Later Lessons

In these days, our discussion
of things that we have learned
seems more a list
of things we have unlearned,
misconceptions we labored under
being shattered
by life’s happenings,
pictures reconstructed from the shards
assuming strange refractions,
showing different interpretations

We learn not to prescribe, and not to judge,
not to have a monolog
that strives to teach a lesson.
Most of all, not to think
our worth depends on what we do,
and not to think our failings
will make us fail.

©Wendy Mulhern
February 18, 2018


the anger of helplessness
the desperate resolve

the anger of helplessness
the rage of having
nowhere to stand
the desperate resolve

the anger of helplessness
the rage of having
every protest cut down
nowhere to stand
the desperate resolve

the anger of helplessness
the desperate resolve
the shift of paradigm
the letting go

the end of helplessness
the sudden silent dropping
of all the binding boxes
as contexts fall away like ash

the end of helplessness
the seed of hope.

©Wendy Mulhern
February 17, 2018

Touch me — a prayer

Touch me with your spirit,
touch me until I am lit up
to the point of discovering
I am all light
and my rays
are all yours
and my desire
all comes from what you are,
what you impart

Touch me so I feel recognized
from the inside out
so I know
there I nothing of me
that you don’t know,
nothing you don’t love,
and the lift I feel
all along my form
is just me touching in
to what you have held for me,
what you have held me as,
how you have beheld me,
all my days.

©Wendy Mulhern
February 16, 2018

The Road to Brownsville

The road to Brownsville
snakes along the river —
though you can seldom see it
you can tell by the trees —
alder, and some maple
and a few firs,
broken branches thick with moss —
that the river is there

The road stands high and proud,
serious slopes off both shoulders
so big trucks can trundle through
in any weather,
timber explaining the need
for such a big road
to such a small place.

©Wendy Mulhern
February 15, 2018

The Easy Life

The little fire
takes a while
to make us warm

Outside, today,
the cold north wind celebrated
the bright sun, whipping and chafing us
as we ignored hunger, and tiredness,
racing to keep ahead
of the rumbling rock work

So we discover
there is a sustenance beyond
the formulas for comfort,
there is joy out on the edges,
there’s a rich reward,
a great expansion that we find
as we’re delivered
from the easy life.

©Wendy Mulhern
February 13, 2018

The Costume Room

In the costume room
there were many choices —
things to put on you, things to put on me,
faces, masks, and characters,
roles and stories

In the costume room, we know
all these things were put on
and thus could sense that also
we could take them off

Here in the mirror world
it’s not so clear
what I project on you,
what’s really there —
we could be completely different people
in each other’s plays,
not even knowing it
and thus surprised
by all the things we see each other do.
Has it ever seemed that way to you?

©Wendy Mulhern
February 11, 2018

The Garden

This is a place where everyone can come
to feel comforted, refreshed, cherished,
this is a garden where you can come
and be affirmed. This is a garden
where your presence is wanted, needed,
this is a garden for tasting peace

Outside the walls, there may be harsh winds,
outside the gate, there may be predators,
but inside, you can feed
on what builds up your spirit,
you can grow strong enough
to venture anywhere.

©Wendy Mulhern
February 10, 2018


We’re only a layer away
from the bright cause that animates us all,
only a layer, only a letting go
of what we now reflexively react to

Only the choice not to be caught up
in any of these urgent
cause and effect loops,
only the choice
to begin at the beginning,
right here, right now,
caused by nothing else
but what we are.

©Wendy Mulhern
February 9, 2018


Here on the ground
the days are still painted
with enough grace
to fill any heart that’s present

We may not be flying
in the way we sense we someday will,
but we can feel high
in the confluence of skill and opportunity,
of character and connection,
of sun and scent and wind
and the myriad gifts of the hour.

©Wendy Mulhern
February 8, 2018