Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Irish Blessing"

wish  you Not 
Path Devoid of  Clouds.
Nor a Life on a bed of Roses.
Not that  you  might Never Need Regret,
Nor that  you  should Never Feel Pain.
No, that  is Not my Wish for you.
My Wish for you is:
That  you  might  be  Brave in Times of Trial,
when others Lay Crosses upon your Shoulders.
When  Mountains  must be Climbed,
and Chasms  must  be Crossed;
When Hope can Scarce Shine through.
That  every Gift God gives you,
might Grow along with you.
And  let you Give the Gift  of Joy
to All who Care for you.
That  you  may Always  have  a Friend
who  is Worthy of the Name.
Whom  you  can Trust,
and who Helps you
in Times  of  Sadness.
Who  will   Defy the Storms 
of  Daily Life, at your Side.
One  more Wish  I  have for you:
That  in  Every  Hour
of  Joy  and  Pain,
you  may Feel God Close 
to  you.
This  is  my Wish  for you,
and  All  who Care  for you.
This  is my Hope  for  you,
~ Unknown
~ Beannaichte'
17 September, 2017 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

" How Deep the Father's Love for Us"

~How deep the Father's Love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.

How great the Pain of searing Loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many Souls to Glory.

Behold the man upon a Cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His Dying breath has brought me Life
I know that it is Finished.

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His Death and Resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward?
I can not give an answer
But this I know with all my Heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

~Yes, this I know with all my Heart...
His wounds have paid my ransom.

~Steve Townend

7 September, 2017

Sunday, September 3, 2017

" Return to Love"

~ Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our Light, that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually ,who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you.  We are meant to Shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.  And as we let our own light Shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated  from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

~ Marianne Williamson
 ~ Beannaichte'
3 September, 2017  

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"One Final Act"

I wonder what happened
Was it quick or was it something you had planned
You brought us so much happiness
With your quicksilver wit
And your amazing physical humor
The sadness and grief; played out on the big screen -
But now, it's finished; in one desperate act.

You brought us laughter when we were sad
You taught us how to become more tolerant
You gave us your best in every role
What could we have given you
To realise: life is worth living
On screen; you gave us reason to hope -  
You stopped hoping; in one final act.

We loved you for everything you were
An original, cut from a tapestry worth its weaving
How could you be so selfish
Why couldn't you make peace with yourself
Or was that the one role you could not master?
You, a master of masters -
 Now, we weep at your one final act.

You gave so much of yourself to us
Is that how you lost yourself
You answered so many of the big questions for us
Through your brilliance on screen and comedic wit
You made us think about what really matters
Did you forget the answers -
In that one final act.

I want so much to be compassionate
Instead, I feel hurt and angry
You betrayed us, those who loved you
And yes, you betrayed yourself
So many of us wish we could have reached you 
Or would we only have delayed the inevitable -
Before choosing; one final act.

 You helped us understand:
 Our mental-health system is broken
Your life, and death; made us look at this fact, again
I pray it will not be in vain
 What became your final release
 Must never become an acceptable option -
 That is chosen; one final act.

In spite of all that I am feeling
Or perhaps, because of what I am feeling
I will miss you, deeply
I thank you, for all you gave us in life
I can never be grateful for your horrific death
Your choice was the ultimate betrayal -
A desperate; one final act.

- O Captain! My Captain! . . .

We remember Robin Williams . . . We Remember.

Alicia O'Hara
Copyrighted  material : Dated; 13 August , 2014

~ Beannaichte'
22 August, 2017

Saturday, August 5, 2017

"Vietnam" knows not its own depth
until the hour of separation.

~Kahlil Gibran

The bond between us
was as strong as any tie that binds
the hearts and minds of men and women.
But men are taught,
Don't speak of love,
when speaking of another man.
You must uphold the image
of your masculinity.
And so it was, with Tom and me.
As only men express their love,
he'd slug my arm and slap my back.
I'd answer with a gentle shove.
A few years back, Tom breathed his last,
somewhere in Vietnam.
I cried alone, where no men could see,
with no one there to slug my arm.
I loved that guy, so help me God.
I wish that I had told him so.

