j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2014

The Iris Inquiry

What color hums from your soul today?
What song and what dance?
How open are you to the truth of your beauty?
How willing are you to be stronger,
to be more in tune with your rhythm of love?
How much will you risk to know and be known
on levels more deeply holy human, vulnerable,
more unique than ever?

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2014

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2014

j. ruth kelly, 2014, all rights reserved

What the Ice Storm Brings…

Four packed tightly under covers…eight feet gifting each other with warmth, one pair seeking another less warm, giving kind remedy; sharing space tangled up in an attic bedroom with no power but two candles and giggles and then sweet sleep in a hushed daylight filled with ice. Soft snores after a breakfast too big except for nothing else to do in a town coated in winter’s grasp.

j. ruth kelly, 2014, all rights reserved

j. ruth kelly, 2014, all rights reserved

Then firelight and stove top sustenance, candles lit all over a house bathed mostly in shadow and cold but oh so warm. Games and face time, firewood and laughter, gathered ice for coolers salvaging what we can. Tallulah River stone soup for feet unaccompanied, gathering hot river gems up in cloth to carry up to bed, settling in for a night of no heat.


A renewed, stark, startling awareness of what conveniences pilfer,
their insipid gain robbing us of something only an ice storm can bring…
connection more profoundly felt, reliance more sweetly known.

j. ruth kelly, 2014, all rights reserved

j. ruth kelly, 2014, all rights reserved

Face time…
turning to the earth for protection…
appreciation for life’s turns less convenient
reminding us of treasure sometimes lost
in what we understand as wealth.

Maybe the earth conspires to remind us how vulnerable we are, both in our advancements and without them. And without our bonds of love, our shared space and renewed survival ability, we would wilt under a perpetually shining sun.

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2014

j. ruth kelly, all rights reserved, 2014

Either way, there’s nothing like the pleasure of finding your kids will make, not complaint, but fun in the face of one more dance with winter’s whimsy.

j. ruth kelly, 2013

Magick Making…

we fall all over ourselves…
bending, stretching, reaching for jewels
as if they aren’t
at our feet and just to the left of right,
beyond the ideas of what should be
or thoughts of who has more integrity.
flowers bloom late,
singing in the pelting melt of sky
melodies defying loss,
haunting what remains –
elixir fragrant, magick making
love, love, love…
potions conjuring newness
calling one more dance
on the edge of autumn’s field.

j. ruth kelly, 2013

j. ruth kelly, 2013

j. ruth kelly, 2014, all rights reserved

Wilder Works

I find myself at this shoreline, drenched and still in a wash of life tides. So many little storms and awful swells tossed me around in a night long, almost endless. In those storms and swells were faces I’ve never known personally and those I cherish dearly daily, often kissing, celebrating life. And some faces I’ve never seen or touched but love. I kept grasping for the best wreckage to cling to, the “right” perspective to trust, knowing truth calls out somewhere in the love-support our hearts can illuminate. But with every grope in the direction of what looked to be secure and safe purchase, the waters welled up and slammed back down, turning these lovely safety vests into monsters plunging me under murky depths.

And then I let go, floating to a wild surface, holding to some faith in love, finding myself afloat while gentler tides swelled from within, sending me to foreign shores. But home. Home longed for but not known before all these little storms releasing.

While resting on this shore, I remember what was learned in my tossing, how the worst enemy out there is within. And the ugliest apathy claims some beating hearts and sleeping minds because it’s all they can do to cope.  But, regardless of all these injuries, cripplings, wobbling feeble feet, mysteries of goodness divine thrive, sometimes found in wicked shadows. The long-tossing night of endless effort reveals no bad guys or good guys, no heroes or foes, just this washing flood of human artistry sometimes flotsam, jetsam surreal.

