FOR ALL YOU MAY DREAMERS & HAWTHORN LOVERS, here’s a bit of poetry – to help salute the month, kiss the dreams, and wander, albeit briefly, in a hawthorn mist. I wrote this poem a long time ago in a land only beginning to unfurl its world to me. It spoke of much. Perhaps something in it will speak to you. To go to the Poetry page and read – WANDERING IN A HAWTHORN DREAM – click here Poetry
©Aliana Alani 2017
How long it can often take
To build a dream into a reality,
And how little time is needed
To tear it all apart.
I wish you happiness and joy in 2017.
May your fondest dreams come true. May love always light your path. May your life be graced each day with peace. And may you dare to share the gifts divinely given to help heal and prosper this world.
Be a light unto yourself.
Be a light for us all.
Welcome to the thinning of the veils…
It’s October 31st, that time where sticky candy, wobbling strange rubber faces, frail and flimsy wings, and flip-flopping swords and daggers reign supreme. There are even a few glittering red slippers and a star-tipped wand or two to be found dancing around. It is a time of ghosts, goblins, and miniature versions of the cast of the Pirates of the Caribbean sauntering down night streets just about everywhere.
In the Celtic world, it is the time of Samhain, where veils become thin, and the spirits of the past rise up to greet the spirits of the day. You won’t necessary find those pirates roaming but you might find your relatives from the 6th century popping in for a cup of mead (that’s honey wine). Treat them well. You never know what you might have done in the 6th century! And so it is a time of the changing of worlds – autumn to winter – winter to the cold dark beyond.
One could also say it is a time when the veils between your perception of realities thin. Where the things you are so very sure are real begin to flutter and fade, and the dreams you visit only in the quiet of your mind begin to take on colour and grow. Where, for an infinitesimally small moment in the concept of time, the two dare to merge, mingle, trade places, or even become one.
It is even possible that as our world shifts and changes, moments like these turn out to be windows to the very heart and soul of a better life and a better world.
…more to come…
Yesterday I posted a ‘Prelude’ to this poem to give you a sense of how it came to be, the feeling of power,magic, and yes perhaps even destiny, that wove round its coming into form. Here is the poem itself. It is very long so do hang in there. Thanks!
I HAD A DREAM… By: Aliana Alani – updated ©2016
I had a dream on a wayward night when the moon was riding high.
A dream of the future once hidden so deep, now crying out to arrive.
A dream with a voice, a dream with a name, a dream with a purpose true.
A dream that grabbed me by the heart and begged me to see it through.
The dream spoke of a land, full and rich, steeped in the power of words.
Where voices whispered in morning mist and councils longed to be heard.
Where the earth was ancient and the song was of old, its colors royal too.
Where legends lived and prayers could be heard locked in the morning dew.
It spoke of a time when the world was right and the island knew its name.
When keys were forged in the glistening light of a golden destined flame.
Buried they were in the depths of the earth beyond terror and human sight.
Beyond evil hands and evil thoughts and intruders come to dig in the night.
For it was known then by those who could see between the sleeves of time
That hungry men would stretch their hands across the water’s broad line.
They would stretch and claw and grab for themselves pieces of the soil.
The land would burn, the land would bleed, and men would know only toil.
And all that was holy, all that was pure, would drown midst a sorrowful cry.
The power of the day would run for the dark, its magic now needing to hide.
Men’s spirits would live in the midst of night’s hue serenading a somber song
And all that was free, unfettered and true, would seem lost in a captor’s bonds.
The seed would be sent to foreign lands with young stomachs yet to be filled.
Such worlds appeared new, wild and alive; still the heart could not be stilled.
It longed for the green, it longed for the mist, it longed for those hidden keys
That called from the depths of that deep dark earth and promised a spirit free.
There would come a time when the world itself did not know which way to turn.
It would look to the left, it would look to the right, its lessons still not learned.
The seers knew such a time as that would wash harsh o’er the souls of this earth.
It would toss them and turn them, it would tumble them round, all before the birth.
They knew those keys would be needed then, so potent with life was their door.
