Reep and Sow

What a paradox it is that in autumn we harvest, yet, if we want spring flowers and crops, we must also plant.  The spiritual life is a paradox of continuous planting-harvesting-planting-harvesting.  Spiritual practices, like compassion and conscious living bear fruit in acts of justice where we learn what more there is to plant.

God-Seed green

  rita h. kowats 10-24-14

Waiting for the Fog to Lift

Waiting for the Fog to Lift


When it fogs in October
People say, “It’s thick as pea soup out there!”
When it fogs in our souls
We pull up a stool to the hearth
And watch grievances bubble to a boil,
Thickening into an opaque blend
Of anger and resentment or fear and pain,
Depending on the available spices
We add to the mix.

Just as fog bides its time,
Confined by purblind eyes
We must stop stirring the pot,
And wait in the soulfog
For Spirit to restore peace.


© rita h kowats


Stained Glass Windows

Nature's Stained Glass Window


“…have you ever found God in church? I never did.
I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show.
Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me.”

Alice Walker, The Color Purple


Stained glass church windows:

Illuminated wall decorations
Held in place by rigid frames,
Enshrined in static magnificence,
Controlling light for their own sakes.

But nature,
In infinite
Enfolding and unfolding,
Is the light.
Dynamic and undivided
She freely flashes colors
From her essence,
Layer upon layer
On unsuspecting pilgrims
Who stop by to

© rita h kowats 2014

My muses for this piece are the incredible photo by Juneau nature photograper Lynn Schooler ( and the work of innovative physicist David Bohm.

Chris Highland ( just drew my attention to this piece, John Burroughs at the Canterbury Cathedral . You may enjoy it.



Soul Survival




 A bomb drops
On the northern rim of Iraq
Its devastation reverberating
Near and far
Around and beyond.
A two-year old child of Isis
In the wrong place at the wrong time
Lies cradled in the arms
Of his wailing mother
While I sit weeping in my chair
On another rim of the circle
Wondering what to do.

Get out of the chair.                          

© rita h kowats  9-29-14



Spirit-Spun Dawn

linda's sunrise


Spirit-Spun Dawn
Sets fire flaming
In the womb of day.


Empyrean wings cast crimson shadows
Across a waiting welkin
Teeming with the promise of new life.


We walk beneath the wings’ shadow
To catch a glimpse of glimmer
With arms outstretched to draw the dawn
Down to the dark spaces of doubt and despair.


“And God said, ‘Let there be light’-
And there was light.”

© rita h kowats 2014


Phot Credit:  Linda Roddis used with permission



Jacob Wrestles Again

(Genesis 32: 22-31)



The Invitation

I see you across the river.
Your massive wings catching the wind’s draft
Beckon me into the fray- I thought.
Your invitation is lost in the miasma
of my pugnacious fear.
The river pulls me toward my destiny
every step across the ford fraught
with illusions of empire.

The Fray

You stand stalwart in shinning sheen
that sets off sparks of fused energy
wherever it touches me.
Thrust and lunge pass and punt
around and under over and through
I wrestle in dusk then dark
demanding the blessing of blissful sovereignty
until I break with the dawning of new day.


I wake from the stupor of exhaustion
Supine and cradled in your protective wings.
Blessed with the chrism of your love
I rest in embryonic innocence
Face to Face
Free of fear.

© rita h kowats 2014

Photo Credit:   

A “SoulCard” by Deborah Koff-Chapin.  The technique Deborah has created is called “touch drawing.”  The  cards come in two decks of 60 images and can be used alone or with others as reflection tools.  They have enriched my meditation for years and have helped those I companion with.  You can learn more at Deborah’s webpage

Used with permission from the artist.

The Winds of War

vietnam war memorial



Yet Again


I heard the sabers rattling
In digital space last night,
The same sabers I heard in ’90 and ’03.
The bladesmiths deftly forged their words
Hard as metal and plunged
Them into the furnace of fear
To be shaped and tempered into the fine point
That is called war.

Today I listen for the words
Of prophets rising above the din of sabers,
Their words clear and clean and true
Forged in the furnace of their souls
Shaped and honed by a justice
Crafted with eyes wide open.

I summon the prophet
Who lives in the furnace of my own soul:





Sacred Abundance

home hearth


Walking along the Interurban Trail near Seattle I was lured into the center of this copse as if pulled by a powerful invitation to be at home.  In that moment I felt an affinity with nature on a level not often felt before.  The copse became a safe hearth and for the moment cares melted in its fire.


Shorn and Unshod


Enter this untrodden space
unshod and enwrap
yourself in the protection
of Verdant Abundance.


©  rita h kowats 2014

Changing Focus

focus on rebirth


He looked at me in the enigmatic way he had as he asked the question.  I had been in great Sturm und Drang over something that thirty-five years later probably seems trivial.  When my spiritual guide asked me, “Rather than focus on what’s threatening to strangle you, why not focus on what’s struggling to be born?”  it opened up a new concept for me.  It seemed that I didn’t have to be a slave to my problems after all.  I could look at them, deal with them, and then change my focus.  Later, Walter Brueggemann made it clearer for me when he offered us the concept of the prophetic imagination.  Don’t just critique, although that is mandatory; we must create a new situation by first focusing on what COULD be. Buddhism adds such richness to this practice of changing focus by CHOOSING not to take on suffering created by ego.  We are mindful of real suffering and give it its just- due.  Then we change focus.

This practice of changing focus might be a helpful way of coping with the change of seasons.  We may grieve the loss of warm, bright sunshine as more clouds move in, but we can focus on the germination that is going on in the safe hearth of our souls.