in the not yet blackened


clouded sky


this night breeze

faintly moves


illumined by

porch light

near midnight


coffee cup

in two hands

as darkness


hot day’s relief


all this

moving and still




in night’s

same place

the one before

and before


breathing in

coffee’s pleasant vapor


thoughts of kindnesses known


breathe out


to all those names

known and not


may there always be kindness


raindrops spatter

one by one

their sound gathering

more density

in the plip-plop patter

on  aluminum awning


knitting and book

tucked beneath arm

coffee cup in hand

heading for dry house


pull back the curtain


for one more look


for all this

moving and still










In Buddhist writings, ‘Shenpa’ is the distracter, that chattering inside your head, always something to say.  This is one idea for coping with ‘Shenpa’.

a nice day, in the mid50s

walking into the early morning

Shenpa begins talking

wonder and worry

and all the other things

mind has to say

gray rain cloud forms a low ceiling

over this valley

to the mountains and beyond

a deer jumps, then sprints into the thicket

chipmunk runs the rails of a fence,

and skitters off

the dam seems quiet this morning,

beaver must have slept in

birds fly out from the bushes

surprised by the sound of footsteps

the sun tries to part the cloud,

for a moment,

with his big, round, bright face

moment by moment

this is what we have

what deserves our attention

let Shenpa get his own ride home!

from the book, A Perfect Blossom, by Lilie Allen

copyright 2010


to speak


inside another’s life



don’t know


they belong there




don’t know


may be held

to those words

oh how lovely

to love someone


only lasting


no other treasures

will we keep


speak the truth

of your own life

know what it is

just listen

to what


tells you

belongs to him

I thought this was worth sharing.  May it bring you insight, peace.  It is for someone, a tribute to a life.  Thank you


Step into the water

the water’s just fine

step into the water

the water’s just fine

let me hold you up

with these arms of mine

Learning to swim in water that can cover you up.  Some take to it just like fish; others, it takes work, or becomes a fear.   Many things in our lives, ordinary to some can become fears for any of us.  I had one, ok, well probably more than one, I’m working on them. . .  I had a fear that’s supposed to be the most common:  Fear of public speaking.  Mine was fear of any type of public performance, and it had enlarged to panic stage.

I even went to a hypnotherapist, recommended by a friend.  He was a psychologist/hypnotherapist and asked me why now did I want to conquer this fear.  I certainly didn’t need to, he said.  He said there wouldn’t be much reason for public performances in my life.  So, why put myself through this?  Because.  Because I am a poet, who has opportunities to read sometimes.  Because I had started practicing taekwondo and you have to perform in public to earn your successive belts.  Because I was tired of the fear itself.  It felt like drowning, something covering me up.

A friend told me to pray about it.  I had done that one for about 30+ years – oh, I know, it was never quite the right praying I was giving it – always someone had another suggestion for how I could do that right.  It was painful and a frustration, accusing and punishing myself over and over.

One night, I watched a PBS Charlie Rose special on the brain.  There it was.  Talking about emotion, fear, where in the brain that wiring is.  I had just recently begun meditation, still holding back a little from earnest, but getting there.  The next morning, I sat in meditation, contemplating what I had heard the night before.  That fear was an experience and then repeated inside me until it reached its current proportions.  Hmm. . .  I sat and watched fear.  At that point, I believed I had to get rid of the fear to perform.  So, I sat and watched, imagined the experience of performing my taekwondo form in front of an audience.   No.

A few days later, I sat down for what had become my usual early morning meditation.  Practiced my breathing, and what came up?  That subject, again!  Fear.  This time, it was very clear.  There was no such thing with an existence outside me.  I didn’t have to get rid of anything.  I could accept that I was afraid PERIOD.  That I didn’t like public performing, and had a fear of it.  I could still go, I could still do my form and earn my belt.  I had worked so hard for it.  There was only one who denied me  – ME.  I could set my boundaries for this.  I could be afraid and still perform when I chose to.  I didn’t ever have to like performing, just to do it when I wanted to, and not when I didn’t.  I didn’t have to let it hold me back.

It was a big step for me.  I was still working out the many ways that I was in control of my life.  I had, for a long time, believed things and people external to me had more control than I did.  This was the beginning of the end of that.  That’s something to celebrate.   I do every day.  And, I pass the message on:  Nothing outside of you determines you.  You can’t control others; you can’t control circumstances or events.  You don’t need to.  Just work on you.  How you perceive and accept what does come into your life.  You don’t have to be rid of a fear to loosen its grip.

Open wide that ocean, let’s go for a swim.

Thank you for stopping by.  Lilie