Monday, April 11, 2022

A Soft Place to Land

I call upon words to wrap 
like a blanket or a balm 
Pinning pain before it evolves into

In doing so, 
I will it to have meaning

Or beauty
Or integrity


The staccato currents internally dodge
Conventional language and dancing fingers 
Spread longing, letters lacking character 
Pecking at a keyboard with intentions

A collection of the mind's inventions

What is missing?

A rendering to capture this experience:
The core truth of it ambles onward, 
Strikes blast in such a way to remind 
Standard discourse, unwilling to convey 

Grasping occurs anyway until I hear
"I am going to be okay"
Because essence matters enough


Grappling with paradox:
Practice prides itself on purposefulness

The terrain of possibilities 
unfurling like a dragon's breath
Mystical, with a reach that extends
into vast space and time

Corners crumble and curl away
surrendering to infinite rolling
Billowy smoke stacks fill the chest,
Demanding emancipation

Holding on is futile
The sense of uncertainty sitting 
Tall is all 
That can be called Certain.

Stones settle:

Worthy of respect I come to see
that I can honor with reverence 
the silt that slips, unsure 

Of what is and will be more. 

An opportunity to practice
true release and faith feeling into, 
The uplifting in the beyond

Divine Order 

A tall team felt so strongly
In colors pulsing behind my eyes 
Fluffing my wings, ever so lightly
Clearing a safe pathway 

Reminding me to "look up"

Inviting me to request 
A free fall backwards
into what lies ahead 

Assuring me a landing, soft-
A bed of poems and metaphors
That will catch me 
Carrying me all the way home

To My Self. 

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Goodbyes to Ghosts

Shadows tip-toeing behind us, faded
Our eternal light, luminously created
Dark parts held firm, nice and steady
Integration awaits my heart, open and ready

I see our iterations, so dear and so clear
Our silhouettes wearing suits made of doubt, fear
What was once you I see now as a ghost
What was once me I see now as a host

A reckoning rattles- releases- a grip
Our story an old tale, a beautiful blip
Ghosts that gaze, connecting as one
I am released- sigh- that story is done 

The me that I see discovers you waiting, at ease
Your heart now thawing out, a long deep freeze
Sunlit fingers laced together, we pray
The contours that back us now point the way


My shadow will always belong to me
Your ghost will always be kindred, free 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Presidents Day Haiku

Dirty window glare

Dog hair scotch tape shadow truth

Dust floats as a ghost 


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

On "doing the work"

Recently someone asks what it actually means

"to do the work" 

Appreciation for candor and demands to simplify abstractions

Yet leaning into it, and making space for what comes up

is indeed the work 

When a bird appears outside the window, may we find the ability 

to pause.

May we untangle ourselves from the frenetic pace of doing 

to observe.

May we allow it to be there in all it's bird-ness 

to get curious.

Most especially if it's a crow or a blue jay-

May we examine what is happening 

on the walls of our interior world

May we see magic, matching exterior decor

Warning: it may feel yucky...stay with it

Sink deeper still. 

May something soar through:

A memory

A realization

A connection

Swimming in liquid metal, insight pools 

Permanent welding to this discomfort, not a chance

Marinating does not breed pain

Rather raises it for illumination, new spotlight:


Clear seeing, leading to wise understanding

leading to acceptance, leading to release.

May you watch the bird's wings as it flies away-

You've done the work. 

Keep going...

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Softness and Truth

Electric liquid pools in wrists and hands

Activated by a heart being noticed

Autopilot mode's power cut off

Mindfulness floods in hot and fiery

Gentle care like cotton fleece

 Supports the work of becoming aware

A breath the cushion for a hazy stare 

The push to determine next steps

Shouting callously from somewhere 

To be here now 

Is all that it is fair

Sunday, November 14, 2021



Amanda C. Symmes, LICSW

Sitting down with the feelings today

No knocking needed- just come on in

and join me for a cup of tea

(or whatever you'd like to sip on) 

Then spill it -

Tell me what I need to know right now,

Why are you here?

Resentment, you can talk first, 

You've been 

awfully loud lately...

what gives?




Ohhhhh, what an interesting shade 

of excrement you are

Sitting quietly with you 

here and acutely mulling over-

your role



You fizz into everything I do lately

Your rancid stench is strong and refuses 


I'll find what's rotting, to free you

What's that? 

