afternoon
before a large spiritual gathering
I was twenty-four and new to the movement.
So many people there I’d never met before.

A young guy from the ashram in Chicago
with long blond hair and a reddish beard
sporting a baby blue swimsuit
asked me where I was from.

“Detroit”, I said.

“Wow”, he says, “then you’ve heard the news. “
“It’s spreading like wildfire here
about the young chick that’s run off with our teacher.”

Staring at the lake
I answer softly, “yes,  I know… I’m the one.”

April 17, 2018, c. m. brooks


•March 10, 2018 • 2 Comments

Is it the nimbleness
your words trace
that brings such
pleasure in the reading?

I am uncertain.

I only know

my heart fills with joy
each poem I read
each lines essential bliss,
each poem’s gentle kiss.

c.m.brooks March 10, 2018

The Trouble with Elephants in Ohio

•November 15, 2017 • 1 Comment

The trouble with elephants is not their size
or their unwieldy, exuberant nature
but that the Midwest is really no place for an elephant.

The I-ching warned me about riding with elephants
or consorting with them but I wouldn’t listen.
Now, here I am, in the midst of a pack of them.

Last summer when I headed down to Ashland
driving thru Amish country, south of Oberlin,
an elephant appeared near Orange wanting to hitch a ride.

I was eager to oblige him. He was filled with stories and enthusiasm.
He said if I took him along
he’d teach me the ways of the Tao and that I’d be blessed.

But elephants are notorious for carrying a lot of baggage
and since they don’t drive they are no help on long trips.
They are often stuffed into the back seat with their trunks
draped precariously out the window.

Known for strewing peanut shells and popcorn all over the car floor,
their need to stop often to graze on the banks of muddy creeks,
their incessant desire to listen to progressive jazz when all I want is bit of quiet.

And, it’s just intolerable that they’ve been caught dozens of times
rifling thru peoples pockets during poetry readings.
They are well known pickpockets you see.

Elephants get car sick when it rains,
are attention hogs and wear brash colors.
Always looking for notoriety.

And their incessantly muddy feet…
well let’s just say I’m tired of it.

c.m.brooks 11-15-17

In the End

•October 1, 2017 • 2 Comments

For Puerto Rico 

In the end we will all go this way.
Down a dimly lit staircase
at the end of a glistening rope.
No water, no electricity, no fuel.

The oppressive heat pressing in
like a heavy weight and each breath
lingering with a final shudder.

Each leafless tree, each roofless house

And how will they know we were here?
By the single shoe, the empty cup,
the lifeless garden and
the broken world surrounding us.

September 30, 2017 by c.m. brooks


•September 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I pull you out of my heart

root by root

but darling

this is going to take some time.

~Sept. 23, 2017 by c. m. brooks

blue land

•September 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment

there is a blue land at the end I think.

a moonlit path across the shimmering
water, spirit caught up in its radiance.

I am swept up in this silent wonder,
this enveloping sanctuary of light.

Sept. 9, 2017 by c.m.brooks

stone heart

•August 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I had never considered that a full heart
could become heavy.

That there would come a time it
would feel itself a burden.

A small bird carrying a stone with nowhere
for its contents to soar or land.

August 28th, 2017 by c. m. brooks

Bardo Meditation for a friend

•August 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment

For Christie

They say that just the act
of reciting the prayers
will help you. I hope so.

Thrown out of the world,
your candle blown out,
suspended in the dark of timelessness.

Listen closely for my prayers,
reach up and grab the golden thread.
Look for the Light, the ground of Being.

Follow it to the thousand petaled lotus.
Smell it’s fragrance and step thru
just as the bright blossom begins to open.

The World wind is still and there is no
firm ground beneath you.
But trust and have no fear.

Bow to it all, both the pleasure
and the pain. Listen intently for the Lion’s roar.
Feel your connection to Eternity.

“It is the truth that liberates
not the effort to be free.”
All you need to do is let go
and remember who you really are.


Aug. 25, 2017 By c.m. brooks