Seeking God in New York City

DSCF8435_edited-1Riverside Park and Trapped Nature


Political Wall

DSCF8440_edited-1 Home Furnishings in the Shelter of Union Theological SeminaryDSCF8447_edited-1

Customer in Local Coffee Shop Window


Twinkling stars, infinity sky
no longer can I see,
blinded by the might of
fierce night light in the city.
Now the universe  appears
behind closed eyelids
unbound by hour on the clock.
Energy fields in the sky of day
once transported me instantly,
now I battle noise and numbers
in the megaphone metropolis.
My private piece of sky to see,
sitting in the summer sun,
in the backyard playland,
sits now in memory
along with the macro world
of insects underfoot.
The infinity of the terrestrial lawn,
now is writ on microscopic cells
inside my convoluted brain.
Our little piece of paradise
Our little barn for sale
Home now the concrete jungle.

I will find God here, too,
amid the traffic and the trash
Overcrowded cities can
team with spirituality
as manifest in Mother India,
satsangs to the barking dogs,
insistent horns
streets full of homeless.
Here, too, a camp
one block away
reminds one of the blessings
of a dwelling and food to eat
and humbles one
amid serenades
not of crickets
but of sirens
and the cooing of pigeons
or the sweetness of a sparrow.
T’is true the Divine
is manifest in nature,
easy to see there
but He dwells here, too,
in the rat filled streets
among the humble
somehow majestically in
the lowest of the low,
I would I could see Him in
the Sadhus of New York City.
His mighty kingdom
lies within the Self
bursting within the heart.

Have mercy on me, oh God,

and please open my heart

to the Compassion within!

22 responses

  1. Fabulous work, Ellen, and quite touching too. I can’t say I miss the city – for me, London and Oxford – yet I had some wonderfully unexpected ‘spiritual’ experiences in them when wandering in the crowds. I can only characterise them as feelings of overwhelming love and harmony, but they were just that i.e. feelings rather than thoughts. They were a kind of insightful ‘seeing’ too, in that when the ‘little me’ was absent, everything was present and integrated. Yes, ‘God in Nature’ (your tag) as Spinoza said. H ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    March 15, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    • Thank you, Hariod. Well, we wish we could live in the country but it won’t work for many reasons. We will both miss nature desperately and especially the ease with which one can see God in nature. Thank you for visiting. ❤ ellen

      Liked by 2 people

      March 19, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    • P.S. Thank you for your encouragement. It was my first poem in months and a laborious effort.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 19, 2016 at 3:08 PM

  2. Running Elk

    ❤ Wonderful, Ellen. Particularly love "I will find God here, too, amid the traffic and the trash" Too easy to lose sight in the grind and grime. Thanks for the reminder! 😀 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    March 15, 2016 at 1:24 PM

  3. So good to see a post from you Ellen, and an excellent one, at that. I love that image of the woman in the cafe. The poem is extraordinarily good. You have such a way with words.
    And yes, ‘God’ is everywhere. x ❤ x

    Liked by 1 person

    March 15, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    • Thank you so very much for the encouragement, Ashley! I think of you when I take these pictures. You have inspired me to see beauty in the city, Ashley. And this poem thanks you because it was the first in months. Yes, God is everywhere. xx ellen


      March 19, 2016 at 3:12 PM

  4. Ellen- reading this I felt such a bittersweet feeling. I feel much of what you expressed here. It’s sad yet I fear it’s the truth. It was honestly real.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 15, 2016 at 7:34 PM

    • It is very hard to see God in the city. I am fighting to do so. It is wrenching to leave the country, yet that is God’s plan. I must accept and look for God everywhere. I hope you are okay. I know you were in the hospital. I pray you are okay. <3, ellen


      March 19, 2016 at 3:18 PM

  5. ‘Now the universe appears behind closed eyelids’ , great line… the city seems so much lacking in compassion ‘but He dwells here, too’. Something that needs to be said…

    Liked by 2 people

    March 15, 2016 at 8:49 PM

  6. Thank you, Tiramit. Yes, I need to say it to myself over and over. Hope you are happily situated in Bangkok by now and feeling okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 19, 2016 at 3:20 PM

  7. Wonderful post, Ellen. Beautiful poem and I love your street shots.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 20, 2016 at 3:47 AM

    • Thank you so much, Richard. Nature was always my subject and now I must find another aesthetic. You and Ashley have given me both inspiration and encouragement!!


      March 20, 2016 at 10:58 AM

  8. It’s true I think, there is something pure that shines through the chaos of the city. You captured this beautifully, along with the memories of the natural world you’ve carried with you. I think in the city sometimes we see the ramifications of the weight with which we carry life more clearly perhaps– the urgency of it all– and I think the intensity of it can bring into view its opposite. Something like that. It is obviously different than the sensations of resting in Nature, but neither side of the coin is the coin itself…

    Peace to you, Ellen–

    Liked by 1 person

    March 21, 2016 at 8:38 PM

  9. we need more free nature and less trapped ones 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    March 29, 2016 at 2:40 AM

  10. wonderful post

    Liked by 1 person

    March 30, 2016 at 5:16 AM

    • Thank you so much, Bert! Thought all my poetry was gone for good. Appreciate the encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 31, 2016 at 7:21 PM

  11. Beautiful in its tenderness dear friend ….love , megxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    March 30, 2016 at 5:52 PM

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