Your near enemies are stress and frustration? 

And since they've been improperly cared for

you had to step in? 


 I am ready to listen

Breathing leads to seeing leads to hearing leads to healing

You say your far enemies are

autonomy and space? 

Why YES. Of course they are.

Okay, I see you

I appreciate this offering 

Breathing in, I make space for all of it

And your message

seems tangled up in 

something else?

Who is that hiding

behind you? 

Why are they holding your


Come in, come in

Share your tea with me, please.

Ohhh, there you are Fear.

 I almost didn't recognize you. 

Perhaps, I neglect to actually look at you mostly,

it is simply too much to hold

but seeing you hold resentment's hand 

I feel less afraid. 

I see you in yourself.  

You come in so many colors-heavy and expansive

The gradience of gray

comes alive now, majestically

Purple and emerald are 

fused here twisting around inside as well

My chest tightens only briefly at

at the thought of letting you stay 


But in your other hand I see

your tea you clutch is trembling as you

seek your own release from me

It's not the other way around

Has it been this way all along?

I wasn't paying attention Fear

and I am sorry for that

You are obtuse and seeing all

the dangers ahead is your job 

and it can serve me if I listen with wisdom

and discern well

Rather, in my rejection of you

you've become caged here

with me

Each of us stuck holding the key for the other 

So while resentment has stepped to the side

It waits for you and I

to do our thing...

Inhale, Exhale, Release

Oh how beautiful

Your tea is gone and we've

pulled ourselves together

You are not shaking and

foreboding at all

You are a magnificent swirling

energetic light 

Pure power and potential 

When I see you as this

you only become more

precious and beautiful 

and like a ribbon or an aurora 

You call for me to trust

Encircling me in electricity, fueling me with newness-


Each of us, drawing energy from the other, 

we gain strength to move on

Your near enemy may be worry,

But your far enemy is the bravery that I need right now

I had no idea that looking just a bit closer and holding myself still here, 

That I would find you...

What is coming next, I do not know

How wondrous to not get to know!?

Relief whispers that our path has not ended yet

We dodged the temptation to shove

ourselves onto the highway

of "expected next steps"

for a quick trip to nowhere good

 Continuing this slow journey

With caution-

 This terrain is less traversed

So the perils that lurk can hurt, at times

These messengers that dropped in for tea 


to give mind to all of it

They were never trying to take up residence

In fact they have already alerted the 

more important guests to arrive


They just sought time tea for tea

With me

To spill into this space together

Now that I feel them

slipping out the door

I am content in my home with Space. 

Sunday, August 22, 2021


Staring out the open window,

the thought returns-

the urgency grows as it clings and


the etiology of the question 


Information is given,

not as a gift to behold

rather a burden or curse

a game of hot potato

and what is deemed worse

and while it's tempting

to go for the low hanging


past crimes


anecdotal encounters 

that reside

in slime

it has not gone there


you must be curious why?

perhaps you won't wonder

forever because

the real truth 

stands up for itself 

while you hide under

cloaks and with shields-

a new narrative 

wrapped inside of 

a subversive spin

through media

mitigating your loss

stealing truth for itself

can only happen for 

so long

for the authentic Truth

resides comfortably

inside of itself

waiting for reality's

light to shine brightly

and illuminate all that

is right 

so as I brace myself

for your next pointed


on character, calculated

printed and broadcast

with tools only ever

intended to harm

I know we will be safe

Seeing the storm for

what it is-

I see the way the trees

bend and give way

withstanding the weight

of what threatens- 

and allows 

This intensity

is temporary and 

the strength of the trees

stands for itself

as do we, rooted

in all that is sacred

because love and kindness heal 

and whilst under this brutal attack

it will remind us what is real

scrutinizing the winds that bloat 

shifting not with a lightness

but the option to float 

because change must happen


                        -and will,

regardless of your plan

I am blown back to thoughts

about the importance of our soul-

What dwells within yours?

A deep restorative breath 

reminds me

truth lives here

in my lungs, home, heart

In my metta practice too

May you have goodness

to fill your soul and abate

May you have healing

to teach the soul to shed hate 

May you have insight

to learn the soul determines fate

Please know, it's never too late