This poem is holy.   Now, this may sound like sacrilege to some, but hear me out. This poem is framed by emptiness, by silence, by space. It is a moment of thought or emotion or experience captured in words and framed by space or page or book. Some poems are framed by music and become lyrics in songs, but some are best expressed against the background of silence. We all frame our artwork and use them to beautify our walls, but do we realize what we are doing? A frame sets apart a piece of art, causing us to pause and notice what we might otherwise pass by. Poetry, art, plays, movies, miracles—it is their “set apart” nature that makes them special and sacred to us. They take the truth that is always before us and present it in a new way, forcing us to notice the magnificence of LIFE. That is what it means to be “holy”—to be set apart, to be set aside and framed, so that when others experience you, they see God. Set apart by a sacred frame to help others perceive the marvel of their own existence. Some frames are simple, some ornate. There are natural frames like the rock monoliths in Utah’s Arches National Park or the mouths of caves or a chink of sky surrounded by clouds; there are manmade frames like doorways or windows or camera lenses. A frame causes us to stop, look at the landscape, notice the beauty that is always a part of our lives, yet we miss in our hurried, distracted, taking-for-granted oblivion. We must stop and put a frame around our moments in order to perceive their holiness. A poem is nothing special—it is as holy as we all are meant to be.    This poem is holy.

–Rose Guildenstern

Organized Religion

I tried you on for size,

…attempted to squeeze myself

into your zippered reality…

but found that (to put it plainly)

my ass was TOO BIG.

And although I

squeezed, and forced

nipped, and tucked

tried to trim the excess

through daily denial,

I was much too massive

for your proportions.

I watched others wear you

with such ease

as you loosely enveloped

their being,

and I tried all the harder

to fit myself into your

carefully trimmed pattern.

You convinced me that my extras

—unnecessary and unhealthy—

were “fat.”

I finally succeeded

(after destroying half of myself)

to wear you in public, and

for a time I was content…

even haughty of my

empty physique.

Yet eventually…

the deeper, richer, tastier

sustenance beckoned me,

and I began “cheating.”

A Morsel

of the metaphysical here,

A Bite

of bodhisattva there.

A Pint

of closet philosophy.

Soon my spirit began


outside of the outfit

you’d insisted

suited me so well.

I was embarrassed

by what you termed

my “weakness”

my “addiction”

and I tried to hide

my growth.

I even seriously considered

plastic surgery

to cut off my curves

and sew my open mind



my blind eyes were opened

by a solitary physician

who admired my shapely

breasts and butt,

and pointed out the

beauty of awareness

over acceptance.

My roundness

doesn’t make me a sinful slut…

it distinguishes me from the herd.

Now I have shed

your confining garb

and streak skyward,

dancing in discovery

(naked as a banshee)

—every expansive inch


in rhythmic delight.

–Rose Guildenstern


is obvious,


It smells rotten

or looks dangerous

or feels scary.

But the insidiousness

of a good poison

is that it’s none of these things.

It smells sweet

tastes delicious

feels so normal…

like cyanide

or antifreeze

or refined sugar.

And then there are the poisons

that fool us entirely.

The invisible poisons

we aren’t even aware are

slowly killing us.

Like a bad relationship

a smothering job

a noxious environment

or our saboteur mind.

We slowly asphyxiate


lose consciousness

assuming the poison

is either essential

or unavoidable.

Eventually, we believe

we are the problem

and thus we become

our own


–Rose Guildenstern

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