Each encased in a golden light so pure, its spark took one straight to the core.
There would be no denying the power of its flame, no denying the power of truth,
No denying the light that would soon emerge, its flag flying o’er all of the earth.
It would come from an island once lost in pain, an island of war and of strife.
It would come from a place ancient yet new that oft seemed to have little life.
It would tear at the heart, sing to each soul, it would open doors so long bound.
It would call to the day, it would call to the night, it would call to the table round.
The island would live, the island would breathe, the island would claim its place.
From the north to the south, the east to the west, its spirit cast in lasting grace.
Its song would circle a troubled world, a loving voice long destined to be heard.
A white dove would fly from a hilltop high, and the dream would now emerge.
And those who had sat on that still dark night when the keys were buried deep
Who had watched them sink within rich moist soil, their secrets there to keep,
Whose hearts were etched in the print of the plan, fired within a golden mold,
Would be called from far, would be called from wide, their stories to be told.
They would place their print in the palm of the plan, the heart’s song to be sung.
The earth would tremble, the soil would shift, and the birthing would have begun.
Then the ghosts of the past meet the spirits of the day, awash in a glow of light
And that which was sorrow, that which was pain, is dissolved by a higher might.
Soon a love song is sung through emerald rain, a song so full and so strong.
Its call can be heard through forests and fears, through hatreds and rivers long.
It’s a song we long for, a song held in our hearts, a song the world needs to hear
Brought from an island long known for words, sacred and destined and clear.
I had such a dream on a wayward night when the moon was riding high.
A dream of a future once hidden so deep whose time had finally arrived.
A dream with a voice, a dream with a name, a dream with a purpose true.
A dream that grabbed me by the heart and begged me to see it through.
Aliana Alani © 2016
…for the heart song of Ireland
MANY MOONS AGO, in what feels like eons but isn’t, just like eons can feel like moments but aren’t, I had one of those poignant experiences that it sometimes seems only time in The Green can give. It was the after edges of Samhain (Halloween to those who live west of The Big Pond), I was staying at a friend’s in an area that could easily be classified as desolate on a grey rainy day, which it was. There was a brooding feel to it all, as though something could pop out of the unexpected any moment. It was Ireland after all, so this was possible.
I STARED OUT a many-paned window as raindrops splattered on glass and a welcoming fire crackled from behind. I was looking at a leafless tree that resided along the edge of the driveway with birds now gathering on it. I watched. And strangely, I waited. When it seemed they had all arrived (for what I did not know), I counted. I admit it, I was curious – partly because there were so many, and partly because they were all ravens. Ravens, as some say, are superb magic makers, shape shifters par excellence, sounders of creative births. In other words, powerful. No one worth their emerald green seaweed would mess with them.
I ADMIT THESE WERE EARLY DAYS for me in The Green, still I swore I could feel the dulse of the sea beginning to cling to my very being (let alone my heart) and so I paid honour where honour was due, and promptly counted again. Yup, twenty-two. Twenty-two ravens perched on a tree, waiting. I had a feeling they were waiting for me.
SO I DID WHAT ANY SELF-RESPECTING BEING SHOULD DO. I asked what they wanted. ‘Be raven.’ They said. ‘Come see. Come see.’ What could one do but agree. After all, there were twenty-two.
AND SO the journey began.
WHAT CAME OUT OF IT many hours later was a poem – a rather long one done in verse, which I don’t normally write. It was called, I Had A Dream. It touched my heart and brought tears to the eyes. I shared it with friends and a few I did not know. Then time marched on, I left The Green, and the poem, as poems sometimes do, went into the now-labelled ‘Poetry – Ireland’ file.
AND THERE it sat, until now.
I’M NOT SURE WHY I’m meant to share this with you. Perhaps it is the changing times. Perhaps within the blowing winds, the ravens are calling – ‘Come see. Come see.’ Perhaps it will touch your heart as it did mine. Perhaps, just perhaps, if you live in The Green or feel its stories wafting through your soul wherever you may be, it will sound a chord of remembering, and in so doing, awaken a long prophesied dream.
