Jan 092015

Keep Your Heart Open NaryzaMay your heart be open
May your words be kind
May you see the face of God
When you look in each others’ eyes

May your feet sink down deep
Into the Mother’s soil
May you live into your roots
And to them remain loyal

May compassion be the foundation
Upon which you live
May you hold nothing back
So that you may freely give

May forgiveness be you sword
May love be your shield
May you fully surrender
So that you may fully yield

May my heart be open
May my words be kind
May I see the face of God
When I look in another’s eyes

May my feet sink down deep
Into the Mother’s soil
May I live into my roots
And to them remain loyal

May compassion be the foundation
Upon which I live
May I hold nothing back
So that I may freely give

May forgiveness be my sword
May love be my shield
May I fully surrender
So that I may fully yield

May our hearts be open
May our words be kind
May we see the face of God
When we look in each others’ eyes

© 2014, Sabrina Santa Clara

Jan 042015

Dear young man:

Thank you for the compliments on my beauty and
hour-glass figure,
But perhaps hitting on me at the 24-hour chant
wasn’t the very best of choices.

Dear beautiful young man with the 4% body fat cut physique:

You are indeed a pleasure to look upon.
Your face is like a porcelain doll’s
Too pretty and too cool for someone with the heat of me to love.
I prefer faces like Japanese Kintsugi Pottery, made more beautiful for the cracks
I prefer a face that has placed a loved one in the grave
And one that has had to climb itself back up to happiness.

I prefer a body that has that slight soft edge of vulnerable
One that might Feel
better than it looks
One that shows its owner gives more attention to the inside
than the outside.

Dear loquacious 26 year-old:

I am not offended that you attempted to educate me,
a 49 year-old Woman with a 25-year practice,
on what is required to be an advanced yogi and the
8-limbed path.
I know that your words were peacock feathers to impress me –
I am sorry if I did not hide my amusement well.

There will come a time when you will grow weary of your own words.
Only then you will learn the gift of silence.
You will discover that the greatest wisdom comes from the quiet of the in-between spaces
And words are nothing more than a distraction from the essence of the Greater Something

There will come a time when that silence will lead you to the Great Emptiness inside
that will
at first
devastate you.
And sooner or later,
probably later,
you will experience the paradox that the Great Emptiness is,
in fact,
the source of the Overflowing Fullness.

Dear puppy:

There will come a time when you will be able to resist the temptation to jump on laps
and slobber on faces,
When you will understand that,
as cute as you are,
seasoned Women don’t much care for awkward jumps and slobbers,
we prefer seasoned Menwho understand the value of silence,
pacing and

Dear young man:

thank you
but no thank you.


© Sabrina Santa Clara, 2014

Jan 042015

kay rowe (stangl)I am only able to visit her now
about once every six weeks
My eldest sister,
who sees her every day is
sometimes unaware of the changes that
stumble my breath.

Her face still lights up when she sees me,
A toddler’s joy in an old woman’s face,
words coming in single syllables spaced far apart

I become her mouth, her tongue
lips forming words that she cannot find
Filling-in the blank spaces her mind has relinquished
Guessing at meaning that is probably,
at this point,
mostly projection

She’s stopped struggling to locate words, is
less pained by her inability to express thoughts.
At last,
yielding to the bogginess of her
low dusk brain.

Her memory is like a thin skipping stone
Briefly touching down only to rise again
Once, twice, maybe three times before
Surrendering to gravity and
sinking deep beneath the surface
wafting down to rest quietly
on consciousness’ muddy floor.

Today, I am ungrieving.

It is, I think, a restful kind of beauty.
My mother’s brow unfurrowed for the first time.
Ruminations of the past, worries of the future,
and unsatisfied longings all long gone.

The unfulfilled life as distant as her memories.
My beloved mother now, is
the freest from suffering as I’ve ever known her.

Her face still lights up when she sees me.
She could not, I doubt, locate me tethered in her past
but she knows the felt sense of safe,

The days are coming soon,
when I will lay at the bottom of her lake,
when the eyes I look into
will not look back.

I gently hold the beauty of this moment
fragile like a robin’s egg
in softly cupped hands.
Gratitude that
for today
Her face still lights up when she sees me.


© Sabrina Santa Clara, 2014

Jan 042015

Mom n Me 2014Every morning, without fail,
she put her depression and the misery of her marriage
in the dryer that stood in the kitchen
good only for countertop space and
storing the 20 lb bag of potatoes we seemed to live on.

Every morning, without fail
She sang in her happy, lilting voice,
“good morning, Sunshine!”
as she straightened out the blankets I’d twisted in the night,
pushed back the Rapunzel hair my father forbid us to cut
and kissed me softly on the forehead.

Every morning, without fail
the love in her voice
chased the misery of my childhood back
beneath my bed,
if only for a brief moment.
Is it any wonder,
almost half a century later,
that I fall in love with every new morning?

My mother was an amazing compartmentalizer.
Before the last three years
I could count the times I’d see her cry.
Now, it is me who compartmentalizes.
I lay my grief in the hands of friends,
let it wail into the circle of community,
drain it into a poem,
anywhere that its cause cannot see.

I keep my voice and body soft as I
wipe the tears from her cheeks.
My inquiries have become a kind of short-hand,
Sad? Lonely? Scared? Confused?
She nods at one or the other but I suspect
she has lost the meanings of those words too.

She is too big a woman to place on my lap
so I take her in my arms and
lean her on my shoulder
soothe her with
the slow circle back rubs of my childhood.

I breathe slowly and softly
calming her body with my own.
Then I sing to my mother the song of my childhood,
“Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
Mamma’s gonna buy you a mocking bird,
and if that mocking bird don’t sing,
Mamma’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.”

Being childless,
I once believed I would never know the unconditional love of motherhood.
I was wrong.

But this mothering,
is a painful kind of mothering
for what mother would pray for their own’s release?

Mother, oh my mother,
may you be relieved of this body that wanders aimlessly
as if seeking the soul that has become untethered.

Mother, oh my mother
may you be relieved of the mind that
has become too spacious to hold the fullness of you.

I’m not certain, beloved mother, what is on the other side,
But I do so hope you’re awakened there with a
“good morning, Sunshine!


© 2014 Sabrina Santa Clara