Alive to Happiness





We hadn’t seen each other
for days, only three days, to be
exact, but when I came through
the door and she turned
her head, the way she smiled
changed me again from one
who passes from this world to the next,
back to one who falls
into his wife’s arms and rests
his head on her shoulder and feels
when they lie down together her warm heart
beating against his chest,
     her hands hungry for his holding,
     his hands alive to her happiness.
~Shann Ray, “Mountain Homecoming” from Balefire: Poems





On this day,
this tragically public day
when lives shatter before cameras

it is important to remind myself
that not all couplings happen
in blinding drunkenness
in a power differential
in utter selfishness
in a way the truth can never be known
nor trusted.

I need to know
this travesty called investigation
has nothing to do with truth and justice
but is politically sanctioned assault
of two people.
I won’t give it my approval by watching.

I want to know
in our joining
there is joy,
there is sweetness
in need
and sacrifice,
in giving
and taking,
in loving
and staying steadfast,
still alive, always alive
to happiness.






6 thoughts on “Alive to Happiness

  1. Amen, and thank you, Emily. I agree with you 200%!

    Have we reaped what we have sown as citizens, as voters, in our cupidity and our apathy?
    Have we discarded, refuted, denied the sacred teachings of the prophets, the sages, and others, speaking to us in the words of Jesus the Christ, and whatever faith tradition they follow that exhorts us to live lives of goodness and care and respect for each other and for all created things?

    As one watches the evening news (slanted ‘truth,’ and ego-centered opinions gushing forth from various talking heads (experts?): brief clips from CNN, FOX and other media outlets airing (time-edited?) ongoing Congressional hearings that are nothing but a sordid phony act to impress their constituents and the always-valued, needed lobbyists and the super-wealthy pimps who pay to keep them in office. Nothing in these ‘news’ presentations is sacred. All must be shown as edited, misleading and as slimy as possible. Sex – in all aspects and by all persons – particularly the famous – and the infamous – is what keeps the viewers coming back for more. Certain people in our electorate want to hear more about one’s ‘libido’ and titillating actions therein than they do about the beauty and sacredness of human love – the kind that is nurtured by the Spirit of Love that brings with it respect, caring, forgiveness and a human intimacy that is what and should survive and be important and lasting — one of the ‘jewels’ in our human nature…

    As one stands in a supermarket checkout line these days, we cannot fail to see the graphic assault against decency, respect for the beauty and sacredness of human sexuality as comes to us through the tenets of our faith heritage. We also see the struggle, the lack of respect and care for our children and young adults seeking ‘something,’ someone to believe in, to emulate and to hold onto as they view the hypocritical lives and values being espoused by many of their elders.

    I have a terrible, gnawing fear within my soul that we have but seen the tip of this evil among us. We know by our faith that our loving and righteous Creator-God has already won the battle …. but in the meantime….?


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