Welcome to a poetic and philosophic blog about the struggles of life and relationship.

“The ambiguity of life exists in every creative process. In every creative process of life, a destructive trend is implied; in every integrating process of life, a disintegrating trend; in every process toward the sublime, a profanizing trend.”(Paul Tillich, Ph.D., from The Meaning of Health, 1981)

Life cannot exist without the essential possibility and existential reality of death. Life is impossible without the daily, chaotic struggle against death... against the unremitting threat of entropy and nothingness. As Tillich again informs us, “Life must risk itself daily in order to win itself, but in the risking it may lose itself. A life which does not risk death--even in the highest forms of the life of the spirit--is a life poorly lived." This willingness to risk ourselves for greater life is the key that opens the door to the wellspring of creativity deep inside of us... that wellspring of transformative vitality that propels us through the struggle of death into the richness and renewal of new life.

"Creativity is 'the elixir of life' that heals and transforms life. Through the creative process we enter that 'sacred place,' that zone of evolution where the world lights up to itself as we light up to the world. It is here, in that 'holiest of holy' places that we are reunited with the waters of the wellspring of creativity, The Source of the 'River of Life' from which all creative energy and vitality issue forth to be manifested as new life. Through every creative act, life fulfills itself. Through every creative act, we transcend the mortality of our separate ego-self of I and enter into the realm of immortality to become one with our contextual self as Thou, as a self-realized collaborator in creation. Through creativity, we are delivered from the chaos of illness into the dynamic order of new life."
(P. Donovan & Herb Joiner Bey from The Face of Consciousness, 2006)

Please join me on this courageous venture of life and "enter into the realm of immortality," the realm of dialogue and relationship by poetically sharing with this community, your struggles to live... to "nullify the unremitting recurrences of death" through the continuous recurrence of birth. Through dialogue and relationship, the Face of consciousness is seen, recognized and witnessed. It is your Face, my Face, the Face of all life, the Face of our God. Thank you, Patrick.

Original Poetry

Black and white ebony,
My fingers caress the keys
Smoothly moving across them
I treat the keys like a butterfly
So delicately as not to break them
The sound flows from my fingertips
The notes floating around my head
I play
Anything and everything
My heart and soul move from me 
They become the music
My energy disappears 
I become calm and focused
Everything moves slower
Time begins to fade away
I disappear
Only to be replaced by music
The piano becomes me
The music becomes my being
It becomes my life
Everyone disappears
Replaced by the sound of the piano
I enter a world of seclusion
A world where no one can touch me
Nothing can hurt me
The music is the only thing in that world
My feelings are turned into notes
My thoughts into melodies
Time becomes a concept
The keys surround me
Black and white together
They become one color
The only color 
They become the color of music
The notes start to tell a story
Moving in different directions
They dance around me
Creating images
Creating a story
They capture me
I’m still 
I watch the story in my head
My fingers weaving it in a distant world
The notes are dancing
They bounce and move
As the song ends they begin to disperse 
The images begin to disappear
Color begins to come back to the world
I begin to leave the secluded world
Time starts moving faster 
Life begins around me
The song is over
Everything becomes normal
Life continues
I continue
Like this never happened
Like I never played the song
I go about my business 
The music is gone

© Connor Donovan

you come,
you go.

I visit,
I leave.

When together
fleeting time is suspended
and we stroll again in the eternal woodland.

This is not phenomenon.
It is the bright shadow of preexistent form.
It is natural, it is the Good

Thank you for knowing me,
for being human with me,
for sharing this time
and on occasion this space.

We shall do this again
as we have done it before.

df cicora copyright 2010


which is primary
most unique
not simple,
the sole factor.

from and within

not of emanation,
not before


df cicora: copyright 2010


Beyond this immediate
place and time
There is just over
the now perceived horizon
another place sans time
Another light
coeternal, the light increate,
that is the return
the beacon of home
the beam of creation
the bright light
that breaks into the multi-hued spectrum
of creation and consciousness,
human and other,
individual and universal.

df cicora copyright 2010 


He was a hand-knit Irish sweater
of Aran wool
hung on the back 
of a hard-wood chair
of English oak,
waiting for the winter.
© p. donovan

Steel Whiskers

I have bled from the steel whiskers
of an old man's kiss
when my aged feet 
could no longer dance
to the soft-skinned music
of youth.

I made light of the wrinkled flesh
that wept across his bones
with the contoured confessions
of every sacrificial love
that mutilated his form
with the promise of fulfillment.

I held his trembling body
as he fought a thousand wars
with a whisper that seemed
to betray some sacred ancient vow:

"Oh God, forgive me for my nakedness
for I was so alone."

And now,
I am accused of
making light of myself.

How foolish!

I am too old
for such a thing.

© p. donovan

Long Time the Rain

Long time the rain,
water-wet reasons
of a love that you've worked for.
Like a drop in the bucket
it's over now.