All these crashing tides found me not some profound and releasing truth but a freedom in surrendering to the artistry of love’s wilder works and savagespeaking songs singing out loud, sometimes screaming our lives a human collage of vivid soul. Those seas tell me there’s no sense to be made but love-sense and the sometimes nonsense of sharing discoveries as we accept the mutability of the known and the true. Only love redeems our loss and not always in ways we can measure, but as we let go and float, we’re soaked in a wonder no hands can hold…no grief can drown… and no tide can destroy.

j. ruth kelly, 2013, all rights reserved

j. ruth kelly, 2013, all rights reserved

Drink This Cup…

this cup my blood…
the nectar of…
the heartbeat of…

some thunderous dance ‘neath cover
of leaves and longing night,
drops of torrential heaven cries
falling down, pounding ground
and all around a great unfolding,
blossoming redemption regardless of

all the accusations
all recrimination

fall to your knees and drink of this cup
the only one whose wholeness calls to your own,
the only one restoring primal innocence,
washing away confusion in earth’s profusion of song

drink deep this quiet magnificence,
seep into bones our song of union…

gardenia wine, j. ruth kelly, 2013

gardenia wine, j. ruth kelly, 2013

Carry Me Fast

“Teach me how to trust
my heart,
my mind,
my intuition,
my inner knowing,
the senses
of my body,
the blessings of my spirit,
teach me how to trust these things,
so that I may enter my sacred space and love
beyond my fear
And thus walk in balance
with the passing of each glorious sun…”

Lakota Prayer

Ruth’s Response…

Sweep me past the rubble
carry me fast to river rapid
where earth’s gentle cooling touch
washes “me” away, shredding scant no-face,
remnants of long-erected defenses
all of life’s angsty debris,
pour in, over, all around me
keeping vessel shiny, new
setting soul free
again and again.


Deep River, NC, 2013, j ruth kelly, all rights reserved

Love Thy Neighbor…

Even if they trap cats for the pound to take and “euthanize” if unclaimed…

Even if they have made sure two of your cats get trapped…

this one would chase cars...

this one would chase cars…

Even if you go with your daughter the first time and she bawls in the middle of a holding room with cages labeled “M” and “T” and “W” and “TH” and so forth since they murder these cats after 72 hours, the cages full of cats looking confused and scared…

Even if thy said neighbors go to church every Sunday AND trap cats

AND have access to one of the best commandments ever…

Love. Thy. Neighbor. (as thyself)

I suppose they don’t love themselves too darn much. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy… wait. Love thyself first, ok? Give us ALL a break.

Pardon my King James dumbness. I was raised on it and I can’t manage to quote scripture without thees and thous and thys and oh my…

2013 has begun with some wonderful holiday memories carrying me into the challenge of loving my neighbor. I have to say, I’m not feelin’ the love. Not one “thy” has therefore ousted my angst. But underneath that angst is this awareness of their right to their um, desire, to um, facilitate the killing of cats.

I’ve felt angry enough to qualify as murderously enraged. I guess this makes me no better than my neighbors.

I’ve had fantasies of creating a catapult for hurling the cat litter (for my one terminally stupid housebound adorable black cat) scoopings across the street and into their yard, onto their roof, slamming against their windows, landing on their cars.

I’ve conjured scenarios of sending anonymous postcards with the words “Bite Me” on the front and a black frazzled looking cat glaring at them with the one message on the back: “Meow.”

I’ve imagined painting cat paw prints down their driveway.

And so many other scenarios silly. The one that I may actually act on is one of buying them a huge gift bag full of cat repellent and old pots and pans (with instructions on how to bang together to scare cats out of their yard) as well as a whistle (for the purpose of scaring cats away). I’ll probably include a book on the symbolism of cats. What else? How cats represent the feminine and how those who hate cats. Ok, maybe not that one.  Any ideas on what else to put in the bag? Let me know in comments!

Did I mention I’m not feeling the love?

Bite me.

brilliant but still a sucker for baited cat traps...

brilliant but still a sucker for baited cat traps…

(I don’t know why the image above is sideways. It didn’t show as such in my picture manager, but a lopsided perspective is fitting.)