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Please visit our past Poet Laureates


GAYLE SLATEN

HAVE A COMMENT OR QUESTION FOR GAYLE?

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I was named Gayle Lindsay Slaten at birth—my mother said she gave me a writer’s name. Prophecy or not, I have been writing since I could hold a pen.  Poetry flows with my nature, helping me to discover myself through hard times and a good friend to me as I traverse this earthly path.  This column encompasses the balance between dark times and light, earlier musings and lessons learned along the way.  I share my writing to help others know that life can change in a moment, just by making and acting on one choice.  I am happily living in Tucson, AZ, writing, drumming, dancing and making art. 

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VISIT THE NEW 'POETRY CONNECTION!

This start to the new year and new decade, I write about my beginnings, with Great Expectations. Then, I share a Note to Future Generations.  I wish you a year filled with wonder and grace.

 

 

Great Expectations

 

I had great expectations for this life

After all,

I chose the time,

My parents and siblings

And messengers to help along the way

To entice the lesson

 

From that vantage point,

An easy task,

Piece of cake—

Learn to stay present

Listen to my inner voice

And speak up

 

Tumbling into the Forgetting Realm

Opening my eyes as an infant

Starting over

I thought this life was all there was

Not knowing there was a plan

Feeling pain of body sensations

Heartache as I grew

 

Hoping for fairness

When there was none,

I retreated into my shell

Afraid to venture out

Going along with others’ wishes

Thinking they knew better

I lost myself for many years

 

With passion,

I’d wake up for awhile

Then quickly fall back asleep

Over and over

I’d replay the pattern

Not aware that it was up to me

To create a different reality

 

Each relationship

Brought new hurdles

As my vision for the perfect union

Faded

Trying to please others

Was a false panacea

I was empty inside

 

Each outer journey

Took me further from my truth

A perennial student,

I soaked up others’ views

Until I could take no more

I became numb

 

Then, I went inside,

Quieted my mind

Until I could hear that small, still voice

Reminding me that I’m never alone on this journey

I learned to take time

Before responding to others

Check in with my inner voice

And do what felt right for me

 

I found my outer voice

By going within,

Staying present

Great expectations

Led to my learning,

At 69 years old,

That Life is whatever I make it,

I choose to be in Joy

No matter the circumstance

Release pain, shame, anger and sadness—

They are shields keeping me from experiencing love

I am lighter now,

Remembering, finally,

Why I am here

Learning the lessons

Puts me in flow

 

Note to Future Generations

 

As we fill this time capsule

For future generations

Let's include Hope

That shining star

That shows us the way

Glimmering with chance

To do better, 

Choosing the true path

Instead of the one of least resistance 

The one that reminds us

That we are all in this 

Together

 

From past generations

We add perseverance 

To weather the hardships

Faced by every generation

No escaping lessons to be learned

Embracing the challenge, 

Working together

The solution is always there

 

From the Poets and song writers

We include unadulterated Love

Simple and pure

With notes about letting go

And letting be

Choosing the path of

Sweet surrender 

And from the ancient Greeks, 

Eros, Philia, Ludus, Pragma, 

Agape, Philautia and Storge

Love is always the choice

That will bring peace and joy

 

From our historians, 

Pictures from past mistakes

And poor choices

So future generations

Will never forget

Consequences

Of going unconscious

Prodding them to stay awake, 

Noticing the patterns of

Darkness creeping in

Using confluence to

To create

The world of their dreams

Instead of 

The world of their nightmares

 

We ritually close this capsule

Embuing it with our

Positive intentions, 

Energy from each living soul

That the seeds of our

Children's children

Will take up the gauntlet

And find that better way

To live together in harmony

And in attunement

With nature

Bringing this world

Back into balance--

They are our only hope

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