And the warped-wood retreat
of mildewed memories
leaks on you head
with the drip,
of every intercourse
that dampened your bed.

Now there you stand,
soaked to the bone,
a shivering sarcasm
to every mud puddle passion
that splashed in your face.

And to think,
all you ever wanted
was a shelter
© p. donovan

Even Now

Even now the rain laughs
gently tickling
yellow fingers of light
that reach caressingly to wake
a sleepy morning
with a 

© p. donovan

A Midnight Tune
I have sung a midnight tune
when nothing else would do
and dared the space of an empty room
for you, my love, for you.

And when the night had turned to dust
with only me to sweep the floor,
I’d beg for all the crumbs of crusts
from all the nights before.

I am a dealer of a trade
that only love can buy
of empty room-words taylor made
for broken hearts to try.

And scars from inquisition nights
when I stood before those priests
who bound me with my empty pride
as they tortured me with my beasts.

And now you sing a sweet night’s tune
as I sweep this dusty floor.
But where were you in that empty room
when my beasts were pounding at the door?

Where were you in that empty room?

You were pounding at my door…

pounding at my door.

© p. donovan

The Sound of Skin

The sound of skin seduces silence
in the stillness of the night as the




whisper of your body calls to mine;
(flesh to flesh, heaving and swelling),

“The sweat of your love is life to my soul.

Open my door and half be my whole.”  

And then I reply
with the whisper of skin,

“Your life is my fire.
My love is within.”

© p. donovan

RVN Result

The soldiers of this generation
would meet secretly
in the hidden enclaves of the enemy,
And there, with timely means, they became the legend -
both conqueror and victim.
Appraised by the standards of bureaucracy
Criticized by modern morals
Made a cuckold of by countrymen
They bore the unrelenting burden
of an unwanted atrocity
which forced distortion
upon their developing shoulders.
Manhood and murder
became the hallmarks of their infamy
Tears and rejection
were their returning banners
branded by the iron of war
bears his scar with honor.
The elements which forced this action
move arrogantly

copyright: df cicora 1971

I Have Watched this Open Door

I have watched this open door;
its rusty hinges holding fast,
like a tiny child clinging desperately
to its mother’s hem
as if it were the last thumb-sucking security it had
before the alienation.

I have lingered long upon thresholds,
cautious at pubescent invitations
to finally be seduced
by the beauty of love
and imprisoned by desire.
Sentenced to the passage of time
I lost the freedom to choose.

And now,
I watch this closing door;
its rusty hinges holding fast
like an aged hand clinging desperately
to the crutch of its support
as if it were the last promise of fulfillment
before the turn
of the key.
 © p donovan

This Cold Fall Morning

On this cold fall morning,
this golden-brown fragile leaf
fallen from its home,
crumbles in my hand.
I can not hold it gently enough.

On this cold fall morning,
this warm hand
now chilled and trembling,
struggles to understand
why leaves crumble so when held.

On this cold fall morning
I can not hold you gently enough
to stop you from crumbling in my trembling hands
as you choose to fall away
from even this home.

On this cold fall morning
I am chilled and trembling inside
as I realize I am loosing you.
I can not bare another loss
on this cold fall morning.

And so,
on this cold fall morning
I withdraw to the cold, dark earth
of my fulminate grief
to winter,

per chance to sleep;

per chance to dream.
 © p donovan

A Soul of Winter

Dark-brown arthritic limbs
crack the silver-grey horizon
with their bent, wintered-wood reminders
of their struggle to survive.
Raped by the seasons they are left
naked to the elements of their doubt.

Cold breath of ghostly ectoplasm
haunts my every exhalation
as it dances like a cyclic apparition
before my frosted face
on this frozen, frigid day
and reminds me
of my own recurrent struggle
with the elements of my soul.

This still seductive place
of silent shivering cold,
this pernicious panorama
of bleakness and austerity
holds me in this moment of despair,
strips me of my willfulness
and leaves me naked
to the elements of my truth:

Within the deep roots of my being
sleeps a longing…
 a dream of spring
and the fear,
I will not survive this winter.
                           © p donovan


I stepped onto the tarmac
and took flight to the east;
to the place where the sun will never rise.
I went to see a bloodied brother,
so many, too many, decades since.
I went to find and touch the scar,
still tender, still painful,
still dark and unhealed.
It lay cut deep into eternal earth,
as if some brutish, deranged animal
had torn open raw weeping flesh.

I found my brother scarred
I found him still.
We walked along that place
and found a wall of many,
Oh, God! far too many names.
We walked softly, gently, carefully (again)
unto that sacred place,
a holy place of far too many names
of black rock sanctified
with blood of far too many martyrs.


I thought of words never to be spoken
vows untaken
love never made
children unborn.