~Randy Jaroch

5 August, 2017

~ In Memory of Jim Connor.  ~ Safe Journey, my friend.  ~ We Remember... We Remember.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"Ordinary and the Sacred"

My Friend,  you are many miles away
 The distance means nothing in a Friendship such as ours
I reach for your hand, and it is there
Our hands clasp in the Strength of  Friendship
I know you are with me; and that is good
I know that you care; and that is better
I sense the Warmth that is you-
and at the same time, me.  

I know you will stay awhile; and I am glad
You understand my fierce independence
There is no criticism between us
WShare a time that dwells on the edge of night
 Lingering, until the morning borders
All boundaries fade into the shadows-
Only Sacred  Light remains.

We do not have secrets
We have known each other for a very long time
Our Souls met and touched, somewhere on the Other Side
Our lives remain separate; our Hearts joined
 We come together, with a mutual Grace
When it is right; and that is good-
There is only room for the Truth of Knowing; and that is better.

I do not miss you, when it is time for us to part
The Strength and Tenderness of Being, remains
There is no holding on, as time must move forward
We are each Stronger for the time, shared
  Embracing that which is born out of struggle
 Seen through the eyes of Acceptance and Compassion-
We each seek the Path.

 I love you; and that is good
You love me; and that is better
It is a love that is born of the Divine
We speak the ancient language of the Circle
A language rooted in the Ordinary and the Sacred       
This is the Way of the Warrior- 
My Friend, "May all be well with you."

Alicia O'Hara
c. 6 October, 2013

~ Beannaichte'
     1 August, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

" Great Plains Prayer "

Bless us, Oh Lord, 
and this our Jell-O. Our corn,
and steaks and kolaches.
Our heat indexes. Our wind chills.
Our sunsets and horizons.
Our endless waves of grain and grass.
Our ancestors who started out
for the coast but stopped half-way.
Our nostalgia for their calico,
their sod, their olde homesteads.
Our denial of the meth labs
that have taken their place.
Bless our perseverance.
Our unerring politeness.
Our red state politeness
and our white, white bread.
Bless our dubious status
as tornado alley or flyover zone
and bless all those who fly over,
as well as those of us who, out of
choice or necessity or inertia -
forgive us, we know not why  or what
we've done - but, by God, stayed.

~ Grace Bauer
(1952-    ) 

~ Beannaichte'
17 July, 2017   

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


One who,
when He has the Choice
of two Evils,
chooses both.

~Oscar Wilde

~ Beannaichte'
11 July, 2017                                                                         

Thursday, July 6, 2017

"A Writer"

~ Becoming
is the
                                          ~ John O'Hara

Alicia O'Hara
6 July, 2017

Wednesday, June 28, 2017



              Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.  Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the Spirit.  If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.  Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and every where life is full of heroism.  Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection.  Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.  Nurture strength of Spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.  But do not distress yourself with imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.  Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding as it should.  Therefore, be at Peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.  And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life~keep Peace with your Soul.  With all its sham and drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.

~Max Ehrmann

28 June, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Two Words"

have the same letters.
10 May, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

" Sacred Hoop"

I watch her
 She sits,
fully concentrated- 
with her 
Eye on the Needle
Her stitches are tiny and varied-
precise, and incredibly neat.

I touch the worn wooden Hoop
 a Sacred Circle, in Her hands
The muslin fabric-
  a rough cloth,
will become softer, with Her working
Much the same, as Her hands,
have done with me.

I examine the different coloured threads
 carefully wrapped,
around  pieces of discarded paper
She loves bright colours
 I see their reflection
in the Eye of the Needle-
in Her intelligent eyes.

