Posts Tagged ‘meditation’




Suddenly everything is bell.

The bright clang of the spoon

stirring in the metal pot.

The scraping black note of crow.

Creak in the porch board

as I step into shadow.

Horn of a passing car.

What isn’t a call to attention?

Horse whinny. Airplane hum.

Dishwasher whirr. What

isn’t a bell to wake us up,

remind us to bring our attention

here. Whisper of leaves.

Squeak of the door hinge.

The small sigh escaping our lips.

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If you watch the heron as it stalks

amongst the tall green reeds, then pauses,

and in its pausing disappears, then you understand

something of the power of stillness.


And if you, yourself, are still long enough

to see the head of the snapping turtle

rise between the lily pads,

then you glean something of the rewards

that come with sitting still.


But if you sit expecting such rewards,

then perhaps sit longer and watch the cattails

as they waver and still, sway and still and still,

and feel how the urge in you to say something rises

and softens and softens until there is nothing to say,


until that kind of stillness becomes

the greatest reward, until you feel

stillness hold you the way the lake

holds the lily pad, the way

the silence holds a song.



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Darkness lands in my lap

on all fours, curls up and purrs—

I learn to miss

its weightless weight

when it leaves,

learn to be more still

so it will stay,

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Hi friends … today’s poem is really a performance art piece I did last night at the fourth annual Literary Burlesque in Telluride. I thought I’d try to capture how the performance went, so here are the lighting and image cues, the music accompaniment cues, and costuming and set directions.


Inspired by In the Box, Horizontal by Ruth Bernhard, German born, American, black and white photograph.


Rosemerry, writer/performer

Kyra, cellist




Stage hands set a folding table on stage with a black covering, and on top of that a long cardboard box. Also place on the table a cell phone and pen.








IMAGE STILL UP. Kyra still playing.









(Kyra continue plucking bass on the cello)


Rm speaking: Good evening class,

tonight we’re going to talk about

a woman’s box.


Pop Quiz:

Is it a: how she fights with her fists against tyranny

Is it b: a place to be grabbed by men with orange hair

is it c: where she keeps her jewelry


No. Imma tell you what it is … And-a 1, 2, 3


(Music A, same bassline, bowed instead of plucked, pick up tempo, rm sing)

There’s a place a woman goes

when she’s needs to be alone—


it’s her box.


(SPOKEN: Play it Kyra)


There’s a place she disappears

when she needs to see things clear—


it’s her box.

(SPOKEN: I love my box)


Not a cage, there is no key,

it’s her private sanctuary

it’s a place you’ll never see—


it’s her box.  (rm take off shoes here)


(rm start body slap rhythm while kyra plays, kyra join on body rhythm, rm speak)


Okay class, let’s break it down




Now there’s lots of work to do out there

the earth’s in desperate need of care


(RM point with ruler to places on the map)


the EPA is decimated,

pipeline construction’s escalated


global warmings’ being negated

offshore drilling’s being slated


with all these threats, and all that’s wrong




a woman must be warrior, strong—


she needs her mask (pull out reading glasses), she needs her sword (pick up pen and brandish it)

she needs her trusty, high-speed horse  (pull out cell phone and pretend to speed dial … while kyra makes rhythmic sound of horse galloping)


(no music)

hello, senator Cory Gardner? this is Rosemerry Trommer calling, I’m your constituent from Placerville, zip code 81430, and today I want to talk about how you’re going to vote on …


(back to music A, but slower, quieter, smoother, kyra slide, rm sing)


When lies are swirling all around

she needs the place where truth is found

her inner knowing, her sacred ground


it’s in her box.


it’s an infinity she keeps inside her

where the world is limitless, quieter,

our expansiveness comes from within


a home where she removes her armor (start here to take off glasses)

where she lets the mystery touch her


(kyra soft pluck slide the bass, rm begin to unbutton shirt, eyes gaze down, inward)


yes in her private chrysalis

is where a woman’s power begins (drop shirt)

a place where she is open, tender, soft,


the silence there informs her (drop skirt, wearing a nude bodysuit underneath)

vulnerability transforms her—

and the world—in ways ferocity cannot. (kick skirt into audience)


kyra bow the intro hum (rm climb inside the box here) then kyra pluck the intro hum


you are your own fertile seed

you are your own desert rain

you are your own silk cocoon

you are your own shaman’s cave


it’s from the inside

we learn to be brave


(kyra decrescendo, rm reach left hand out … red hand showing)

lights out.




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When her voice is weary

it means it is time to listen.


