Holding Life


Hunger pangs


For connection

Reaching out 

To an inner light


A heart

That beats 


The sacred

Essence of Self

Holding Life

In my hands

Breathing in



© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“If we don’t look at where we’re dishonest, harsh, unforgiving, disrespectful, greedy, domineering, and so on, then we cannot change that thing. If we just suppress our shadow, trying to disown it, then it exists as an unintegrated fractal of our personality. And we have no power over what we have not explored.”

– Marianne Williamson

holding life

“I’m going to tell you a secret: All things that breathe, that grow, that have a beat to their heart or flow to their cells, all things alive are connected. If you take the time to hold life, truly hold it in your hands, you can feel this connection.”

-Tyler Knott Gregson

*1st photo by Michael Luna

found on: http://journalofanobody.tumblr.com/post/66458740937

2nd photo found on buzzfeed:


October First


October first

Wore blue memories

Of a summer sky

As she trailed 

The forest floor

Leaving a crisp 

Autumn scent


© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*photo credits go to


Offering Genuine Presence


An open heart

In the wilderness 

Of my soul

I smile

At myself

Offering the gift

Of presence.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom that you have in your heart.”

-Thich Nhat Hahn-

*photograph by Noell S. Oszvald,


The Formlessness of Impermanence


Mists of divine thought

Formless pools of heaven

Presence in each breath

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“Clouds are formless manifestations of water in gaseous form. Since clouds are water we must understand that water represents very powerful emotion able to create or to destroy, and either or, in creation and in death water remains fluid, it never becomes fixed.”


“Clouds are the mists of heaven and earth which represent the divine thought of “God” coming forth from source with great desire to manifest the unmanifest. In this we know that when we observe the formlessness of clouds in continual shift of movement and shape, it is as if we are looking into the pools of heaven, the sky, and seeing the universal possibilities of thought, movement and form.”


“Clouds represent divinity, pure thought and pure being, emptiness and everything. Clouds are creations of polar opposites existing as one in such a freedom of being they never become fixed in form, just like the flow of water clouds tell us to be free from everything yet as pure as divinity.”


“Clouds are dreams that make us ponder everything we don’t understand but are designed to search out. Therefore clouds are creations way of telling us never to settle in one thing or another because in doing so we become fixed and fixed objects always resist the natural flow of universal fluidity.”


“Be like a cloud, free and in heaven always shifting form and always moving through the skies of infinite space and timeless wisdom. To see and contemplate the clouds is to learn oneself just as it is in all of the elements of nature.”

-by the Community


*This excerpt was taken from: http://www.answers.com/Q/What_do_clouds_symbolize

*photos by moi, except the calligraphy of Thich Nhat Hahn taken from https://thecompassionategardener.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/clouds-never-die/


Originally posted on hedgerow: a journal of small poems:

welcome to #46 of hedgerow, featuring artwork by september’s resident artist Sandi Pray. if you enjoy her work please pass by her blog — http://ravencliffs.blogspot.com. grateful to all the poets contributing to this issue as well as the readers, thanks for being here!

new book reviews added at the link below —

with love & kindness.

it’s how
I long
to greet you —
becoming the breeze

Paul Smith is a poet from Worcester in the UK. Alongside poetry Paul enjoys Japanese style ink painting, building cigar box guitars and playing old time blues.

blue water
sunshine brightens
the coral

Simon Hanson lives in rural South Australia near The Great Southern Ocean. He relishes these open spaces and the moods of the land and sea from which he draws much inspiration. The more he delves into haiku the more he realises that it is akin to a way…

View original 210 more words

Listening to Trees


The Wind Woman

Awakened tree spirits

Creaking ancient tales

Of bygone days lost to memory

When silence was robed

In the majesty of Mother Earth.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

breathing trees

The Receptivity of Being Empty

empty room

I want to make myself an empty room:

Quiet whitewashed walls with slant sunshine

And a fresh breeze through open windows.

Some days are extremely fluid, and all possible courses of action are equally attractive. Rather than do something arbitrary, it is far better to empty oneself completely. Then the more subtle currents of life may be felt. One should avoid the mistake of random action.

Arbitrary action will most likely be out of accord with the times. It is artificial, a structure that we impose from our own thought. Such movements are invariably stilted and wooden; they do not have the fresh perfection of the natural.

We do not have enough peace. Yet peace will never be attained by perpetual action. Stirred water never has the chance to settle clear. A tree buffeted by winds can never grow straight. Give up all unnecessary activity. Give up all arbitrary actions. Make yourself receptive. The peace that you seek shall be quickly at hand.

-Deng Ming-Dao


*photos in order of appearance:

girl with light, http://vestidoslindosatelier.tumblr.com/post/42690429819

window with curtain, by Alan: https://www.flickr.com/photos/weardaleone/2728024132/