Autumn Feathers


Seeds of feathers

Gracious and yielding

Whose yesterdays

Unknown to the eye

Tenderly brush across

 Hidden surfaces

Of Awareness



© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015



Heaven’s Expanse


Summer’s golden dreams

In the last breath of August

The space between

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“To create a space for all our words, Drawing us to listen inward and outward. We seldom notice how each day is a holy place Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens, Transforming our broken fragments Into an eternal continuity that keeps us. Somewhere in us a dignity presides That is more gracious than the smallness That fuels us with fear and force, A dignity that trusts the form a day takes. So at the end of this day, we give thanks For being betrothed to the unknown And for the secret work Through which the mind of the day And wisdom of the soul become one.”
― John O’Donohue

The Heartbeat of All Things



To the sacred


Sighs brush by

While words

Silently wait

In the stillness


A stillness


Into emptiness

Existence ceases

To have meaning

Ideas fade into

The Unknown.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015


“People are very afraid of nothingness. When they hear about emptiness, people are also very afraid, but emptiness just means the extinction of ideas. Emptiness is not the opposite of existence. It is not nothingness or annihilation. The idea of existence has to be removed, and so does the idea of nonexistence…When you practice looking deeply, you see your true nature of no birth, no death; no being, no nonbeing; no coming, no going; no same, no different. When you see this, you are free from fear. You are free from craving and free from jealousy.”  -Thich Nhat Hanh


One Blink Away





What is the story?

A sigh of resignation

As opposed to love

Rather not knowing

Waiting for the wind to tell

White chestnut blossoms

To dance with watery light

Before the heart falls asleep

© 2015 Salem Islas-Madlo

“WE ALREADY HAVE everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.”
― Pema Chödrön


Life is a Mystery


“The God I cry out to in anguish or joy can neither be proved nor disapproved. The hope I have that death is not the end of all our questions can neither be proved nor disproved.”

― Madeleine L’Engle―

*photo found on Pinterest via





Anonymously, I stand in the light of my soul

Unknown to myself, unknown to you

For that matter anonymous to the world

But that isn’t what’s bothering me.

It is the forgetfulness in your eyes,

The forgetfulness of generosity

Generosity that gets lost in what

Could be labelled as familiarity

A paradox, true, it’s true

Since I spoke of anonymity,

Label me as a raving lunatic

For that I shall not deny

Charge me with crimes of egotism

And I won’t bat an eye

Because now on this journey

It doesn’t matter if I count or not

I am lost in the unknown,

I can’t complain

That it has been a blessing

A balm, a comfort to rest

In the light of my soul.

Being comfortable has never really

Been an option.

In this anonymous existence

I do not know how to function

…how to exist without identity

Identity, which was so important earlier

Now, as light dances around the shadows,

Even around the darkness

I am not scared, I don’t even mind

Yet to move I must

The light is never still.

I thought that is what my heart

Was longing for…the stillness

This journey goes through light years

And you will never notice that

I’ve been gone because I travel

To the exact second of that exact moment.

So you see a moment isn’t just a moment,

But the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega.

To be anonymous is not a crime

Nor is it a blessing,

But a marriage with the emptiness.

Emptiness that can threaten, but

Let you be….

Anonymously; I dance in the light

Of my soul, yet dancing in yours

By letting you be, I’ll be myself…I’ll

Be anonymous.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2008

* Artist Steven Daluz