When her armor is heavy,

it means it is time to be soft,


time to slip out of her certainty

and her battle songs,


time to retreat from the lines

she has drawn, time to unknow


the world she thinks she knows

and to find herself in the world


that knows her. She lets the darkness

penetrate her, it caresses


her universal curves. Her quiet

joins her to an infinite quiet—


she is everything, nothing at once.

She relearns how vulnerability


transforms us in ways

ferocity can not.


She is her own fertile seed.

She is her own desert rain.


She’s her own cocoon, her own inner cave.

Sometimes it takes the darkness


to remind us how to be brave.


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The Beholder




While the wind chime clinks and the magpie

chatters and the mare nickers and the

doves swoon and the melting snow

tinkles and the passing cars purr

there’s a woman who listens

surprised at how what she hears

most of all is a stillness inside her

that seems to spill its quiet

all over the clamor of morning,

perhaps the way the shadow

of the mountain seems to spill

across the earth and changes nothing

and changes everything.

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Susie suggests to improve

my stress, I “put space between

the stimulus and my response.”

Breathing will help, she says,

and so tonight, never mind

what the stimulus was,

I imagined taking in a breath

the size of North America,

let the whole topography

unfurl in me, and when

I still felt the urge to fight,

I upgraded the next breath

to a space more the size

of the milky way and while

I was out there, on impulse, I put

that little almond-shaped amygdala

of mine on a passing comet

and watched it fly away,

its fists still up in the air

swinging at nothing.

I don’t know how it made it

all the way back to Placerville

so fast, but it was there in time

to hear my lips say what Susie

told me to say, Let’s start over.

And damned if it didn’t just put on

its fussiest pucker face, but

instead of mocking me,

it got all starry eyed, as if it were

thinking about how nice

it had been on that comet ride,

tiny lanterns of stars all around.





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that after years of driving past a place

on your way to somewhere else, this time


you stop. You find yourself sitting

beneath a scrappy tree as the shadows


make their daily rounds. The breeze stirs,

then forgets itself. The clouds balloon,


then disappear. The cars on the highway

continue their journey toward somewhere.


And you sit. What a relief to go nowhere.

What a gift to have nothing to say.


The winds of your thoughts bluster

and go away. An ant makes its way


to the top of a grass blade then makes

its way back down. The snow


that arrived on the peaks yesterday

melts by noon into the ground.


Where do you think you need to go?

You say, “There,” and the world says, “Here.”


There is cricket song all around you.

Gold tang of rabbit brush rouses the air.


Sometimes it happens this way: you stop.

And the world arrives at your chair.

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Even the Buddha had a bad back,

I think as I shake out my leg.

It has fallen asleep

while I have been sitting

in the same position

for a long, long time

and stubborn, I didn’t want to move.


I notice the urge to chastise my leg

as if it were a small child

caught napping during class,

though it’s my mind

that needs a talking to.


Even the Buddha had visitations

with doubt, I think as I wrestle

with doubt myself. Though I

plan only to arm wrestle,

doubt pins me flat to the ground

and sits on me full weight

for a long, long time.


I don’t struggle.

Doubt, I say, I have nothing

to prove to you today.

And to my surprise,

it gets up and walks away.

I notice it is limping.

Perhaps a bad back.

Perhaps in its enthusiasm

to use me as a cushion

for a long, long time,

its leg has fallen asleep.


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There are still one or two spaces left for a retreat this weekend in La Sal, Utah

The Grand Embrace

The Grand Embrace: Writing and relaxing into not knowingness
sliding fee of $170 – $220 for room and board and a suggested teacher donation of $150 – $400 

La Sal, Utah

We live in a culture that wants to know—we chart and graph and test and outline. We codify and classify and name. But what do we really know? What is all this messiness and mystery that breeds underneath our longing for orderliness and certainty? What would happen if we could really rest in uncertainty? How deep might that relaxation go? How much more open might our lives be if we made friends with letting go?

Join retreat leaders Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and dharma teacher Susie Harrington. We’ll read poems that don’t bring answers, poems that lead us deeper into paradox. We’ll sit in the midst of the not-knowing, sit with our joys, our challenges, the what is here of each moment.  We’ll write our own explorations of what if and what else and see what even a small bit of wonder might do … if you’re willing to risk a little, meditation and writing can open doors where before you didn’t even realize a door existed. Spiritual doors. Healing doors. Doors where there used to be walls.

No previous writing experience required. No previous meditation experience required. This poetry and meditation weekend is for anyone who is curious about weaving spiritual awakening and the creative poetic impulse.

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