This process of
Working, day by day
Steal-faced persistence
To complete the simplest of tasks
A melting into routines
And back pain
And budgets
And dishes
Of realizing that I can no longer
Juggle as many balls
As before
And trying to concentrate
On one ball at a time…

It feels like defeat
Like surrounder
Like death
But it also feels like rest

And rebirth
And perhaps,
If I slow down enough
To look around
And know where I am,
My feet planted firmly,
I will grow my roots yet deeper
And reacher higher than before
These are only
Growing pains

~An original poem by Scarlet Ponder


The Office Blues

I’ve got the office blues
Oh yeah I’ve got the office blues
I’ve got the office blues and I sure
Don’t wanna be here no mo’

So, the moment of truth has come
I know you think it’s silly
But this beige stage
Is the toughest crowd I’ve found
So much hustling and keeping heads down
So much drive to conform
Be a pro – fessional
But a con- fessional
Would better serve me better now
Feeling like an animal
In a cage
I can sit and stand and pace and go for coffee
I can test the limits
But at the end of the day
I have a project staring me in the face
No roadmap for how to begin
Just get it done
Or else
And don’t forget
To CC nancy and ben
And don’t forget
To make the language
Vague enough
To never entangle us in the inconvenience
Of accountability
And of course give an account
Of your ability to dot your T’s and cross your I’s
No, you’ve got it wrong already
What were you thinking
You idiot excuse for a college grad
I’ll just ask brad
To do it instead
Must have mud in your head
Yes mud in my head
Mixing the raging tide rising up from my spirit
With the crusty dirt of bureaucracy
Maddeningly unmoving
At least the mud can be molded
And changed to something new.

– Scarlet Ponder


I have been forgiving you
Since the moment
I learned
But how can I respond
When you ask me for forgiveness now
Long after
I have cried my tears
Long after
I have stitched my heart
And coaxed it
To heal
How can I say
I forgive you
When the forgiveness I extended
For so long
Went unseen
How can you ask
“Forgive me”
When you never acknowledged
Your wrong?

I cannot be the one
To give you a badge
That says you have crossed
From that to this

I cannot be the one
To say,
Yes, now you are doing it right.

I did cry a river.
And then I moved my tent
And planted a new garden
New flowers
In new dirt
And I wait painstakingly
To see what grace will emerge
From my pain.

You hurt me.
Instead of speaking truth
You hid it
And when I found it
You ran away
And never looked back
Leaving me
To clear away the shrapnel,
My ears still ringing.

You slipped away slowly
Then quickly
As I grasped at ways to help
Ways to bring you back to life and love.
An honest parting of ways,
An honest confession that you did not love me
An honest word that,
Our time was good but it was over
Would have been a welcome balm.
I grieved that you did not count it worth your own pain
To tell me it was over,
Instead leaving me bewildered
Left to assume what must be true.

I forgive you and forgave you already,
But how can I be your priest
And absolve you of your wrong?
How can I forgive
What you never confessed?

Do not say to me,
“Forgive me, I have changed.”
Tell me the wrongs
That you now recognize
And tell me that you understand
Even a small bit
Of how I must have felt.
Tell me that at last
You feel a little bit
Of my pain
As I once felt yours
So deeply.
Tell me you are sorry.
You are so, so, sorry.



Your skin
Pressing comfort
As i feel your weight and warmth
Reminding me
Like a gentle pinch
That I am real
Reminding me
That you are real too
That you see me
And I see you.

Those who use others
For their own gain
Stealing their labor
As surely as stealing their house
For the ground on which you stand
Is sacred
And will not forever allow you
To desecrate its gentle soil
With your cruelty.

I do not miss
Ice cream cones or toys
Of childhood.
I do not long to curl
In my mother’s arms
Though I might
Miss that too.
I miss waking every morning
And immediately knowing
That today is sacred.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi,
Translation from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks