Of Demons and Darkening
Welcome the dark horse looming,
his mane of Moros tossed about
like stars on unknown winds.
If you have courage and surrender.
Let him carry you to nether worlds
where philosophers chew on
pomegranate seeds, convers
with queens. Guard your limbs;
the unlit road will strip away
the very things--symbols, signs--
you've counted on to recognize
If you do not make the journey,
lay an extra setting at your oval
walnut table with your finest silver
goblets and gold-rimmed porcelain
dishes; let the demon take his place,
take his fill. Serve him honeyed
barley cakes, ambrosia on jewel-
encrusted platters; top his cup
with nectar and listen with naked
heart. You'll discover you're related
but never ask his name.
The gift is in the recognition.
Carol Alena Aronoff, PhD is a psychologist, teacher and writer who co-founded SAGE, a psycho-spiritual program for elders, helped guide a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation center, taught Eastern spirituality and healing practices; imagery, meditation, and women's health at San Francisco State University. She guided Heeling in Nature retreats in Hawaii and the southwest, and had a counseling practice in Marin County for many years. She co-authored "Practical Buddhism: The Kagyu Path" with Ole Nydahl in 1989 and edited five books and four meditation booklets on Tibetan Buddhism. Dr. Aronoff published a textbook: "Compassionate Healing: Eastern Perspectives" in 1992. Her poetry has been published in Comstock Review, Potpourri, Poetic Realm, Poetica, Mindprints, Dream Fantasy International, Beginnings, Hawaii Island Journal, In Our Own Words, Theater of the Mind, Animals in Poetry, From the Web, HeartLodge, Out of Line, Sendero, Buckle&, Iodine, Asphodel, Tiger's Eye, Nomad's Choir, Cyclamens & Swords, The New Verse News and Avocet. She received a prize in the 1999/2000 Common Ground spiritual poetry contest, judged by Jane Hirshfield, and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. She won the Tiger's eye contest on the writing life and has participated a number of times in Braided Lives, a collaboration of artists and poets as well as in SKEA's Art and Nature event, Ekphrasis: Sacred Stories of the Southwest, and (A) Muses Poster Retrospective for the 2014 Taos Fall Arts Festival. She was judge for the 2008 Tiger's Eye Poetry contest. A chapbook of Native American/Hawaiian poems, Cornsilk, was published by Indian Heritage Council in 2004, and her illustrated poetry book, The Nature of Music, was published by Pelican Pond in 2005. An expanded, illustrated Cornsilk waas published in 2006, Her Soup Made the Moon Weep, in 2007 and Blessings from an Unseen World in 2013. Currently, Dr. Aronoff resides in a rural area of Hawaii--working her land, meditating on nature and writing.