True Beauty


It came to me in a meditation that I would enjoy working with my dreams by writing poems that are inspired by the dream images. This poem was written after a recent dream. It came to me in the context of an intensive, experiential workshop on how birth dynamics are recapitulated throughout our lifetimes, and how contemporary medical birth practices reflect the modernist dissociation from nature, leading to unnecessary trauma.

True Beauty

I dreamt of a psychologist in his cubicle,

doing hair and make-up for characters in a movie.

There is only one profession

for those who have fallen under the dark spell

of threatening ancestors,

whispering what we must not see or name,
obscuring the wild and tender beauty

that wants to fashion from our deep yearnings

the one, true story that is ours alone to live.

In our offices

Rene Magritte

Rene Magritte

of unconscious compromise,

we are cosmeticians all,

hair and make-up specialists

in the Theatre of Survival.

Psychologists adjust;

CEOs acquire;

Clergy demythologize;

Scientists reduce;

Pharmacists dispense;

Accountants order;

\Teachers obscure;

Engineers encroach;

Doctors objectify;

Academics parse;

Undertakers enbalm.

Eros finds no resting place

in this collective cover-up

of the true beauty

which returns painfully

to those willing to have their hearts broken

by the earned memory

of what soul wanted and reached for

before the shock of disappointment—

the shattering fall into cosmetic culture.

I’m speaking now

Heidi Daley

Heidi Daley

of the arresting pleasure

in hearing with unfiltered ears

the deep-throated gurgle and croak of the raven’s song

echoing through green mountains,

and of a soft breeze flowing through the tent

so pure and clear,

that for just a moment you are the breeze

and the breeze is you,

and the cursed separation finally ceases,

and you realize the elusive coherence of beauty,

or she realizes you— cosmic not cosmetic.

Or when your longing to love

is met easily and joyfully

by the uncomplicated ones

who dwell, unhurried, in the city of God.

The learned doctor of religion

comes to the Nazarene peasant, under cover of night

when the ancestors sleep,

asking if a man can be born again,

and of course, the answer is,

you must.

This unauthorized teacher is no reedJesus and Nicodemus blowing in the wind

fouled by that sad and desperate question:

“what does your approval require of me”?

The angels saw this one coming,

and sang his song to Mary, who had ears to hear,

and shared his magnificent soul-song with her cousin,

whose own womb leapt with knowing.

This is the expected one, the welcomed one,

and so his unadorned beauty

redeems the sad and marred and unwelcomed world of lost souls.

May your second birth,

Yulanda Rios

Yulanda Rios

dear one,

be likewise into a community that is expecting you,

a village that has prepared a soft throne

for your incarnation,

that has listened for your soul-song,

and will sing it back to you,

when your slow and blinking eyes

behold the astonishing mystery anew

and you finally receive the confirmation

you had every right to expect

after the long and arduous journey to become human.

Rest now,

on the warm body of what it truly alive

in the immeasurable beauty

that is you.

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  1. says

    Gorgeous Bruce. Thank you for your gift of poetry and message. Today I had the space to read with an open heart…and my soul, thirsty for this reminder, thanks you.

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