ONE TINY ADD-ON – It is my sense that there are places in this world that carry keys; keys that when re-discovered, and then used wisely, become of enormous benefit to us all on this fragile exquisitely beautiful planet. To me, Ireland carries one of those keys.
BECAUSE IT’S VERY LONG, I will share the poem with you in the next posting.
I’ve had 22shangrila up and running for awhile now. Some of you have been following here since the beginning; others are new, or at least newer. Some click ‘like’ having found something in that moment that speaks to you and then you are gone into the internet mist, never to be heard from again. Some come back. Some choose to hang around.
To all of you, I want to say – THANK YOU!
Thank you for being touched by something in this site, whether that be poetry, an article, or some of the other work I do. Thank you for letting me know. And thank you for choosing to follow to see what else might show up here.
The purpose of 22shangrila has always been to communicate – to speak to the language of the heart in us all, no matter the form or moment – but especially through the power of word, image, and story. And of course to let you know what I’m doing.
I’m not the best at answering, or for that matter at clicking ‘follow’ to your sites when you come to mine. Apologies. The intention is often there. I do take a look at what you’re doing if you click ‘like’ on mine, and I often say to myself, ‘I must make a comment, a thank you, an I-like-your-work-too’. But then the moment goes, the phone rings, the muse calls, and my best intentions fly off into the winds. I’ll try to get better at that.
After all, we are a community of world storytellers, are we not? Mystics in the making, perhaps. Poets abounding. Weaving new visions and thoughts that, yes, could quite possibly change our world for the better. And we all matter.
So here’s to you – all of you – may every day in your life flourish with harmony, balance, and love. May you weave the most scrumptious tales ever, whether they be in word, image, or sound! And may they dance in our world like magic calling us home.
I hope you’ll hang around. If it feels right, send a comment note or an email (I will answer those) and tell me what you’re doing to help this world be a kinder happier place.
And again – THANK YOU!
THIS I KNOW…
©Aliana Alani 2015
As we search for wings we once had,
Trudging along dust-filled roads,
Hoping for rose petals in unlikely places,
As we scan pristine skies for long-needed rain,
Picking the bones of ancestors,
Sweeping the streets clean of the tears of hunger and war,
As we dare to dream or desire,
To rise up or to care,
It comes to this –
There is only room for love now.
We only have room for love.
©Aliana Alani 2015
Unlike many of my writings here, this is more Dylan Thomas than Rumi – but there are things that must be said, words that must be spoken.
Are you not tired of battle? I am.
This constant feeding on the life force of others
Till even young bones dry and crumble into dust
And winds lament their passing like banshee cries across the lands.
To what end? For what purpose?
Think you immortality lies within the reach of those
Who trample o’er the souls of others? If so, think again.
Or has this thirst turned so insatiable that friend and foe alike
Become but mere morsels for the next feed?
When is enough, enough?
It matters not what name you give this.
What righteous path you cast its fate along.
Light or dark, it is all the same.
Devoid of love, we are all nothing!
Can you not understand?
You plant your flag within the halls of Mount Olympus
Expecting adulation in return. To you, it is but one of many.
But you forget. You lack remembrance.
Therein, perhaps, lies your folly.
So let me help. Let me be blunt.
There are gods and angels who walk amongst the living
Cloaked in skins of a mortal kind. Some appear tattered,
Even wounded, for the journey has been long, nay even arduous.
Still they are present, perhaps, yes even especially, in those very halls
And they are not happy.
They wait, but not for long.
What will you do next, they wonder?
What foolish blunder? What further desecration –
Before you awake and realize?
Occasionally one will dust off those weary wings, flutter and fly.
Winds will change, and for a brief moment,
Love will enter the now toxic air.
A sigh of hope is heard within the hearts of many.
But it does not last.
It cannot be sustained.
Ask me why. Oh. Please. Do.
There is a fabric that holds this universe together.
An ancient warp and woof of life.
No cotton this. Not even silk or satin.