She knows how to make use of things
  Learned through Hard Times
She does not boast -
 Her way is one of Quiet Knowing
She never wastes words
So much counts, in the Doing.

I am Happy, as I sit near Her
Watching Her fingers, guiding the needle,
Skillfully, through the fabric
 Eyes Steady
Not unlike her Heart-Always Steady
As the Eye
of the Needle. 
Soon a Pattern will emerge
One She has worked, with Patience and Care
One day, I will Understand
She did Her Best to Prepare me
For a much larger Canvas; a Life-Tapestry
 Guiding, Teaching, and Loving
With Her Eye, upon the Needle. 

~Alicia O'Hara 
c. 26 June, 2013

31 May, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

" The Red Bird Sings"

~ No sun outlasts the sunset
           But will rise again
                                    And bring the Dawn

 ~ Maya Angelou 

The day is lovely, I climb the hill ...

A grave marker gleaming in the afternoon sun
Your name, oh so familiar and true
I reach  for the top of the stone, to steady myself, and you are there
I trace the letters with my heart and hand
 Realising, you live on in each heart that loves you -
And the red bird sings.

Your life; so much more than mere words chiseled in stone...

The view, one  so reminiscent of you
Age-olde trees, settled in a peaceful ravine
Teaming with the glories of Nature; each one, you held so dear
Yours  is a special room in a safe corner of my Heart
Never to forget you -
 And the red bird sings.

As I ascend the hill, it seems a difficult climb...

 I remember how often you walked 
When little oxygen was given you
 Your body incredibly stressed
Yet, you were determined to give each step your absolute best
I will give you no less -
 And the red bird sings.

Your  husband, now buried next to you...

Following you, nine months later
To the Great Unknown;

I guess it is the way it was meant to be
Perhaps those were his wishes, as to be with you
You never liked being away from each other -
And the red bird sings.

I bring nothing in my hands...

Yet, my Heart is full
So many thoughts and emotions
Now, seeping through porous grief
A grief that we often bore, together

We were always a part of each other's healing -
And the red bird sings.

  I turn to make my descent ...

I see you clearly in the afternoon sun
You are happy; I sense the joy in your smile
Your hand steady upon my shoulder
As you point me to my family;
Our family-
And the red bird sings.

  ~ For your love and prayers, always... Thank You!
 The red bird sings.

Alicia O'Hara
c. 31 May, 2014

~ Beannaichte'
16 May, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Confiteor: A Country Song"

EveningRed sky.  Standing at the door.
I sense a shadow presence here:
the one who loved this land before.

Those harmless hills bear scars of war.
Someone stood here, full of fear.
This is not a metaphor.

Above me, turkey vultures soar;
below the garden, seven deer
Someone loved this land before.

loved it as I do, maybe more
She did not simply disappear
and she is not a metaphor.

This was some woman's home before
pale soldiers came to clear
a land that someone loved before.

What to do with facts like this?  I ignore
them?  Hope they disappear?
Someone loved this land before.
None of this is metaphor.

~ Patricia Monaghan
U.S.A./ Ireland  

~ Beannaichte'
11 May, 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

"if' i"

i  looked through your eyes,
would  i see the Hunter's Moon; in awe of its beauty and mystery
would the Stars hold a Mystery; my eyes fixed to the Sky
would the Sun burn with the Fire of Ten -Thousand Suns
would my face be washed Clean with Tears, because of this Beauty
would Smile from a place, deep Inside-
 Knowing, i  have Touched the Sacred Mystery, "if".

"if" i  looked through your eyes
would i walk the Path; Moonlight Guiding each footfall
would the Stars be  the truest of Diamonds 
would the Sun impart Healing, with Eternal Light
would i Touch my Tears and not be ashamed
would i Smile  from a  place, that runs Deeper than Rivers-
 wouldKnow, i have Shared the Sacred Mystery, "if"...

