In the Beginning

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God
and in the beginning, it was wild and free, unencumbered.
The Word flourished
dancing with the moon, the stars and the sun
cradling the light, like a new born
flowing and flowering into endless forms and possibilities.
The more diversity it encountered the more free it became.

Until one day an idea formed in the hearts of men,
to build walls around the Word.
Establish rules, dogmas and edicts
to seek to control the Word.
Who has the right to receive this Word,
how it should be lived and known.
Soon the essence of the Word was forgotten,
for the very Life that illuminated the Word,
made it sparkle and dance, withered
smothered behind the walls built to contain its power.

You might think the Word is dead.
Look again.

The Word lives and breathes inside you.
Place your hand on your heart,
feel its warmth
and beating aliveness,
desire to connect, love and be known.
Speak it.
Live it.
Set it free.

Patrice Ficken, Mercy By The Sea, July 12, 2018

Dedicated to John Philip Newell and the New England School of Celtic Consciousness, Year 2

Soul Weaver

Soul Weaver sits at Her Wheel
Expert fingers gather the finest firmaments
Gold, silver, sapphire blue
Fine fibers barely visible
a glittering spider’s web
See how gently
She pulls apart each strand
how Her loom presses deep
into the bone marrow of sorrow
hallowing the heartache of suffering
All the while
She gathers
She spins
Her wheel turns
day after day
night after night
lifetime after lifetime
Is it possible to know Her ultimate Design?
Her Reason Why?
No, it is in the spinning,
the gathering,
the plucking of each string
the tender caress
of each costly, precious thread
how it vibrates and sings
its most sacred song
a symphony of Beauty


--Patrice Ficken, 12.12.17

Hawk Visits the Squirrel

It will happen to you
on a carefree afternoon
the air is crisp and cool
the sky a brilliant cloudless blue
the sun low and penetrating
back lighting the pink cosmos and the bee
a stained glass window
holy in its beauty and perfection
You are gleefully leaping
from one branch to another
flying from tree to tree
playfully chasing your friend
dropping acorns along the way
The oak tree shakes and shimmers
When out of nowhere
the unexpected predator
visits you
sinks its talons into your life
rips away
your dearest treasure
And there is nothing you can do
except watch in horror
as what is most precious
is carried away
Grief lands in an instant
a sound emerges
deep, deep
from behind your heart
from some hidden chamber
keening
a strange sound
never heard before

-- Patrice Ficken
October 2, 2017

Heart

(Dedicated to John Philip Newell
and the New England School of Celtic Consciousness)

Heart
beats to a different rhythm
in concert
with ocean waves
lapping to shore
one by one
moment by moment
day by day
Never ceasing
Proclaiming
the Yes of the Universe
Love without limits
The tenacity of Life
Eternally unfolding
New beginnings in each breath
with every beat
New life always here
asking for a midwife
to bring it forth
Heart knows the freshness
the gift of each new day
Beats with all hearts
Resonant with the Earth
the very pulse of the Universe
Heart asks only
to be remembered and felt
for a Deeper Listening
a Deeper Knowing
Breathe in and feel
the steadiness
the Devotion
the Love
the Selfless Service
of the Heart
Its never ending
Song of Gratitude

--Patrice Ficken, Mercy By The Sea, July 13 2017

Oh my soul

Oh my soul
how I savor now
the delicious fruit
of a lifetime of striving
towards my heart's desire
fruit shriveled in my hand
just as the juiciness
reached my lips

I stumble, dazed
toward the less trodden path
not desired or longed for
yet created by the One
who desires me
without compromise:
Demands my pruning
Demands me blossom
In this sweet smelling field
Mounds of freshly cut hay
lay in the brilliant
sun to dry

---Patrice Ficken

The stars call to me

The stars call to me
I stand
listening across the fields
awakened by a dream
Owls hoot back and forth
Primal sounds fill the darkness
So much awake and alive
Distant cries of loons
seeking each other
Ancient wisdom sounding
in all directions
A cacophony
The moon hides from the sun
A satellite silently moves across the sky
A quiet intermission
soaks my soul
My bones sing in recognition
So much held in the darkness
So much glittering shining light
So many calls
My heart too
My longing too
A shooting star

--Patrice Ficken

Autumn of life

I am in the autumn of life
fighting it with every fiber of my being

I keep thinking, no it cannot be time
too soon for autumn’s arrival
I feel so vibrant, so strong

I resist believing
the long and lazy summer days
are behind me

You know the ones
the lingering loitering days
stretching out their limbs with time for everything
the possibilities reaching toward the wide horizon
the promise of ambitious dreams and aspirations
can still make manifest!

The yes I can!
deludes me backwards toward
the striving, hard-driving days of youth
pushing hard toward perfection

And yet, and yet
not meant to be
past its due date
no matter how hard I try to pry it open
I cannot will it so
even as the desire breaks my heart

No. Oh no.
I see it now
It is not the season of striving anymore
I am in the autumn of my days
the season of living with the life I have
not the life I might wish to be
the harvest time

This is my trunk
these are my roots
I am not in the season of pulling up
I am sending my roots down
deep into the earth
spreading my branches wide
offering shelter for the season of allowing

Autumn days grow shorter
I turn each ray of sun inward
transforming, transmuting
my very essence to light

Reflecting from within
brilliant red, orange and yellow
vibrating
shivering
shimmering
at street corners and bus stops
bending over busy streets and highways
gracing the idyllic town center
or the city parking lot
strewn with broken glass and beer bottles

Then, in perfect time
I quietly let go
to a breath of wind,
the weight of a raindrop
a sparrow’s gentle swaying on the branch
a free fall of quiet ecstasy
tumbling to the ground

--Patrice Ficken, 11.26.16

White board

Every day she writes
the day, the date
the schedule of events
to help him remember

Every day
she erases the day
watches it pass
with one, maybe two
swift strokes

Gone
there it went
another day in their life together

How many more
she wonders
as she erases another
how quickly the days of a lifetime pass

The whiteboard is blank
swept clean
her heart too it seems

Stillness in the blankness
a distant ache
for something
anything
to be written

She stares into the space
waiting
wondering
with no particular image
or vision

Feeling into Blank
a strange sensation
of nothing in particular
and everything at once

--Patrice Ficken, 3/17/17

Black board

Hear the chalk scraping
on the black board of Life

Tapping out equations,
permutations
the universe of all possibilities

Matter and Energy
Thought and Will
exert influence
converging, merging
moving through

See how
this plus that
times this
Equals
then subtracts
erases

Start again
more permutations
emerging, evolving
disappearing

Stand and watch
Listen
Tap, tap, tap
writes the chalk
until it too disappears
worn down by time
the Eraser
leaving only film,
a trace of residue
fine chalk dust

Until there is only You
and the blank black board

You
the Possible
the passing of Time

You
solid, strong
standing on the Ground

Testimony
to what is
and has always been

Infinity itself

--Patrice Ficken, March 17, 2017

Koan

“What did your face look like before you were born?” Thich Naht Hanh

My face
beams rainbows
glitters stars

My face
has no beginning
no end

My face
vibrates
sings
sees all

My face
contains nothing
and everything

My face
smiles to eternity
its laughter
makes the earth spin in its orbit

My eyes
reach far into canyon depths
vision high above mountain peaks

My nose
breathes in
the very breath of life

My mouth
breathes out
sea breezes and desert winds

My smile
lights up the sun

-- Patrice Ficken, June 2014