I gazed through salty mist and cried aloud
Oh, Lord! where would they be?
What great and wondrous things
would they have done?
What evolution lay uncreated
because they are not?
For it is those who have the courage
to do that which they seek not,
who are most divine in their humanity.

Why this sacrifice upon hallowed fields,
in rivers of mud, under green canopy?
Why so many holy names,
blessed ones, carved deep and strong,
cut hard with steel -
lives long past?
Was there, is there,
some grand, ultimate purpose,
a meaning still unfound, unknown,
that remains to be discovered?

I carry still their presence, their being.
It is not a weight
nor any burden
it more than duty
or honor
or country.
It is born of one, of being of that one,
it is lived in solemn ritual,
perpetual praise that seeks being.


I touched the names of those I knew
(I know them all)
but now
I know them not
as once they were.
The blackness of that hard stone
merged with the blackness that permeates my soul
since that time, the time of youthful loss.

Damn! the flag waving cowards
who send us there,
the ones who serve only themselves,
serve only their back pockets.
Damn! those who call out “hero”
while they sit on soft sofas watching
televised human suffering.
They are the ones who’ve
made us cuckolds,
the ones who profit from our pain,
the ones who had “better things to do.”


What value in this loss
young men long gone,
what worth to this destruction;
was there dignity in this intrinsic evil?
What good a memory;
does it grant resurrection
or consciousness?
Does a memory confer life - again?
Just fond remembrance of vibrant young lives.

I remain in the center of this human cyclone;
in the eye which sees and touches
the edge of the maelstrom,
knowing a time will come and I will
be swept into that one place.

This has caused a void in my being
and offended the one.

 © df cicora 2010 

I Would Sleep With You

I would sleep with you;
your body
flesh-warm silken sea,
cresting and swelling,
fluid and flowing,
I would drink you,
my body
like a sponge.
© p donovan

This Intimate Space

This intimate space that breaths between us,

its rhythm so deep and steady,

familiar as a lover's breath

in the stillness of the night;

it wakes me with such softness

and sooths me with such fury.

It inspires me with you...

inhales me with you,

to finally exhale us both

across this tongue of love

to speak to us of our soul's desire

and teach us of our longing.

Breath me in.

Breath me in

that I may be

exhaled with you

© p donovan

This Glass of Wine

 This glass of wine is empty now.

Its bottom stained red with the bloody remnants

of a fruitful endeavor forgotten

by the very lips

that kissed

its body.


filled now,

content now,

intoxicated now

from love’s passion

and have no need for more wine;

no need for a glass that’s full.

© p. donovan


This night;






of a night;

This endless repository of

memory and dream

calls out to me…


to me

with a vengeance

to remember.

I pretend to hear...

pretend to listen...

pretend to know.

But what do I know?

I know nothing,

I know only

this life.

All I can hear is

the voice of its existence…

the incessant pounding of this single heart


the persistent rhythm of this single breath

that keeps it all alive.

And then…


I remember:

Even this shall pass.
© p.donovan


Oh! Brother,
my only brother.

Will you leave us all behind?
I fear you will go gently quietly

and I, I want you to rage-
Rage as you did in your young man days,
with power and anger and loud bravado.
I want you still
to be fearless, without hesitation without mumbling and stumbling.

Run swiftly again
Like that dash in ’61,
Run out the door and go to the dance for
your life has always been a dance of joy.
And dance is the first art.

It was you who gave me one more innocent Christmas in ’58.
It was you who felt the heat of Tet in ’68.

I have known you my whole life,
this entire life
I cannot bear this loss
this way
not tomorrow and certainly not this day.

Time was, we placed our spades unto the earth,
planted our roots deeply and watered well as our father taught.
Daffodils in Spring
Roses in June
Apples in Autumn
Abundance of life and joy and love.

If now it happens that your mind can no longer articulate,
then let your heart reflect that
You have known the Beautiful;
that you have seen the Good.
For if you truly cease to be,
then you never were and I cannot believe that.

So, my brother,
take this with you, keep this with you, bear this eternally:
What you forget,
I will remember;
When words escape you,
I will find them;
When darkness falls,
I will carry your light.

copyright: df cicora 2010

Christmas 2005

I am alone in this dark place;
this winter solstice of the soul
where once I came as a child,
innocent and accepting,
ready to save the world.
Now it enwombs me
in the cold winter of my self-doubt.

There are no colored lights here,
no yuletide greetings 
or painted ornaments,
no star to lead the way,
no manger for rebirth,
only the dark night 
of this Northwest Island retreat
and the empty wilderness
of my soul.

There is no room at the Inn for me tonight,
no shelter from this cold.
© p. donovan

Here Among the Standing Stones
p. donovan

This Wine
p. donovan

In The Deep Earth of My Soul
p. donovan

1 comment:

  1. Pat-
    excellent perspective re the door. Just don't be too hasty to walk through it; Oh, and don't let it hit you in the butt on your way out.