A Post-Election Poem

I want you to keep my name out of your mouth.It doesn't matter where you go, East, West,  North, or South,you've got at lot to say about me.I'm everything you need. I hold the key,to your success,but all you leave me with is fear.What comes next?Are you actually going to fix all the broken windows,broken lives, broken families, broken hearts?You want me to think this is where the solution starts.Here, with a vote for you,but really, when you look at … [Read more...]

Oh, Church

As I see you standing there. I’m not sure what to do. I wasn’t expecting you.You never said goodbye. You never checked to see what happened. You never knew the answer.As to why I left. Why I walked away. Why I felt I couldn’t stay.It was all too much. It all fell apart. All I could do was go.I never thought I’d leave you. Never thought I’d say goodbye. I never thought there’d be a day I knew it was all a lie.You came over to say hi. An arm extended. A hug granted. … [Read more...]

The Time is NOW to embrace our not so menacing Shadow

 Shadows go in front of you, leading into your future and trail behind you, leaving a part of you in the past. They are clearest when we are in the light, and disappear when we lose ourselves in darkness. Kiersten WhiteA shadow does not have a polar opposite; it gently embraces both light and dark at once. While light displays morning and darkness mourning, shadows show us that both of these extremes exist simultaneously and in relation to each other. This is true of all … [Read more...]

Now – A poem and painting reminding us to be present

This year I have been thinking about how to get the most out of life. What I landed upon was to be more present in each moment. But that is hard to do. I consider it a skill that is learned and practiced. So this year I have been meditating on what it means to experience the presence, to feel it, and to pay attention to it. I want to realize that "power of now" that so many spiritual masters speak of. This squares with my Christian spiritual practices because I believe we can be more open to … [Read more...]

Death, Grieving and the Christmas Story

Earlier in December my mother-in-law suddenly passed away. It was totally unexpected. You might say she was the picture of health and energy for a woman in her mid sixties. It took us all by surprise and initiated a season of grieving in the life of our large family. Since my mother-in-law died, many people have reached out to us. They've reached out to show their support, to offer their condolences and to help us feel that we were not alone in what we are experiencing. Many friends … [Read more...]

I walk the line

Verbally abused in an unwarranted and shocking attack in my home this week by someone 4 years under my employ , I attempt to process what and why this happened.  I nearly called the police in fear for my personal safety and pray for this person's well-being as I ask the resurrected ONE in my heart to reveal a path to peace in the midst of my hurt.  I look back and see the signs of months of resentment building.A few years ago, I would have guilted myself to forgive and find a way to r … [Read more...]

“Radical Gratitude: Hearing the Call” – a poem

    November is national gratitude month. With that in mind, I wanted to share a poem with you that I wrote about choosing gratitude, perhaps with grateful self-talk, even and especially, through the hard things.This poem is from the perspective of my "grateful-self" talking to my "needing-encouragement-self". I hope you enjoy it. Radical Gratitude: Hearing the Call By Riley O'Brien PowellCome hither dear and hear the call,Through the rustling … [Read more...]

Inevitable: the death of news as we know it

Sometimes, I just think in poetry. Today is such a day. Sometimes, when I spend a lot of time on social media, soaking in what others say, and sharing what I've read and viewed, this is how the thoughts come out. Life is often too heavy to engage head on. Some of us make it our life's work to rage at the sun on other people's behalf. It's hard to see clearly through the tears. Ephemeral is what life feels like when contemplating the greater scheme of things. . . Inevitable is a condition I find … [Read more...]

Slave to Love

When did this happen?  She felt like an overcooked porkchop...Where was her essence, flavor or juiciness for life?  Curiosity dried up;  just a slave to lists, responsibilities and have to's.  When had she last danced a samba naked, wild  pulsating heart matching a sultry bassline?  Her heart restless and  bones dry, she desired passion and tenderness whether in the forest alone or beneath the covers with her lover. She had read in 1 corinthians 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, I don't … [Read more...]

Sit with me in the I don’t know

Does the weight of the world lie  heavy on your  shoulders most days these past few weeks?  I wrote many drafts for this month's blog post on topics such asmy first experience at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in support of a friend celebrating 6 years sober how mindfulness practice can quickly ease the inner voice of resistance my inspiring experience at the Transform Network DC conference on urban transformation.But ultimately, I've decided that the timing isn't right to offer my … [Read more...]