"if" i continued to look through your eyes
would  Sway with tall prairie Grasses, that Dance in the Wind
would  i  continue to Stand Tall; akin to the mighty Oak
would i be equally Graceful, as the Weeping Willow
would my Voice resonate with the Gentleness of the Cottonwood
would Smile in the Sunlight, shimmering through Myriad of Treetops-
would  i   Know, i am a  Part of the Sacred Mystery,"if"...

"if"  while looking through your eyes
would i  realise, all Life is Precious
would i be True to the Wisdom of my Ancestors
would i Trace their Footprints, imprinted on the Land
would i  see the Signature of God, everywhere
would i endure Struggle to know Freedom-
would  i  Know  that  Creation is Borne  of Sacred Mystery,"if"...

"if" after Journeying with you
wouldKnow  that i  must Look through my eyes
would  i  be Faithful and Cherish  my Vision 
would Accept my Woundedness;
 Knowing, this is the Way of  Redemption
would  i  be Willing to Sacrifice Pleasure for Freedom; from self
would Know  that Life is a Gift; and Not a given-
would i then, Know;
 Sacred Mystery is Absolute-
 Never Guided,  by a "would",  an "if"- or an "i".

Alicia O'Hara
c. 20 October, 2013 

~ Beannaichte'
5 May, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


              ...Countless people have been devastated for reasons that cannot be explained or justified in Spiritual terms.  To do as you are doing in asking If there were a God, why would he let my little girl have to have possibly life-threatening surgery?-understandable as that question is-creates a false hierarchy of the blesses and the damned.  To use are individual good or bad luck as a litmus test to determine whether or not God exists constructs an illogical dichotomy that reduces our capacity for true Compassion.  It implies a pious quid pro quo that defies history, reality, ethics, and reason.  It fails to acknowledge that the other half of Rising-the very half that makes Rising necessary-is having first been nailed to a Cross.
              That's where you were the other night when you wrote to me, dear woman. Pinned in a place by your Suffering.  I woke up at 3a.m. because I could feel you Pinned there so acutely that I-a stranger-felt Pinned too.  So I got up and wrote to you.  My e-mail was a paltry little e-mail probably not too different from the zillions of other paltry little e-mails you received from others, but I know without knowing you that those e-mails from people who had nothing to give you but their kind words, along with all the Prayers people were praying for you, together formed a tiny raft that could just barely hold your weight as you floated through those terrible hours while you awaited your daughter's fate.
              If I believed in God, I'd see evidence of his existence in that.  In your darkest hour you were held afloat by the human Love that was given you when you most needed it. That would have been true regardless of the outcome of Emma's surgery.  It would have been the Grace that carried you through even if things had not gone as well as they did, much as we hate to ponder that.
              Your question to me is about God, but boiled down to the essentials. It's not so different than most questions people ask me to answer.  It says: This failed me and I want to do better next time. My answer will not be so different either: To do better you're going to have to try. Perhaps the good that can come from this terrifying experience is a more complex understanding of what God means to you so the next time you need Spiritual solace you'll have something sturdier to lean on than that rickety I'll-believe-he-exists-only-if-he-gives-me-what-I-want fence.  What you have learned as you sat with Emma in the intensive care unit is that your idea of God as a possibly nonexistent Spirit man who may not hear your prayers and may not swoop in to save your ass when the going gets rough is a losing prospect.
              So it's up to you to create a better one.  A bigger one.  Which is really, almost always, something smaller.
              What if you allowed your God to exist in the Simple words of Compassion others offer to you?  What if Faith is the way it feels to lay your hands on your daughter's Sacred body?  What if the greatest Beauty of the day is the shaft of Sunlight through your window?  What if the worst thing happened and you Rose anyway?  What if you Trusted in the human scale?  What if you Listened harder to the story of the man on the Cross who found a Way to endure his Suffering than to the one about the impossible magic of the Messiah?  Would you see the Miracle in that? 

~Cheryl Strayed

 18 April, 2017