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The Woman in White Marble

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Poems by Gayle Madison

Gayle's other writing can be found in Soul Desire by clicking here.

Gayle MadisonMy first classroom and congregation were made up of dollies and stuffed animals lined up on my bed under the gables of a pretty white house on a hill in Michigan. I drew pictures for them and promised love and faithfulness to counter what didn’t feel loving downstairs.

My educational journey flowed from art to art history to teaching children to ministry in the United Church of Christ. (The historic USA mainline Christian denomination that lives out the message of God’s radical welcome and inclusion).During twenty-five years as a local church pastor in Northern California my passions were connecting with human souls and preaching the love of God.

In order to more deeply connect with people I was guided in the 1980’s to train as a classical Christian Spiritual Director and then to become a Pastoral Counselor (American Association of Pastoral Counselors, AAPC). Through my relentless internal quest for self understanding and spiritual growth I became a student of the Enneagram, meditation, centering prayer and, for 17 years the Ridhwan School, learning that by making intimate contact with the truth of my everyday life, I can know the depths of whom and what I am. I came full circle when I discovered I am what I experienced as a little girl with my dollies; I am love.

Today I practice as a certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapist. I work with my clients on their inner system of Parts while leading, guiding and following their inner journey grounded in the belief that “All parts are good and all parts are welcome.” IFS creates a therapeutic environment in which one’s inner system is deeply respected and nourished. Focused, nurturing attention to internal parts and the sacred, essential nature of Self is a concrete way to practice self-love and to lead a soul led life.

Soul Desire will be reflections on love and the sacred nature of ordinary experience. I present a collection of writings from past and present that include contributions to church newsletters, a travel blog, professional magazines, poetry, sermons, and heart-full reflections. Most contributions are filtered through yoga stretches, long walks, vigorous swimming, birds in my back yard, select women clergy, a creative witch, and my loving husband who is a publisher.

Saturday
Apr152017

Ice Cream at the Park

You called the attack
an outburst
not a scoop of fear or the
hissing of your brainstem or a
toxic backsplash from the
curdled side of your heart.
It’s hard to be you.
Your inner torment
stabs out of squinted eyes
across my ice cream cone
green grass
and music in the park
melting hopes of sweetness.

Excluded from the
tender embrace of many
you are lost…

And we are all sad.

Gayle Madison
August 2014
Omena, Michigan

Copyright © 2014 Gayle Madison

Saturday
Apr152017

Christmas Pears

Christmas Pears by Gayle MadisonThere is a lot to say
about the loveliness of a pear
That luscious curve into roundness
Like the arc of heaven when Jesus
filled Mary’s womb.
It can make you ache
A line like that
Divine exchange of sunlight and trees
Angels and love
Born at Christmas
When the juice drips off your bottom lip.

Copyright © 2014 Gayle Madison

Saturday
Apr152017

Coyotes

Specters from the wild deep
Coyotes run the edge of night
Fur standing on the
Knuckles the their spines
In packs they sound
Neither bark nor howl
But primal cur speak
As if their dens and hollows
Were calling to the moon.

Copyright © 2015Gayle Madison

Saturday
Apr152017

Christmas Poem

Tangerines by Gayle MadisonOne hundred years ago
Tangerines and sugar plums
Came north at Christmas only
Rumbling up in laden trucks
Like Santa's citrus sleighs
The harbingers of visions
And delicious dancing dreams
Came rolling out of knitted socks
Onto the parlor floor while
Tousled heads exclaimed with glee
Their gleaming juicy glory
And there on Christmas morning
Lay God's surprising orange love!

Saturday
Apr152017

Raptor

Corporate greed like
A white kite at the top of
The dead oak next door keeps
Balancing in the highest branches
Preying upon what most others cannot see.

I can hardly look away as it tears
Flesh off small creatures in
Long strips like pulling the tortilla off a burrito
It gulps them down and I watch bits of fur
Caught by the west wind drift away.

I’m in thrall as the head is
Pinched off first and swallowed whole
And finally white and pure in the
Morning sun it tosses back its
Head and swallows the thin tail
Its pinions flap.

With immaculate plump breast
And no trace of gore
The majestic raptor cleans its curved beak
Preens a bit and looks over the field
For what’s next.

Slack jawed with my binoculars I shudder
Feeling small and gray I scurry
Knowing exactly what its like to be eaten alive.

Copyright © 2016 Gayle Madison