No, this is the stuff that hearts are made of,
That travels pathways of geometric harmonics
Lighting galaxies as it spews forth in all its splendour.
It is unstoppable, of course
But still you try.
To usurp it is impossible,
A flight of fantasy on your part.
It belongs to all, permeates all, is all.
It is not yours to hoard or blunder –
But still, amazingly, you try.
Are you not tired yet?!
So here’s the irony, the paradox, the problem.
Put simply for you to understand –
What you do blocks the very field of energetic awareness
That sustains your, yes your, very own existence.
You have created a game that is a self-fulfilling prophecy
In which you are doomed to be no more.
You do not know this yet, so you continue,
Like unfed vultures, to merrily feast
Upon the dreams and hopes of others.
If it were just about you,
You would be left to your own devices.
But sadly, it is not so.
You think you can act with impunity
But, once again, you do not remember.
You lack vision, foresight. You do not see the larger picture.
You harm one. You harm all.
And so, ultimately, it cannot be allowed.
Understand this –
Unborn dreams are fragile things.
Like hopes, they reside in the realm of etheric mist.
Some say they are the prodding of angels
Whispered gently into an open heart.
What matters is this – to come into being,
They must be nourished, nurtured, loved.
Each spins a slender thread of woven gold
Linking it to the core of all. Invisible to the naked eye,
Unknown to many, they crisscross galaxies.
There are zillions of them.
To the enlightened among you
They are the geometries of existence.
To us, they are the song lines of the eternal heart.
So here’s the rub –
When you repeatedly force a people to its knees
Pushing spirits into the bog of existence
Until they can barely remember their own names
You poke holes in the chrysalis of their dreaming.
You weaken those very threads.
You damage the song lines.
Song lines are the royalty of life from which worlds are born.
If any should break, connected to your doing, you will be held responsible.
That, lest you forgot, is the hidden addendum to the codex of the contract
You eagerly signed when you initiated the Game you were so thirsty to play
(A game, I hasten to remind you, that was meant to enhance not devastate).
You, of all, should appreciate the irony of this.
So I ask again – Are you not tired of it yet?
There is, of course, a key to redemption – there is always a key.
But you will have to use it well and you will have to use it quickly
For you are running out of time (does this sound familiar?).
Let me offer a clue –
All things are born from the heart
And to the heart all things return
The key, like all keys before and after, has a name.
This key’s name happens to be Compassion.
Not your every day garden variety kind.
NO, only pure unadulterated unconditional open-hearted
Compassion will do now – for all and everything.
You have travelled far from the core of your heart’s awareness.
Will you get back to it in time? We do not know.
But we are obligated to remind you of the key’s existence
And hence give you an opportunity to try.
One last thought –
This world is a precious place, sculpted with endless opportunities for love –
Beautiful, abundant, vast, and deliciously exquisite in its myriad of forms.
It has always been humanity’s mandate to flourish and prosper –
To excel in coming home to its true essence and to cherish all who
Reside in this unfolding garden of love. This mandate will not be denied.
So I will ask you one last time – Are you not tired of this Game?
For truly, I AM.
As we begin to crest the wave of the holiday season and move closer to the end of a year, many of us start, once again, to ponder dreams and desires, both new and old. Forget the resolutions. This is more about the questions that help us sculpt a new world for ourselves. Questions like: what is a our heart’s desire, what do we truly love to do and are we doing it, how would we like to spend each day of the next year of our lives, and for some, with whom? Are we daring to love? And then there’s the larger question – what do we want for our world?
Dreams (and desires) are like stories waiting to be told. Sometimes we dare to look in their direction, feel a flutter in our hearts, and act. Sometimes they filter through the night space rather than the day, hovering.
As I ponder the power such dreams can hold and what waits in those proverbial wings, a wonderful Irish poet comes to mind. Someone whose work I have a fondness for – William Butler Yeats.
Below is a poem in which resides a segment many have come to know. I offer it to you as food for thought. I sense that Yeats would have liked that.
AEDH WISHES FOR THE CLOTHS OF HEAVEN –
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.