Poeming 4

Squirrel Becomes Crow

Squirrel Becomes Crow

On an ordinary day in winter
Driving south to the small town to get
What winter days need - food, drug store items,
Listening to the repetitive news with some despair-

I turn a corner, and there - there in the middle of the road-
Lies a dead squirrel, obviously hit by a careless driver,
And now - now - being eaten by a crow, black and strong,
Fiercely, fiercely pecking.

In that one moment of light, when I usually berate drivers
Who are careless enough to hit any animal on the highway -
Last year in this same spot it was a yearling bear
whom I dragged off the road -

In that one moment, an inner opening occurred:
I realized that squirrel was becoming crow.
And then the moment expanded into -
How can I say it -
A blooming of grace - I glimpsed the Great Exchange
That keeps us all alive - squirrel becomes crow, yes -
But didn’t I just have chicken for lunch, and isn’t the cat
Eating tuna, and aren’t we having
lamb shank stew for supper?

And what about what the soil gives? Potatoes
And broccolli and lettuce and peas and carrots -
I could go on and on, as you know.

But in this moment I glimpsed (for it left quickly)
How every living presence on this planet is physically
Contained in every other. (Didn’t I just hear
From a scientist that trees and humans share 11% DNA?)

As you can see, this encounter could go
on with its implications,
But I kept on driving, on this ordinary day, amazed
At what the world contains in moments
I think are empty or boring, just
Getting from one place to another.

Revelation. Revelation. Squirrel becomes crow.

Core of Gold

Core of Gold

Tomes have been written about silence,

inner and outer,
shallow and deep. Outer silence sought
is only a first step and even that
most people consider useless
at best or are afraid of at worst,
if they think of it at all,
which most don't. Not that silence
is anything to be afraid of:
it's what it reveals

that is the source of fear:
roiling inward unresolved angers

and fears, confusion
and lost loves.

But it's the inner silence that's the core of gold.

To suddenly burst through stone

into a soft cave of utter stillness


Nothing, nothing going on outside you

can break its power,
unless you have lost your own power

in the silence that is your birthright,
the silence of the womb.

And are we not, even now, in a womb?

Are we not, even now,
crowded and frantic, turning and seeking,

never satisfied,
never realizing that
there is an end to looking?
Isn't this the womb of choice
that we make with our frantic lives? And yet -
and yet - hidden in the inmost self is that core of gold.
It is hidden in silence. It is hidden in the letting go
of everything the world tells us is important,

and isn't.

The path opens only when a step

towards that inner cave
is taken, and all else,

all else necessary is given its place
and here you are, choosing that inner stillness
with abandon, risking and dipping and

opening only towards that cave,

letting go of everything else.

A door opens into blinding light.

True Sisters


 Perhaps I was born to hold

a hidden power, a sacred intention,

a wound that cannot be healed

for it is the wound itself that

holds the power for healing.


Perhaps endurance is a nearly

invisible silver string weaving and holding


everything in me, together, and often,

often but not always, even with joy.


This healing path existed in me from the beginning –

even in the frequent pains of childhood, even

in the small wondering world of adolescence –

there was always pain – but there

was always joy too – and –

o remarkable shift  of truth –

they are sisters! One cannot be

without the other, one

cannot choose without the other’s presence,

why do I have two arms? two legs, two hands,

two feet? And still see most clearly

in the dark?


Frog knows. Lizard knows.


In their murky depths do I dwell

and rest in occasional peace.


Arms of Silence

Silence has approached me and wants to be my friend – not

an obligatory friend –

not a must-do or should-do

but a friend of longing, a friend

of companionship.


She fills my body, resting finally

in my heart, leaving my body

tingling with alive joy.

Then I notice that she isn’t

the only inside me – she is outside,

filling the world,

even the whole world. Noisy arisings

have no effect,

do not drive her away.


