By Laura Buck

Spring is a promise of new beginnings which should not be overlooked. The earth’s stage lifts the curtain to reveal a timeless expression of renewed life. Mother Nature directs a choir of bright youthful tones joined by melodic showers for a welcome serenade to the land. Pink and purple petals awaken in vibrant vibrato to rising harmonies of healing light. Everything is new in Spring. Everything is fresh. As I was born in May, I feel more joy and strength at this time of year. It always fills me with hope of warm sunny days to come and relief from cold barren days.

Poetry’s Hidden Powers

Just recently, after evolving from a dark period in my life where I had considered suicide, I opened a new chapter… a season of Spring where I began writing poetry on my journey towards healing and self-realization. Prior to this time, I had many labels which followed me for 48 years. Shy, sweet, silly, good person, athlete and engineer were the descriptors others had given me or I had earned.

I didn’t consider myself a poet, although I often had rhymes floating around in my mind. When I was a little girl my father nicknamed me, “Green Eggs and Ham,” because I loved the Dr. Seuss book so much, especially the rhyming. I made him read it to me over and over. Yet, I never pursued writing poetry. I laughed off my rhyming ability as a “quirky” part of my personality.

This perception changed recently after I read a memorial about the late Layne Staley, the original lead singer of Alice in Chains. A few days earlier I had been moved by his performance on an MTV Unplugged recording from 20 years ago. Something about him caught my attention. Below the surface of his frail frame and downcast bloodshot eyes was a deeper beauty being released with sensitivity and power through the amazing gift of his vocals.

When I looked up more information about him on www.layne-staley.com, I found his memorial which was written by Barrett Martin, a former Zen monk and bandmate of his in Mad Season. As I was reading, one phrase jumped out at me. He stated, “Layne Staley felt as though he was on a spiritual mission through his music. Not a rock mission, a spiritual mission. And I think that is evident in his words and the timbre of his voice.”

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The words, “spiritual mission” hit me hard. It gave me a desire to want to discover my authentic self and my gifts without other people’s projections. I knew I had some natural ability for both writing and rhyming. I was immediately moved to write my first poem. I cried the entire time. It was a heartfelt release of buried emotions caused by unattended wounds, including rape from many years ago. It felt like a deeper part of myself was being expressed in a very intuitive way, the words mirroring a pure reflection of me.

Since then, writing poetry has become an essential part of my path to healing and finding myself. I have come to realize that we are all made with gifts, and these are meant not only to help us grow, but to share with the world. Sharing ourselves with others through our gifts and the lessons we learn represents the spiritual connection we all have. Finding and expressing your gifts is being true to yourself and embracing yourself. For me it has brought an unprecedented joy and sense of wholeness that I have never experienced before. It has simply helped to know myself better.

“The Castle”

Awakened and healed
True identity revealed
99 lifetimes it took me to see
The destructive patterns and choices not free
Value held captive by walls so unkind
A cold ruined dwelling for the 99th time.

A handsome young man with a knock at the door
My valuables stolen, then reputed as a whore
The ball kept rolling as another surmised
Through my wounded walls, in walked his deaf pride
Frozen again, I could not win
Self-loathing low clouds now hovered within
Two more moonless nights, my rubble lay prey
Till I swept it aside, and locked it away

A faithful rework found some strength to regain
New landscape pure green brought a season of change
Three sheep gathered nearby, drawn down from the hills
Yet overcast weather did shadow me still

With an untimely gust, a tall gent arrived
My sheep dog Duke warned me of his disguise
But I took in the stranger, my kindness I shared
He stole my dwelling, then trashed it without care
He ruled my walls for years and years
More dark clouds rolled in with rain from my tears
“Your home is ugly,” he said to me
Looking out for help, I caught site of my sheep
For they had doubled while my vision had grown
Tired of his lies I banned him from my home.

My walls were weak with fresh wounds to wear
Dull dismal skies met growing despair
A handyman came and helped fix things up
Some repairs restored much value and love
But the grey haze loomed not letting in light
He said, “This design lacks mindful insight”
“Break it down and rebuild it this way”
“I’m always right, whatever I say.”

We parted ways and I stared at the walls
Some blocks of repair did crumble and fall
Scattered and tired, a rejected dwelling
Old voices grew louder, a hopelessness yelling
I climbed up the winding stairs to the top
The storm clouds sank lower and repeated, “Don’t stop”
I looked down to the ground on both sides of my home
The landscape revealed 99 tombstones
Ninety on one side and nine on the other
They all said my name, waiting for another
Then the earth opened up at the 99th tomb
It said, “Come on, I’m ready for you.”

I looked at Duke who was standing right by
He said to me, “Please don’t say goodbye”
“Why are you sad when you have me?”
“You’re perfect, you’re whole, don’t you know you are free?”

I glanced up and saw a break in a cloud
A glimmer of light shined in on my doubt
“God, please help me, I want to be free”
“I want to be whole, the fulfillment of me.”

I backed up from the ledge and waited all night
The next morning I woke up to a much greater light
More clouds had cleared, more brightness shone through
Illuminating the landscape with a new view
My sheep’s loving faces now surrounded my home
A formation implying, “You’re not alone.”

My eyes lifted up, drawn back to the sky
A comet of truth awakened my third eye
A warmth from within melted my heart
A radiance flowed out of my chest through my arms.

I gazed out again to the army of sheep
Then my opened third eye revealed them to me
For they were not sheep, these creatures of white
But a host of angels guarding me day and night.

My sight was then captured by my loyal dog Duke
Next to the angels, still commanding them too
His light was so bright that I closed my eyes
My faithful companion now stood by my side.

“My real name’s Yeshua and I love you so”
“This 99th lifetime I’ve awakened your soul”
“You’re a perfect creation with valuable gifts”
“Now that you can see, go forward, pursue this”
“When you’re the true you, your heart emits joy”
“Life lessons are realized, so forgive those boys”
“Your journey is beautiful, these walls are restored”
“You’ve been whole all along and always adored”
“99 lifetimes, the pattern stops here”
“Now go forward in love, we’ll always be near.”

I realized that moment (myself now aware)
My value wasn’t stolen, it had always been there
Self-worth is not found in others views
It’s awake and it’s free in my spiritual truth
Human is beautiful, many challenges are faced
But my true identity can never be erased
Hardships are meant to give me insight
A soul needs darkness to help find the light.

I reached up to the sky, it’s bright clarity redeemed
It’s joy and beauty reflected in me
My eyes now wide open as I scan through the land
Unlimited possibilities on these great walls I stand.

Laura Buck
Laura is a former engineer and aspiring writer. She has lived in Colorado for the past 25 years. She loves nature, dogs, hiking, sculling, and playing piano. Laura writes poetry as a part of her own healing journey and to inspire others. She can be reached at Buddybuck27@gmail.com and (970) 222-8517.