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Poem: "Tabula Rasa"

Copyright 2004 by Dr. Linda L. Bielowski, Ph.D

Introductory note by Brother Dave

"Rasa" is a Sanskrit word meaning "taste and vital essence". See also Rasa Yoga. "Tabla" is a Latin word for a table or a tablet. The philosopher John Locke used "Tabla Rasa" to figuratively mean the human mind in its earliest state, before receiving external inputs. Another meaning of Tabla Rasa that appeals here to me is: "an opportunity to start anew, without prejudice", especially in the bright Light of faith, as Doctor Linda well describes here.

"Tabula Rasa"

A time of loss and items tossed

like tough hearts of palm in soul-rusting salad,

pieces of self thrown off

like sweaty sheets on searing nights,

limbs of comings and goings

caught in revolving doors of torment.

Skin and scales,

fear and fins,

lipstick and lies,

secrets and sins shatter

like plates of china and glass

against hardwood floors of hurt.

Armadillo layers peeled

like thorn apples,

till all that’s left is a blank slate

primed for a freshly chalked lifeline,

that leads to the other side of the cross

like a river of cleansing blood.

Washed over dried bones

rocked and raised,

rubbed together,

like brittle kindling wood

tried in a solitary crucible of grace

freeing fireflies of neophyte faith.

By Linda L. Bielowski, Ph.D.

Poem: "Evoking Small Towns"

Copyright 2004 by Dr. Linda L. Bielowski, Ph.D

Railroad ties overlaid with wiry thicket,

bramble whisker mustaches, marred

by steel-toed boot prints from Gandy Dancers’

fancy footwork. Tracks rolled up and put away

like sidewalks on home-for-supper, waning weeknights

in small towns where the trains no longer go.

To rattle and rumble like twisters roaring, with

warning whistle echoes and smoke signal billows

blanketing pastures of plenty. Scattered like sheep

grazing on hillsides, farmhouses, white as church steeples,

point to the promise of a future home overhanging the

archeological remains of rotting billboards on broken-down barns.

Yards grow clothes poles standing sturdy as crosses in a cemetery,

with grapevine lines connecting the empty space between breaths--

the hyphen of life and death--in small towns where the trains no longer go.

Embedded in the memory quilts and mind prairies, suckled at the breasts

of plain people who love, birth, and bury in their soil, small towns

shake the cold from their bones and the dust from their feet

to face a new day in the East light where the trains no longer go.

By Linda L. Bielowski, Ph.D.

Dr. Linda L. Bielowski, Ph.D PICTURE and BIOGRAPHY of

Dr. Linda L. Bielowski, Ph.D.

The author is a practicing psychotherapist, board certified pastoral counselor, and university English instructor, who refocused on her writing after facilitating a spirituality group and participating in a poetry exhibit at the prestigious University of Chicago Hospitals. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, magazines, and anthologies including the following: Poetry Magazine, Ariga, Wilmington Blues, Muse Apprentice Guild, Enfuse, Eintouist, Poetism, Poetic Hours, Verses, SpaceBreather, SubtleTea, Unarmed, Pure Christians, A flippant Way, Listening to the Birth of Crystals, Promise, Subjective Substance, Conspire; among others. Dr. Bielowski has published a first collection of poetry in a chapbook Spirit Echoes and has received a contract from PublishAmerica for her second anthology Contemplative Persona, scheduled for release in 2004. She was recently named “New Talent” by Little Treasures/Soul Comfort and as a finalist in the FirstWriter poetry competition. In her leisure time, the author chases three feline muses: Sedgwick. Joshua, and Sara.

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