We Will All Fly, by Christopher Hileman

We Will All Fly
by Christopher Hileman

Today a bird sang and amazed, I understood.
My heart birthed so many small white flowers
That the perfume around me was intense, overwhelming.
Each flower seemed perfect but I looked much closer
To discover the small spots, discolored and hopeful-
Not perfect but instead a flowering hopeful perfume.
The bird sang and I understood the hope in her song.
Even this wondrous bird with just one feather broken sings.
That is how I knew the secret was revealed to me.

If ever there is a perfect moment, a time when one
Small thing is actually revealed without blemish to be
What it is in all purity beyond all need of hope
Then gravity will cease in the joy of it and the world
Will end, amen. We will all fly then on singing wings,
God’s Permission granted to us at last,
Permission to soar in that holy sky.


Asking, by Christopher Hileman

by Christopher Hileman

It is such a silly question. Why would I ask?
I sit under this late summer tree in the dust
Of autumn coming. I seek you, seeking truth.

I watch for the turning leaves, as if I could see
Green depart and drier colors stay behind,
As if finding that is finding you, or truth.

I call for you to approach, to take me up
As if you would provide spring’s return now.
Can we fly above, skip this winter’s coming?

So in this late season’s light I am a holy fool
In love with you, with truth, entranced in song.
I have called for you, called for life beyond.

Yes, a holy, silly question, now that I have asked.

My Heart Will Know, by Christopher Hileman

My Heart Will Know
by Christopher Hileman

Do I like lemon cucumber? Do I? This is Rodney’s
Question for me tonight as I last minute trim the unruly
Clematis on the trellis that guards my open door.

There is jasmine there too, and in my heart the spring
Memory of the blooming duel of beauty and perfume
Dances with his question of me. He offers me food.

While I fill the bin with trimmings that go in the morning
To the mulching place the city offers for my shed greens
I think on a neighbor who is kind. Rodney is kind to me.

We settle, Rodney and I on tomatoes. In the gardens
He tends there are armies of tomatoes and I know
I find kindred in the ripening of these fine red soldiers.

I shall eat a squad or two and my soul will fill and my belly will
Fill as well. I am told there is tonic in tomatoes. Oh yes.

And my heart, oh my heart will know I’ve been invited home.


Christopher Hileman moved to Oregon in 1973. He has retired to live on the volcanic bluff overlooking Willamette Falls in Oregon City, Oregon. He ascends the stairs from his basement digs to improvise on his Yamaha keyboard or the house Playel grand when the calico cat releases him from below. The part-Irish Wolfhound here likes him.

Élan vital ― Evolution Of My Soul, by Debi Swim

Élan vital ― Evolution of My Soul
by Debi Swim

In the Sedona hills someone built a wood covered platform and added plastic chairs. It looks out on a Buddha statue sitting on red dirt and scruffy growing things. I sat with him in the dry heat of the day, he quietly placid faced and I pensive, still. I had just seen the Chapel of the Holy Cross slender, reaching toward the clear open sky from a clutch of rock. My sister says the ancient rocks hold a spiritual vortex, place of healing, crystals, finding one’s self and center.

Shaded from the sun in the shadow of Buddha I think of Sanctity.

She speaks of the line of light snaking up the slopes of chanting, drum beating, singing, worshipful souls in the late evenings sometimes. People don’t want a religion but they desire a connection. In the pure peacefulness of an open sky dotted with a billion stars there is a feeling of Otherness there. A deep-seated desire for union with, understanding of, acceptance, wholeness, a filling of the emptiness we call a spiritual journey.

Our lives are a journey toward what has always been waiting for us to find.


Image via Wikipedia

Debi’s note: I visited my sister in Sedona and was impressed with its beauty and sacredness.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet. Blogs at georgeplacepoetrybydebiswim.

The Gaining of Wisdom, by Alan Toltzis

The Gaining of Wisdom
by Alan Toltzis

Stuffing one last bit
of moist green leaf into his bulging maw,
caterpillar felt something
he was full.

His fearsome, snake-eyed skin
and split
as he spit a filament-wide hammock
that solidified in midair.
More goo buttoned him to a twig
among his lacy chronicles
of nonstop feasting.

Muscular, peristaltic wriggling
rid him of his last rag of beauty.
It fell away
revealing the luminous, ringed sarcophagus
that was always within.

Immobile and shielded,
he would never eat again
or crawl,
or spin.

By knowing what was inside him,
was about to change.

Process Notes: The poem itself went through a lot of change and revision. It started as an exploration of whether we can truly be aware of another’s needs. I then started wondering about self awareness and if we could anticipate our own needs as we change and grow. That led me to the caterpillar and the striking differences as it changes from caterpillar to chrysalis. The poem ended up saying something different about beauty and how it can hamper and then lead to self-discovery and appreciation of differences.

Alan Toltzis is the author of the book of poems, The Last Commandment. His work has appeared in print and online journals including The Provo Canyon Review, The Red Wolf Literary Journal, Poetica, and Burningword Literary Journal. Visit him online at http://www.alantoltzis.com.