Conversation with the Moon

I spoke to the Man in the Moon tonight.
His voice was the sound of a thousand crystals,
shattered across the sky.
His message was short, and sad, and sweet.
He said:
“Old age is hard.
Your body breaks.
You lose your mind.
But you find your eternal soul.”

H. Cristina Cassidy copyright January 2018

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The Christmas tree is smaller than in years past.
No children sit beneath it, eyes wide,
hearts open for whatever is in store.
I sit gazing at it, wondering how I was able
to adorn its branches with years of decorations,
each fraught with meaning, each a little dagger
reminding me that things are not as I would have them be.

If this tree were to transform into a burning bush,
would I take it as a sign? Would I, instead,
extinguish its flames and refuse to see Your presence?
Or might I warm my hands in its ethereal heat,
accepting that You come to me in the most mysterious ways?
This tree, this night, these memories, remind me that
the fire within burns brightest in the darkest of times.

H. Cristina Cassidy copyright December 2017

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August Graveyard


The graveyard swelters in the August heat. No breeze sways the trees,

no presence of humans or any other life form, save for swirling dragon flies

and us–three panting dogs and one sweaty human–grace its sacred ground.

The dead are not giving away their secrets today.

They rest, exhausted by the constant process of blending

into the hard red clay. I hear it takes years for a body to decompose,

but maybe not so long in the dead heat of a Southern summer.

The massive headstones mark distinctive names,

names I’ve seen on street signs as I’ve driven through the town.

I lay my hand on one large slab. The cool stone calls my name.

I know it is my voice, but different, as if filters through the thick air.

“Your time will come. For now just walk the dogs and head back home.”

I want to stay, to lie down, to give it up. Instead,

I take one slow, soul-searing breath, and then move on.

h. cristina cassidy copyright July 27, 2016

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Along the highway, a truck filled with chickens

stuffed chicken truck

Along the highway, a truck filled with chickens
stuffed into crates, together huddled,
heading for a lackluster ending.
Are they aware of what is coming?
Do they cluck among themselves,
fluffing up their feathers,
unaware that soon they will be skinned and quartered?

Oh silly birds! In your search for food and comfort
you’ve allowed yourselves to be domesticated.
Now you will be nothing more than
oven-roasted meals for overstuffed faces.

Poor creatures. Look at the mess you are in!
Don’t feel bad. It happens to the best of us.

h. cristina cassidy copyright December 2014

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A Visit to Doha


Doha, under a gray-washed sky,
the heat sears both sides of my brain.
I look different to myself here,
irregular in my thinking,
suspect of my own culture,
wary of all that I once believed in.
The sandstorms come; they go.
For centuries they have come and gone.
Their winds grind me
into a tiny grain of sand,
blown across the vastness
of this cunning desert.

H. Cristina Cassidy copyright 2014

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Why Monks and Holy Women Laugh

Buschart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, Sept 6, 2014

Buschart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, Sept 6, 2014

Why Monks and Holy Women Laugh

The world beyond my door
demands that I embrace its ugliness.
Black-masked terrorists
trudge through my garden,
beheading roses.
A child, eyes ringed with hunger,
gapes at me from outside
my living room window.
Sirens blast as thousands walk
to protest the injustice
of leaders who do not listen.
Is this a movie? Turn off the projector.
Board up the windows.  Secure the doors.
Close your eyes.
And breathe.

It makes sense why monks and holy women laugh.
The world’s absurd. From the very start.
I never understood the word “sin”
or the need for story.
Now I do.
Salvation lies in
the wonder of the trees,
the birds,
the sweetness of a morning breeze
skimming the surface of a lake,
the look of innocence in the eyes
of the beloved before
the final, soft kiss.

h.cristina cassidy copyright sept 2014


The Kook Parade

fastest_one_man_band1-211x300To all the kooks of the world I say,
Why don’t you come join the kook parade?
We’ll march through the town
with our clothes all in tatters,
thumbing noses at cops as we walk under ladders;
No rules will apply as we kook down the street,
making kook kinds of noises at the people we meet;
All the dogs will adore us, the prudes will abhore us
as we dance willy nilly, our expressions quite silly;
And when the festivities cease to be fun,
we’ll pack up our bags and away we will run
to a land where all kooks live a life full of bliss,
and end every day with a warm hug and kiss!!

h.cristina cassidy copyright jan 2013

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