Only the noisiness inside me – ah!

thoughts, fears, angers, despairs –

stinging emotional pain –

these, these make me forget

her constant companionship,

her reassuring presence.


Yet these too have their place,

an inner ocean, rising and falling,

Often now

I recall them as reminders,

pushing me, pushing me

into the Arms of Silence.

"Wild Geese" Brenda's edition

thanks to Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese"


I am not being good.


I am not walking on my knees

through the desert, repenting.


I am no longer believing that

I am holding up anyone's world

even my closest relatives.


I am no longer helping

in the hope it will save me.


I am letting the soft animal of my body

love what it loves

and letting the world go on.


I am following the wild geese

watching them heading home

again, leading the way,


announcing my place

in the family of things.

I Used to Know (Brenda Peddigrew 24/6/17)

 I Used To Know


There was a time I used to know - used to know everything

That I needed, and more besides. Most of it was helpful 

To more people than myself, and they told me so.

I loved to ponder 

How much good I contributed to the world, how 

Satisfied - even justified - that made me feel.


Thinking about this now, I can't

Identify the moment it all changed.

I can't tell you the second or the minute - 

Or the month or the day or even the year -

When  everything blurred, when my soul

Shook me loose of such illusion, of such

Certainty and narrow seeing. I can't

Tell you -really -

How I fought with that blurring for years,

Cranky and resistant, thinking I was

controlling the uncontrollable.


And I can't tell you, really,

How once or twice the ground 

opened at my feet like a yawn,

and I saw - oh rich boundless darkness - 

I saw with inner eyes - the infinite universe 

Living inside and outside, and how small I was

In it and how little I actually knew and would ever know,

And how knowing that expanded my heart 

to the size of the universe and back again.


And how everything - everything - is unfolding only

As it can unfold. And how it must unfold, and how every

Moment holds the whole of time, 

And every present moment is eternity.





Just As I am

The white birch groves pull me

as strongly as the most powerful

magnet -

like the family

I always longed for but never really had -

welcoming, understanding,

holding me -

I lean into them and feel myself

embraced, embraced

just as I am,

just as I am.

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Brenda | Reply 01.04.2018 20.45

Thanks, Mary Beth...that is how it felt in that moment. And still says with me. Thanks for commenting...

Mary Beth McCurdy | Reply 01.04.2018 16.45

Have only peeked into your poeming on Easter Sunday...and lo....feel the paschal mystery, soul'd mystery proclaims Exultet...in a very interior manner! Thanks s

Ken | Reply 13.03.2018 19.34

Hi Brenda, just read new poeming 4 and your new wild geese is where we are all getting to I hope just love it, Ken

Gina | Reply 25.06.2017 13.05

the beautiful image and words...the infinite universe... Thanks, Brenda...

Lee Gauthier | Reply 25.06.2017 12.05

What an inspiring image Brenda. The 'under bark' is so perfect and is uncovered as the 'old bark' is removed, piece by piece.

Andrea Kent | Reply 14.02.2017 22.09

Wow. What a descriptive sense of identity!

Annah | Reply 10.02.2017 12.39

Lovely!! nature speaks volumes to me as well.

Sheila | Reply 14.11.2016 08.42

thoughtful and poignant
The birch tree is one of my favorite trees. I find them very fascinating and awe inspiring.

sylvia doyle | Reply 13.11.2016 09.59

Love it! "Just as I am",brought me back to the song, Come As You Are, by Deidre Brown, also sung by Paul Gurr. The tattered and torn bark speaks volumes.

Kay | Reply 12.11.2016 13.31

Always .

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Latest comments

10.12 | 08:27

I have browsed your comments on these books at various times and came back again now to be inspired to round out my selection for my 'winter reading'.

02.12 | 19:23

Yes indeed...will show you tomorrow.

02.12 | 19:20

I like these very much. The spirals amid stars and land especially feel like pure whimsy and joy. Black paper and gel pens, you say?.....

10.09 | 21:59

Hearing you! MB

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